However, there are several opinions that do not think that illegal downloading affects the music industry. As per Silverthorne (2004) from the Harvard Business School, in an article of Oberholzer and Strumpf, they had concluded that there is no relationship between music downloading illegally and sales in the music industry. According to them, most downloading is done through peer-to-peer file sharing by college students. They had classified the students as “money-poor but time-rich” meaning they wouldn’t have bought the songs they have downloaded.
If in the first place the kids can not buy the CD’s in the stores then the music industry can not claim lost sales. In a way, because of the so-called samplers that is available in the internet, Oberholzer and Strumpf stated that this could have affected the industry in a positive way. By providing samplers, the consumers would have an idea on the album and would buy them in the market. Another supporting evidence regarding the positive impact of illegal music downloading is the article written by Clare Smith (2003) in the Scotsman News.
In her report, she stated that industry research experts who had surveyed 500 downloaders from age 13 to 45 had discovered that 87% of those who “try before they buy” are still willing to buy albums when they are released. There is a total of 91 percent of file-sharers, according to the survey out of these, two-thirds of the population would still like to buy the genuine album. Patrick Johnston who was the analyst of the report from Smith stated that "I can understand the difficulty of their position (Sony and EMI) because file sharing is still illegal, so they can’t endorse it.
But we found album sales should improve if you promote your product on the internet. But the singles market will die. It has no future. ” Laws regarding the sharing and downloading of music from the internet vary from country to country. Beal (2004) explained that in Canada, downloading copyright music from P2P networks are legal however, uploading files are not. Canada had imposed fees on recording mediums such as the blank CD and similar items. The proceeds would then be used to fund musicians and songwriters for the “revenue” that they had lost due to consumer copying.
On the other hand, The US Digital Milleniem Copyright Act is strict. According to the law, copying of copyrighted music with the exception of making a copy for your own use is illegal. It is considered legal for a person to purchase a music CD and rip it to MP3 files for personal use. However, upload of files via peer-to-peer networks is considered as a breach of the law. The RIAA had made penalties for breaching the copyright act. Online infringement of the copyrightes music is punishable by up to three years n prison and $250,000 fines. If the offender had repeated such, he would be imprisoned up to six years.
Individuals are held liable on the activity, Statutory damages of around $150,000 is charged per infringement of copyright. CONCLUSION Based on the data gathered, I think it is nearly impossible for the authorities to remove all sources of illegal music. Nowadays, anybody can rip music from their CDs and DVDs and upload it in file sharing networks. File-sharing has been a way life in the digital technology. Even if the fie-sharing networks are to be removed, some people may share their music through other means like the e-mail or the virtual drive websites that could store files up to 1 GB.
The music industry could give warnings regarding the issue but I don’t think that these warnings would help in decreasing the number of illegal downloaders in the internet. Even if the authorities have imprisoned some and that there are lawsuits inflicted to offenders, people still continue to download illegally. It would be hard for the authorities to monitor activities in the internet that is why it would be hard form them to prevent such activity to happen.
Beal, V. (2004). When Is Downloading Music on the Internet Illegal? . Webopedia, Retrieved last August 30, 2007.