I personally have not bought music in a very long time. Before the internet was popular, I would buy CD’s to play in my Walkman and stereo. However, nowadays we use our iPods and cell phones to listen to music. We connect some ear plugs and we’re set. Or to listen to it in our cars we connect an auxiliary chord, or even just burn our own CD. How is everyone getting this music? Well, either they buy it off iTunes, or download it illegally off the internet. Even though it is illegal, it would be nearly impossible to catch every single person who downloads music online and punish them. It is almost so common that is doesn’t seem like it is illegal. I know a friend at work who says he never downloads music for free, but that is only because he has a good friend in the music business and understands how it affects them. If more of us understood the effects of downloading free music, maybe there would be less of it. To stop this, it would have to be taught at a young age so that children develop a habit of buying music. Though, I think that this is a new trend that will stick, and I think music producers are going to have to think of new ways to collect the money they deserve for entertaining us with their music. Another way that could help music producers was mentioned in an article by Condry (2004). He says if it is shown to the fans that have an attachment to a certain type of music, or specific group/artist, that their investments and support towards the group will help them keep creating better and more music, perhaps they will consider buying more music rather than downloading it for free. It is said in the article that a “more promising future depends on building upon their enthusiasm” (pg. 358), which explains that those who are enthusiastic about the music should be enlightened as to how important their music purchases are to the band. Those who are enthusiastic enough about the music will follow.
Pirating is a very social aspect of our lives. As said in the article by Steinmetz and Tunnell (2013), someone who is unable “to consume media content at high levels translates into being left behind others who are hyper-consuming” (pg. 59). If someone is unable to hear the latest songs or watch the latest TV shows and movies, they will feel left behind from their friends who may be talking about the topic. As also mentioned in their article, I agree with two of the factors that encourage pirating, and those would be sampling and inability to afford content. Those would be the main reasons I hear about people pirating, because you want to try out a song or movie before you buy it. Some people don’t even end up buying it because they can’t afford it. This brings issues for the recording industry because they somehow need to make money from their consumers.
Overall, piracy may be a huge issue for producers and even though they go against copyright laws, it would be hard to completely eliminate the problem. There are ways to lower the rates, such as finding new ways to make money, teaching children at a young age the effects of illegal downloading, or aiming profits at the enthusiastic fans who want to support a group or individual artist. If these ideas are put to the test, I think the piracy rates would decrease a lot within the next few years.
Condry, Ian. (2004). Cultures of Music Piracy: An Ethnographic Comparison of the US and Japan. International Journal of Cultural Studies. 7 (3), pg. 343-363.
Steinmetz, K., K. Tunnell (2013). Under the Pixelated Jolly Roger: A Study of On-Line Pirates. Deviant Behavior. 34 (1), pg. 53-67.