Skip to content

Illegal Music Downloading Essay Outline

At present, illegal music downloading has become an unstoppable and a widespread activity specifically among the young generation that includes university students that have been discouraged by the legal actions taken by the industry.

The key purpose of this research is to observe the current condition of illegal downloading and the impact of the consumer attitudes and the ethical orientation towards the activity of illegal downloading. The report also aims to provide an understanding about why the consumers choose to download illegally rather than buy music.

Research Objectives:

1. To examine the relationships between ethical orientation, attitudes towards piracy of MP3s and illegal downloading activities.
2. To investigate the causes of illegal downloading.
3. To investigate the impact of illegal downloading.
4. To determine why the customers are disagreeing to pay for digital music.
5. To investigate the effectiveness of legal consequences on illegal downloading.

Incidence of Digital Music Piracy

Over the last few decades there has been a drastic change in the music industry. The quick diffusion of fast Internet connection facilitated file sharing and online downloading. According to survey by the Office Of National Statistics, in 2009 over 18 million UK households were using broadband Internet access, this boosted Internet usage among the consumers, which discovered an increased convenience in digital and online purchasing (Palenchar, 2009; Reardon and McCorkle, 2002).

Around half of the people that accessed the Internet prior to this survey had downloaded, legally or illegally, music and movies. The development of the software that allows the free distribution of music has changed the relationship between the supply and the demand chain. Hence, this has increased the problem of illegal downloading: this type of distribution of music is also known as ‘Peer to Peer’ as it allows the consumer to share music with other internet users (A. Dilmperi, 2009). This type of illegal distribution is believed to be responsible for the decline of the music sales (IFPI, 2010): a decade after the launch of Napster and the beginning of the Peer to Peer file sharing, digital music piracy has caused up to $10 billion losses to the worldwide music industry and is believed to be responsible for the decline of physical CD music sales (Mckenzie, 2009; Graham et al, 2004; Lysonski and Durvasula, 2008). Currently, other files sharing networks have emerged and have become popular for free music downloading such as eDonkey, Limewire, Ares, and Bit-Torrent. (Knopper, 2004; Helm, 2005).

The causes of Illegal Downloading:

Piracy is seen as the greatest threat that the music industry is facing, so it is important to understand why some consumers choose to download illegally instead of purchasing music. Research about this matter has focused on the comparison of different consumer groups and on the psychology of decision-making; especially students’ behaviour received a great deal of attention. Most researchers decided to apply the theory of planned behaviour (Ajzen, 1991) in order to study the attitudes towards downloading pirated music.

Research conducted by Cronan and Al-Rafee (2008) indicated that attitudes regarding intellectual property, perceived risk, and previous behaviour, impact the willingness to pirate digital music. A recent IPFI (2010) report asserts that the key motivator for consumers to engage in illegal online downloading of files is the fact that it’s free. This is supported by the economic view that consumers constantly seek value, making price a key factor of consumer dissatisfaction (Yu-Chen et al, 2008). When consumers decide to download illegally ethical codes of conduct are clearly involved in this process.

Ishizuka (2004) found out that according to the 2003 survey, around 83% of young generation considered that downloading the music for free is ethically acceptable whereas 29% of the young generation considered this activity to be wrong suggesting that the generation Y has the recognisable attitudes towards the Internet associated misbehaviours and e-ethics. Specifically, it was established that the Generation Y customers were more liberal towards illegal downloading as they considered that this activity is causing no harm to anyone, on the contrary they consider that they are the victims of the high music prices that have been enforced by the music industry. Hence, in the cyberspace illegal music downloading is considered as the smallest offence (Lysonski & Durvasula, 2008).

According to Ouellet (2007) respect for the artist was the main element for a consumer to prefer legal over illegal networks, valuing their copyright policy. Nowadays the music industry is trying to convey a sense of guilt in the consumers suggesting that innocent singers are losing money when consumers download the music online for free. Researchers have found that social consensus and personal morality have an impact on the consumers ‘decisions to get involved in digital piracy and the possible outcomes of their actions, such as legal prosecution (Chiou et al. 2005). It is possible to say that individuals do not perceive the act as being illegal as a norm has surfaced over constant repetition across the population, therefore they may consider file sharing to be equal as stealing without seeing it as a real criminal offence.

According to La Rose and Kim (2007), prescriptive and descriptive social norms have no direct impact on the consumer behaviour and recent research has suggested that the legal threats discourage the consumers to download illegally together with the personal morality factor (Bellemare and Holmberg, 2010; Chiou et al 2005; Lysonski and Durvasula, 2008). However, it appears that news of famous lawsuits have a short-term effect on deterring the amount of illegal downloading, so it has been established that preventive measures are not able to discourage all the consumers (Bhattacharjee et al. 2003), and instead they might encourage illegal behaviours among other consumers (Levin et al., 2007; Sinha and Mandel, 2008).
The consumers’ individual characteristics also play an important role in decision making. A study conducted in the United States found that race had absolutely no significance in determining the attitudes towards digital music piracy as ‘both white and black groups demonstrated generally equally favourable views toward illegal music downloading’ (Gerlich Et al., 2007). A second study on student’s behaviour in the United States found that generally there were no major gender differences in the attitudes towards illegal downloading although a man’s use of downloaded content was different from a woman’s (Kinnally et al., 2008). In consumer behaviour the effect of gender is a well-researched topic, therefore differences in attitudes are expected between a male and a female (Powell and Ansic, 1997; Richard and Chandra, 2005; Saad and Gill, 2000; Palan, 2002). According to Powell and Ansic (1997) men have a tendency to be more willing to take risks in comparison to women.

