I was always taught to share!

Through my years of growing up, I have witnessed as well as have been apart of what Condry (2004) calls a “culture of piracy.” I remember saving up every penny I had to buy my favorite bands album that was being released on numerous occasions, and I also remember a very distinct shift from buying CDs to learning from friends that you can easily download music for free from the Internet. I believe CDs and CD stores are slowly becoming obsolete, and soon enough they are going to be categorized with record players and tape cassettes. With that being said I think that Napster has almost helped the music industry in opening their eyes to the new direction the music world is going in, and rather then fighting online sharing and piracy with lawsuits, recording industries should embrace this new way of sharing music and come up with ways to work with internet sharing rather then against it.

In the Condry (2004) article Cultures of music piracy, I think he demonstrates two very strong points which shows that fighting the new culture of music piracy with lawsuits, laws and legislations may have proved a point for a brief moment in time, but people continue and will continue to download music, which in all actuality does not completely diminish big record companies like they state, “lawsuits convinced around 6 million former downloaders to stop, but also estimated that 5 million new users started up in the same period” (p. 350). Condry (2004) also strongly backs up his argument by discussing opinions from students taken from surveys on their opinion of piracy and ethics. It seems that in turn students surveyed seemed to question the industries ethics and stealing giving various reasons such as deceptive marketing, uncertainty about where the money is going, and one that stood out strongly to me is “downloaded music is free promotion for record companies” (p.356).

I think that these two articles brought up very good points and made me look differently at how bad downloading music actually is for record companies. In McCourt and Burkart’s (2003) article When creators, corporations and consumers collide: Napster and the development of on-line music distribution, they discuss how the Internet is a powerful marketing tool for recording companies, and “gives them sizeable cross-promotional and cross-industrial channels for marketing products on-lines as well as off-line” (p.343). With that being said my suggestion to the recording industry would be to try and find a way to embrace online music sharing, and find ways to utilize various ways of Internet sharing that agrees with the producer as well as the consumer for.

McCourt, T., P. Burkart. (2003). When Creators, Corporations and Consumers Collide: Napster and the Development of On-line Music DistributionMedia, Culture & Society. 25 (3), pg. 333-350

Condry, Ian. (2004). Cultures of Music Piracy: An Ethnographic Comparison of the US and JapanInternational Journal of Cultural Studies. 7 (3), pg. 343-363


3 thoughts on “I was always taught to share!

  1. I agree that online music sharing has in fact helped out a large number of music producers, and they should find other ways using the internet to make money. It is an issue that is impossible to completely diminish, but I feel as if music producers and companies are smart enough to come up with other ways to embrace this era of social music sharing. There is no use going against music piracy, and even though there are ways to decrease the rates of it (such as teaching children at a young age the issues with it, or shutting down music downloading sites and programs), it will never go away. Even with teaching the younger generation that it is wrong, they will most likely have the same mindset as us and would rather go against the law and save money by downloading music, that way they get a larger variety of songs and artists, and don’t have to spend a penny.

  2. I think the record companies need to embrace online music sharing as you say because it is too late to go back to the days of CD’s and records. Music has been taken out of the hands of its owners to be shared freely among society. This is a fact and the industry must find other ways to generate revenue. It is impossible to search out and destroy all illegal music downloaders. There will be armies of more to come. The question is, what would make a person pay for music when everyone else is getting it for free. Can a person be swayed solely with the presumption that it ismorally wrong to download music for free?

  3. I agree that CD stores are slowly becoming obsolete. I cannot even remember the last time I bought a CD, yet I have thousands of songs on iTunes. Online downloading of music has formed new ways of promoting artists, especially those in which are not very popular and rise to fame through Internet sharing. The big record companies should definitely work with this new way of sharing music and find different strategies to build off of this. Possibly allow for sampling of clips of music online (which I think some do), that way people can hear the music before deciding to buy it.

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