We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Should Downloading Music Be Legal? Essay Sample

The whole doc is available only for registered users OPEN DOC
  • Pages:
  • Word count: 1042
  • Category: music

Get Full Essay

Get access to this section to get all help you need with your essay and educational issues.

Get Access

Should Downloading Music Be Legal? Essay Sample

Should free- music downloading be banned? I believed that allowing free access to unlimited songs could eventually undermine the music industry; however, nobody wants to pay outrageous amounts just for a few good songs on a bad CD. When I looked up information regarding these stats, results shocked me. The people who never download files or pirate CD’s (about 54% of the population) make up only 39% of music sales. The majority of sales belong to the infrequent downloaders (46%); accounting for roughly 61% of sales. The last 22% of those surveyed buy approximately 36% of CD’s, the highest percentage within a given group. In other words: all those attempts by the recording industry to stop music downloads is in fact the cause of declining sales. The recording industry is shooting itself in the foot by eliminating file sharing programs.

The rise of Napster and the peer to peer (p2p) file sharing programs enable people all over the world to share music for free. In my opinion, shutting down the file sharing networks is the stupidest thing they could do. Furthermore, with all this hype about suing Napster and other such program manufacturers, the RIAA is denying the public from receiving factual information. I agree to the general downloading of music by the public, since far from destroying the industry, they in fact increase sales. I don’t believe downloading a couple of mp3’s falls into the category of theft or piracy. Stupid as it may seem, the record companies do. They reason that if you download even one song, you’re classified the same as if you downloaded hundreds of songs.

I don’t like it when I see advertisements for bootlegs and pirated movies and such. However, it is hard for me to not feel sympathetic to them when I see garbagey music selling for about twenty dollars each. What really drives me crazy is that these artists are making millions of dollars a year, and they still feel the need to overcharge for a lousy CD. I have bought many albums, only to find that there are only one or two really good songs and the rest is trash.

Understandably, this issue raises many questions among users of this system. What exactly is the definition of stealing here? Does mere possession of the song without paying for it become classified as theft? Ultimately, does downloading songs without paying take money away from the people who made them?

The NARAS claims that downloading music is not only hurting sales; it is destroying the music industry. However, many believe that this totally false. The fact is, most people are downloading because they want a particular song, or because what they are looking for is not available in stores. The main thing the RIAA is forgetting, is that programs like Napster create publicity for artists. The only way to ensure any success is exposure. People can’t buy an album if they don’t know it exists. Regarding exposure, many advocates for the recording industry argue that if anything, it makes the problem worse. If someone suddenly finds out about a new band by downloading other songs, he will merely have to download he songs of this new band instead of buying the CD. This will lead to a chain effect, and result in consumers killing sales, and driving up the price.

What does not make sense is the position of the RIAA. They claim that the people who are downloading songs like crazy are together taking away legitimate sales of music. If, according to them, people are in fact downloading this amount, it would mean that they are spending twelve hours a day downloading, with no time to eat, work or do anything but download and sleep. Furthermore, not many individuals can afford a T1 line, although there are the few people who download thousands of songs, they also hold the highest percentage of music sales. If downloading was the cause for the decrease in music sales, then the percentage difference would be much, much greater. This is not to say that there are no freeloaders. In fact, there is a not so insignificant portion of consumers who download tons of music and rarely ever buy it.

The RIAA reports that last year, “…over 50 percent of those music fans that have downloaded music for free have made copies of it …” This number is up from only 13% from two years ago. However, even with increased buying from
music consumers, general sales dropped about 15% from 2002. This is due largely to the recent economic recession, but partly also to the success of video and DVD entertainment, as well as to the increased usage of videogames.

When the lawsuit of the RIAA vs. Napster first came to public attention, I felt that even though many people were using Napster, the label companies involved in the suit were correct in trying to prevent what could easily doom the entire industry. Since then, I have come across reports and such that tell a better story than the RIAA. The record industry claims that illegal downloading of music was the sole cause for the drop in sales. The truth of the matter is that most of the hardcore downloaders are in fact responsible for the highest percentage of music sales. I agree that it might not be ethically or morally right to download songs without paying for it, however I cannot justify charging fifteen dollars for a single CD. If I am forced to make a choice between overspending and downloading free, I would probably choose to download. This is not to say that downloading is morally right. To take something which is not yours comes under the category of stealing; however, just making a copy may be entirely different. In a situation such as this, where the moral battleground becomes a gray blur instead of clearly defined black or white, it is hard to make a complete stand. However, as much as I argue against it, I can’t deny that downloading can be extremely useful. Being that the RIAA and other such groups have been trying to deny us correct information statistics, I make my stand as a pro-downloader.

We can write a custom essay

According to Your Specific Requirements

Order an essay

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

A History Of Jazz And Classical Music

Upon entering a modern record store, one is confronted with a wide variety of choices in recorded music. These choices not only include a multitude of artists, but also a wide diversity of music categories. These categories run the gamut from easy listening dance music to more complex art music. On the complex side of the scale are the categories known as Jazz and Classical...

A Comparison Of Palestrina And Rameau

The Musician Giovanni Pierluigi, who was born in 1525 (died 1594), at Palestrina (hence "Da Palestrina") in the Papal States, belongs among the most influential composers of all times. His life work brought the vocal polyphonic style to full development. The leading characteristic of his art is his natural genius for pure harmonic style, comparable to even Mozart in that effect. Jean-Philippe Rameau was born...

Twentieth century music

Music written since 1900 is called twentieth century music. There have been more types and styles of music written in the twentieth century then ever before. In the twentieth century, the only limit is the composer's imagination. This great variety of musical styles reflected the diversity of life during the early twentieth century. More people were free to choose where to live, how to earn...

American Beauty And Its Music

While it has been some time since I have seen the movie "American Beauty", as I remember it, Kevin Spacey portrays Lester as the films main character, a middle aged man experiencing a mid-life crisis. After being fired from his job, Lester decides to return to his high school career as a burger flipper, smoke marijuana, lift weights in the garage, and try to impress...

Music helps development

Music has always been a part of different cultures across the world. It is a form of self-expression and freedom, and in a way is almost another language. To provide children the gift of music, they need to know about the instruments that make music and be allowed to freedom to express through singing and dancing their own emotions about the music. In the word...

Get Access To The Full Essay
Materials Daily
100,000+ Subjects
2000+ Topics
Free Plagiarism
All Materials
are Cataloged Well

Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website. If you need this or any other sample, we can send it to you via email.

By clicking "SEND", you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We'll occasionally send you account related and promo emails.
Sorry, but only registered users have full access

How about getting this access

Become a member

Your Answer Is Very Helpful For Us
Thank You A Lot!


Emma Taylor


Hi there!
Would you like to get such a paper?
How about getting a customized one?

Couldn't Find What You Looking For?

Get access to our huge knowledge base which is continuously updated

Next Update Will Be About:
14 : 59 : 59
Become a Member