Should Downloading Music Be Illegal - Piracy Essay

Essay by SilentFear September 2006

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Piracy. We have been brainwashed to believe it is a crime, and that such acts should be looked down upon. We have been lied to about the losses as a result of file sharing. We have been jailed for these supposedly unjust but ultimately harmless practices. However, we have been concealed from the truth. We are not the criminals, they are.

Who are "They" you ask?

The Recording Industry Association of America, known as the RIAA, was established in 1952 for the sole purpose of improving sound quality and playback speed of vinyl records, the source of music at the time. Throughout the years, the RIAA has participated in the development of many music formats, including what became to be known as the cassette and the Compact Disc. Since 1952, the Recording Industry has grown into a much larger, more powerful monopoly, and now handles the patents and royalties of virtually every artist.

The most popular branches of the industry include Sony and Warner. Sounds reasonable, right? Lets dig a little deeper into the RIAA.

Notice how all CDs nowadays seem to share the same price tag? Our friends from the Recording Industry have a fixed rate on that album you've been longing to buy. Considering the fact that the RIAA is the father of 95% of the current albums, it is next to impossible to escape the $18-$20 price range from any major label. Doesn't it seem a little ridiculous to spend $20 on the one or two hits you will actually listen to on the CD? Is it really worth it? Not even close.

Then why are we paying so much money per CD?

Over the years, our friends got a little greedy. They started adding "hidden" taxes into the CDs for their own profit, even though...