Ethical Issues with Illegaly Downloading Music

For years now people have found ways to take music off the Internet and put it onto their own computer, iPod, or blank CD. It all started in 1999 with the creation of Napster. Napster introduced a revolutionary new idea that was to forever change the way people thought about music: peer to peer file sharing. Peer to peer file sharing, often abbreviated as simply p2p, allows different users swap songs, with no regards for copyright infringement.

Now the most popular way to take music off the Internet is to use one of many YouTube to mp3 converter sites These sits allow you to copy a URL from a YouTube video and paste it into a text box on the YouTube to mp3 site which will then convert the video into a music file that is downloaded onto your computer. Many people have different feeling about using these new YouTube to mp3 sites and using older sites similar to Napster. Either way, using sites like that is simply taking music off the web at no cost to oneself. I will go on to defend the idea that illegally downloading music is stealing.

Illegally downloading music is no different then going into a store and taking a CD right off the shelf and walking out without paying. I will base my defense on the concept that the artists and the people involved in the music industry have rights. Whenever a song is downloaded off the Internet illegally it is a violation of the artists and the people involved in the music industry’s rights. My first premise is that artists and people in the music industry have the right to be compensated for their hard work. Most artists dream to make it big one day and be paid for the songs that they write and sing.

When a person puts in the hard work that it takes to make it to the top they should be compensated for their efforts. However, the artists do not make the music and hit records all on their own. There are many people behind the scenes that contribute to the making of albums. For example there are the people who control the audio equipment and run the recording studio. Everyone involved in the music industry has the right to be compensated for the work that they have done. It is not right for someone to essential go to work, make a product, and then have someone else take it free of charge.

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My second premise is that illegally downloading music is a form of stealing. Taking something that does not belong to you is against the law. Taking someone thing that has a known money value and not paying one cent is down right stealing. One credible analysis by the Institute for Policy Innovation concludes that global music piracy causes $12. 5 billion of economic losses every year, 71,060 U. S. jobs lost, a loss of $2. 7 billion in workers’ earnings, and a loss of $422 million in tax revenues, $291 million in personal income tax and $131 million in lost corporate income and production taxes.

So not only are revenues are being affected by this music theft but jobs are being stolen away as well. Some people feel that the artists do not deserve all of the money that it costs to purchase one of their albums or even a single song off of iTunes. When you see pictures, videos, and interviews of music artists they do not look or sound like they are struggling to get by. Now-a-days artists are making profits off of country and worldwide concert tours. Some are even paid for personal appearances. Others have teamed up with various brand names and started endorsing their products while being paid to do so.

To the average person it does not feel like taking songs off the Internet is actually affecting the artists themselves. If these famous artists are living the good life it should not matter that the average Joe saves a few dollars and downloads music off the internet. To contour the argument that artists have other ways of making money I will approach the issue in two ways. First of all stealing is stealing. Taking something that does not belong to you is wrong and will always be viewed as wrong. It does not matter what is being stolen or whom it is being stolen from.

Second of all, as I have mentioned earlier, the artist are not the only people involved in the creating of songs and albums. As the Internet grows and the vast number of illegal downloads grows with it peoples jobs are shrinking. Less and less artists will be able to make music if the up and comers are not making any money to live off of. If new artists are forced to find other ways of making money their music career may never take off. If the number of people making music decreases so will the need for so many behind the scenes people.

Overall illegally downloading music off the Internet is what it is, stealing. These actions not only affect the artists but so many more people that we do not always consider. Some feel that it is ok the take music from these famous artists but if it continues less and less music will be created, causing the high percentage of unemployment to only grow larger. When you steal from someone you are using him or her as a means to an end. No one should be used as a means to an end, especially when it comes to his or her livelihood.

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