Unauthorized Reproduction of Media

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Financial Effects of Piracy

Many millions of individuals downloaded Game of Thrones illegally all over the world when HBO published the fifth season (The Conversation). They engaged in "piracy," or the violation of intellectual property rights, in front of a court of law. But was what they did morally wrong? First and foremost, it's crucial to consider the financial effects of piracy. The Motion Pictures Association of America (MPAA), the self-described "voice and advocate" of this industry, estimated that worldwide movie piracy cost the industry more than US$6.1 billion in 2005 alone (Associated Press 2006). Have you ever purchased a music CD, listened to it, and then pondered, “Why did I spend 20 dollars on that?” There are two approaches to respond to that question. Either you agree and are aware how annoying such a situation could be one of the many individuals currently who easily overlook buying of music and download it straight from the internet. It is interesting what the internet is capable of doing. Using a computer, one can do just about anything. Must individuals who have worked hard for their money and want to revel in their preferred music groups have to walk to a shop like “Best Buy” and buy the dull compact discs when they could acquire similar content without any pay and from the comfort of their home?

The Value of Piracy

I believed that when music or movies are pirated from an artist or a production company, then there is no money lost. How can this be the case? Well, there may be the loss of some money from a business perspective. However, there are other means that this can lead to considerable amount of revenue. When an individual pirates an album, for instance, if they listen to it and then enjoy it, they will be more inclined to find more of the artist’s work. When this occurs, they might inform all of their friends about the album who in turn might pirate or purchase the said album. Most artists ordinarily take part in concerts that have an entrance fee. When this group of friends attends a show that the band is taking part within their locality, they are backing this band financially. Besides, artists the primary source of income for artists are concerts and shows rather than albums being sold online or in stores. The money, in turn, will trickle down to the producers and anyone who helped to put the record together. In America, notwithstanding piracy levels, the box-office industry has continued to be robust. On his internet column, John Sutherland argues that piracy, if anything, has proved valuable as cinemas, endeavoring to lure back customers having spent more money refining customer service and the cinemas themselves. Piracy, in turn, has generated a more enjoyable feel to those who have paid to show up (Sutherland). This is an unusual style of justification for piracy, nonetheless, it is one that does contain logic.

Long-Term Effects of Media Piracy

On a long run, media piracy especially the music industry in reality leads to the upsurge in sales of albums. It leads to the love of music mostly in teenagers who can’t manage to purchase albums. However, once the teenagers become adults, there is a massive reduction in the amount of time they spent downloading music. As an alternative, they would preferably spend money on good quality music, hence upsurge in sales in the long run. In the film industry, individuals who aren’t able to afford to pay for a film each time a new one comes out, can now quickly get these films without having to pay leading to films receiving more recognition. It also gives individuals the opportunity to check if they like a movie or if it’s worth purchasing before they pay to see it. Nobody wants to spend his hard earned cash on a movie that eventually turns out to be poor. Piracy also allows people who have migrated to foreign countries to access foreign shows. For example, an English speaker who has moved to France might find it difficult to understand French TV shows hence piracy enables him to watch all the shows he might have missed.

Advantages of Pirated Media

When watching films/movies via legal forms, there are usually advertisements before or during the film. Antipiracy messages typically come along with these ads notifying the viewer that piracy is unlawful. It is ironical that pirated movies are the preference due to them having cut out these ads and warnings since consumers do not want to be interrupted or having to sit through lots of messages and notices before the start of a movie.

Another advantage of pirated media is availability. A simple Google search is all it takes to locate an illegally streaming website. Thus finding movies is quite easy and fast to identify. This shows that consumers prefer unlawfully obtaining a pirated film than having to go through the hassle of going to a cinema or purchasing the film in a crowded store. Music that is easily available through download reaches a crowd in a comparatively lesser amount of time hence increasing its popularity. With the enhanced demand, it will move up the sale of legal music. Piracy keeps music “alive.” The production of music albums will cease when a music company decided not to reproduce old albums. Therefore, the only means people get to hear and enjoy old songs is to copy from unlawful sources. This method of illegal sharing ensures that “dead” music is kept “alive.”

Piracy and Visual Art

Media piracy benefits visual art students. For instance, a visionary art would be delighted if each of his film were to be pirated and viewed by millions of people around the globe. However, well-known directors would be infuriated by such piracy of their films. On the one hand, the film is produced for art whereas the other is produced for financial gain. But without piracy, the film created by the art student will have an insignificant prospect in displaying his work or even worse, they might not have the opportunity to publicize their work fully.

The Regulation of Media Piracy

In conclusion, media piracy especially online is a very unclear subject in which it is tough to regulate due to the massive amount of information that would be needed to censor it, and due to the freedom of speech, thoughts, and vast imagination that it arouses. For years to come, governments will attempt to repress the internet due to the “money” that is lost and the laws that it breaks. In the end, however, the internet and media piracy can never be regulated.

Works Cited

Associated Press (2006) “Study: Movie Piracy cost Hollywood studios $6.1 billion in ‘05” http://www.sfgate.com/cgibin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2006/05/03/financial/f104130D40.DTL  Accessed December 2 2007.

Sutherland, John (2004) “Benefits of Piracy”

http://www.chico.mweb.co.za/art/2004/2004nov/041105-piracy.html. Accessed December 2 2007.

The conversation. 2007. Is downloading really stealing? The ethics of digital piracy.

https://theconversation.com/is-downloading-really-stealing-the-ethics-of-digital- piracy-39930. Accessed December 2 2007.

April 06, 2023

Entertainment Crime Law



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