Piracy of the Media

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Piracy of the Media

The use of the internet to download and share music files is a very controversial issue. This topic is especially of interest to me because I download music quite frequently. To get a better look at how frequently students do this, and whether or not they feel it is ethical, I decided to conduct a survey. I conducted a ten question survey of twenty freshmen students. Distributed in Hanson Hall, and all freshmen dorm, the survey was very straightforward and asked questions dealing with how often students used file-sharing programs and whether or not they felt it was ethical to do so. Other questions dealt with alternative options to downloading music and the legal action that ensues doing so.

After conducting the survey, I came to the expected conclusion that the majority of students download music regularly. All but one of the students surveyed stated that they download music off a P2P (people to people) file-sharing program. Several people also, however, admitted that they felt that the piracy of music online is unethical. These were people who also said that they download music regularly. Their response as to why they continue to compromise their integrity was based on the fact that they did not feel that the record labels or the individual artists themselves were actually being adversely affected. In their minds, their downloading and sharing of this music is only helping the music industry, especially up-and-coming bands who are trying to develop a name for themselves. Instead of handing out promo CD’s, they can simply upload their music onto the internet and circulate their music that way; a much more inexpensive and effective method. For example, I had not heard of the band Good Charlotte ...

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... record label if they request it. Possible results may include individuals being sued for downloading music. This may seem as a step in the direction of doing away with the free distribution of music online, but I feel that there will always be a loophole. Students can anonymously sign on and download music, or register under fake information. As seen in the past, as soon as one program is shut down, such as Napster, another one will pop up in its place; Limewire, Kazaa, Morpheus: the list goes on and on.

In conclusion, the piracy of music is a hot topic these days. I feel that it will be a controversy for quite awhile, simply because of how difficult it is to prevent. Unless courts and the record labels take more legal action, the music industry will just have to sit back and watch us students “steal” money from them, money which they already have plenty of.

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