Internet User Awareness Aspect

Digital development essentially enabled Internet users to get their favorite music online for free. Buyers certainly love the free idea and nobody questions the concept of free music on the Internet. One survey indicates that 67% of Internet users who download music do not care about copyright laws (Stefannie, 2003). But attitudes have changed since people realize this free concept causes damages to the music industry, specifically to people seeking compensation in this industry. Comparing the Internet access revenues (fixed line and mobile) and music industry revenues earlier in the decade, the Internet business quadrupled from 2004 to 2009 to $266 billion. Meanwhile, music sales decrease in the same period from $25 billion to $16 billion (McGuinness, 2010). Free content clearly profits of the technology and telecoms industry but hampers the music business.

In 2004, the RIAA started a 5-year lawsuit campaign against individuals as a response to illegal downloading by Internet users. The movement spent over $64 million and brought in about $1.4 million in settlement money (Techdirt, 2010). Some violators are fined up to $3,000 because of their illegal file-sharing activities. It is hard to conclude whether this strategic movement was successful even though major record labels fully supported them at a time. The media suggested that RIAA should find other supportive alternatives rather than directly attack online pirates who are also music lovers. Filing lawsuits against thousands of individuals is clearly unfeasible and uneconomical. Regardless, the movement attracted media attention and awoke Internet users’ awareness toward online piracy issue.

It is human nature that people want free stuffs. It is also consumer perception that once Internet users paid for ISPs, they bought the right to use any information available on the Internet, not excluding music, movies or other entertainment products. It is hard to change people’s mind unless companies have a strong incentive to do so. Imagine  day there was no illegal movie up-loaders, there would be no movie down-loader consequently. Until that day, entertainment industry has to find a way to deal with illegal file-sharing.


Raise user awareness


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