Andy Decker and the Ethics of Downloading Music from the Internet
Technology is the major force that has the greatest impact in the music industry. It has greatly influenced how music is played and enjoyed. The industry stakeholders who are adversely affected include the artists who put in a lot of work and time in to come up with good music only for customers to download their music free. Universities end up losing a lot as their facilities are overstretched at the expense of more important tasks such as research and teaching. Others include the recording and marketing companies who sign up the artists and undertake the work managing and selling their music. The greatest beneficiaries are the consumers who get to sample the artists’ music free. The artists too can be considered to also gain from this as their music does get airplay and gets to be listened to by the consumers.
RIAA and the recording companies have made it illegal to distribute or download copyrighted music on the Internet without permission from the copyright owner. This will go along way in preventing illegal downloading and distribution of music. By posting messages in the internet that inform the potential downloader of the graveness of the action that he or she is about to undertake. Their efforts are dealt a great drawback in that many do not view the vice as an ethical issue.
Legally, it is unlawful to distribute or download copyrighted music on the internet without permission from the copyright owner. When one contravenes this law, he or she risks paying a penalty for his crimes. This could be in terms of a fine or a sentence. From an ethical standpoint, the action is a vice. Although it does not seem like one is literary stealing as no property is lost but is merely copied. This is a fallacy as by doing so, one gets to enjoy a service one is wrongly entitled to. Regardless of the ethical reasoning, courts of law deemed the act as unlawful and subject to be punished in accordance with the law.
Colleges and universities ought to be held accountable for the music downloaded by their students. This is on the basis that it is their facilities being used to commit these crimes. If the administrators could try to stop the vice by nipping the vice in the bud, then the RIAA would not step in. Where university-owned PCs are involved in music downloading by students, faculty, and staff members, the university should punish the concerned persons appropriately. In just the same way that academic institutions protect works of other persons from plagiarism and theft, they should also refuse illegal downloading of works of art.
P2P file- sharing business absolves them off any blame directed at them due to irregularities committed by their consumers. It separated the company as a separate entity from its customers. This means that individuals who are guilty of illegal conduct when using P2P file- sharing business shall be responsible for their own actions. They went ahead and assured their customers that they were legitimately using their services. This is not legitimate as the consumers have the right to the information.
The file-sharing service providers have both legal and ethical responsibilities in the prevention of sharing of copyrighted material over their networks. This is achieved through making policy statements and end-user license agreements available on their network sites. This goes a long way in warning individuals to refrain from using the software to access, share or transmit data that is infringed on patents, trade- marks, or copyrights. The main source of revenue for the sites was through the sale of advertisement space. They should also incorporate a centralized computer database to have an account of the downloadable files in real time. P2P file sharing services, such as KaZaA, Grokster and Morpheus who do not comply with the set standards ought to be given time to comply with the regulations and if they remain defiant, then they ought to be shut down.
It is very likely that the RIAA, the recording companies, and artists will be able to shut down music file sharing enough to sustain their market positions and keep their present strategies and business models working. The recording companies are attacking music piracy in whatever means. One is through suing P2P file-sharing services such as Napster, Kazaa, and Morpheus who act unfairly with the aim of having the courts put them out of business. They are also suing college students for setting up file-sharing services on campus computer networks. They have sent stern warning to universities and large companies with legal action if they attempted to have copyrighted works in their network.
In response to the driving forces affecting the music industry, the recording companies ought to come up with viable strategies. Recording companies and artists would eventually need to change with the times. They ought to come up with music that is authenticated, personalized and should be sold with offers. It is unrealistic for one to listen to all the music. This means that they ought to edit and provide the music to the consumer in a more convenient manner. Music ought to be sold in the form of a package whereby the consumer can get a very convenient package. For instance, viewing live streaming video of their favorite band’s concert while the musicians are onstage.
In business, division of labor and specialization is highly encouraged. Under this, one gets to concentrate in the area that he feels he is best suited. If the artistes concentrate in trying to market their music, then it is arguably that the quality of their music would deteriorate. What could be done is that the contracts could be more favorable to the artists as they are the ones with the idea.
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