Illegal download of music can be best defined as use of free sharing programs such as LimeWire, Bit Torrent, Ares and E-mule to share or obtain copyrighted music or music software without due permission from the copyright holder.
From the article, we can deduce and comfortably argue that the illegal download of music is indeed harmful and should be banned and discouraged at all cost. For one, illegal download of music denies musicians the right to profits and hence prevent them from earning their living.
It also kills their morale when taken to the fact that it degrades and devalues their products i.e. the music files.
On the argument that artists make more money from concerts, this needs to be explicitly clarified, because download of music can actually bring an artist more money than concert appearances. Take a scenario for instance where a musician has a hit song all over the globe which is all over the internet and media outlets.
This will translate to more demand, and they will get invited to numerous shows and events all over the world. Whereas anyone in any place around the globe can download the particular song or other songs by the artist no matter the time of the day. The artist himself is limited in the number of shows or concerts he or she can attend hence he might end up making more money from this than actual concerts which requires his physical appearance.
The value of musical compact discs (CDs) has been viewed by some as ridiculously high, as the article reports. It will be important to understand this vital point that when a consumer really needs and wants a certain product and appreciates its value the price notwithstanding. (Aksomitis, 2007) He or she would most definitely go out of the way to purchase it this is no different when it comes to musical CD sales.
If the notion that downloading of music illegally is harmless and does not really cost the artist much should be dispelled and the following will act to disabuse any such thoughts in any potential illegal music downloader.
Jupiter research -a UK based research firm published a report in 2009 titled the analysis of the European online music marketing development and assessment of future opportunities. The report came up with a final conclusion that illegal music downloaders were ‘free loaders’ who had little or no will /ability to pay for music. This coupled with the fact that the United Kingdom trade value of the domestic music sales had fallen to a sobering twenty five per cent in the last decade is a clear indication of the ills of illegal music download.
Another study done in Netherlands by a group called TNO/SEO/IVIR in 2009 established a direct link between a drop in music sales and downloading over the internet: ups and downs-economic and cultural effects of file sharing on music, films and games. The bottom line facts and figures all point out illegal music downloading over the internet, as one of the major culprits that has led to decline in revenue and sales in the music industry worldwide. This is because a seemingly harmless action of downloading a music file over the internet has caused a wide destructive ripple effect in the industry affecting more than one individual /musician.
There exist many key industry players who are negatively affected by this. The music producer for one, music managers, record label employees, music promoters, disc jockeys (DJ) and other professionals. Who include video producers, dancers, event organizers and other affiliated industry players together with thousands if not millions of employees earning a living from music and music related products.
When music CD sales drops due to illegal download of music, publishers naturally feel the pinch from losses incurred. Drop in album sales lead to firing and lying off of employees by record labels and music production houses. (Noah, 2011) The musician at the end of the line is cheated off their rightful earning by the same illegal downloading.
It will be of great importance to note that music CDs are on their way to becoming obsolete and outdated. Therefore soft copy downloading is becoming a more and more preferred mode of music and music software Access Avenue by fans worldwide. This means music downloads are in the future going to be perhaps the only way a part from performances and product endorsements that a musician can earn a living and make sales from his/her music.
All this is a clear pointer that illegal music download is indeed harmful and musicians therefore should declare an out and out war against these offenders. Who exhibits dishonest, unscrupulous, unethical and selfish practice which amounts to mass theft of intellectual property and copyright infringement not to mention theft.
It is important that there exist legal and recognized channels for music downloading where there is a good and reliable system of music downloading. This is because there would be an important source of data whereby an artist can keep tract and do a self-evaluation of his/her music progress. Other key players such as producers and music promoters would also find this handy and useful in keeping tract if their artist progress in development while keeping tabs on sales and marketing data .Ranking and artist valuing can also be easily timelines and tracked down to minute details.
The government would also heavily benefit from the same when it comes to the crucial issue of taxation and revenue collection. Where there is a legal and recognized mode of music download, tax deductions and revenue payment can be smoothly and flawlessly carried out which in turn will help the government to be able to protect the musicians and assure them of continued earning from their music. This will in turn lead to high morale in the musician who will continue churning out more quality and standard music for the fans to enjoy.
It is however important to take in to consideration the issue of music previews where potential downloads review and sample music before downloading. The article argue that if allowed access to sampling and previewing of music prior to online purchase, the potential customers will not value the illegally downloaded music. Resulting, into temporally use of files then deleting without actually engaging in the actual purchase of the song. There should be such a platform streamlined such as in the case of movie trailers where a sneak preview of the song is availed without unnecessarily exposing much or the whole song to potential buyers. A small part of the song such as the chorus should be coded into the system with an expiry security lock for temporal use.
We must keep in psyche that prior to one goes to download a song there must have been motivators and factors that lead to his or her action. (Johnson& Broida, 2002) By this, we can take into account music previews and reviews in various contemporary music shows in radio and television programs. Also written music reviews by entertainment writers and critics who are well informed about music of various genres and types they report for therefore the downloader has a pretty good idea what he/she is going to download.
Up to that point all will agree that illegal download of music does more harm than good. Therefore should be severely reprimanded and allow for musicians effort to be duly recognized and appreciated when protecting and appreciating copyright and intellectual property of the artist. Musicians should come out vocally and in numbers to condemn and fight this detestable vice. This can be best done by the formation of strong reliable and powerful artist associations and bodies which will have the mandate and tasks of monitoring and ensuring music download is done legally and they benefit from the same.
There is a need for existence of independent and cooperate copyright agent monitors. Who will work closely for or with the government music bodies, record labels, music distribution companies media houses. (Johnson& Broida, 2002)
Additionally, music promoters and online marketers of music together with the website owners to ensure efficient tracking of music download. Enabling to keep the actions in the right track and eliminate illegal music downloading or keep it to a bare minimum.
The government needs to step in the fight against illegal music downloads by setting up agencies and departments to monitor and control the same. Legal actions should be taken against those found engaging in illegal music download and heavy fines and penalties imposed on the culprits to punish them. Get legal settlements to compensate the musicians and deter and discourage other potential illegal music down-loaders. There should be also financial implications for any individual, company, group or institution whose members engage in this act with full knowledge of the relevant authorities. Disciplinary actions therefore should be taken against students in educational institutions where this practice is done at an alarming rate, mostly with impunity since the perpetrators hide under the veil of the majority of numbers and institutional cover.
In a nutshell, the long and short of it is that if allowed to continue, illegal music download will continue hurting musicians and also the perpetrators when stun action is taken against them. The eventual effect is the ruining of the music industry and killing of dreams, new talents and music. The question is if one loves music so much, why not go out and legally purchase it?