Music Piracy on the Internet

Should we fight or should we not fight the music pirates?!

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The Internet nowadays contains incredibly rich contents of information where users can easily download and upload after paying their Internet providers for the service. This also means music fans can exchange copyrighted songs without being charged. Many people think it is consumer’s right to freely access any available online materials including music. Others consider music sharing without the creators’ consent is equivalent to online theft and illegal. The debate about online music piracy has become a world-wide concern since the Internet does not have boundaries. With the difference in jurisdictions, it is almost impossible for law enforcement in one country to do anything, not to mention the difference in cultures. In some areas, people do not understand the idea of buying music. Many Eastern countries still consider downloading music online for free to be a legitimate practice.

About 25% of music revenues are from digital sales. However, despite the increasing revenues of the online music business, which is observed to be up 12% in 2009, illegal file-sharing and unauthorized downloading activities are causing negative impacts to local music in major markets (McGuinness, 2010). The digital sales could have been higher since listeners are changing their custom from buying CDs to downloading online.

One in five Internet users in Europe (21%) shares unauthorized music (IFPI, 2010). This result does not include the two countries that have biggest physical and digital music sales, United States and Japan. One could imagine how much more revenues that music industry could have earned and jobs this industry could have created when the issue is settled. Therefore, a comprehensive solution is needed to resolve these multi-faceted problems, which mainly include the failure of digital distribution, lack of government regulations, lack of Internet service providers’ cooperation, lack of international cooperation and lack of users’ awareness.

The free content concepts make it impossible for anti-piracy activities. Even though there are effective digital distribution channels appealing to reasonable buyers, governmental cooperation in several countries, ISPs’ contribution in certain areas, the pirates can always find a way to avoid being caught. Because of international nature of the world wide web, a new approach is needed to prevent online piracy from expanding.

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