Downloading Music on the Internet - Essay Example

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Today, it is very easy to download free movies and especially music over the internet. In the internet era, all an individual has to do is download a peer-to-peer application for file sharing; for example, Bear-share, Blubster, E-donkey, and Kazaa (Marshall & Frith 32). …
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Downloading Music on the Internet
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"Downloading Music on the Internet"

Using these applications, an individual has unlimited access for the downloading of al music and movies they require. However, the question has risen as to whether it is legal to download free music using any of these applications. This argumentative essay will argue that downloading music is legal. While a majority of record companies believe that free downloading of music should be illegal because it hinders their music sales in the stores, most music consumers would tend to disagree since they also pay a lot of money to watch these music acts live. Downloading of music over the internet should be free and legal. Peer-to-peer file sharing technology enables internet users to share their resources on a computer through direct exchange. This trend was commenced by Napster in 1999 and went on to become the most popular file-sharing method. Prior to Napster, sharing files over the internet was limited due to file exchange on file-sharing protocol (Marshall & Frith 40). When Napster came onto the4 scene, it used improved internet connections and increased speeds for file sharing. Modern file-sharing systems can now develop networks for file sharing with swaps for anything ranging from audio to video music files. Other networks to emerge after Napster are WinMX, Songspy, iMesh, Filetopia, Aimster, Kazaa, and Morpheous. It is obvious from the growing number of these networks, as well as the popularity of the sites, which P2P music sharing and downloading is here to stay. Napster played a significant role in this by offering a variety of music free and coming up with useable music downloads software (Marshall & Frith 40). The current rate of internet use is growing rapidly, and downloading music is the most popular use of the internet. It has plagued the music industry for over a decade while also allowing tens of millions the ability to acquire music free, which would have been out of bounds for most of them because of its price (Ouellet 113). Record companies have argued that these networks illegally allow music consumers to share and download music. Their main argument has to do with declining album sales. These companies believe that individuals will download music onto CDs and their mobile devices, which will greatly reduce the revenue from physical album sales. However, music consumers who download music free over the internet claim that physical albums are too expensive (Ouellet 113). In addition, it has also been claimed that some songs that people download over the internet are those that they cannot find in the music stores. Peer-to-peer networks possess useful applications that should not be lost in the war against music piracy (Ouellet 114). The music industry, several years ago, also had a similar argument concerning cassettes, whereby they claimed that the copying of cassette tapes was not a hindrance to music sales. The reason for their change of tune has everything to do with reduced revenues, especially since those who could not afford to buy physical albums in the first place bought cassettes. Various websites have strictly enforced copyright laws that ensure there is a restriction to some downloads, which are being charged. It can also be argued that downloading music on the internet brings the music closer to the consumer and may actually cause them to buy the physical albums (Ouellet 114). An artist is able to receive increased publicity if their music is downloaded massively on the internet. Downloading of music on the internet should not be illegalized because MP3s cannot be considered as physical albums (Premkumar 92). For this reason, the songs cannot be stolen since they are not losing any actual value. In addition, since sharing of music with another Read More
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