Who’s to blame for the piracy problem?

I remember when Napster first started. It was amazing. I could start downloading an entire album at night, and then in the morning, there it would be. A free album and all its glory. Napster changed the game for the music industry. People no longer had to go to the store to buy a CD. It was conveniently available from home, on demand, for free. Today, any song a person wants hear is available for free on the Internet. Who is responsible for the problem of piracy?

playing jazz guitar

Many argue that the problem of piracy is because people have become too stingy and too accustomed to getting things for free. NPR correspondent Emily White stated “I’ve only bought 15 CDs in my lifetime. Yet, my entire iTunes library exceeds 11,000 songs.” However, she also says if she were to lose her entire library “she would be able to rebuild fairly easily” and could just stream music from Spotify.

In an open letter to Emily White, David Lowry criticizes White’s take on getting free music. Lowry claims that people need to support musicians by purchasing their music directly from the artist. Lowry explains that the “free culture adherents” are really hurting musicians. However, the article by lily Rothman, she points out a study conducted by Luis Aguiar and Bertin Martins using Nielsen “clickstream” data, and released by the European Commission Joint Research Center found that “the majority of the music that is consumed illegally by the individuals in our sample would not have been purchased if illegal downloading websites were not available to them.” However, Rick Canes sees it differently in the article “Has music Piracy killed the “Recording Artist.” Canes believes that due to piracy, artists cannot make great music anymore. Their focused has changed from making a great album to touring. Yet, I wonder, “can’t they do both?”

music mixer

Poor government regulation isn’t to blame for piracy either. The Internet is largely unregulated and this isn’t China. It would take billions of dollars to regulate piracy- about the same amount record labels claim they have been losing. However, an article from Freakonomics says this “Unlike stealing a car, copying a song doesn’t necessarily inflict a tangible loss on another. Estimating that loss requires counterfactual assumptions about what the world would have been like if the piracy had never happened — and, no surprise, those most affected tend to assume the worst.” However, Lawrence Lessig thinks that “changes in the law, at least in the interim” need to occur in order to “[secure] income to artists while we allow the market to secure the most efficient way to promote and distribute content.

Technology has changed drastically since Napster and the days of illegal file sharing. Yes, some people do still illegally download music, but I think it is a slowing trend. Why would I download thousands of songs on my computer, taking up large amounts of space, when I could just stream them off of Spotify? I don’t even own an iPod anymore. If I want to hear a song, I can play it instantly and legally. It costs me $4.99 per month and I don’t have the hassle of torrents and sketchy files. I am also not tethered to my computer. While Lowry and White both admit that Spotify doesn’t pay artists very much per play. That is something that needs to be worked out between the artists and Spotify.

Music player playing vinyl with glow lines comming from the need

I don’t feel bad when I pay to stream music and a lot of musicians, like David Grohl support music streaming services. Technology has changed. Artists don’t make money off of album sales anymore and both record labels and musicians need to stop whining and get over it. So you can’t make one record, live off the royalties and do nothing for the rest of your life, boo-hoo. Isn’t the point of making an album and being a musician to play music? Tour, play shows around the country. If your music is good, people will come to your shows. They may even gasp-pay more for tickets because they enjoy your music.

Do you think that piracy is still a huge problem or is it a dying fad? Do you feel bad for recording artists who can no longer make a living off of album sales alone? Do you use torrent sites to illegally download music or have you switched to streaming?

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38 thoughts on “Who’s to blame for the piracy problem?

