For my research essay I will be examining the morality of arguments supporting file sharing over the internet of music through peer-to-peer file sharing programs and the financial effects it has on musicians. While those against file sharing argue that it is stealing, a majority of people who support file sharing argue that morally they are not doing anything wrong because they say it is being “shared” to them over the internet even though they are being given possession of something that should cost them money for free. This is a counterintuitive claim by those who support file sharing because they are defending something that is going against their natural intuition that stealing is wrong. Although any musicians and artists, like the band Metallica, are against file sharing say that the idea of sharing was “borrowing things that were not yours without asking,” some people still argue that it is not stealing from the artist. Music can be purchased for a fair price over the internet through sellers such as iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby and plenty more online store in which the artists receive up to 65% more revenue per cd sale, but people who are for file sharing still complain that most of the sales of cds go to the record companies. Also, these websites and online stores frequently have deals on albums making them affordable, countering the argument that cd prices are too high. The following resources will help explore the argument that file sharing is a positive and moral system that does not harm artists’ hard work or wallets:
Background: “This article studies the effect of those initiatives on the willingness to pay of a sample of Spanish P2P users. Results show that value-based strategies are the most effective, while legal campaigns come second.” – from abstract of article
How I Intend to Use It: This article will help show statistics on how many people are willing to pay for music over downloading it illegally and recognize that the music industry has made attempts to counter file sharing by making affordable music available to purchase on the internet.
Background: Peer-to-Peer and its relation to online file-sharing has been a matter of great controversy for several years. Intersecting, as it does, the interests of innovators, content owners and consumers it has posed difficult and interesting questions not least those regarding how the interests of some IP owners should affect the development of technology. This brief literature summary does not seek to address these wider questions about how copyright and technology policy can be balanced in the best interests of society, but rather to simply address the basic question of the impact of online file-sharing on sales and welfare. – from Introduction of article
How I Intend to Use It: This article will help in finding a close figure expressing the amount of money the music industry really loses from file sharing. The article shows different findings over different periods of time by a variety of studies to give multiple findings to compare with one another.
Background: This web infographic chart shows how many sales an artist would have to make to earn a month’s worth minimum wage pay through the different market mediums such as CD retail, online music stores, and internet radio. The article also has a link to a chart that shows how much an artist makes on publishing royalties to find out exactly how much an average artist can make.
How I Intend to Use It: I intend to use this article to bring to light just how little artist make through record sales and to show how downloading an artist’s music for free can really effect their revenue.
Background: With the public discourse around filesharing veering towards punitive extremes, our aim in this essay is to reframe the issue in two ways. First, we argue that the filesharing debates are ‘too economic’, insofar as they reduce a multi-faceted phenomenon to a single issue: financial loss resulting from the theft of intellectual property. Lost in such arguments is the fact that music routinely circulates through the culture in myriad ways that have little (if anything) to do with commerce and capitalism, and everything to do with affect and affiliation. Second, the filesharing debates are simultaneously ‘not economic enough’, insofar as they evade the financial complexities of the music business in favor of an overly simplistic equation:‘downloaded music’ leads directly to ‘lost sales revenues’. A more robust analysis of the music industry’s standard economic practices, however, undercuts both its economic claims about the negative effects of filesharing on sales and its moral claims to be defending helpless musicians from downloading ‘thieves’. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
How I Intend to Use It: I intend to use this essay to have an alternative source to check facts with other sources and vice versa. Upon further reading of all my sources, I will be able to differentiate claims that may be false with claims that match up with other sources.
Background: This article shows certain opinions from people who are for file sharing and for those who are against file sharing. The article gives examples of their moral beliefs on the subject and why it is or is not acceptable to use file sharing.
How I Intend to Use It: I intend to use this article to find the argument that defends the morality of file sharing. The article also offers comments from other people who have read the article and have their own input on the subject, so I will be able to look through other peoples opinions.