Essay on Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility in the Music Industry

Essay on Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility in the Music Industry

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Since the music industry is quite diverse it is consequently impacted by a great number of ethical issues. The issues span across the production side to the consumptions side of music. They issues deal with things as inconsequential as lip syncing to the breaking of laws when stealing music. Although there are a lot of different areas that can be examined within the industry, the most important ethical issues fall under the category of compensation.

The first major aspect of compensation is in regard to royalties. Royalties are defined as “an amount of money that is paid to the original creator of a product, book, or piece of music based on how many copies have been sold” according to Webster’s dictionary. Artists earn money from the sale of their original work. This means that any public performance of the artist’s work, on radio, TV, or at a bar, does not earn them any money. The concept of royalties is derived from copyright law as well as from the idea that when radio stations gave an artist’s music air-time, it would consequently lead to more sales. This whole system of compensation for artists is now being questioned. This can be attributed to several different factors but the foremost is the advent of the internet. People are increasingly more connected which is the cause of a complete re-imagination of how music is shared. As the internet developed a lot of new outlets for enjoying music emerged: some of which were more ethical than others.

When the online music sharing industry was evolving there were a lot of opportunities for great innovation but there was also opportunity for laws to be broken. In 1999, a music sharing website called Napster was founded that raised a lot of ethical issues ...

... middle of paper ... 17, 2014, from

Pritchard, C. (2014, January 1). Record deals changing for digital age. BBC News. Retrieved April 17, 2014, from

Wilson, J. (2014, February 27). Streaming media technology attracting huge VC investment. E & T Magazine. Retrieved April 17, 2014, from

Royalty. (n.d.). Merriam-Webster. Retrieved April 26, 2014, from

RIAA - Anti Piracy - May 01, 2014. (n.d.). Retrieved May 1, 2014, from

Spotify artists earn $0.007 per play. (n.d.). BBC News. Retrieved May 2, 2014, from

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