Despite piracy being undoubtedly a crime, there are situations when it might actually be helpful to the ones being "robbed" of their property. In cases of media, that are still quite expensive could giving them for free result in a growth of customers and thus eventually raise the profit. Unfortunately, only small companies are willing to take this leap of faith in people, while the big ones keep on pursuing the standard policies. Main body The amout of music in the world is so big that the actual percentage of songs a potential listener is able to get to, is rather small.Order now
The question is whether it would be useful to give some music for free in order to spread it among people and thus gain more popularity which might result in bigger sales and more interest in live events. There are successful artists supporting the idea of sharing art like Neil Gaiman who deems giving his books for free as lending them and therefore investing to the future. His profits are bigger in the countries where there are high levels of piracy. Also people are quite limited in getting access to new art because of its cost.
The problem is also reported losses which are inaccurate since the total cost of pirated media doesn’t reflect the actual financial damage. Also other branches of industry profit of it. Conclusion A compromise might be the solution. A small amout of songs (e. g. one album) by each of their artist could be released for free by the record companies to demonstrate generosity. But that is not enough. People need to show bigger interest in music and especially in live events to prove there is actually financial potential in them.
After that it is time for the companies to start being more open. There is absolutely no doubt that piracy is wrong. In most cases it equals stealing and that is without question a crime. However piracy itself has shown to be quite useful for the owners of the pirated property in some cases. The standard and logical views of distributing products such as films or music are usually based on the elementary system of owning and selling and the idea that valuable property should be sold for as much money as possible.
That applies for most cases yet there have been times when giving things out for free eventually resulted in much higher earnings than it would with the use of standard marketing procedures, for example the famous band Pearl Jam is well known for setting optional prices on their CDs. This policy is however still typical for smaller record companies and book publishers while the big labels are not easily adopting it. There is a huge potential in giving art for free though and doing it on a global scale could turn out to be really groundbreaking.
To give an example of how unimaginably vast the world of art distribution is the world’s biggest internet vendor of various media is the iTunes Store. It offers tens of millions of songs, tens of thousands of audio books and lots and lots of other media. It is absolutely impossible for one person to explore all the music there even if he was concentrating on just one genre. That being said, it’s for sure that even if all the music in iTunes Store was free, there would still be authors and albums a potential listener would necessarily have to miss.
And since most music there is NOT free, there is a very small amount of music a listener is able to actually get to. What should he do then? He certainly shouldn’t download it illegally of course. In a hypothetical world where there is no sharing music or even borrowing CDs from a friend he should either buy it or let it go. But what would the second option mean for the owner of the music? A financial loss. And that begs a question is the artist willing to accept everything that goes with it?
Because a person who doesn’t buy his album is not representing just one lost profit but a lost customer who would potentially buy more albums and possibly even visit his concerts. And this is just the financial matter, there’s also of course the social aspect of the whole thing and that is the fact that most artists get a feeling of satisfaction from gaining a fan or anyone who shows admiration of their work. So what should the artist do? There is a fine example of an artist who used to believe that his art being shared on the internet meant financial loss and came to realize it actually did not.
Neil Gaiman is a famous writer, the author of the books like American Gods or Stardust, who now supports the idea of sharing books and other kinds of art. He was at first not happy to see his books floating around the internet, however he soon discovered that by this he was very quickly gaining lots of new fans. Nowadays when he’s asked why he doesn’t mind his works being distributed for free, he replies with a question: Do you have a favourite author? And did you discover your favourite author by buying a random book or borrowing a random book? quot; That is in fact how he sees sharing books in the internet. As lending them. And the exact same thing applies to music and even movies. So should we legalize piracy and let everyone have what they want? Of course not. A world without rules is anarchy and piracy is by all means an anarchistic method. Taking property without permission of the owner and giving/selling it to people is still not legal and hopefully never will be. Yet it happens. And quite a lot.
Recently it has been one of the major economical issues as the losses in the music industry caused by piracy are, based on the information by The Institute for Policy Innovation, estimated to 12. 5 billion dollars per year in the United States only. It’s a rather intimidating number since the last year’s total revenue of the music industry in the United States was 4. 5 billion dollars and 16. 5 billion in the world. However, there are two things we must still keep in mind. Firstly, the money doesn’t just vanish in the air.
The music industry loses profit but that means the money is going somewhere else and different branches of the economy are growing. Secondly, the total number of the financial loss is actually overestimated. It counts the cost of all the illegally downloaded media but doesn’t regard the fact that not nearly all of it would actually be bought and therefore doesn’t show the actual loss of the industry but merely the value of the stolen property which in this case isn’t relevant as the number of the copies of the songs is unlimited.
An interesting fact is that the internet sales have been growing rapidly over the last years (about 12% a year) and are literally saving the music industry. Since 1999 the profits of the music industry have been dropping every year by approximately 5% (according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) until 2012 when it finally after more than a decade showed a slight growth of 0. 3% and that mostly thanks to the internet sales. It’s clear that internet is the place where the main battle is taking place.
Thanks to many sites distributing music online, for example classic stores like Amazon, Spotify, Google Play, but also the ones like Bandcamp or Soundcloud, where artist often share their music for free, the number of songs sold online grows and the situation is getting better. More open and innovative approach is still possible though. Just like Neil Gaiman finds new fans by letting people illegally download his work, big record companies could do that as well. No one suggests that they should just give all their stock music for free. No, that would be insane.
Rather than that one album by each of their signed artists could be available for free download in order to let people discover more music and thus consequently invest their hard-earned money into buying the kind of music they will more likely find enjoyable. Sometimes a small step like this can be the start of a huge movement that will actually cause a considerable change. But steps also must be taken on the other side of the "barricade". There is music for free already. There are artists who are willing to share their work.
It’s now up to us, the listeners, to show our interest and show our love for music. Let us visit concerts more often and let us put some effort into finding new artists and recommend them to our friends. If we really want to show that there is financial potential in us (and yes, I’m talking about money because they are important no matter how much would we want them not to be), there is no other way than just to lift ourselves from the chair we’re sitting on and instead of watching live performances on youtube just go out and see one with our own eyes.
After all, it’s called "live" for a reason. Jakub Brych Sources of information: The Comics Alliance, Neil Gaiman on internet piracy: "It’s people lending books! " http://comicsalliance. com/neil-gaiman-piracy-lending-books/ 19. 12. 2013 The Institute for Policy Innovation, The true cost of sound recording piracy to the U. S. economy, http://www. ipi. org/ipi_issues/detail/the-true-cost-of-sound-recording-piracy-to-the-us-economy 19. 12. 2013 International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, Statistics, http://ifpi. org/content/section_statistics/index. html 19. 12. 2013