  1. Brandon Coulter March 19, 2015 / 12:20 pm

    Piracy is absolutely an ever-growing problem for the entertainment industry. It’s beyond easy to to find torrents and p2p files for everything from music to movies and even e-books and video games. While it has already been stated that their are several other factors that come into play when measuring the decline in music sales that are seemingly more detrimental than piracy, I feel that the lack of discussion as to why individuals feel compelled to partake in piracy is shocking. When an individual attempts to pirate a specific album or film, they are more than likely doing so without a direct intention on hurting the individuals responsible for creating the product. A major factor that comes into play with piracy is the accessibility and simplicity of the act. The majority of the activity involved with piracy comes from searching for the specific file, finding a decent source to download the file from, and clicking the “download” button on the screen. In a matter of minutes, the entire album or film that was being searched for usually appears. I will consistently argue, however, that the majority of people who use piracy in order to obtain a specific piece of entertainment are the same people who would not purchase the material in the first place, causing no technical harm to revenue. For those that do it as a way of avoiding costs of things they normally purchase, it does seem like an non-debatable way of stealing the product they claim to support. The simplistic nature of piracy allows for the mass collecting of entertainment files in no time whatsoever, a much quicker and cheaper way than physically travelling to pick up the product or even navigating through iTunes and paying for the same thing made available for free through piracy.

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    • sneff16 March 22, 2015 / 8:35 pm

      Great point! How do you get your music?

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  2. nebior March 20, 2015 / 3:07 pm

    I do not feel like piracy is dying out, but I do feel that many people are more aware about the issue. Maybe it is because I am a Computer Science major and I am exposed to people who spend a lot of time on the computer, but it is hard to find someone who has all of their music, games, and software on their computer legally purchased. I personally am completely against piracy and pay for everything I ever use (games, music, software, etc.). I do feel bad that artists are losing out on money because of illegal downloading. It is not their fault that people made them wealthy. People chose to buy their songs and to make them all of their money. If I made something that many people found very popular then I would be upset if I was cheated out of money because someone took my product and illegally distributed it for free. As an indie game designer I am always worried that if I release a product that some people may find a way to download it for free or get around advertisements that will supply me with an income. If you were in the position of the artist losing out on money then you may feel differently. I do not pirate music and I do not stream it. I buy an album on iTunes once every couple of months typically from the same groups and I play those in my car on my iPod. I know many people who stream, but I only listen to music in the car (if I’m not in the middle of an audiobook!) and I do not have unlimited data to stream music that often.

    –Ben Walker

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    • sneff16 March 22, 2015 / 8:39 pm

      Excellent point! Would you stream music if you had unlimited data or do you feel that when you purchase an album on iTunes you are giving more support directly to the artist?

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  3. MZang March 21, 2015 / 3:05 am

    Hello Sneff16, great blog. I like your take on the whining. While I believe there is a little too much belly aching coming from the musicians and record labels, I believe most of the fault lies within the record company. They have been make money hand over fist on the backs of these musicians for quite some time and now everything is a huge problem because they’re feeling the pinch. The artist has always felt the pinch, they’re just getting pinched harder now and it’s pissing them off. I, like you, used to download a ton of songs from Napster. As I became a little older and wiser (most would argue that) I saw the possible impact that it could have and stopped. I think there are a lot of people out there like us that no longer illegally download music and use streaming sites. I am a huge fan of Pandora. I love finding news bands that I didn’t know even existed and purchasing their music. Like I’ve said in past blogs, markets and trends have changed and will continue to change. Businesses and record companies alike have to figure out ways to sell their products. And I completely agree with you and our articles that the money lies within the touring aspect of the industry. So what they need to do is continue to make good music so that people will continue to pay and see them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • sneff16 March 22, 2015 / 8:54 pm

      I agree. The record companies are used to making a ton of money off of artists simply by their album sales and that model doesn’t work anymore. It reminds me of so many other industries that were forced to change because of technology. The ones that didn’t change got left behind or went bankrupt.

