Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA)

“…calling Megaupload an “international organized criminal enterprise allegedly responsible for massive worldwide online piracy,” and alleging that Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom et al generated more than $175 million in “criminal proceeds.” Those charges also come with some potentially hefty prison sentences, including a maximum 20 years for conspiracy to commit racketeering, five years for copyright infringement, 20 years for money laundering, and five years for each of the substantive charges of criminal copyright infringement.”


Bibliography – Final

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Anderson, N. (2011). IFPI: Fighting music piracy is a government job. Ars Technica. Retrieved from

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Bangeman, E. (2007). DRM, Lock-Ins, and Piracy: All red herrings for a music industry in trouble. Ars Technica. Retrieved from

Bhattacharjee, S., Gopal, R. D., Lertwachara, K., & Marsden, J. R. (2006). Impact of legal threats on online music sharing activity: An analysis of music industry legal actions. Journal of Law and Economics, 49 (1, Symposium: Piracy and File Sharing). Retrieved from

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Hachman, M. (2010). Music piracy arrives on the phone via Google’s android. PC Magazine. Retrieved from,2817,2365288,00.asp

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Lamy, J., Duckworth, C., Kennedy, L. (2010). RIAA joins congressional caucus in unveiling first-ever list of notorious illegal sites. RIAA News Room. Retrieved from

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Mitchell, B. (2011). ISP-Internet Service Providers. Retrieved from

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ISPs and the Online Pirates

By Jimmy Hoesan

A. Defining Online Music Piracy

So, what is online music piracy? According to Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), if someone makes unauthorized copies of copyrighted music recordings by online, it would be considered as online music piracy. Nowadays, digital information can be downloaded easily, and they seem to be as free as air. However, the United States copyright law has clearly stated that it is prohibited to download or upload copyrighted music without permission (RIAA, 2011).

It is not really clear when people started downloading music. But downloading music was become famous in 1998 after a software called Napster was released. Napster was a software that allow people around the world to share each other’s music files. Napster was sued by RIAA in 1999 for facilitating music pirating. Then because of so many litigation cases, Napster changed the software from music file-sharing to an Internet music subscription service that sell legitimate online music (Funding Universe, 2011).

After Napster, a lot of software and website are created that provide free music downloading, such as Pirate Bay, Limewire, 4share, etc. People find it really easy to download and get music for free, which lead to uncontrollable online music piracy.

B. Internet Service Providers (ISPs)

Almost everyone now uses internet. To use the internet, people need to open an account or subscribe to Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

Basically, ISP is a company that supplies Internet connectivity to home and business customers (Mitchell, 2011). However, some ISPs also provide different service to their customers. Verizon and AT&T only sell service for Internet connectivity to public, later on this ISP type will be mentioned as ISP1. Other ISPs, such as Iweb and Amhosting provide service to set and full manage a computer server for customer, later on this ISP type will be mentioned as ISP2. Computer server is a computer that is used to create a website for company, business, or personal use. Computer server can also be used for database, game server, etc. There are also ISPs that only rent the server to public without manage the server, so the responsibility to manage the server belongs to customer. From this point, this type of ISP will be mentioned as ISP3.

Online music piracy all started from these three types of ISPs. To create a website, people need a server and Internet connectivity to make the website be up and running. People with lack knowledge to manage a server would rent a server from ISP2, but someone with a good information technology skill would rent a server from ISP3.

Right now, all these ISPs are currently working together with the government to prevent and decrease online music piracy. For example, India government has commanded India’s ISP1 to block Pirate Bay to be accessed in India (TechZilo, 2011). In The United States, government has asked ISP2 and ISP3 to shut down several servers, such as Limewire,, Rmx4u.

To completely prevent online music piracy, ISP2 and ISP3 could prohibit customers to rent servers for opening piracy sites. However, it is really difficult to track and check what customers use the server for, especially for ISP3 that only rent out the servers without managing them. Prohibiting customers to rent servers for opening piracy sites would also cut ISP’s source of income.

Additional sources:

Free Psychology

By Chao-Hsuan Wu

Music downloading has become a popular phenomenon in this digital age.Therefore, increasing demand for music and music videos contributes to thrive of the digital market. Online social networking sites such as YouTube and MySpace drive online music and online video. Besides, mobile phone also promotes the development in digital music. People use mobile Internet to download music freely and share with each others. It also connects worldwide digital market and make it become more interactive. Nowadays, people are living in a free era. Internet users have taken free download for usual. Obviously, it is impossible to restrict all users to download from the Internet. Therefore, music companies need to give up the old model and embrace a new one, or they will not survive. Music subscription may bring some money back to the music industry. Online music stores such as Sky Songs, available in the United Kingdom, will be the trend in the future. This clearly points out that music will be paid for by usage not by units.

Current Methods of Record Label Companies

2. Other Preventive Approaches

Digital Right Management

Apple was among many online music stores that used Digital Rights Management (DRM) in 2003 when they first launched iTunes. iTunes makes DRM-free tracks available for $1.29 versus the standard 99¢ for DRM-encoded tracks. Six years later in 2009, Apple removed this copyright protection wrapper from every song in its store due to ineffectiveness (Boutin, 2010). These wrappers might be convenient for distribution management but they are very troublesome to music buyers. A few online music stores continue to use it nowadays (Bangeman, 2007). The problem with the DRM songs is that purchasers can only play them on certain devices. They are impossible to be burned onto CDs at will.

Aggressive Pricing

Online music stores reserve more spaces for advertisings on their website interfaces. They try to yield revenue from sources other than to solely sell digital music tracks. These digital music stores also offer incentives for monthly to yearly subscribing packages. All these mechanisms aim at reducing online music prices, and incentivizing people who are well-aware of the copyright law (IFPI, 2010).

Another example of aggressive pricing strategy is TuneCore, a website started in 2006. This site allows music artists to distribute their products to different online music stores with a fee. (Greenwood, 2010). This mechanism brings artists closers to the marketplace and contribute partially to lowering prices. Previously, artists pay a significant fee for record label companies in order for these companies to distribute their own products. Nowadays,  sales revenues go straight to the artists. This is a very appealing method aiming at reducing music price. To many people that do not like record label companies because the artists are supposed to deserve the praise more than the distributors, this will also encourage them to purchase the legitimate song tracks in lieu of downloading for free.

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