…Pros And Cons Essay, Research Paper
It is possible to get any song a person could ever need absolutely free. There are nocatches, nor hidden charges, just free music. All a person has to do is have a computer and aconnection to the Internet so he/she can download Mp3 files. Mp3 is a compression techniquethat can get a regular song down to one tenth its size (Quittener 1), making them easy to send andreceive over the Internet. This free music may sound like a good idea, but many people are losingmoney over them. The record labels fell that they are losing millions in record sales, while othersthink that the record labels are benefiting from them because of the free publicity. Many peoplesample the music online, and if they like it then they buy the compact disc. While this soundsattractive, a person needs to beware; downloading copyrighted material is illegal. In some casesthe use of Mp3s have a negative effect, however, Mp3s can be positively used for marketing andpublicity. What is an Mp3, and who uses them? Mp3 stands for MPEG-1 Layer 3 and is acompression technique that can get a sound file to less than one tenth its original size withoutlosing any of its initial quality (Greenfeld 2) . Aspiring musicians can us Mp3s to post their songson the Internet in order to get publicity and to avoid having to use record labels. People can alsocan transfer CDs to their computer using Mp3s (O Malley 1). From there he can mix the songsand with a CD rewriteable drive, make their own CDs (O Malley 2). Music fans can go onlineand find Mp3s of their favorite bands demos, remixes, unreleased tracks, and even interviews. All this is good, but last year people started posting copyrighted songs on the Internet (Croal andMurr 63). Now anyone can find Mp3s of their favorite bands copyrighted songs on the Internet. Because of this 75 percent of all college students are music pirates (Greenfeld 1), and threemillion people have downloaded Mp3 players (Quittner 1). Mp3s is now the second mostsearched for word on the Internet, only second to sex. This has posed numerous problems for therecording industry. While Mp3s sound like a great idea to the consumer, the record industry is hurting badly. The Internet has made music so vulnerable, that if it were to go unchecked…the pirate marketwould supplement the real market, (qtd. Quittner 2). The Record Industry of AmericaAssociation general counsel Cary Shermen has it exactly right. The $12 billion dollar musicindustry is losing millions over Mp3s. The problem is that they are so easy to use that evensomeone who got on the Internet for the first time could find the song he was looking for in underfifteen minutes. Fortunately the technology is good but not great; it still takes at least fifteenminutes to download a song (Quittener 2). At this point, there is not any type of enforcementbeing used to stop Mp3s, nor is there any type of encryptment put on CDs to stop Mp3 usage. So people can get the songs they love for free, how can there be any good in this? Mp3s might make the record labels lose money, but it has many positive aspects for therecording artists. First off, if used correctly Mp3s can be a great way to give bands publicity. Swirl 360 released parts of their songs online before they were released on CDs in order to getpeople to buy their CD (Quittener 2). Plus, the music industry has always benefited from givingaway free music, the radio is the obvious example. If the recording industry decides to marketMp3s online, it will be easy seeing that young people are already used to getting music online(Greenfeld 1). Many people fell that this will help musicians not have to use record labels, butventure out on their own. …[Mp3s] it represents not the pirating of music, but thedemocratization of it, (Greenfeld 4). A pioneer in this democratization of music is Michael Robertson, the owner of Mp3. Inthe beginning, Michael Robertson and a friend were trying to start a search engine business whenthey found out about this new Mp3 technology. They knew that there would be a big future inthis business, so they decided to buy a web-site name. They found the owner of the nameMp3.com and bought it from him for $1000. On the first day of operation 10,000 people visitedthe site. Just four hours after its opening, they had an advertiser call and want to put anadvertisement on their site. Weeks later a venture-capital firm named Sequoia Capital becamepartners with Robertson for $10 million. Now more than 100 artists a day fill out an online form
