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Doubtlessly music plays an important role in our life. It exists in every single end of the world. Nowadays the development of Internet created a new way of obtaining music, called music file sharing, which means that people can share and download the music uploaded by others for free. Since most of the people prefer sharing music online instead of buying CDs in stores, music file sharing has obviously become people’s first choice of getting music. Unfortunately some people’s actions make it turn into a form of the intellectual theft. There are thousands of the songs that are illegally downloaded from the Internet on the daily basis. It has a significant impact on the society morale.
The impact of illegal music files sharing should not be belittled. In fact, such kind of plagiaristic behavior has lead to the colossal financial losses of the copyright holders. With the increasing popularity of online music files sharing the number of the illegally shared and download songs had significantly increased. As a result, the problem of reduction of the music companies’ profits from selling music in any form, either physical or virtual, continues to become more and more noticeable. “ The RIAA reports that music sales in the United States have dropped 47 percent since Napster first debuted in 1999; the availability of free music has cost the music industry $12.5 billion in economic losses”(Adkins). According to the provided information it is easily understandable that illegal music sharing has become the biggest trouble that bothers the music companies. Meanwhile, such trouble has led to the increase of the rate of layoffs in such companies. It is a generally known fact that an issued song requires a whole team of people to be working on it. The profits any particular song brings do not go exclusively to the singer but to the team. However, with the number of free downloads or sharing increases, it leads to the shortage of the profit a song can give. It brings a new challenge to the companies, as they have to distribute the limited profit between the people who get their share from the song production. In the meantime, it also means that music companies cannot reach the point of the anticipated revenue. As the result, the only way that companies can use to deal with the problem is to cut certain positions, meaning a number of workers would lose their jobs.
I believe that most of the people do not want to be the person whose actions lead to the job loss of the others, as everyone knows that we would have to face the legal sanction if we illegally download or share such content. However, there are still some people who like using their tricky network abilities for earning money or saving on expenses. “In 2007, British police arrested Alan Ellis for founding and running a popular music file sharing website called Oink. In 2009, Boston University student Joel Tenenbaum faced a fine of $675,000 for illegally downloading approximately 30 songs; the same year, Jammie Thomas-Rassett’s illegal file sharing cost her $1.92 million”(Mackenzie). These cases are representing strong evidence that illegal music downloading and sharing would not only negatively impact the incomes of music companies, but it would also make you pay for what you did. Moreover, it reminds us that we will not have to pay hundreds of thousands dollars if we legally download 30 songs.
Everyone’s work needs to be protected, and the musicians do not make an exception of the rule. The copyright laws protect musicians’ rights to control the process of distribution and copying of their music. In other words, it means we have to pay for the music we own the same way we pay for the food that we consume. There is no difference between illegal sharing of music files and steeling some goods or products. Moreover, the overall number of illegally shared music files would also negatively affect the economy. People should not use other’s work in order to get their own profit or benefit by saving the expenses; people should just pay for the music that they enjoy.