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An Argument in Support of Illegal Downloading - Essay Example

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This essay "An Argument in Support of Illegal Downloading" will shed light on what I feel are the two most important arguments in support of and against illegal downloading. We shall begin with the so-called negative effects of the illegal file sharing services…
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Download file to see previous pages The music industry claims to be the most adversely affected by the trend in illegal downloading with lost profits amounting to billions of dollars according to the Recording Industry Association of America. Between the years of 2004 and 2009, an estimated 30 billion songs were file shared illegally even though legitimate download avenues such as Itunes and Rhapsody exist for song downloading at a minimal cost to the buyer (Adkins, Amy “How Does Illegally Downloading Music Impact the Music Industry?”). Leaders of the industry claim that this translates to around 12.5 billion in losses since Napster, the first free file sharing site first launched in 1999. Their only recourse in this situation is to try to track down the individuals who have illegally downloaded the music and then suing them for thousands of dollars in estimated lost revenue. Just thinking about the way that the music industry is trying to curb illegal downloading makes my head spin. There are not enough law enforcers in the country to monitor the online activities of all the Americans, not to mention that such an act on their part is a violation of the privacy of that particular individual. Those who are unlucky enough to get caught are sued for what? An amount that the RIAA knows the individual cannot afford to pay? What lesson is taught then? Does it scare others into stopping the illegal activity? There are other and more effective ways to get to these people. The industry also claims that these activities result in layoffs and loss of capital for new music investments. That is because the music industry has only limited financial resources with which they can cater to existing talent while developing new ones. There is believed to have...
There is believed to have been a 20 percent decline in album sales in 2002 as per data gathered by Peinz and Waelbroeck (qtd. in Shannon). This decrease in sales is being blamed on the illegal downloading of music. The music industry would have us believe that illegal downloading negatively affects them because the music that is downloaded for free through file sharing services does not give them a return on investment. They do not get any royalties for their company that produced the record, or the artist who made the record. Basically, this type of theft should be considered equal to economic sabotage in their dictionary. I will discuss how uneducated this assumption by the music industry is in a later portion of this essay. If one were to solely base his opinion of illegal file sharing on the doomsday scenario created by the movie, television, and recording industry, we would think that they are truly being hurt by the activity and, as caring and responsible individuals. Therefore, it would be in everyone's best interest to stop with the illegal activity since those who illegally download are directly participating in the economic demise of the entertainment industry. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Other sources of information have shown that the entertainment industry, whether they admit it or not also directly benefit, and benefit greatly from the illegal downloading of their materials. In fact, if there is anything that illegal downloading should be considered guilty of. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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