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  4. adrianhormsby March 21, 2015 / 12:55 pm

    So, is piracy just a dying fad? Interesting question, one that in a sense assumes that the issue has a simple technological fix, which is fast approaching. Let me explain, talking to and observing my own teenage daughters, they only rarely make any permanent downloads, preferring to just view TouTube videos of music artists (especially my youngest daughter) or directly access music via Spotify on their cell phones (my older daughters). For this new generation it’s as if the piracy issue has totally disappeared with the technology that replaced it. They now look at me proudly opening my old IPod to listen to my ITunes acquired music library with a condescending smirk on their faces. With the exception of Michael Jackson and the Beatles, there is absolutely nothing on that IPod that they would want to listen to. I bring this up to demonstrate that the whole issue of illegal music downloads arrived and is disappearing on the back of a cultural shift in the way music was and is accessed through new technological developments. At this point in time, for all the anxiety and obsession we have about piracy by end users and its impact on artists, this is being rapidly eclipsed by the raw deal that artists are getting as David Lowery points out, from music access points, such as Spotify and Youtube, piggybacked by predatory Advertisers including our beloved and revered Google. This is truly the corporation at work, aiming with sniper-like precision at a youth market with a ravenous appetite for music. So, yes it is just a fad, but not for the reason we would think (that is, users actively recognizing the value of artists and voluntarily changing to legal music downloads) but rather simply on the back of new and convenient ways of accessing music due to evolving technologies. Perhaps if we are really concerned about the cultural value musicians make to our society we would follow Lowery’s suggestions to donate to non-profit organizations that truly support these starving artists and/or buy their music directly through the artists website cutting out the predatory music middlemen like Spotify. As an endnote, my daughter went out of her way to add the Spotify App to my cell phone several months ago and was horrified to see that I had deleted it recently, why? she asked, my answer I simply didn’t use it, not even once. I wonder what new fad is directly around the technological corner?

    Liked by 2 people

    • sneff16 March 22, 2015 / 9:28 pm

      Great comment. I also wonder what new fad is directly around the technological corner. We can now get music on demand wherever we have an internet or cell phone connection. I can’t imagine what the future holds.

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  5. spgregor March 21, 2015 / 2:00 pm

    I think piracy is definitely still abundant in our day-to-day lives. As mentioned in the article, some people have massive music libraries (upwards of 11,000 songs) and nobody wants to pay $11,000 for that (the average song on ITunes is about .99 cents). I do feel bad if the recording artists who can no longer make a living off album sales alone; it is a shame that musicians are losing money because people are pirating their music for free. As horrible as this sounds though, I think that this is an inevitable consequence of the internet and mass media sources. Yes, it makes you feel bad, but I am not sure if there is anyway to really stop it. It is kind of like trolling; many of us feel that it is immoral, unethical, cruel, and atrocious. However, that does not stop some people from doing as they please. Personally, I use streaming programs such as Pandora and Spotify. They are cheaper and more convenient than legal torrent sites, and Pandora and Spotify are both legal means of listening to music. For a low premium a month, I have an unlimited variety of music, and this is why programs like Pandora are so popular.

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    • sneff16 March 22, 2015 / 9:32 pm

      Great point. I agree. It is much cheaper and more convenient to stream than to download from torrent sites. Do you think that people would be more willing to pay for music directly from an artist instead of downloading it illegally if albums were only $5 or even $2?

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  6. Carly Hernandez March 21, 2015 / 9:24 pm

    If feel that piracy is still an issue but is something that is being noticed by generations as they grow older and can realize its importance. I know that when I was younger it was a lot easier for me to just illegally download my songs without having to pay for them. Recently I went to Best Buy and noticed they hardly even sell iPod’s anymore. I guess that means more and more people are streaming their music and using their phones to listen to their favorite songs. If you have an iPhone though it is a great benefit since when you purchase songs they go directly to your phone. I also love Spotify and I think that they somehow should be paying their artists more for their music so that they can get more credit and more money for their songs. A lot of artists’ don’t even want their music to be made available to the public on Spotify because of this reason. I do feel bad for music artists who make a living based on their albums. But I think there are still people who buy cd’s and buy full albums online. I’ve seen a trend in that and think it’s headed in the right direction at least. While I used to download my music illegally I don’t anymore. Now I just stream music off of Spotify since I never use my iPod or even my laptop anymore just as you said. I like having a wide variety of different songs that I don’t even know yet and songs that I already love. It also can be a benefit to the artists because when I find new songs on Spotify I write it down or save it somewhere so I can purchase it on iTunes.

