The so-called peer-to-peer (P2P) phenomenon or file-sharing specifically of music has been sought to be stopped at the threat of legal prosecution. The Digital Millenium Copyright Act of 1998 reinforced the earlier existing copyright laws of the United States. The legal move was based on the premise that illegal downloading of music infringes on the intellectual property rights of musicians and artists as it reduces the amount of money they should be earning.
Internet music piracy has been blamed for decreased CD sales although not everyone is convinced. This is because majority of those who choose to download in this manner are not actual potential buyers. They share music in the same way that they share other things to their friends since these people are teens and college kids.
File-sharing has been credited for playing a big part in furthering the popularity of songs. This move is generally spontaneous and those who do it for no financial consideration rarely have criminal inclinations of copyright infringement. That said, it doesn’t change the fact that illegal downloading remains legally unacceptable, although it appears to be socially acceptable.
Even when the Recording Industry Association of America or the RIAA has conceded to the truth that file sharing is only one of the many factors that negatively affected CD sales along with slow economic conditions as well as competing forms of entertainment, ceasing of illegal downloading of music is still being actively campaigned for. Not because you pay a site to download music automatically means you are not violating any law. It can happen that the site itself has no right to distribute the music which you downloaded.
Given the very complicated situation, isn’t it possible to harness the strength of P2P towards the benefit of the music industry, especially since there appears to be nothing yet that can absolutely stop file sharing?
Categories: Downloading Legally, Music
So what is this three-strikes rule all about? The UK government is pushing for a law which will give those who download illegally two warnings before they reap the consequences of their activities; the consequences being restriction of broadband service.
Naturally, this move has met a lot of resistance. Even musicians could not agree on a single stand. However, recent developments in that sector point to everyone giving their support to the government’s proposal. The Guardian has the story:
The music industry moved last night to heal a rift over illegal filesharing as artists including Lily Allen, George Michael and Sandie Shaw voted to support a “three-strikes” rule that would see online pirates have their broadband connections constrained.
After a three-hour meeting in London, the Featured Artists Coalition, which emerged as a breakaway lobby group in the summer, backed the government’s proposed introduction of “technical measures” to combat the rising tide of copyright theft. If they ignore two warning letters, persistent illegal filesharers should have their broadband connections throttled “to a level which would render filesharing of media files impractical while leaving basic email and web access”, according to a statement after the meeting.
I know I’ll probably make myself the target of hatred, but the proposal looks fair enough to me. After all, people get two warnings before they get “punished.” And as for the punishment, it is not even total termination, plus, it could be only temporary.
What do you think about this proposal?
Photo courtesy of The Guardian
Categories: Downloading Legally
In the never ending bummers that have plagued the move to promote and protect digital rights, the RIAA has struck again, now against a whole family that doesn’t even own a computer. The RIAA filed charges against a man who says he doesn’t own a computer and indeed did but was over a year ago (then how the hell was he supposed to have violated any copyright laws?) and that was only for two months or so. This again brings into sights of the public the ever present fight by groups to either have free access to music or give access to those who pay for it. it might sound crazy but people do have the desire to get the real stuff and one of the most inhibiting factors would be cost. not everybody can shell out the half dollar or so that is needed for one to get perfectly legal software you could use at your own leisure. Even the record labels have recognized the futility of having to invest in costly copyright protection software which is quite ineffective for people still get their hands of the tracks they want from illegal sources. In my home country, there are select malls which cater to such needs where you can find whole compilations of the latest CSI Season 5 for a meager $23.00 or better yet a collection of the whole Bond Films at the same price which sells for $60.00, some of these pirated stuff are indeed bad but some which are mastered from originals are same as the original. The lure of cheaper and more value (by getting more movies crammed into one DVD say the whole Disney collection of cartoon classics) is the main factor why people still patronize these illegal stuff.
Their motives may be for the protection of the rights of those who indeed work hard to produce music but they should be more precise in their moves for the public to treat them more seriously (most treat them as a joke). Imagine saying you’re accusing someone of hacking who’s in prep school, or an individual who has hacked the FBI who lives in a far away town up in the mountains of Papua New Guinea, be reasonable guys and go for those who really do the promotion of such activities like issuing warnings and labels to sites which promote them. If you can’t shut down these sites, why not target the community who supports them by offering cheaper alternatives to the standard issue 9like value packs which have less tracks that they can get only the ones they select burned onto audio CD’s at retail stores), now that would be acceptable as a solution. People who are getting stuff for free won’t just quit cold turkey and shift to store bought stuff overnight without a fight. Focus on the sources and promoters and there might be validity in your cause.