The Impact Of Paid Downloading On Illegal Downloading Research Papers Examples

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Music, Law, Internet, Criminal Justice, Industry, Crime, People, Business

Pages: 6

Words: 1650

Published: 2020/11/27

Legal and Illegal downloading has been affected the music industry over the last two decades in many ways. The first time when the file-sharing programs emerged, reports suggested a decline in the total units sold, but an increase started, when the first online music store was opened for business. There is not a directed link between the legal and illegal downloading of music, and in the way on how they affect the individual music companies, but is rather a correlation between consumer index and sales revenue. This essay will analyze how the paid downloading had influence the illegal downloading in the last two decades starting from 1994 until the end of 2008.
Copying, unauthorized reproduction and piracy have been a problem for several thousand of years. Every time people were starting to create something of value, gold, silver, painting, music coins and others object of value, it was someone who trying to steal or copy it. Along the history, it was a big challenge on managing to copy something but this situation had changed after the late half of the twenty century, when the photocopier was invented, providing an easy and accessible way to reproduced printed materials. The new technology was quickly developed also in the music domain, due to the appearance of audio tape, then CD and DVD. This procured to people and easy and effective way to copy audio material and sound recordings.
In the late 90’s, the music industry became the next victim of people copying and sharing music with the launch of the Napster. Naspter was an online music platform where people could share audio and music files on the internet peer-to-peer which created legal difficulties because the rules of copyright weren’t explicit in that time. After a downtown, the market was up again in 2006, when the iTunes was release on the market, creating a positive growth.
Every time a new technology appeared on the market and had the potential to replicate copyright-protected materials, the copyright industry saw the development of technology with bad eyes. When the video recorder appeared, the television and movie industry sue to stop the video recording but the process wasn’t gained by the movie industry. This disagreement gave birth to another market which was called prerecorded video. A market which had an enormous development, making the rental and sales revenues far exceed the box-office revenue.
The music industry faced the same problems. Due to the evolution of Internet, people start communicating, researching and sharing files online. The emergence of Napster was considered to be the beginning of illegal downloading and changed the way America though of copyright and piracy forever. Until emerging Napster program, the process of copying a CD supposed to getting possession of the original media and accumulating the software and the hardware that would permit to copy the original. If the equipment wasn’t available for everyone at the time, the CD could have still been copy by recording it to a tape, but a substantial loss of the quality of the material was normal.
The same problem was true also for VCR tape and DVD. For burning DVDs, the person should have had sophisticate and expensive computer to burn the files and exclusive software programs, but the creation of Napster erased all the problems and simplifies the whole process of copyrighting. When the Napster emerged, anyone who could have access to a simple and cheap computer with internet connection and P2P service (which was the Napster program) could get anything he wanted from albums, to songs or recording in their computers, without quality loss into an electronic format, and as people believed that time, it was for free.
In that time, piracy became a household practice. A study made in 2004 revealed that over 12 billion of songs per year were downloaded by over 60 million of people, and everything was done from the comfort of their houses. The P2p network was really easy to access and had a simple process of working. P2P network was a network where every user or group of users can connect with any other from the network and shared files on their computers. Anyone could access it because required minimum of needs, such a computer, internet connection and the most important, the same PSP software and server. The users act like an index by listing what user has which song available. The network worked very well because the system wasn’t expensive to be implemented, due to the lack of hardware. Another strength point was that they didn’t needed a central point to collect the data, which could be easy detectable and track it down. The amazing thing was how users could up and download directly from each other.
Very soon, Napster became a media sensation, being the online service that draws global attention. Many of the users weren’t aware of the copyright infringement rules or that they were committing fraud by stealing and pirating this “free” music. But this joy of the Napster users didn’t resisted long time because after two years of launching the program, the recording industry shut Napster down. This didn’t stop the illegal downloading because after the fall of Napster a lot of other P2P programs appeared quickly but neither one of them was that strong and well develop as Napster was. Programs like Imesh, Gnutella, E-Donkey, Audiogalaxy and LimeWire were replacement for the Napster program.
