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Cost of Free Music Downloading Essay

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In 1999, Napster hit the scene with a peer-to-peer file sharing application that changed the world. Within a year, millions of people were trading songs from a simple download. It didn't take long for Metallica to sue Napster and to ban users from access. Napster was forced to shut down in 2001 (Mason). This opened the door; in the next few years, P2P networks and file sharing across the world grew exponentially. The torrent protocol and sites such as The Pirate Bay, Torrent Reactor and TorrentSpy became very popular. This created a major problem as the financial loss from file sharing escalated to billions of dollars. "In the decade since Napster emerged, music sales in the U.S. have dropped 47 percent, from $14.6 billion to $7.7 billion. From 2004 through 2009 alone, approximately 30 billion songs were illegally downloaded on file-sharing networks” ("Students"). Downloading music for free is very costly to the music industry; it violates domestic and international laws; and you become more vulnerable to computer attacks.
"As a consequence of global and U.S.-based piracy of sound recordings, the U.S. economy loses $12.5 billion in total output annually. Output includes revenue and related measures of economic performance" (Siwek). Businesses that produce, sell and advertise music are forced to go into bankruptcy, lay off employees and raise prices of their products. “job losses, downsizing, quality control, artist development, and everything that has made music a successful industry in the past, has been affected by the continuing loss of revenues” (Douglas). The artists are also feeling the effect; they rely on revenues from CD sales and online purchases. Downloaders and P2P sites pay pretty hefty prices too. Lawsu...


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...egal downloads" The Guardian, 21 Jul. 2009. Web. 23 Oct. 2011.
Douglas, Kathy. "How are illegal downloads damaging the record labels and overall music industry?" Zintro, 07 Jan. 2011. Web. 23 Oct. 2011.
"International Federation of the Phonographic Industry." Wikipedia, 23 Oct. 2011. Web. 23 Oct. 2011.
Lindvall, Helienne. "IFPI music report dispels the myths surrounding piracy." The Guardian, 20 Jan. 2011. Web. 30 Oct. 2011.
Mason, Moya. "Early History of Napster" Web. 23 Oct. 2011.
Metz, Cade. “MyDoom Virus, Kazaa and the Dangers of Peer-to-Peer.” PCMagizine, 28 Jan. 2004. Web. 15 Oct. 2011.
"Rogue security software." Wikipedia, 12 Sep. 2011. Web. 23 Oct. 2011.
Siwek, Stephen. "The True Cost of Sound Recording Piracy to the U.S. Economy" IPI, 21 Aug. 2007. Web 23 Oct. 2011.
"Students Doing Reports." RIAA, Web. 23 Oct. 2011.


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