Analysis Of The Article ' Why Suing College Students For Illegal Music Downloading Is Right

Analysis Of The Article ' Why Suing College Students For Illegal Music Downloading Is Right

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Marci Hamilton, a FindLaw columnist for CNN, and author of the article, “Why Suing College Students for Illegal Music Downloading is Right” pens a compelling article about the need for enforcing copyright laws. However, Hamilton does not make her argument flawlessly. Rhetorical devices, such as pathos and logos are used well to strengthen her argument, but fails to establish ethos within the actual article, which takes away from the overall credibility of her piece. Hamilton also is guilty of using several fallacies; she uses hasty generalizations, scare tactic, and appeals to authority.
Hamilton begins her article by explaining that the music industry has chosen to take a stand for copyright laws and is now going after students that illegally download music. She does acknowledge that there are critics of the choice to target college students specifically, however, she does not note what those critics argument is, and instead simply states she believes it is “legally and morally right for them to do so.” To back up her assertion she begins by explaining why a copyright law is so necessary. She says that without copyright laws there would be no “rags to riches” stories, and appeals to pathos as she discusses great artists of the past. Hamilton explains how without these laws artists like Loretta Lynn, or Elvis Presley would not have been able to rise up out of their poverty and offer their music to the world if copyright laws did not exist. For many years copyright laws seemed to be non-existent but the music industry is changing that.
Hamilton quickly falls to the fallacy of hasty generalization. Although the industry itself is specifically targeting college students, Hamilton does not note in her article that more than just ...


... middle of paper ...


...g that their diploma will be on the line.
Hamilton also fails to establish ethos anywhere in her piece. At the very end of the article a short biography can be found, that states she is the chairwoman in law at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University. However, this is the only piece of ethos that can be found at all. This detracts from the piece overall because without genuine credibility it is impossible to know if she fully understands the topic on which she is arguing.
Overall Hamilton’s article is informative, but still contains several fallacies. She uses rhetorical appeals such as logos and pathos well to help sway her audience that her opinion is correct but when paired with such strong hasty generalization it becomes hard to believe that she has truly looked at the entire picture of the war on free music that the music industry is fighting.

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