Music Piracy In America

Essay by mikalj78A-, March 2009

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IntroductionLike the ads say “you wouldn’t steal a car, you wouldn’t steal from your grandma, so why is it ok to download music for free?” Their message is to group what we associate as stealing with piracy, that downloading music illegally is just as bad as hot-wiring a car and stealing it, or walking into a store and stealing a sweater off the shelf. Now it’s true that many agree that they wouldn’t steal a car or conceal a stolen item under their arm while they walk out of a store that they did not purchase, but the average American does not associate these crimes with the same level of punishment as downloading a song off the internet and many don’t even view it as stealing. The question persists then who are you stealing from? From the artist that wrote and sung the song or the record label that produced the song for your hearing.

This paper will help give a better idea of why downloading a song off the internet is piracy or infringing on a copyrighted work and is stealing; punishable just like stealing a car by the courts. We will explain what the Recording Industry Association of America or RIAA group is and how they protect the record companies the artist that produce the music that keeps the industry alive. What the RIAA has tried in the past and how they are now moving more towards using the legal process to prosecute the offenders. Then we will delve into how the public has fought back at the RIAA and how they feel their rights have been bypassed and not heard. Finally we will conclude by analyzing the legal issue surrounding the pricy issue of downloading music from the internet, the pros and cons and what the future...