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    • sneff16 March 22, 2015 / 9:35 pm

      Excellent point. I didn’t think about the number of people that use spotify and pandora to listen to new music and eventually buy the music that they do enjoy on iTunes.

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  7. cseejay March 22, 2015 / 6:42 am

    Just a few weeks ago I got angry at one of my friends who resorted in pirating the new Drake album when I told him it was a must buy. He claimed that if he liked the album enough, he’d purchase it from iTunes, and from that angle I can’t necessarily disagree with that logic. I’ve purchased my fair share of bad alums over the years, but I still feel the need to support the artist regardless of how I feel about the music. I thought pirating music was dying due to services like Spotify but apparently it’s not and a lot of people still do it. I get angry now that I’m older because I understand the value of hard work, and I understand how time consuming and difficult it is to producing something creative and unique. To think, if I spend hundreds of hours on an album and someone comes along and downloads it for free, I’d feel pretty hurt. “Who’s to blame” lets blame everyone that needs to be blamed. Lazy, entitled, and careless individuals are to blame. I think that happens to be a lot of people, I used to be one of them (when it comes to music). The people pirating this music tend to not think about the countless hours that go into making that music, and I really hope it’s something that people stop doing with the popularity of Spotify growing. As I’m writing this I’m listening to a curated playlist on Spotify, and it’s amazing! I’m really into music and I personally haven’t used a better music streaming service with access to basically every song I’d ever want.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. asibo March 22, 2015 / 11:21 am

    Personally, when I do download music online, I rarely go through legitimate means first. There have been a number of occasions where I have downloaded a song for free only to find that I don’t like it enough to have paid $1.29 for it on iTunes, and conversely there have been a number of opportunities where I had paid for a song from iTunes only to find that I didn’t like it all and have never listened to it again. Thus, when do illegally download music, it constitutes the “type B” piracy identified by Lessig. In all, I feel that I have spent more money as a result of buying songs that I don’t listen to, and by having a trial run of songs that I did buy, than if music were not available for digital download, which is to the music industry’s benefit.

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  9. jaemillz411 March 22, 2015 / 1:46 pm

    Nice Post.

    I do not think that piracy is that big of a deal. But I am on the side of the consumer. If I put had put long nights in at the studio to produce music or edit a film I bet that I would feel differently. People should be compensated for their work.

    However, I also think that record executives could be exaggerating the loss of profits, because it is no secret that the music industry is hard on musicians. It has been a long history of mismanagement of funds and artists selling millions of records and not having much to show for it.

    So file sharing could be seen as the new scapegoat. But still I think that file sharing is only bad when used in excess. If someone never buys an album, book, or goes out to see a film then that is completely unfair to the industry and performers. But overall, I do not see it as a bad thing.

    In fact every week iTunes releases a selection of about six to seven songs that people can download for free and I am sure it offers exposure for artists. I like it because it broadens my music collection and it is good for iTunes because I end up spending more money.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. mwiedmeyer March 22, 2015 / 2:50 pm

    At the end of the day, whether or not it’s through piracy, people will get music and other media for free. In the days of CDs, you could either lend one to a friend or burn the CD. Before that, people would use cassettes to record the song they wanted off of the radio. Same with movies. Even today, if you try to download a film before it’s released on DVD, you can find a recording that somebody did right off of their smartphone or another device. They’re taken right from the movie theater, crowd’s reactions and all. It’s going to happen.
    Personally, I think the best method to lessen the effects of piracy is through music streaming sources like Pandora and Spotify. I used to download music for free through an app on my Android phone, but when I got an iPhone, those apps didn’t exist. Apple is a much more vigilant company when it comes to their app store. So, I ended up paying for Spotify. For me, it’s worth the $10 a month to have all the music I could want. And there’s the added benefit of legality. As a poor college student, I’d much rather pay $10 per month than have the possibility of a huge fine hanging over my head.