Generally different levels of education are believed to have an impact on the downloading behaviour (Childers et al, 2001) as some researchers suggest that income affects the online consumer behaviour (Chittenden and Rettie, 2003; Kim and Kim, 2004; Dennis et al., 2009; Swinyard and Smith, 2003), thus people with a better education background and higher income levels are less likely to engage in digital music piracy than people with lower education and poor economy, as they would seek cheaper ways to obtain digital music.

Illegal Downloading Essay

The tension between music artists and fans has grown significantly in the age of the internet. The worldwide web is accessed by the majority of Americans living in the United States. Beginning with Napster, many programs have been created to allow files to be shared among the entire internet community. Included in those files are music files which contain copyrighted material. The simple fact that they are copyrighted should be enough to warn those in violation that they are subject to being sued by recording companies. This has not stopped the masses from downloading millions of songs from many different artists whether nationally or locally recognized.

According to Lloyd Dangle's editorial titled "Trouble town", his characters are angered that bands such as Metallica who are self proclaimed anarchists aren't true to their beliefs because real anarchists would give away music for free. His satirical approach shows how absurd the idea of downloading music is without charge. Bands need to be paid for their work regardless of their personal beliefs. Jim Rogan believes that the idea of downloading free music is similar to stealing any other kind of item as he states in his article titled "We Have to Treat Theft as Theft". Rogan, a former Congressman, believes sharing files would be "like walking into Tower Records and grabbing CD's and sticking them under your coat". There should be more software in place so that sharing copyrighted files would be nearly impossible to complete. Perhaps Microsoft or Apple could sell their computers with this type of software already installed into the hard drive.

Music sales have decreased in each of the past few years according to many news sites. A possible explanation would be that many potential consumers believe they would save money if they didn't always have to purchase a CD. Anyone who would have saved up to buy an album would now end up spending that money elsewhere. Most popular P2P sharing applications do not charge a fee for their basic version. This would lead to the artists whose music is being shared, not be...

Loading: Checking Spelling


Read more

Illegal Music Downloads Essay

1200 words - 5 pages Outline:1. Legality to the Companies who provide free downloading service:a. Are companies like Lime Wire conducting illegal practices?b. What are those Companies Position in terms of illegal downloading?c. How do they obtain their music?2. Legality to those Individuals downloading files:a. Does downloading music from companies like LimeWire consider illegal?b. What people should expect...

Is Music Downloading A Good Idea?

967 words - 4 pages Nowadays, most people can search for what they want through the Internet. The Internet has become powerful because it allows people to share or copy music, pictures, movies, software and different formats of documents. We know the Internet allows sharing of all kinds of information but that doesn’t mean it should be unrestricted. Through the Internet, people can find many materials and download them as references or for general interest, and some...

piracy trends and effects

1184 words - 5 pages There is not only one dominated reason describes the trend of increasing in illegal downloading of music. Technology, Human Behavior and no global obligation are the main reasons for this trend which finally effects on different issues (e.g., music market progression, buy CDs). This essay is structured as one reason and possible effects in each paragraph and finally to sum up with conclusion paragraph. The technology development of computer and...

File sharing

800 words - 3 pages File Sharing in the United StatesLet's take a trip to cyber space and learn the basics of downloading music files or as everybody else calls it, "file swapping". Today's big supplier of peer to peer music files is KaZaA. KaZaA is a peer to peer based to site, meaning that people have bought CD's and uploaded them to their PC; they copied the songs...

Changes in Media

949 words - 4 pages New Media TechnologiesIn 1816 the first partially successful camera was taken by Nicephore Niepce. He took this photo using a small camera that he had made on his own and a piece of paper which he has coated with silver chloride. This paper darkened in the places that it was exposed to light. This method meant the photo was not permanent, as the paper became completely darkened from the light that was necessary for...

Changes in Media

949 words - 4 pages New Media TechnologiesIn 1816 the first partially successful camera was taken by Nicephore Niepce. He took this photo using a small camera that he had made on his own and a piece of paper which he has coated with silver chloride. This paper darkened in the places that it was exposed to light. This method meant the photo was not permanent, as the paper became completely darkened from the light that was necessary for...

The rights and wrongs for downloading music from the internet for free.

872 words - 3 pages Downloading MusicNowadays, most people don't go to music stores to buy CDs anymore. So how are they going to listen to music? You probably have guessed it; they simply go on the Internet and download songs to their computers. It is very true and somewhat...

Position Essay: Should Downloading Music Be Legal?

1046 words - 4 pages Free Music DownloadingShould free- music downloading be banned? I believed that allowing free access to unlimited songs could eventually undermine the music industry; however, nobody wants to pay outrageous amounts just for a few good songs on a bad CD. When I looked up information regarding these stats, results shocked me. The people who never download...

Bit Torrents: A New Technology

615 words - 2 pages Bit Torrents Are a New Technology “Bit torrent is nothing more than a file downloading technology” is quoted in large font on the right side of website in the article written by Dr. Leo Notemboom. The Article is titled “Is It Illegal to Download Torrent Files.” The writer summarizes what bit torrent technology is and how the law could apply to them. Overall the article is well informing to readers about bit torrents and Leo...

Essay Of Opinio : Music Policy Downloads

1013 words - 4 pages Free music downloads should be illegal because those in the music industry are experiencing many problems. The artists or singers are not receiving royalties, and this problem will keep on increasing if no one tries to stop this controversy. According to this one expert on the music industry, there have been 261 lawsuits against online music download, and they are expecting a whole lot more. The music industry should be more focused on making...

Downloadable Music Factor

1171 words - 5 pages Downloadable Music Factor Throughout the computer industry there has been many advances. It all started out with downloadable computer games, after that there was free game sites, and to complete the advancement of peoples understanding the internet came downloadable music. The millions of dollars in legal fees was a waste of money for the recording industry. Napster’s court trial went on for a long period of time, and lawyers and fines...