Music piracy

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Music piracy

  1. 1. The Music Industry and Piracy AS Media Studies
  2. 2. Useful Terms• PIRACY: the illegal copying of copyrighted material (e.g. music, film, video games) without the owner’s consent. It can take two forms: – Commercial piracy – copying physical format material (e.g. Bootleg, counterfeit or pirate CDs) for sale – Digital Piracy – illegally uploading or downloading material in digital format – often for personal use rather than gain
  3. 3. •PEER-TO-PEER (P2P) NETWORK: acomputer network that connects participantstogether and can be used to swap and sharefiles (including music) easily – a computerisedtransfer system•FILE-SHARING: File-sharing is the activity oftrading digital files with other users over theinternet. Users trade files by downloading (toobtain them) and uploading (to distribute them).This is illegal when copyright material is madeavailable without the permission of therightsholders.
  4. 4. Put the last two termstogether and youhave: P2P File-Sharing – the ability to acquire songs illegally via your computer, the new enemy of the music industry!
  5. 5. The Extent of Piracy• “just under 3 out of 4 music downloads are illegal”• Illegal music downloading cost the UK industry the best part of £1bn in 2010• nearly 1 in 3 Britons with internet access between the ages of 16 and 54 are engaged in some form of illegal downloading activity.• 29%– equivalent to 7.7 million people – were regularly acquiring music from rogue sites. (from research by the BPI – British Phonographic Institution, 2010)
  6. 6. A 2008 survey by British Music Rights found that:• 42% of people surveyed had uploaded filesillegallyRecent University of Hertfordshire research revealed:•63% of respondents had illegally downloaded•48% of tracks on MP3 devices had not been paidfor•Only 15% were dissuaded from illegal downloadingthrough fear of being caught
  7. 7. The Effects of PiracyLong term there is concernthat piracy will kill off themusic industry – if it keepslosing revenue, eventually itwill be unable to producenew music. End of themusic industry as we knowit.
  8. 8. Your consumption of music…• How many of you have downloaded music without paying for it (illegally)?• Do you consider this a bad thing?
  9. 9. You are not alone!• Research for BPI suggests in 2009 12 million peoplewere involved in some kind of illegal music downloads•Human Capital survey found that 61% of 15-24 yearolds did not feel they should have to pay for music•70% feel no guilt about downloading for music•Pew Internet survey showed 75% of teenagers aged12-17 agreed that file-sharing was easy to do – “it’sunrealistic to expect people not to do it”
  10. 10. Task 1You are now going to look at the argumentsat the heart of the piracy debate.In groups, draw up a list of arguments thatcould be given by a group in favour of illegaldownloading and sharing of music files.Then draw up a list of arguments that couldbe made by those against illegal downloads– such as artists and those in charge ofrecord labels
  11. 11. Having considered the issue from both points ofview, what do you think about the rights andwrongs of piracy?
  12. 12. Task 2The music industry has taken certain measuresto fight back:• DRM (Digital Rights Management)•Creative Commons•The agreement between BPI and six major UK Internet providersto caution illegal downloaders•the Digital Economy Bill•Prosecution of Pirate Bay in April 2009•New bundles developed with Sky etc to include music downloadsin a subscription to include broadband, TV etc•Ad-sponsored legal free streaming sites like Spotify•Earlier release dates
  13. 13. Your task is to:• ensure you understand each of theseapproaches•evaluate their likelihood of succeeding•decide which strategy you think will work thebest OR make your own proposal – you willneed to justify your choice
  14. 14. The Industry Fighting Back: DRM• What is DRM?• DRM means digital rights management.• DRM is “an invisible layer of software that bodyguards a computer file and limits what you can and can’t do with it.” (Lev Grossman)• Effectively, DRM on a file limits either how many times or how many locations you can copy the original to - it blocks copying
  15. 15. Who is using DRM and why?• Recording labels have adopted DRM to prevent illegal copying on both CDs and digital music files.
  16. 16. What are the problems with DRM?• One of the most often cited problems with the technology is that there are different DRM programmes in use and they are not always compatible. For example, if you buy DRM music from Napster, it will not play on the iPod.• This is seen as unfair as it limits you and seeks to tie you in long-term to one system – anti-competitive
  17. 17. What are the problems with DRM?• DRM has been accused of reducing the quality of music played and possibly of introducing malware to your computer.• Also, a software solution can always be got around – some say using a marker pen on the first ring of some DRM- protected CDs negates the DRM element!
  18. 18. What are the problems with DRM?• Still others object to DRM on philosophical grounds. Art, they contend, is often a collaborative process that builds off the work of others.• For digital media, this is referred to as the "rip, mix, burn" culture.• Many worry that restrictions on the use of this content will limit creativity.• In other words, if we can’t copy and mess with material, we could lose some good music e.g. DJ Dangermouse’s Grey Album
  19. 19. Many suppliers now offer the option to buyDRM-free music but often at greater cost.Due to the controversy and the fact thatDRM is often seen to be unenforceable,many music companies are moving awayfrom DRM. EMI and Sony do not makeCDs with DRM any more and Applestopped using DRM on its downloadedmusic in 2009.
  20. 20. Creative Commons Licenses• Creative Commons (CC) is a non-profit organisation devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share. Created in 2002.• The organisation has released several copyright licenses known as Creative Commons licenses.• These licenses allow creators to easily communicate which rights they reserve, and which rights they waive for the benefit of other creators.• "All Rights Reserved" into "Some Rights Reserved" — as the creator chooses.• Share, reuse, and remix — legally.
