A thief can be defined In many deferent ways. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language states a thief Is one whom commits theft. So one might ask, what exactly Is theft? Theft Is defined as ‘the felonious taking and removing of personal property with intent to deprive the rightful owner of it (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language). ” Now most people who participate in music piracy do not consider themselves thieves. The definition of a theft is flawed in any ways.

Most of the time people do not contain on factor of being a thief, this factor Is deprive the rightful owner of the property stolen. Although theft Is being committed, one’s Intent Is not to deprive any artist of their music. It Is hard for people who participate in music piracy to make the connection to theft and their actions due to the item not being tangible. Most think of theft involving tangible items although it includes copyrighted and patented items. Music artist are all protected by copyrights and patents, and therefore music piracy is a crime.

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The USIA Industry is loosing billions of dollars each year due to this new epidemic while it Is continuing to prove to be a growing problem. According to the Recording Industry of America (ARIA) In 2003 the record Industry was loosing about SO_5 billion dollars a year, worldwide, due to music piracy (Hart-Davis). The American Federation of Artists claims that on-line music piracy has caused some record store sales to drop by twenty percent and about twenty one billion illegal downloads occur every month (FM). Many experts believe that music piracy is currently the number one threat to he music industry.

ARIA sources claim 278 million people, worldwide, use peer to peer networks such as Aziza and Grosser to Illegally trade music files, ARIA and FM are fiercely fighting music piracy and enlisting government support to put and end to this crime. Congressional committees are currently addressing on-line music piracy and are generating bills to make the punishments for committing this crime much more severe. Many people do not understand why music piracy is such a serious subject and see It Is a victimless and harmless act.

Contrary to this belief, there are many people ho argue there Is a wide range of victims who suffer the negative effects of music piracy. The actual music artists are those who suffer the greatest losses of all. These artists are starting to gain a lot less of a reward for their talent than artist did in the past. Anyone with a computer, or access too computer, can download entire albums without paying a dime to the music industry. Copyright laws and intellectual property laws are being completely disregarded and ignored by the twenty three percent of Americans who download music Illegally (McLeod).

Music artists are not This creates a lack of incentive artists need to continue creating new music and feed the lacking industry of music. The truth is the artists are not the only one facing a large impact in the finical aspect of the situation at hand. The government and our own economies are suffering greatly due to this situation. According to a report created for the International Intellectual Property Alliance (“PA) in 1999, the copyright industry accounted for $348. 4 billion in value to the U. S. Economy, approximately 4. 3 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (Hindu).

The APIPA estimates that the American upright industry loses twenty two billion dollars annually due to music piracy. Internet music piracy cancels Job positions for Americans and thus creating a lack of job positions harming the economy. The government loses millions in tax revenues and copyright fees thus the economy is deprived of consumer investment in music product. One main group which is being affected by this situation more publicly than other is retail outlets of music. Tower Records filed for Bankruptcy in 2006 and closed all eighty six of its locations nation wide (McLeod).

This however only accounted for a mall fraction of the 800 music retailers that closed their doors in 2006 (McLeod). Iris shows Just how much of music is becoming digital and leaving the tangible market. Other groups affected by this dilemma are consumers and record producers. Consumers will feel an increase in concert ticket prices and legitimate album sales to compensate the artists for lost revenue due to music piracy. Record producers will also have a new financial restriction which limits their ability to scout and produce new talent.

Ultimately, the consumer is hurt again due to less money being readily available to fund new talent. Therefore, the music pool does not grow and music becomes stagnant and dry along with American society. Many associations and companies are taking a leading stand in the fight against music piracy to ensure this situation does not get worse. The ARIA represents many major recording and is one of the largest players in the fight against music piracy. The ARIA feels educating the public of the consequences illegal music sharing has on the industry, will be key to decreasing the amount of music piracy.

The ARIA, along with other groups, has launched a major public awareness campaign which includes labels on product, worth clips in films, and commercials on television. The ARIA is also working together Ninth Congress to enact new bills which would specifically give legal power to prevent music piracy. One act to prevent music piracy in America is the consideration of HER 2517. This is the Piracy Deterrence and Education Act that is being considered in the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property. This act would mostly attack peer to peer networks and force the FBI and the U.

S. Copyright Office to develop anti- piracy programs (FM). Since 2003 the ARIA has aggressively pursued music pirates on the internet who eave contributed to a substantial amount of illegal downloading. They have won hundreds of guilty pleas averaging a reported $3000 per case settlement (Dean). ARIA President, Cary Sherman stated “the legal actions taken by the record companies have been effective in educating the American public that illegal file Increasingly attracted to the host of compelling legal online music alternatives.

These lawsuits help to foster an environment that provides a level playing field for these services to succeed. ” Without leaders such as Cary Sherman, the fight against music piracy would fail along with the music industry. Although there are many people and organizations involved in the fight against music piracy, there are many road blocks standing in the way. In 1984 there was a Supreme Court ruling which protected Sony Bateman from being held liable for circulating copyright violations through the use of ‘idée cassette recorders.

The courts ruled that the recorders had substantial legal uses and therefore Sony Bateman was not liable for any copyright infringement that might occur through the use of their devices. The “Sony Bateman” case precedence has served well for the peer to peer networks such as Aziza and Grosser so far. The reason this works for other items such as CD burners and online peer to peer groups is the other possible substantial uses. The music industry has been trying to shut them down but the courts continue to rule that they cannot be held liable because their hardware and software has plenty of non-infringing uses.

This forces the music industry and groups such as ARIA to go after individuals committing the illegal file sharing (Dean). This is proving to be a very expensive and never ending fight. This can alienate consumers and is a battle that will go on forever. It is like preventing rivers from speeding, it will never happen, no matter how many tickets are written and no matter how strict the punishment. There is an organization, downheartedly. Org, which actually feels as if the ARIA has done the music industry more harm than good.

They claim that the ARIA represents only the major record labels, and by preventing file sharing they are shutting down the only venue for some musicians to get exposed to the public. Downheartedly. Org claims only major record label artists can be heard on the radio since they can afford the price the radio stations have come to expect from the major labels. There are many musicians who feel file sharing should continue and is a great way to allow consumers to sample music they might never hear on the radio.

More and more sites are providing legal means to acquire music which is a great compromise between consumers and artists. As the public becomes educated on the negative impact of illegal file sharing has on the industry, this compromise might end up being a great lure to consumers, Inch in turn, could create a healthy profit for the musicians who deserve credit. There are many companies who are banking on the idea of online or digital music. Tunes by Apple Inc. Has proved to be a very successful means of providing products to improve the legal digital music industry.

Many companies are providing MPH players which play a condensed format of music which can be downloaded at a low price, legally, over the internet. Over 100 million Pods were sold last year by Apple Inc. Which proves this industry is growing rapidly (Fetcher’s). This allows a faster spread of music throughout the world and if properly monitored will become the new means of music distribution. In the mean time, individuals who are downloading music and sharing it over the internet need to be careful to avoid being sued by ARIA representing artist.