All those programs had accelerated the pace of piracy in all environments but this resisted only for a while. Like all the “good” things that don’t resist longer, this movement didn’t went unnoticed. The Recording Industry Association of America attempted to reduce the number of downloaders by threatening to sue. To sustain their claim and to make people take this serious they sued 14,000 files. The negative consequences of file sharing have been imposing excessive fines in amount of $750 per copyright infringement. This could lead to the approximate amount of money around $3 million for a person who could have been caught with 4,000 files on a hard driver.
The goal of this campaign was to increase and make people responsible of the risk associated with the downloading music illegally. Due to the lack of taxes or fees people weren’t aware of the importance of this illegality or some of them didn’t care because nothing was stopping them to continue doing it. But after boundaries was set, the fear of getting caught limited people to illegally download from the internet.
But even this campaign didn’t stop the illegal download. People returned to the old methods used before the emerged of P2P which were IRC clients, chat rooms, FTPs and newsgroups. BitTorrent was a protocol that enabled fast downloading of large files using minimum of internet bandwidth. It was free and it didn’t contained pop-up advertisement or spyware. The program has gotten really soon a bad reputation but BitTorrent wasn’t used only for pirating music. The technology used by this program was helpful on transmitting legal, ordinary data as well. This program could have been used in education of business world.
As an example, if all universities were connected via BitTorrent, faculty and students could share their work and knowledge together quickly, legally and efficient across the entire world. This program could increase efficiency and speed in this manner.
The illegal download affected the firm performance in the music industry. Online piracy was directly affected three important industries: the movie business, the music industry and the software industry. It is interesting that some industries have been shown negative long-run effects compared with others which showed positive long-run effects from this activity. One of the positive effects could be seen at the software industry which have been able to make profit from the illegally downloads and discover that piracy can be a great tool to indirectly increase market shares.
Among the industries that were negative affected can included also the music industry. Music piracy has been adopted for several reasons. After a research study, the scientist discovered that American listen 3 hours of music daily and this create a demand to have “free” music due to the process of file-sharing. Due to the connection speed that had been increased lately and the small length of a musical piece, the sharing between users was a simple quest to do.
If the consumers stop buying music for any reason, the sales of the music companies will decline. This also involved music in electronic format. The downloading of music that otherwise would have been purchased was lost revenue to the music companies and therefore felt into this category. One needs to be distinguished, however, between two different types of lost sales. One is the actual loss from music that was downloaded illegally and the otherwise have been purchased. These consumers are unwilling but are able to pay for music or are willing and able to pay for the music but didn’t have a way to downloaded legally.
The other group includes consumers that are unwilling or willing but enable to pay for the download material. Because these consumers don’t have the money to buy the music there would be no revenue to be made from these consumers. The revenue which would have been generated by selling to those consumers, if illegal downloading had not been an option, was not realized and therefore lost. This is not realizing of revenue that will show as a loss or at least decreased revenues for those years. Margins will decline as a result of declining sales.
Some people might try to claim that illegal downloading did not affect the music industry at all and that all the claims made by the RIAA are false. They might argue that if there really was a decline in sales revenue, that it was brought on by economic forces, not illegal downloading. Legal downloading helped balancing the way in which music is shared around the entire world. The three years of emerging of iTunes the revenue from downloaded music totaled $2 billion worldwide or about 10% of all music industry sales.
In conclusion, the impact of paid downloading on illegal downloading helped the industry. Even if the illegal music had encountered different period in its evolution, by using different types of programs for sharing files such as the P2P type and then torrents, the appearance of fees and iTunes program help the music industry to develop legal methods that are easy to access for downloading music.

Works Cited

Duener, M. “The Impact of Legal and Illegal Downloading of Music on the Financial Performance of the Recording Companies.”California State University, Long Beach.N.p., May 2010. Web. 19 Feb. 2015.
"The High Price of Free Music: How Illegal Downloads Are Silencing Artists - DailyFinance." N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2015.
"Illegal Downloading: Families Who Illegally Download Music and Movies Online Face Court Action for Copyright Theft | Daily Mail Online."Mail Online. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2015.
"The Real Cost of Downloading Music Illegally." The Student Lawyer.N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2015.
"What Legal Consequences Can There Be for Illegally Downloading Movies or Music? | New Media Rights."Welcome to New Media Rights! | New Media Rights. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2015.

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