Most people understand that piracy is something that harms the music industry. When something has a copyright and you download it, leeching, from another source for free, you are pirating and this is illegal. Seeding, or sharing this illegally received content is also a violation of a copyright. The RIAA acknowledge that piracy is an ongoing problem and that it has caused revenues to the music industry to drop, due to the rapid increase in technology since around 2000.
The chart from MusicBuinessWorldwide.com shows the decrease of the global recorded music income from 1999-2014.
One of the ways that the industry has tried to make up for the $12 billion loss is to due the individuals that they can find that are illegally obtaining and distributing music. The second way is to lay off workers that the industry to stay on top of their financial standing. So far there have been layoffs that have led to around 71,000 people without jobs.
The increasing cost of music is a factor in why people have started to illegally download music. Although the availability of sharing websites have contributed to a large part of why people have chosen to pirate music.
The difference between sharing that is legal and sharing that is illegal is if what you are sharing has a copyright. Most problems occur because some people that are downloading and sharing these filed don’t recognize when something is copyrighted or not. A good way to know is if it could be purchased somewhere else. There are many websites that give useful information for people that have questions pertaining to illegal vs. legal sharing as well as copyright information. One good example is computerhope.com.
On the other hand, there are some people that believe that piracy is not always a bad thing.
Two faculty members from Foster School of Business that had done research and come up with some interesting results. They created an economic model, from an in depth study of software, game, and entertainment producers and this exposed information that led them to believe that piracy has some sort of positive effect as well. Lahiri, one of the faculty members, says that it is because piracy injects competition into the market and this is good for customers. This could lead to better products at lower prices. They have also discovered that the world’s most substantial producers of digital goods has increased their innovation instead of it disappearing. Companies are investing in the quality of their work to offset piracy. They acknowledge that piracy is not a good thing and they do not encourage it but they believe that consumers and society actually benefit when there is a small amount of piracy.
Although this is not the most common way to look at it this is the first of ideas that piracy may not be all bad. In the end, pirates take away from a firm’s revenue and make them compete with their own content.
Is piracy all bad or does it create healthy competition?