Music piracy should be punished

After reading Nick Moran’s article “Pirate Punishment,” I became very disappointed in his attitude toward the music industry and their efforts to prosecute music pirating.

Music pirating is a rampant problem. In my opinion, it is less of a problem concerning the “antiquated business models” used by the music industry and more one about our culture’s attitude toward “free music.” The music that consumers purchase does more than pay the salary of record company executives, it also fuels our economy in numerous ways. The $10 you pay for a CD or the 99 cents you pay for a song in turn pays for the minimum wage employees at the few CD stores left in this country, the engineer, the drummer, and the low-level record company employee who spent hours collecting and compiling information to type up the disc slip with all the correct information. The entertainment industry is responsible for six percent of the United States’ GDP and millions of jobs.

What you don’t realize is that by not purchasing your music you in turn do not give the record label or “independent company” any revenue. Whether you change the models or not, a company cannot function without money. A company, which is investing money in an artist, expects a return of some kind. If an artist sets itself up as an independent corporation, it still needs to find investors to sponsor its music. In case you are unaware, it takes money to make music – hiring musicians, engineers, producers. Why would a company even bother making a product if it expected making no return on its investment?

Record companies, publishers and artists put forth a lot of effort to produce the music that you hear on the radio. They are entitled to be compensated for their work. You wouldn’t work for free, now would you? So why should they? You wouldn’t walk into a store and take a shirt without paying for it? So why are you so comfortable with downloading a song for free?

Music piracy is more than illegal; it is a poison that is ruining the music industry. Music piracy is stealing, whether your attitudes towards copyright have you believe that or not. The next time you illegally steal someone’s music by downloading it online, instead of patting yourself on the back for teaching those evil record companies a lesson, think about the sales clerk who just missed out on the record sale, or the young intern who slaved for hours to get in her materials before the deadline. I urge you to reconsider your attitude towards the industry and taking someone else’s property.