I Want My MTV The Ethical Implications of Downloading Mp3s MP3
What is the RIAA?
Recording Industry Association of America
Represents +500 companies related to musicians, artists, and producers
Members are responsible for 90% of the music released in the U.S.
Includes: BMG, EMI, Sony, Tommy Boy, etc.
According to the RIAA...
Playing or downloading songs and lyrics from the Internet…
Without compensating the artists
Downloading even one song is piracy, even if it is not resold.
The RIAA is a large proponent of the SDMI
Secure Digital Music Initiative
Blueprint of standards for electronics manufacturers and software engineers
Designed to limit the number of times a music file can be copied
Helps to enforce copyrights
Will likely go the way of the Betamax
Would take away freedoms and institute rules where there presently are none
Not consumer friendly
What have they done about MP3s?
v. Diamond (Rio)
Lost. Court found Rio wasn’t a “digital recording device” and therefore not subject to government regulation
v. Mp3.com (Instant Listening and Beam-it)
Ongoing. RIAA claims lawsuit has nothing to do with MP3s, only with the fact that mp3.com copied 45,000 CDs they did not license.
Ongoing. RIAA found virtually all traffic across Napster’s servers was illegal, even though Napster does not actually host any MP3 files.
Also, the RIAA has…
71 Carnegie Mellon students had internet privileges revoked in November, 1999
Result of unannounced, random search of 250 student files, some were password protected .
Dean of Student Affairs at CMU said search was instigated by RIAA after they threatened the University with legal action
RIAA’s Soundbyting Campaign
300 universities around the country
According to RIAA, has resulted in a 10% drop in university music sites offering illegal downloads
“ We’re finding sites with fewer songs available for download. . .” -From RIAA’s 1999 MidYear Anti-Piracy Report
“… which means illegal sound recordings…”
“… are becoming harder to find.” -Frank Chreighton RIAA Senior Vice President Director of Anti-Piracy
Where can I find MP3s?
Napster / Macster
Choates, Mass Row, River Cluster, etc...
Your Hard Drive
Official Release Date: February 29, 2000
How much does the industry lose?
“ $5 billion every year to piracy worldwide--$1 million a day in the U.S.”
$1 million X 365 days = $365 million/yr in U.S.
$5 billion - $365 million……hmmm…
Are college campuses really doing that much damage?
Will the MP3 boom destroy the industry?
By midyear 1999, U.S. market had sustained 1998’s “phenomenal increases,” and added 7% growth in sales.
Net value of all products shipped in the U.S. = $6.0 billion by midyear 1999
“ CD Album Product at an All-Time High”
-RIAA 1999 Midyear Shipment Report
Can MP3s Be Used for Good as Well as Evil?
Mp3.com also provides a distribution service for unsigned bands
56,000 songs from 11,000 artists
Band “Red Delicious” has #2 hit on the site’s Top 40, and will open for Tom Petty
Has 3rd top selling CD on Mp3.com’s DAM label
Total CD sales? 600.
But, has received calls from several major labels due to their exposure on the website
Many Artists Support Mp3s
“ I love the freedom…You don’t have to answer to A&R...We don’t have to play by anyone else’s rules.”
Darryl McDaniel, Run D.M.C.
“ What you’ve got is…a balancing out…everybody will have to share a little bit more” “The beautiful thing now is I’ll have a producer, I’ll have an artist, and he’ll go and cut a song and the next day it’s up…It’s like -- boww! -- it’s out.”
Chuck D, Public Enemy
Downloading illegal mp3s is, technically, ethically wrong
Analogous to walking out of a music store with an armful of CDs without paying
Cheats the artists, the stores, and the record companies
RIAA claims this piracy is why the price of CDs continually increases
But it just feels SO good...
Great for those one-hit wonders
“ Video Killed the Radio Star,” “867-5309”
Who really wants to buy those albums?
Who wants to pay $20 for a CD, regardless?
Many believe MP3 craze was fueled by exorbitant in-store music prices
Perhaps not as rampant as RIAA would like you to believe
Mp3’s are “basically a rich white kid’s game.”
Scott Smith, president of Digital On Demand
Meaning, there’s a select crowd with access, and even fewer who choose to use it.