Music Piracy

By: Luke Kratzer

Music piracy is the practice of illegally copying, downloading, or sharing of copyrighted music. Music piracy has always been a heated debate topic whether it hurts or helps artist. Today we are going to look at another aspect of music piracy, how to deal with individuals that pirate music, in particular college students. College is a time in a student’s life where they are experiencing things for a very first time. This is a first time they are away from their parents for an extended period of time; they don’t have their parents always looking over their shoulder. Students are freer yet at the same time have a new level of rules set upon them. Reasons why college students illegally download music are; don’t have the money for the song, students want to take control back, and some students want to watch the world burn. Now that some of college student’s motives are identified, the music industry can try to explore options to counteract these motives and try to reduce music piracy.

According to the Record Industry Association of America, music sales have dropped 53% from 14.6 billion dollars to 7 billion dollars in 2011, since peer to peer sites like Napster. From 2004 through 2009 alone, approximately 30 billion songs were illegally downloaded on file-sharing networks (RIAA). Each year college students download more than one billion songs (SHEEHAN). With such staggering loses, you should be able to expect the music industry would have tried to address the problem sooner. Music piracy has tried to be addressed in a variety of different ways, during the time when Napster was first out, the RIAA tried to address the problem with numerous lawsuits, but legal action is normally a last resort. With how large the Internet is, it is very time consuming and expensive to track down all those that are involved in a lawsuit. The more typical attempts to counter music piracy are public education programs and utilize technology to your advantage. Public education programs are used as a first line of attack, they are used to make sure that the public has a decent understanding of the crime and make sure they know the harm that music piracy is causing. Technology can be used in the advantage of stopping music piracy by trying to use special anti-copying software. An example of anti-piracy software is a program that is used to create authorization key or activation keys that are require whenever someone tries to download a program or c.d.

The most recent offensive that the music industry has decided to undertake against music piracy is music streaming. Music streaming is the act of listening to music via music streaming sites, without having to download or pay for the songs. Some major music streaming site are Pandora and Spotify, both earn the right to play the songs by offering artist money per song play. Music steaming is summed up as the “more convenient alternative to piracy (Couts).”ku-xlarge pandora-logo

As music piracy continues to develop into more advanced ways, those whose job it is to counter music piracy will continue to try to adapt. Just as they have done in the past each new attempt individuals have to illegally download, people will try to find a way to best deal with each new incident. The music industry has had to adapt thanks to music piracy, a blessing in disguise since the music industry now is able to get the music out to more people while still being able to make a profit.

Music piracy perspective from a one on one interview with a college student.

Continuing the discussion.

The old-fashioned view on music piracy.

The new modern view on music piracy.

Why we should give up on trying to stop music piracy.

Alaneo Gloor. “Face the Music- A Documentary About Music Piracy.” Online video clip. Youtube. Youtube. 4 June 2012. Web. 1 Dec. 2013

Ben Kabe. “Music Piracy Doumentary.” Online video clip. Youtube. Youtube. 20 Apr. 2012. Web. 1 Dec. 2013

Couts, Andrew. “Spotify linked to major decline in music piracy.” Digital Trends. N.p., 29 Sept. 2011. Web. 1 Dec. 2013. <;.

DNews. “Why There’s No Stopping Illegal Downloading.” Online video clip. Youtube. Youtube. 24 Aug. 2013. Web. 1 Dec. 2013.

Official Pandora Logo

RIAA “The Law.” N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Nov. 2013. <;.

SHEEHAN, BRIAN, JAMES TSAO, and JAMES POKRYWCZYNSKI. “Stop The Music!.” Journal Of Advertising Research 52.3 (2012): 309-321. Business Source Complete. Web. 26 Nov. 2013

Official Spotify Logo



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s