  21. 21. Working with ISPs/ Digital Economy BillBPI struck a deal in 2008 with Britain’s sixlargest ISPs (internet service providers).These providers (Virgin, BT, BSkyB,Orange,Tiscali, Carphone Warehouse)agreed to send advisory letters to thosewho had illegally downloaded. They werealso working with OfCom to work outwhat to do about serial offenders.Does this have any sanction behind itto make a difference?
  22. 22. The Digital Britain Report (June 2009) outlined some suggestions for curbing file-sharing:• written warnings for unlawful downloads• further infringements to lead to civil court action• possibility of implementation of technical measures for further non- compliance: bandwidth restrictions and protocol blockingThis has not been met with overwhelming enthusiasm bythe BPI who have called it “digital dithering” – the aim isto reduce illegal downloads by 70-80% in two years andthe BPI feel rigorous action is called for now!
  23. 23. More recently, the governmentpassed The Digital EconomyBill in 2010.This Bill allows the courts todemand that ISPs cut offbroadband service fromalleged downloaders (3 strikesand you’re out).This is controversial becauseyou only have to be accused ofillegal downloading and not befound guilty in a court ofcopyright infringement.
  24. 24. Not everyone is happy about this law and it is beingchallenged in the courts by ISPs.The BPI (British Phonographic Institute)welcome the Bill, seeing it as “vital for thefuture of the UK’s creative sector”TalkTalk, an ISP, is against the proposal,saying a poll it conducted revealed that80% of youngsters said they wouldcontinue file-sharing regardless. They alsofelt that it would “create a new and unfairduty on broadband customers.
  25. 25. Prosecution: Pirate BayIn April 2009, the four founders ofSwedish illegal download site, PirateBay, were sentenced to a year in prisonand fined £2.4 million pounds.They claimed, in defence, that they werenot guilty as they did not host any of thecopyright music that was “traded” ontheir own computer – they simply actedas a hub for people to locate music onother people’s computers. They wereconvicted for facilitating illegaldownloads.
  26. 26. Since conviction, membership ofPB has actually doubled.The question remains, willprosecuting one of the bigplayers in the field of piracy reallyhelp to stamp out what can beachieved on a much lessorganised scale?Many are not convinced by theruling - a Guardian Poll showedonly 2.3%felt the ruling a goodthing.
  27. 27. Will further high profileprosecutions like the one belowmake people think twice?(CNN) -- A federal jury Thursday found a32-year-old Minnesota woman guilty ofillegally downloading music from theInternet and fined her $80,000 each -- a totalof $1.9 million -- for 24 songs.Jammie Thomas-Rassets case was the firstsuch copyright infringement case to go totrial in the United States, her attorney said.Attorney Joe Sibley said that his client wasshocked at the fine, noting that the price tagon the songs she downloaded was 99 cents.
  28. 28. New DealsRecently, record companies have been talkingto media providers about creating new“bundles” or collections of media servicespackaged together to be sold for a monthlysubscription – e.g. would it be possible for amonthly fee to get your TV, broadband andlegal unlimited downloads?There is an expectation that Sky may soon beproviding just such a package. But willGeneration Free want to pay a little more forsomething they can already get?
  29. 29. However, both Sky and Virgin who were lookingat this approach are believed to have stumbledbecause major labels did not think they wouldgenerate enough money from agreeing to be partof such a service.However, do the labels need to be more realistic– is making some money better than making nomoney?
  30. 30. Ad-Sponsored Streaming SitesAnother recent development has been to allowusers to legally stream songs for free if thestreaming of the track was preceded by anadvert. Some of the ad funding is paid to tehrecord company…Sites like Spotify and Pandora have performedwell on this basis. They can have the sameservice minus the ads for a premium fee. Thisis called freemium model!Listeners do not download the track but canlisten o it as often as they like.
  31. 31. Earlier Release Dates• Record companies used to release new music on the radio up to 6 weeks in advance of releasing it in a format people could buy.• Many are now releasing it to buy the same day they release it to be played on the radio.• They hope this will stop people wanting to own the music so much that they have to resort to illegal downloads when they are actually willing to pay for it.
  32. 32. Some final ideas to make you think….What do the following snippets of information suggest? • “Evidence gathered by critics of the music industry has shown that CD prices have steadily risen over the past few years and may have contributed to the slump in sales as much as the rise of file-swapping systems. In late September five music companies and three music retailers were fined more than $143million after being found guilty of fixing CD prices too high.” (BBC News) • A recent case study by the Canadian government claims that those who download music on P2P networks are more likely to buy music than those that don’t.” (unreality music.com)
  33. 33. The research, by industry body PRS for Music, showedthe most pirated pop songs tend to be those at the topof the music chart. There was little evidence that file-sharing sites helped unsigned and new bands find anaudience…file-sharing sites are reinforcing divisions inthe music world and only making the popular morepopular…it might be worth music companies regardingfile-sharing sites as comparable to radio and TV as abroadcast network.(BBC News, 14/05/09)

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