    Liked by 1 person

    • sneff16 March 22, 2015 / 7:36 pm

      You made an excellent point about people gaining music and other media for free whether it’s through piracy or not. People used to burn copies of their friend’s CDs and before that people would copy songs from the radio onto cassette tapes. The price of Spotify is totally worth it. I think illegally downloading music takes so much more work than just paying $10 per month. For students Spotify offers a student discount, making it only $4.99 per month.

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  11. galaradi March 22, 2015 / 3:51 pm

    I don’t think piracy is dying out, as long as the Internet is available. People will always find the easy way to get great music or entertainment. But I do agree that if there were fans of a specific artist, they would support them and be willing to buy their music and go to their concerts. I think the entertainment industry is learning to adapt to piracy and copyright.

    I don’t feel bad for recording artists who can no longer make a living off of just albums. They can find other ways. I agree when you say if they do have good music, people will support them. People will buy their CD’s and music. Personally, I have downloaded songs before, but I also resort to Spotify because it has a wide selection of music that I can access anytime. There are so many programs and applications such as Spotify and Pandora that are changing the way we listen to music.

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  12. seananthony3 March 22, 2015 / 5:26 pm

    Piracy is not dying out, but it will never be widely accepted as the norm. There is still something nice about paying for a copy of a product and there will always be the moral question of whether or not one should pirate. However, the music industry shouldn’t be hurting due to tours and merchandise. You cannot pirate being at a concert. My personal issue with the industry is the cost of royalties to use the music. http://www.ascap.com/music-career/articles-advice/music-money-success-movies.aspx For each use of song in a film, it costs on average $15,000-$60,000 for one song.

    Piracy, unfortunately, will never go away, and any attempt to do so will only harm the rest of the internet as a whole. That is why SOPA was such a large deal when it was, causing websites likes Google to black out in protest.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. bubbastinx March 22, 2015 / 8:18 pm

    I enjoyed this article, and related to the Napster bit.

    I also disagree with the NPR article. I don’t think people want more music for free. Consumers get tired of paying top dollar for a crappy Album.

    I think the Music Industry machine as a whole is an entire shame that often times squeezes out quality artist for the more marketable pop artist.

    If you don’t believe me look at what the Music Industry Machine hijacked Hip Hop, and made it into the crappy community destroying weapon that it is today.

    And if you are a minority, and in defense of the mainstream Hip Hop today. You should go jump off a bridge because you aren’t the target consumer of Hip Hop. The majority of hip hop album sales (65-75%) are derived from white America.

    Anyhow, I think that the Music Industry machine is suffering some of the similar disruption that movie studios suffered in the past, and movie theaters are suffering now. People will download crap for free, but will pay for quality content.

    Liked by 1 person

    • sneff16 March 22, 2015 / 8:30 pm

      I enjoyed your comment. I also think that more quality artists are squeezed out for more marketable pop artists. A lot of music is so auto tuned that we don’t know what the real artists voice even sounds like.

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  14. blcarr March 22, 2015 / 8:34 pm

    There is no way that piracy is dying down. It’s more popular than ever before. Do you honestly think that fans are really buying music? What about those games, pictures or even books? Some are maybe, but the majority is still downloading and files sharing. What’s better than free? No matter how much the artist complains, illegal downloading will grow faster and its community will get stronger. Why would I pay for Pandora and other sources of free music when I can listen to the music for free. I don’t mind listening to commercials in between songs. And; if I don’t want commercials, ill just switch over to iheart radio for a much better listen. The only way to stop pirating is to shut down the internet. And we all know that isn’t going to happen.

