Impact of the ‘Network Age’ on the music industry – Piracy

Piracy, or sharing? Stealing, or borrowing? Many questions are raised by this hotly contested topic, but one point of certainty is that the onset of the ‘network age’ gave birth to music piracy as we know it today. Through the adoption and utilisation of peer-to-peer programs and networks, the web of piracy continues to grow at a rapid pace, and with the onset of new technologies, piracy will only become easier and occur in greater volume. This creates challenges for the music industry, in regulating the distribution of pirated material. Aiden Henry’s blog  ‘Mapping the Web’ raises many interesting points about networks and piracy. In his article ‘Why Music Piracy is Good for Music’, Henry writes “although artists such asMetallica curse at the Internet downloading phenomenon, others embrace this medium.” I disagree with the second part of this quote. While many have embraced the downloading phenomenon, artists have not embraced the piracy phenomenon, which can not be seen as a new opportunity. There is a clear cut difference between downloading music, and pirating music. Both downloading and piracy have been spawned by the ‘network age’, but something people fail to see, is that piracy has no beneficial value. Many bands rely solely on the downloading of their music, to gain recognition. But, once they are noticed, do their fans suddenly start buying their albums? The music industry must work to ensure that artists are not damaged by this phenomenon, and that whether or not the music actually good, copyrighted material must be purchased.

Janis Lucis

Check out:

Mapping The Web

Is Piracy Really Killing the Music Industry?

Recording Industry Association of America

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