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March 8, 2012

Music Piracy Is a Real Crime

IPI expert referenced: Institute for Policy Innovation | In The News | Media Hit
  Detroit Free Press

By Charnae Sanders and Miracle Peterson

According to a recent survey, 30% of students download music by purchasing it off of legal sites such as iTunes and Rhapsody, 10% get their music from purchasing CDs, while an overwhelming 60% download their music illegally.

Illegally downloading music is an act of piracy, or the unauthorized use of another's production, invention, or product, especially in copyright infringement. In the case of music piracy, people often copy and distributes copies of copyrighted music without consent.

Many people consider music piracy to be nothing but downloading music "for free." What they may not full understand that is that downloading a song or album off the Web without paying for it is a crime.

Senior Courtney Scott said music piracy is not that big of a deal.

"It's just another way to access music," Scott said. "We still support our favorite artists by attending their concerts, and at the end of the day, they're still making a lot of money, regardless how much money their album makes."

It may not seem like a big deal because no serious crime is being committed, but illegally downloading music is stealing -- and not just from the recording artists but from several other people, such as songwriters, audio engineers, computer technicians and more.

Still, many people question why anyone would pay $10-$13 on an album when file-sharing sites are so easily accessible. According to the Institute for Policy Innovation, billions of dollars have been lost in revenues and profits and thousands lost their jobs due to the act of pirating.

"Artists work extremely hard in the process of making new music for their fans," said senior Caryn Banks. "I don't understand how people can say 'I'm her biggest fan,' and you haven't even bought a single album."

Websites such as LimeWire.com and Megaupload.com were shut down for copyright infringement due to the excessive acts of piracy, according the news reports.Anti-piracy groups are trying to eliminate several other sites.

"Piracy has its ups and downs. It hurts the music industry, but it also helps it in a way," said senior Zhane Williams. "People are able to listen to new music and discover new artists through their friends' playlists or collection and before you know it, they're going to concerts and wearing their T-shirts."



 

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