and upload their music onto Robertson site(Greenfeld 1-2). With the use of Mp3.com it is noweasier for artists to avoid having to use a record label to get publicity, they can now get straight totheir fans through the Internet. Unlike the Mp3s posted on Mp3.com some Mp3s are illegal. People have recently been trying extra hard to get pirated software and music off of theInternet. An anti-piracy bill was passed which stated that a person who infringes on the law canreceive fines up to $250,000 and five years in jail. The law states it will punish, anyone who willfully infringes copyrights worth at least $1000 within a six-month period, with stifferpenalties if the total jumps to $2,500, (McCullagh 1). Bill Gates traveled to Washington DC tostate his support for this bill. Others think this bill will be rushed through congress withoutcareful examination, therefore, not given the upmost thought and care. Record Industry ofAmerica Association (RIAA) has sent letters to university administrators informing them of thisbill. Because of this three students have been expelled for having Mp3 sites and many otherssuspended (McCullagh 2).The RIAA has also unsuccessfully sued Diamond Multimedia formaking a discman type product that holds an hour of Mp3s (Quittner 1). Now that Mp3s have spread like a virus across the Internet; what can record labels do tohelp stop the demise of their business? The Madison Project , a collaboration between IBM andmajor record labels, is trying to find a vaccine for the Mp3 viruses. They have made and tested amethod for a legal and easy way to transfer music files online. Other people have decided to notkill the viruses, but let it help them(Greenfeld 3). Many websites are selling Mp3s for 99 cents aMp3 (Croal and Murr 63). People are paying that price because the websites have almost all ofthe Mp3s, practically ending the ten to fifteen minute search the songs they are looking for. In reality, once a person sorts out all of the hype form the truth, he gets a problem thatwill come and then leave. People have stated that the Internet will bring the end of everythingfrom newspapers to mail; both are still up and running. First, not many people use Mp3s. Out ofthe fifty-seven people surveyed only twenty actually knew what they were. Out of the twentywho knew what an Mp3 was, only nine use them. Most of those nine had less than twenty Mp3s(Survey). There is some truth though, the record industry is losing money. But when I thinkabout it the record industry has done nothing but practically steal from its artists. I have twowords for the record industry, instant karma. I like how Chuck D of Public Enemy put it, [Mp3s] make artists harder to pimp, (Greenfeld 4). As for the artists I feel that they are notlosing much, but actually might be gaining from Mp3s. Bands make most of their money fromfans coming to see their tours. They get the fans by advertisement, such as Mp3s. Also only fiveof the fifty-seven people surveyed said that they use Mp3s as a substitute for CDs (Survey). I feelthat Mp3s are only giving music a new look. The old dress of the 80 s and 90 s is about to bechanged by the threads of the millennium.
Croal, N Gai and Andrew Murr. Rockin the Boat. Newsweek. 22 March 1999, 63-64 Greenfeld, Karl. You ve Got Music! TIME. 22 February 1999: 4 pages. online. Internet. 21 March 1999. MuCullagh, Declan. Penance for Pirates. TIME. 17 December 1997: 3 pages. online. Internet. 21 March 1998. O Mally, Chris. A New Spin. TIME. 27 July 1998: 4 pages. online. Internet. 23 March 1999. Quittner, Joshua. Free Music Online. TIME. 21 September 1998: 2 pages. online. Internet. 21 March 1998. Survey. Lee High School Students. 8 April 1998. Outline Thesis Statement: In some cases the use of Mp3s have a negative effect, however, Mp3s can bepositively used for marketing and publicity. I. Debate A. Explanation B. Positive 1. Free 2. Easy to use C. Negative 1. Money 2. LegalityII. Use A. Who 1. Musicians 2. CD makers 3. Fans B. Statistics 1. Students 2. PlayersIII. Negative A. Money B. Easy C. RegulationsIV. Positive A. Publicity B. Free Music C. Sell D. DemocratizationV. Mp3.com A. Beginning B. Success 1. First Day 2. Partner C. UseVI. Laws A. Bill B. Fines 1. Support 2. Disapprove C. EnforcementVII. Solution A. Madison Project B. SellingVIII. Position A. Hype B. Survey 1. Knew 2. Used 3. Number C. Industry D. Positive E. Future