The Ethics Of Downloading Music
THE ETHICS OF DOWNLOADING MUSIC
If I had a CD burner and decided to burn a few songs for some friends, all of whom live within an hour or so away by car, would I remember to stop and consider the ethical implications of what Im doing Probably not.
So imagine the ease of exchanging some favourite tunes, stored as high-quality and quick-to-transmit MP3s on your computer, with people half-way across the globe. What are the ethical implications there
By law, downloading a digital song violates the intellectual property rights of the artist, or in most cases, of the record companies who contracted those rights from the artist. Swapping music leaves artists with little compensation for the reproduction of their work, other than a sense that their songs are providing pleasure and perhaps inspiration to music lovers.
Napster, in 1999, was the first company to popularize peer-to-peer trading of music files. By offering a software application that allowed users to download MP3s directly from one anothers computers, Napster became a phenomenon attracting over 50 million users to its music-loving community.
But this phenomenon raised protests from many in the music industry. The Recording Industry Association of America filed suit against Napster in December
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