How often have you heard a song you love, and gone home to download it? If you are technologically adept like many of your peers, you probably use programs like FrostWire or Limewire to get the track or maybe you rip the song off Youtube with the various converters available online, you may even download a torrent of either the single or the entire album. That behavior that many of us are engaging in without much thought, is illegal and could land you in a whole lot of trouble.
Once music files are created and shared online, they can be accessed by anyone. According to Eric Pfanner of the New York times, sales of compact discs have gone down, "sales of CDs fell by about 16 percent worldwide, causing overall industry revenue to decline to about $15.8 billion in 2009 from about $17.5 billion a year earlier". And that's where organizations such as the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) or the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) come in. IFPI has seized this as an "opportunity to renew its calls for a tougher crackdown on digital piracy, which it blames for a 30 percent decline in global music sales."
With Peer 2 Peer file sharing programs like Frostwire and Kazaa or BitTorrent websites, tens of millions of users are involved in sharing files with others. It is an intricate and complicated web that despite attempts at being shut down by the government, has somehow continued to keep pirating music illegally. New York Times contributor Ben Sisario reports that feds have continued to crack down on websites that allow illegal fire sharing, seizing these sites and shutting them down, redirecting users to their own takedown notice.
The industry itself is suffering, and record labels demand a tougher crackdown on illegal file sharing. In the following interview originally from BBC World News, John Kennedy, the CEO of IFPI, talks to reporter Zeinad Badawi about how the music industry sees piracy.Gary Sherman, of the RIAA feels that fans who love the music should pay for it. In following clip he insists that musicians are the ones losing money in this scenario. Music Piracy
However piracy isn't only causing artists' monetary loss. Now those involved in downloading pirated music can be pervasively fined for it. So far there have been many court cases similar to that of 32 year old single mom Jammie Thomas-Rasset, who was order to pay $1.92 million dollars to six record companies for illegally downloading their songs from the Internet. She was charged with "violating the copyrights of major labels including Sony BMG, Warner Brothers and Universal for downloading 24 songs from Kazaa, a peer-to-peer file sharing service."
Illegal fire sharing is a topic of major debate and controversy. There have clearly been government crackdowns,and it' become clear that labels hate piracy insisting that it's stealing. The repurcussions are also quite intense with million dollar fines for a single illegal download that violates a copyright. In this new digital age, it's predictable that it won't stop. the Internet and computers are making this easier everyday despite crackdowns to force it to end.