Media content & piracy


           When recording companies ask the question “can the industry association teach (or enforce) ‘respect for property’ while building a healthy music market in the digital age? ”(344, Condry), No I don’t think so because users have become so used to peer-to-peer (P2P) sharing that it’s hard to go back to the ways of purchasing music when it can be found for free.  Some of the motivators for file-sharing as mentioned by Steinmetz & Tunnell are something they call sharing is caring a code they follow for others for content that they believe should be free (2013). Steinmetz & Tunnell also mention that there are users that upload samples before others commit to purchasing say a video game or CD (2013).

            There are some methods of halting illegal file sharing; teaching that downloading media and uploading media for sharing uninviting for users, if instilled from an early age, it can prevent them from uploading media for file-sharing through teaching them in classrooms (Condry, 2007). It could change the way in which younger users access music and will more likely commit to purchasing music then downloading it free. However this method is not the greatest idea because many of these people being educated have no steady source of income, many will still be downloading free media because it works better for them having access all the time. Another answer could be sites such as iTunes and Netflix where these websites allow users to purchase/subscribe to music and movies. However, these fees can add up and it can be limited and frankly not attractive for every consumer that can’t afford for paying for different sites.

            What recording industries need to realize is that file-sharing may not be the only factor affecting sales for them. As Condry mentions, “they conclude that it would take 5000 downloads to displace one sale” (349). They need to realize that in a new era, digital copies of music are one of the ways most consumers listen to music and CD sales will drop since everyone is purchasing MP3 players or using their smart phones to play music. I feel that recording companies don’t really have a choice with file-sharing in this era. They will come up with another method to solve the issue of piracy in similar ways to how Netflix and iTunes work.


Condry, Ian. (2004). Cultures of Music Piracy: An Ethnographic Comparison of the US and JapanInternational Journal of Cultural Studies. 7 (3), pg. 343-363  
Steinmetz, K., K. Tunnell (2013). Under the Pixelated Jolly Roger: A Study of On-Line PiratesDeviant Behavior. 34 (1), pg. 53-67 

4 thoughts on “Media content & piracy

  1. I think your statement on teaching children from a young age to purchase media content as opposed to downloading it for free is a good method to teach children from a younger age the proper practices of obtaining media content. However, I still believe that piracy will not be abolished by this method because as many of us know, kids don’t always do as they are told. Additionally, it is quite attractive to access media content without having to pay for it with allowance money.

    I also don’t agree with the idea of You Tube charging a fee to access media content. I think this will only deter the use of the site while simultaneously result in lost users. The purpose of the site is to provide people all over the world with free access to media content (without the ability o download and keep the content). I think if piracy is completely abolished, people may still have access to listen or watch content for free on You Tube; which may continue to affect sales of this media content when free alternatives are available to view/listen to online.

  2. I think an important point to note is the cultural value that follows the intervening of copyright laws and legislations which prevent users from downloading and exchanging music. The benefits in which music provides in regards to a cultural commons far outweighs the music industry’s need to capitalize off of every single song or creation when artists are supported in ways. Musical artists are not only supported through the protection of digital content, but in many other ways as well. Condry (2004) also points out that the presence of free does not eliminate the market. For example, sales of bottled water go to show that just because water is available for free, does not mean people will not pay for it through other means.

  3. I agree with what you said about the music industry not really having a choice about file sharing, it is inevitable, regardless of what they do to try to prevent it. Instead of trying to fight it with increasingly harsh copyright laws and restrictions, the recording industry should try to develop alternative compensation systems, as discussed in Condry (2004). As Condry explains, this method has shown much more promise than the music industry’s efforts to expand enforcement of its intellectual property rights.However, even if they convert to online formats similar to iTunes and Netflix, I don’t think that this will completely stop people from finding ways to access content for free.

  4. I agree with the fact of downloading music can become very pricey for some people and that is exactly why people have been as you say sharing and that is what many people consider piracy. But in the video we watched there was one comment made about how taking the content given and creating something new is piracy. Which i believe to be true as well. You make some very good points about how file sharing is going to happen no matter what and i believe that there are many ways for there to be prevention against piracy.

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