What is Music Piracy?
Piracy is the act of duplicating anything without prior permission and consent of the rightful owner.
Music piracy is nothing but the act of duplicating an original recording in an unauthorized manner in order to generate commercial gains. There is no consent in any form, from the rights owner of the recording. Piracy has forced many an upcoming artist to shut shop, and does not give artistes the recognition and money that they deserve to get. Record companies lose revenue and face heavy financial losses because of piracy.
Pirated copies of music are usually a compilation of several tracks of the performing band or artiste and are available in the market in CDs, Cassettes and DVDs. The advancement in technology and the availability of this technology to the public, especially the pirates has led to a dangerously high increase in the flow of pirated music in the market.
How the internet is helping the growth of piracy?
When is the last time you wanted to download a track from a torrent site on the internet? Well, this is an act of supporting piracy, and in some countries, where copyright infringement is a big issue; you could be committing an offense. The extensive reach of the internet throughout the world, the inability to police the net effectively, and the humongous number of users the internet has, has indeed made the internet a haven for pirates. Pirates no longer find the need to burn music on scores of music CDs or DVDs, pack, and finally smuggle them, to be sold on the streets. All a pirate has to do is buy the original CD, rip the tracks from it, and upload it to his website on the internet. A few links around, and within days, his website will be flooded with traffic, most of whom only want to download the song.
Some pirates even sell the music for cheap rates. They end up making money on a bulk scale. When this is repeated for thousands of songs, they eventually build up a download library of sorts, and end up making enormous amounts of illegal money. Some sites also use illegal downloads as a tool to increase their website traffic or to gain popularity and make money advertising. This is also illegal and constitutes music piracy. Some people also have doubts regarding the use of P2P software to "share" music. If the music being transferred via the P2P file sharing network is not copyright protected, then it is perfectly legal. However, transfer or download of copyrighted music via P2P networks is illegal, as P2P facilitates the unauthorized distribution of the music, and it is done without prior authorised permission from the record label or artiste.
However the introduction of iTunes music system by music device giants like Apple, have helped in mending the situation, but only to a certain extent. With third world countries having loose laws that govern copyright infringement and slack anti-piracy measures to curb piracy, music piracy will continue to wreak havoc on the finances of the music industry.