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 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