Research Paper: Piracy Copyright Protection

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Piracy/Copyright Protection

The music industry is a broad business into which many people venture. It includes artists, recording labels, producers and marketers. Many artists use the music industry to build themselves economically by selling their creations to consumers who enjoy listening to the music. However, with increasing economic hard times, many consumers are resorting to acquiring this music illegally, without paying for it. Acquiring of someone's creations illegally is a crime, which is punishable by law (Wallace, 2012). Piracy refers to illegal file sharing, downloading and counterfeiting using the internet. On the other hand, music piracy refers to copying, obtaining and distributing music illegally (Condry, 2004).

Piracy in the Music Industry

As above, music piracy refers to getting someone's music freely where one would pay. This piracy is an Intellectual Property crime. It involves copying of music protected by a copyright without the permission of the copyright owner (Condry, 2004). Music piracy also occurs through bootlegging and counterfeiting. Bootlegging refers to unauthorized recording and duplication of a live performance or broadcast. On the other hand, counterfeiting is copying and packaging materials, artwork or labels without authorization. Theft of music depicts loss to music studios, record labels and the artists who work extremely hard to create a product, which entertains consumers. The music industry has thus become a frustration because those who venture into the business make losses. This means the artists do not benefit from their talents, which they wish to share with the world.

Music piracy has shown advancement with time. In the past, piracy in the music industry involved copying physical media, for example, cassette tapes. This is where a consumer would use a tape recorder to record new songs onto cassette tapes. However, with the advancement in the computer technology, there are new venues for music piracy. There is an introduction of unauthorized use of music on online communication networks. These networks allow unauthorized uploading and availing to the public music files. They also allow downloading of music files from the internet, resulting in illicit downloads. In other words, this is online piracy. It is possible due to the introduction of high speed or broadband internet service. Downloading of copyrighted music occurs through file sharing networks, illegal servers, illegal websites, hacked computers, internet chat rooms and newsgroups (Condry, 2004).

Facilitation of piracy in the music industry is in two ways. Firstly, it involves consumers sharing of digital music illegally. As above, this sharing occurs through file sharing networks, illegal websites and servers, hacked computers and internet chat rooms. It also involves peer-to-peer sharing of music files among youths. Secondly, there are businesses that deal with pirated music. These businesses sell songs and albums without rights. These hard goods pirates sell the illegally duplicated DVDs and CDs in music stores and through the internet, at auctions and websites. They take advantage of counterfeiting because packaging, composition and description of the product replicate that of the legally sold original product (Easley, Michael & Devaraj, 2003). However, in order to avoid purchasing counterfeit goods, it is advisable to buy only from original sellers or check on the product's websites the list of approved dealers.

Copyright protection

Copyright is a way of protecting ownership of music, art or artistic creation provided to the owner of the creation. In other words, it is the right extended to a creator to control the uses and distribution of his or her creation. One acquires copyright by registering with a Copyright Office in the Government or a private agency (Wallace, 2012). Therefore, copyright laws manage the music industry and benefit the artists and other beneficiaries of the music industry. Consequently, copyright protects the music and the creator's rights to earn money from the music.

Copyright protection begins once the artist writes a song on paper, records the song or stores it on a computer. However, it is essential for the musician to note that, copyright protection extends even if there is no registration of the song with the Copyright Office. Copyright occurs in both composition and the sound recording. Management of music by a music publishing company leads to copyright in the composition. The music publisher manages the sales of the composition and handles all copyright registration and deposit requirements. On the other hand, copyright in the sound recording result from management of the music from a record label. Several benefits accrue to the musician from the registration of published and recorded music. Firstly, the registration provides the musician with a right to seek attorney's fees and statutory damages from the party sued. In this case, the sued party is one who downloads, sells and distributes someone else's music illegally. Secondly, it is effortless to register one's music, and this makes it easy to sell and distribute one's music without conviction of piracy.

However, advancement in technology leads to further problems facing the musicians, apart from music piracy. The musicians face copyright piracy, in other words, copyright infringement. Copyright infringement in the music industry refers to copying and selling of copyrighted music without the owner's permission. It involves the sharing of digital media and illicit downloading through the file sharing networks, illegal websites and hacked computers. Many people carry out copyright piracy in the music industry with an aim of gaining financially. An example of a company that carries out copyright piracy is MP3.com. It allows consumers to download free copyrighted music. Other companies offer downloadable music for a small fee, which makes many consumers perceive the company to be legal. In real sense, the company is carrying out illegal business of piracy. Through this, the consumers do not pay royalties to the copyright owner, based on the sales. As a result, the musician's creations spread through the world without any financial benefits accruing to him or her. This has a negative impact on the musicians and the entire music industry since no profits accrue from their efforts. However, efforts to curb copyright and music piracy do not bear fruits because there are countries that do not recognize the copyright law. This allows music pirates to work from these countries and distribute their counterfeit products to countries that recognize the copyright law. Trafficking of copyrighted music increases the use of illegal music files among consumers (Easley, Michael & Devaraj, 2003).

Consequences of illegal music downloading

Illegal music downloading is not only a wrong but also a criminal offense in some jurisdictions. That is, the countries that recognize the copyright law (Wallace, 2012). Illegal music downloading comes hand in hand with several consequences. These consequences accrue both to the owner of the music as well as to the music pirate. Firstly, the music owner suffers economically. That is once consumers deal with illicit downloads; there is no payment of royalty accruing to the musician. Therefore, the musician and music industry do not make any profits from their efforts. Consequently, the musician earns little money despite the large input into the recording and production of the music. Secondly, the music pirate suffers financial burden. This financial burden is larger than the buying price of the music legally. Financial burden results from the requirements to pay statutory damages, fines and attorney's fees for the musician. Fines and statutory damages result from conviction of the pirate in a court of law (Wallace, 2012).

Thirdly, the pirate faces incarceration. This is conviction to a jail term for a specified period. This is common in the United Kingdom where there is a stipulation of incarceration in the copyright statute. Lastly, a consequence of spyware and viruses accrues to consumers who download music illegally from the internet or unauthorized websites. Many internet users with ill motives create viruses and attach them to popular music. Once a consumer downloads the music, the virus infects his or her computer. These viruses destroy the hard drives of the computer and thus ruin the computer. This leads to loss of valuable documents and results in a financial burden to the owner of the computer, of purchasing a new computer. Therefore, illegal music downloading costs the consumer more than the legal purchasing costs (LaRose & Kim, 2007).

Ways to stop music piracy

Music piracy is an Intellectual Property crime that affects the country's economy negatively. In addition, it reduces financial gain of genuine music artists who are willing to share their creations with consumers who enjoy the music. Therefore, in order to counter the above, there is an introduction of several ways to stop music piracy. Firstly, many musicians are encrypting copyrighted works. Encryption involves putting the music into symbols whenever transfer and storage of the music is through the internet. This discourages illicit downloading of music since the pirate has no authorization to decrypt the music. In addition, the musician constantly upgrades the encryption technology in order to discourage hackers and crackers who work on the internet. Secondly, there is an introduction of public education. Facilitation of public education is through online marketing campaigns, which educate the public on intellectual property rights. In addition, many copyright… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Piracy Copyright Protection.  (2013, April 5).  Retrieved May 27, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/piracy-copyright-protection/2813793

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"Piracy Copyright Protection."  5 April 2013.  Web.  27 May 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/piracy-copyright-protection/2813793>.

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"Piracy Copyright Protection."  Essaytown.com.  April 5, 2013.  Accessed May 27, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/piracy-copyright-protection/2813793.