Piracy is a problem that keeps on growing in today’s world especially with technology thriving the way it has be lately. The music industry for instance is no stranger to stealing and sharing and has caused sales to continually decrease. The biggest question is what can be done to eliminate this problem of piracy? After reading this week’s articles I find it hard to take a side without contradicting myself. One the one hand, I think that music is a privilege and the musicians should definitely get paid for their work. For years I have paid for my music whether it be on iTunes or to physically purchase the album from a music shop and wouldn’t think of any other way of doing it because that is the right thing to do. On the other hand, I am the perfect example of unintentionally committing piracy as I lend my CDs to my friends or let them take songs from my iTunes to put on their iPods. I have never really thought about that to be piracy because I’m not giving it out to hundreds of people and I did pay for the CD. That being said I think it’s not always clear of where to draw the line and determined what is to be considered wrong or acceptable. Condry states that “If music is free, no one will pay for it. If no one pays, artists and producers will stop creating music” (Condry, 2004). This exact reason is why something needs to change before the music industry falls beyond repair, something that would be terrible for not only the artists but for the general public who caused it.
Honestly I think that there might not be a solution to this piracy situation that would make both consumer and producer happy. With technology getting better and better, I think that we are just making it easier for piracy to take place. The only way I see piracy from stopping is if drastic measures are taken, making it a huge penalty to share and download music illegally, but in reality that may end up causing more problems than we began with. And then what do we draw the line? Is sharing a CD between friends the same as sharing a song online, available for hundreds to access? Steinmetz and Tunnell bring up a good point in their article saying “Piracy allows a greater distribution of a given product than traditional means” (Steinmetz & Tunnell, 2013). As sad as that statement is, I think it’s completely true. Piracy and sharing is an easy way to get out stuff out there, unfortunately it’s not right and not fair to the artist who isn’t getting paid for their work. So I don’t really have any suggestions to the music industry they could really make any difference but rather I have a suggestion to society; music is not a given right, we are blessed and privileged that individuals decide to take the risk of becoming musicians and to share their music and talent with the world. So instead of taking it for granted and abusing what isn’t ours to abuse in the first place, we should take a second thought before illegally downloading or sharing music online.
Steinmetz, K., K. Tunnell (2013). Under the Pixelated Jolly Roger: A Study of On-Line Pirates. Deviant Behavior. 34 (1), pg. 53-67