WHY MUSIC FILE SHARING SHOULD BE LEGAL ATTENTION A. How many of you guys ever listened to downloaded music? Of course you have, who hasn’t? I remember back in the early 2000s when you could go to the record store and buy singles, right before they started to phase them out forcing people to buy full albums. I also remember a time that I went to the store to buy some singles, and I realized that they were no longer being sold, so the only alternative was to buy the album, which I couldn’t afford since I wanted songs from several different artists.

So I went home and downloaded one of the peer-to-peer application’s called Kazaa and started downloading music. I was thankful I made that decision because most of the songs from the albums weren’t my style. I quickly realized the convenience and freedom associated with downloading music online. B. I’m talking about this because I think piracy is despised and people should be enlightened to how good piracy can be. C. It is important to acknowledge that we’re in a recession; music is therapeutic.

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People shouldn’t be deprived of enjoyment or a means to release stress due to lack of money. D. Today I’m going to be talking about piracy and how it can be used beneficially. [Getting penalized for violating piracy laws can be a costly mistake. ] PROBLEM A. The problem is that piracy is strictly prohibited. 1. Currently, the piracy laws are very strict and closed-minded to the concept of downloading music illegally or distributing music without the authorization of the owner. 2.

According to a September 9, 2003 USA Today article written by Jefferson Graham, “Federal law provides severe civil and criminal penalties for the unauthorized reproduction, distribution, rental, or digital transmission of copyrighted sound recordings. The FBI investigates allegations of criminal copyright infringement and violators will be prosecuted. ” B. Record companies and other large corporations may stand to lose vast amounts of money due to the lack of control of music released. 1.

Large corporations believe that piracy is an abomination to their means of business. If they had the power they would eradicate peer-to-peer networks immediately. 2. According to a May 22, 2003 New Media Age article Benjamin Ellis says, “It's not just record companies that are losing money to the online music pirates. The cost of moving huge, illegally downloaded music tracks is grinding our broadband networks to a virtual standstill, as well as crippling revenue opportunities for United Kingdom Internet Service Providers. ” C.

This affects us by making us risk jail time for trying to listen to the music we want to, instead of only hearing what executives decide we want, like the same ten songs every hour on the hour on radio stations across the country. 1. It’s unjust that unless someone can afford to have a collection of perishable disks totaling well into the thousands of dollars, then they are forced to go with the status quo of music played on the radio, especially when most of the songs played wore out their welcome after the first ten times they were played. . According to a February 20, 2004 Daily Variety article by Ben Fritz, “The penalties for breaking these laws are stiff, particularly when digital recordings are involved. Criminal penalties for first-time offenders can be as high as five years in prison and $250,000 in fines. Civil penalties can run into many thousands of dollars in damages and legal fees. The minimum penalty is $750 per song. [Not only does the crime not fit the punishment since whole albums aren’t even worth $750 dollars, but artists don’t stand to lose anything from piracy considering they get the smallest percentage of their actual record sales compared to the record companies. ] SOLUTION A. Artists can generate a bigger buzz for themselves by purposely leaking music on to the web or mix-tapes as free downloads without having to depend on high priced marketing campaigns from their record labels. 1. Record labels could stand to benefit greatly if they were able to integrate piracy into a marketing technique. . According to a May 18, 2009 Advertising Age article by Matthew Creamer, “Last year was Lil Wayne's year thanks to the massive success of the Tha Carter III, released by Cash Money/Universal Motown. In marketing terms, it was notable for the fact that most of its tracks were distributed on mix-tapes that delayed the initial planned release. No matter. Rather than hurt sales, the leaks acted as the best marketing the album could have had, helping it become the first album to sell a million copies in the first week of release since 2005. 3. According to a October 18, 2006 Wall Street Journal article by Julia Angwin, “The music industry is taking a new approach to the challenge posed by music piracy; there is a growing recognition among some record executives and performers that the people who are downloading illegally are often huge music fans, and that marketing to them may be more desirable in the long run than harassing or suing them; by inserting promotional material into 'decoy' files and then planting. B. Drake earned two Grammy nominations for Best I Ever Had, a track that first appeared on a mix-tape and later on an EP. Now, Drake's critically lauded mix-tape So Far Gone received the “Mix-tape of the Year” award from MTV's web show Mix-tape Daily. Drake’s debut album, Thank Me Later, went on to have first week sales of over 400,000 copies sold. C. If record labels make less money that would lead to fewer musicians getting signed, causing less new music to hit the airways. . I know what you’re thinking, this could be terrible for people who really enjoy music. 2. If executives have less control over what can and cannot be released, it will bring music back to its roots; back to freedom and creativity from the artists, not a cash cow for some guy who went to business school. [Allowing big businesses to have full control over the music industry is not a price we should pay. ] VISUALIZATION 1.

Imagine this: if piracy is kept illegal then every person will be prosecuted to the fullest extent for downloading even a single song. 2. The music industry would suffer even greater since less people will want to pay the high price for a whole album when they only liked one song from it. [In today’s economy, people have less money to spend on necessities like food and gas due to their rising costs. People won’t spend money on amenities like music. ] ACTION A.

Now that I’ve talked to you about piracy and how it can be used beneficially, I want you guys to do something for me. B. Go and download your favorite songs now! Find your favorite song from your favorite album and listen to it. Enjoy it. Take it in. Take in the fact it was free, that you’re free to listen to it anyway you want, anywhere you want; on your mp3 player, in your car or at your home. It’s yours to do what you please with, at your discretion, not that of large corporations.