Today’s post is going to discuss how copyright laws in the recorded music industry and the practices of consumers appear to be departing in opposite directions in an indefensible way and the suggestions that I have for the music industry with regards to how they may deal with what they are perceiving to be piracy.
First off I think it is easy to say that we create to be creative and because we are creative, right? So, why is there such an urgency to protect what is ours all the time? As we discussed in the last module, almost everything has already been thought, seen and done so copyright laws are pointless in a sense. We have no need to protect anything, because there is nothing to protect. Why can we not just share things with each other for the point of sharing! The reality is, is that it is hard to control anything that is on the Internet, almost nothing is safe from anyone. Everyone has access to almost anything they could ever want on the Internet.
I think the term “pirate” is unneeded, everyone that has access to the Internet has the ability to “pirate” information and I am sure large proportions of individuals do. I argue that they are not “pirating” but rather they are people searching and finding new things available to them on the Internet. I would caution to say that I do not think it is anyone’s intent to pirate anything, were just curious beings.
I do, however, sympathize with the fact that by us buying music we are supporting the artists and so forth. But, because of the copyright laws that are around nowadays it is almost better to just buy your music from an actual store as it can sometimes be quite aggravating going through the process of buying music online. I personally would much rather support an artist by going to their concert and hearing them live. We also have to recognize that these artists are not doing to badly considering the fact that that a lot of their music is being pirated online.
In McCourt and Burkart’s article they mention that “[t]he recording industry earns profits by controlling intellectual property rights. On the distribution end of the value chain, record companies currently earn revenues from retail sales and the licensing of content for use in other media,” (Burkart and McCourt, 4). Later on in the article it says that the music industry compensates for any losses in those areas with “huge hits and catalog sales,” (Burkart and McCourt, 4) this means that even with the alleged piracy happening, the music industry is still finding their ways to make money.
Condry made a good point in his article that I agree with,
“[u]nlike underwear or swimsuits, music falls into that category of things you are normally obligated to share with your dorm mates, family, and friends. Yet to date, people who share music files are primarily represented in media and business settings as selfish, improperly socialized people who simply want to get something – the fruits of someone else’s labor – for free. In fact, if asked directly by a friend to share music, sharing is the only reasonable thing to do,” (Condry, 6).
Copyright laws are made in such a way that makes innocent people looking to share something great they found with the people around them look like a felon. As I stated earlier, it is all about sharing creativity and bringing about creativity. We are curious beings and always will be.
My ideas on how the music industry can deal with this piracy I have to say I do not think they should do anything at all. It is not harming anyone. The music industry is still making money, the artist is getting heard and recognized and in the process more fans, and this will end up making them possibly more popular than they may have been if everyone had to buy their music initially to hear them.
McCourt, T., P. Burkart. (2003). When Creators, Corporations and Consumers Collide: Napster and the Development of On-line Music Distribution. Media, Culture & Society. 25 (3), pg. 333-350
Condry, Ian. (2004). Cultures of Music Piracy: An Ethnographic Comparison of the US and Japan. International Journal of Cultural Studies. 7 (3), pg. 343-363
Larry Lessig: Laws that choke creativity. TED Talks (2007). Filmed March 2007, posted November 2007.