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    • sneff16 March 22, 2015 / 9:49 pm

      My post was about pirating music rather than games, pictures, or books. You make an interesting point about free music because what is better than free? I guess for myself and a lot of other people, it’s much easier and less time consuming to pay for a service.

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  15. mstor763 March 22, 2015 / 8:58 pm

    I feel piracy is still a huge problem in the software world. In respect to the music side, its a dying thing, but slowly. Personally, I could care less about “artists” these days. Everything is just so repetitive and very little lyrics, hell, some dont even write their own songs anymore. What happened to the good days of genuine music? So I dont care about some whining little artists, they make plenty of money as it is. I use to download a lot of music when Napster and lime wire was a thing. I only occasionally torrent when its a situation where I need a program to achieve a goal that is not otherwise obtainable. I use streaming now instead of owning an iPod or even CDs, Pretty soon there will no longer be CD players in cars as their are no longer cassette players. Things change/progress as time goes on.

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    • sneff16 March 22, 2015 / 9:41 pm

      That is a great point about cars not having cd players in the future. I never use my cd player anymore!

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  16. kevinpayton1 March 22, 2015 / 9:03 pm

    I do believe piracy is still a huge problem and not a dying fad. I don’t feel bad about the artist not being able to make a living off album sales but I do understand their pain. It would be foolish of us not to understand the fact that music industry is a business. The artist enjoy making music but also should be compensated for their efforts as any other person would be. To say that they should just tour more or work harder is not fair to them so that someone could enjoy their work for free. If someone told me I was not going to get paid for my work, and that I should work harder or do more, I would just do something different. I personally do not use torrents or download files illegally partially because I do not know how to and because of my occupation. But I do understand the effort artist puts into their work and for them not to be compensated is not fair to them.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. stefaniedak March 22, 2015 / 9:58 pm

    I agree that illegal music downloading is a slowing trend due to the introduction of many streaming services. People have also become extremely lazy, concerned with their online security, or very busy, to spend time finding and downloading music on sketchy illegal websites. People want the most convenient way to do things, and that includes listening to music, which is why music streaming continues to grow in popularity. With technological advancements, the ways in which things are done are going to change, and I agree that artists aren’t embracing that and instead whining on and on, which somewhat hurts them. For instance, Taylor Swift decided to get off Spotify and in turn, after listening to her album on First Play through iTunes Radio, I haven’t really listened to her album since. I contemplated purchasing her album on iTunes (since it was one of her best albums) but I wouldn’t be able to arrange her songs in a playlist in Spotify with all of my other songs so it seemed quite pointless.
    Artists have always made the most revenue on concert sales and that should continue to be the case. Music sales have decreased due to the new way of things but artists are still making a substantial amount of money from them so they shouldn’t be angry about this situation or expect people to feel bad for them in any way. I rarely even hear about music piracy anymore, the hype is all around streaming services; therefore, piracy, in relation to music, definitely seems to be a dying fad. Music libraries of 11,000 songs are comprised of illegal downloads that people have accumulated over the years and I feel that now people aren’t adding so much to there collection as they used to and rather, switching over to Spotify or alike.

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  18. akuelbs March 22, 2015 / 10:00 pm

    I have to say that i feel piracy isn’t a dying fad because it will always be around with torrents, but i feel streaming services have put it in the rear view and people dont care as much about it anymore. Since streaming services such as Spotify for music and Netflix for Videos and movies, i know many people who wouldnt mind paying the extra money to have the convince of streaming rather than trying to download the files. When streaming came along, i think people thought of it as a safer way to get the music and movies they wanted because they now longer had to put themselves at risk with downloading a file from someone you don’t know, which in turn could end up with a virus. Piracy allowed for viruses to be sent to people in a new and much easier way because people were not aware fully of what they were doing early on. I can say that myself personally i would pirate some music, but i still enjoy supporting artist that i like and i buy albums. The fact is there are people out there who are cheap and will always be cheap and will always take advantage of free things, but i feel more people will gladly pay for the safer route of just streaming over downloading.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. bjuhasz10 March 22, 2015 / 10:01 pm

    I believe that not only is piracy here to stay, but that it is growing very fast. I think this can be attributed to 2 things: growing internet speeds, and more people knowing how to torrent things.

