Module 5: Disrupting the Music Industry

This week I will start by defining one key term that one must know in order to understand this week’s theme. “Digital piracy is a type of copyright infringement—is a global phenomenon that allegedly contains grave economic consequences for intellectual property industries. Its pervasiveness has produced a global piracy subculture”(Steinmetz, Tunnell, 2013, p.53). In today’s society digital piracy is very present. “The development of the information-based ‘New Economy’ is due in large part to the growth in industries that trade in intellectual property. These industries have been a leading sector in US economic expansion for the past two decades, and currently account for over $40 billion of the US gross national product” (McCourt, Burkart, 2003, p.333). That is a major part of the United States economy and is a lot to potentially lose. Therefore fundamental of the entertainment industries. “It suffered a slump in the mid-1990s as catalog sales reached saturation and the novelty of a new delivery system (compact discs) wore off”( McCourt, Burkart, 2003, p. 335). Supporting this industry is therefore of great importance and therefore should be taken very seriously. In the same article, the author suggestions a way in which this can be done. “Subscription prices would need to make up in volume what is lost in profitability, suggesting cost pressures and even price wars among music services. Subscriptions also would penalize chain music stores and retail outlets, which now account for 80 percent of sales in the popular music market” (p.344).

On the other hand, downloading music is a large part of our culture. It seems like everyone now a days downloads music, movies etc. In the reading “Under the Pixelated Jolly Roger”, Steinmetz and Tunnel states a study found that pirates have multiple motivations for engaging in piracy. These reasons include “a desire to share digital cultural artifacts with each other, to sample content before making a purchase, an inability to afford digital content and a desire to circumvent or undermine copyright law and the digital content industry” (p. 65).

Now to answer this weeks question. I personally do not choose to download free movies or unauthorized music downloads. However in High School I used to. I always found that my computer was affected by the spam that come with the music. I have been through a number of computer because of this reason and this is the primary reason why I do not download anymore. Something needs to be done about all the illegal downloads. I-tunes is a great effort for music to be bought legally. Nonetheless, there are still sites that allow illegal downloads and there something needs to be done about them. I personally thought the ideas brought up by RIAA recording company had the right intentions, but they went about it wrong. I would suggest that a movement like this one should be done again, but done targeting the right individuals.




McCourt, T., P. Burkart. (2003). When Creators, Corporations and Consumers Collide: Napster and the Development of On-line Music DistributionMedia, Culture & Society. 25 (3), pg. 333-350

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 “Module 5: Disrupting the Music Industry

  1. I agree that the industry as a whole is definitely important to an overall economy, however, just like one of our colleagues mentioned the availability of free water did not dissolve the bottle water industry. The industry needs to find new alternative methods for compensation. The technology is here to stay therefore the industry must make some adjustments and embrace it. Sometimes I feel that the industry itself does not want to compromise and that is not fair to the average consumer.

  2. I am fully agree with your point that we have to do something about the illegal downloading. Everybody hate nobody appreciate their job. As long as the price is reasonable I have no problem to pay for the music. I also love what iTunes brought to our life. It is a game changer. A place can make everybody happy. Consumers can purchase single song under $2 and without worry about to buy off the whole album. Music producers would receive respect and profit they deserve. All of them are benefit from new social technology. I think this is the balance point we all looking for. Let the technology improve our life not ruin our life.

  3. We can see the impact of piracy everywhere, from blockbuster and other movie rental places closing and less and less people purchasing music. I find that iTunes is trying to adapt to the new way people us the internet because now u can buy music, movies, games and many other things on it.

  4. It is difficult to get our heads around the fine line of what could be done to help the music industry. Yes, there is work to be done and we need to be adults at the table to discuss not a capitalist wanting to make as much money as possible with no concern for artists or consumer. Similar to the comments in the Cultures of music piracy article “I do not feel that I want to be supporting music/marketing label.”, and “I am not stealing from artists but the greedy middleman.” I too have some of the same reservations as the pirates that the middleman is or has been abusing the system!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s