“Who Should Be Held Responsible” Essay, Research Paper
Who Should Be Held Responsible?
In today?s world many people are using CD burners to copy Compact Disks (CD?s). The question is who should be held responsible, the companies that manufacture these devices or the people that use the devices to copy CD?s of friends and family members. No matter how you look at it, it is digital piracy, which is illegal and goes under the copyright laws of the individuals that produced the music that is being downloaded. I think that the companies that manufacture these CD burners should be held responsible because if these companies did not make or produce these devices, people would not be able to copy CD?s. There are several companies and instances that say CD burners are to blame, such as SNEP, the recording industry, MP3 players, Napster, and law suits that may be issued.
One big issue that has come up is the drop in music sales over last year and who is to blame. SNEP says that ?Home piracy, fueled by CD burners, is to blame for the 15-year low in French record sales? (Billboard 2). Thanks to the production of CD burners this problem has presented itself. These high technology devices have decreased the recording industry in many ways. ?Best album sales also dropped for the first time since the introduction of the Cd in the mid-80’s-down 2.5% in value and 3% in units? (Billboard 2). If it were not for these companies and this technology this would have never happened and these companies would not be facing law suits from the people in the recoding industry. The manufacturers of these devices have allowed for the recording industry to lose a lot of money. ?Music sales in 1999 fell 25% in value, to 7.45 billion FRCS ($1.13 billion), and 4.5%in units, compared with those in 1998″ (Billboard 2). It has also given people a different solution to buying CD?s. ?Since the introduction of CD burners, 75% of the consumers have changed their consuming habits-some have reduced the amount of purchases, others have simply stopped buying CD?s? (Billboard 2). It is not only CD burners that you can buy from the stores or that comes with a computer that you buy.
With today?s technology there is ?. . . an audio-compression format. MP3 allows computer users to digitally copy and send music via the Internet? (Wall Street Journal 5). The MP3 player, which is a program that a computer user downloads to his or her computer through the Internet. This is yet another device that is taking money away from the recording industries. There have been many artists, managers, and industry leaders speak out against the use of the MP3 player and Napster, such as Elton John, Victoria Shaw country music singer/songwriter, Mike D. of the Beastie Boys, Scott Stapp lead singer and lyricist for Creed, and many more artists that I have not mentioned. For Example Elton John said,
?I am excited about the opportunities presented by the Internet because it allows artists to communicate directly with fans. But the bottom line must always be respect and compensation for creative work. I am against Internet piracy and it is wrong for companies like Napster and others to promote stealing from artists on-line? (RIAA 1).
Also, the lead singer and lyricist for Creed said,
“Everyone I know is excited about all the possibilities the Internet has to offer. As a musician, the Internet has made it possible for me to share my music with people that could have never been reached by conventional methods. It has been taboo for artists to speak out concerning the business side of their music. The fear has been that the buying public, as well as other artists, would perceive this concern as greed, and that the artists? sole purpose for creating was the money. This perception has silenced many artists concerning MP3 and Napster._ The silence must end. As a child I created music to express my inner thoughts and feelings, and that purity has stayed with me throughout. The day I decided to share my music with the world, was the day I decided to walk the fine line between art and commerce._ I have been blessed in that I do what I love and can support my family with what I create. When my music is given away, as taboo as it is for me to say, it is stealing I need not defend my motives for making music, but the distribution of my music has made me business conscious I have decided to sell my music to anyone who wants it, that is how I feed my family, just like a doctor, lawyer, judge, or teacher. Not to insult anyone’s intelligence, but my music is like my home. Napster is sneaking in the back door and robbing me blind” (RIAA 1).
These are only two of many artists or managers that have said they like what the Internet has to offer but say that companies like Napster are stealing from them, and how they do not appreciate what is happening, thanks to CD burners, MP3 players, and Companies like Napster. Some artist and managers are looking into filing law suits against such companies.
The MP3 player, CD burners, and Napster infringe on copyright laws and many ?companies are eager to offer technology fixes to thwart digital piracy? (National News 4). Although
?the MP3 copyright protection fix is only the most recent instance in which technology has been developed to protect intellectual property rights and fend off law suits against companies whose products have made it easier than ever to misappropriate copyrighted material? (National News 4).
Now recording artists and managers are looking into another way to protect their music from being copied so that they are not losing money for what they have created. Some producers of these CD burners ?have been adding a digital serial number to every CD in the machines make to enable copyright owners to trace any recording to the machine that made it? (New York Times 3). Even though there are protection laws against these devices some companies realize that it is hurting the music industry from managers to the artist families, and have started putting devices on these machines to help artists find the source of the problem.
In conclusion I would like to say that I think the companies that make these devices should be held responsible for what is happening. Although these devices may be a breakthrough in technology, all of the producers need to realized that artists? music is their business and that is what feeds their families. Without the sales of records they will not be able to make a living doing what they love to do. Also these devices are allowing people to break copyright laws. I also think that recording artist should be able to file law suits against these companies for breaking copyright laws.
Artist, Managers, and Industry Leaders Speak Out Against Napster.? RIAA. Http://www.riaa.com/piracy/press/041100.htm.
Legrand, Emmanuel. ?SNEP blames burners for sales drop.? Billboard Feb. 5, 2000. University Library. UMI-Proquest. April 2000.
Robinson, Sara. ?Recording Industry Escalates Crackdown on Digital Piracy.? New York Times. Oct. 4, 1999: pg.5. University Library. UMI-Proquest. April 2000.
Sandburg, Brenda. ?Can Technology Re-Bottle MP3 Genie?? American Lawyer Media.
April 28, 1999: National News pg.4. University Library. Lexis-Nexis. April 2000.
Shapiro, Eben. ?Record Companies Form a Coalition to Combat Music Via the Web.? Wall Street Journal. Dec. 15, 1998: pg. B13. University Library. UMI-Proquest. April 2000.