    With evolving technology, it is very cheap to get super fast internet (even up to 50 mbps), and fast internet means you can download torrents faster. Also, I think it is easier now than ever to download things illegally. Thus, millions of people are taking advantage of these 2 things to try to get music and movies for free.

    At the end of the day, I agree with many other comments that it really is unfair that artists and actors don’t get proper compensation for their hard work, because millions of people don’t want to pay money for music and movies. I think the government and the music/movie industry need to go after people who partake in illegally downloading things and privacy. I think the best solution is to go after the people who host piracy websites, as well as those who upload thousands of songs and movies. Since millions of everyday citizens around the world take part in piracy every day, the best solution involves getting the people at the top of the piracy hierarchy.

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  20. smkiraco March 22, 2015 / 10:13 pm

    I think piracy should not be a problem. I am probably going to say this in every comment this week but I believe it is a service problem. It is a weird thing to combat as the more restrictive you are the harder it is for those to get content legally and thus inadvertently encouraging piracy. As for whether or not I feel bad, kind of. Artists do not make much money off of their albums. The majority of that goes to the record companies and artists make most of their money off of merchandise and tours. However, if the record companies do not get the profits they want, then they could put the squeeze more on the artist in other areas outside of album sales.

    No, I do not torrent anything at the moment. I do stream music off of Youtube and other sites though when I am looking for new material from artists or new artists entirely.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. elrader2015 March 22, 2015 / 10:32 pm

    In response to your question, I don’t feel bad for artists at all when it comes to illegal downloading in most cases. Also, if they’re upset about having to tour more, what are you really in it for? Performing your music seems like part of the dream doesn’t it? Also, I’m happy that artists tour more for my own selfish reasons. Anytime an artist comes to town that I’m a fan of, I make sure I go and if the show is good, I’ll try to go anytime they come to town after that. In addition to this, I don’t think that pirating is as big of an issue as it was in the past. I remember when Limewire came out. Glorious amounts of free music! But the issue was computer viruses and storage space was sucked up by the files. As you mentioned, I’d rather use Spotify because I have any music I want on demand from the palm of my hand thanks to my cell phone. No viruses, no loss of storage and it’s legal! I remember when Pandora came out too, wow! An app that says “Hey, you like this artist, well here’s another one I think you’ll like.” Technology will eventually make pirating unnecessary and obsolete.

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  22. Ms.McCollum March 22, 2015 / 10:45 pm

    I do not think piracy is a fad, I think it is going to keep on growing and growing. However, I also don’t think that this is necessarily a bad thing. Like one of the articles mentions, piracy is actually helping the industry, and I think this can continue to be the trend.

    One view that I think is interesting is that piracy can help people download songs and movies they otherwise would never spend money on. For example, if I have never really heard of Drake, or any of his music, but I heard one of his songs on the radio and loved it, I can go pirate the song and put it on my ipod. Then, maybe I watch a few youtube videos to listen to a few of his other songs. Then I download some more songs of his illegally, and actually realize that his music is great. Next thing you know, I buy his new album because either I want to support him, or just really got into his music.

    People trying out new artists and then falling in love with them happens all the time, and I think it is a great way to actually use piracy as a tool to give artists more exposure.

