The stance taken by the UK government is that piracy is a crime that won’t be overlooked, yet with such serious consequences, and a potential 10 year prison sentence, how has piracy become one of the most common crimes committed in today’s digital age? And is it affecting music industry jobs?
With 43% of Britain admitting to committing piracy, illegal music downloads are at an all time high. It appears that the illegal downloading of music is seen as “ok” in the minds of most the population of Britain.
Understandably the anonymity of illegally downloading music from your own home appeals more than the use of a balaclava in a heist on HMV but this should not make it any more acceptable. Another possibility is that there it appears to be a victimless crime despite that not being the case.
What is being done?
Although the music industry has long pursued a policy of prosecuting ‘offenders’
Only recently has the music industry acknowledged the problem it faces, and it took an industry outsider, namely Steve Jobs, to explain where they were going wrong. To combat piracy you need to give people a realistic alternative. The emergence of digital megastores, such as iTunes, offers the same availability, legally, but at a small price per song. This suggests a possible solution to piracy is quality content at a fair price.
Piracy it appears is a problem that very little can be done about and its effects are numerous. Piracy has caused the music industry to evolve into a much more dynamic market; the impact it has had is dramatic.
According to the RIAA 85% percent of recordings released don’t generate enough profits to cover their expenditure. With record companies depending heavily on the profitable 15% of recordings to support the less cost-effective types of music, to cover the costs of budding new artists, and to keep those in music industry jobs employed, the impact of pirates who don’t pay for music eats away at the revenue generated by the 15% of profitable artists. This not only results in the businesses suffering but the creative artists themselves also. Musicians, songwriters, singers and producers don’t get the royalties and fees they’ve earned.
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