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  23. lewenzel93 March 22, 2015 / 11:15 pm

    While I don’t think piracy is still a huge problem, I do believe it’s pretty prevalent and common. I don’t think it’s really harming the industry, though, and even seems to be helping it. I don’t feel bad for artists who can no longer make a living off album sales alone. The amount of money musicians make, and other people from the entertainment industry like actors, professional athletes, etc, is grossly generous when compared to those of other professions like doctors, teachers, and policemen. I think you make a really good and honest point when you talk about how musicians should just make music and if it’s good, the money will come on it’s own. I mean, sure, everyone has to make a living, but the entertainment industry is regarded as tough to make it in anyways, so that’s something they should have thought of. It’s like taking and failing a class and saying the professor is a bad teacher when you didn’t even put in the effort of studying, anyways. So, yeah, I can’t really feel bad for artists for focusing on proving just how talented they are on tour and at live events.

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  24. efekete March 22, 2015 / 11:32 pm

    I think illegal downloads are definitely still relevant, however I think the industry has come up with some interesting solutions to combat that. Such as streaming internet radio and buying individual songs from ITUNES. My automatic response is not to feel bad for artists who can’t make a living off albums. Sadly today being a successful artist (musician, comedian, actor) means you have to have some business sense too along with talent for your particular craft. If you don’t look into the financial details then you really don’t deserve to make it big. The entertainment industry isn’t setup as a system to make whoever has talent rich for the long term. It requires extensive planning and constant adaption to the environment.

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  25. hessaj March 22, 2015 / 11:32 pm

    I’ll admit that I used programs like Napster and Limewire in the past, but I was a kid with no income. It was the source for many teens’ way to get what they wanted. Once I actually made money, I started buying instead of torrenting. I’ve noticed more adolescent people do it more, and it makes sense given they can’t afford what they want to buy, so they’re left with torrenting. That said, once eligible, they can start buying and supporting the companies making the products they had to torrent. It gains exposure and grows their audience. While they lose money, they gain customers, and maybe it helps them in the long run.

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  26. doniecew March 22, 2015 / 11:45 pm

    I can’t think of the site my best friend used to use to download music. I wasn’t allowed to do it on our computer at home because my dad didn’t want to catch any viruses. So whenever I was at my best friend’s house, I was able to roam freely.

    Besides that, I love your brutal honesty in this blog and I agree with you! I definitely think that piracy is a DEAD phase already. Buying an album is old and you’re never going to bring that back in today’s society. Technology has evolved too much for industries to even concern themselves with such a dull problem. Somebody will always be able to get the song for free!!! I could easily look it up on YouTube and record it on my phone.

    I might be a little behind but I’m not even sure what streaming is….. Lol but I don’t download as much as I used to. I rarely even even listen to music on my phone. But I do have some music downloaded onto my phone.

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  27. doniecew March 22, 2015 / 11:52 pm

    Ohhhhhh && I definitely wanted to add this on….. Why would I feel bad for an artist that can’t make a living off of album sales.?? They’re in the wrong industry for that!!! Touring is what the crowd looks forward to anyway!!! Why would I buy 5 CDs from you and no one has ever seen you perform live.? You haven’t put effort into touring.? Anybody can go to a studio and record. Fans look forward to seeing artist live! They look forward to that crowd interaction. If you can’t do that as an artist, this is the wrong industry for you!

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  28. thegradytrain March 22, 2015 / 11:52 pm

    I remember when Napster was popular, I also remember when bands like Metallica started making aggressive waves over it. After Napster, there was Kazaa, then there was Morpheus, then there was Limewire, and then Frostwire. Unless they start extreme restrictions on data flow, there will usually always be a illegitimate method of obtaining something on the internet. I think Torrenting is one of the more popular methods recently, but it isn’t just for music and other media. Torrent sharing has legitimate file distribution scenarios as well. I don’t think a free way of getting things is going to go away.

    For most if not all the artists I listen to, I don’t feel very guilty about them getting pirated. There is the advertisement case to bring up, and I still think they get some benefits when they are pirated, whether be monetary or not. I think the old systems of going through record labels to buy artists music is a little primitive, when there are more direct methods out there. Services like Bandcamp might be one of the more well known ones. Some artists even allow for voluntary payment for their albums, i.e. pay what you want. I have even seen one artist who actually promotes his songs to be pirated.

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