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Read through the essay below and come up with a thesis for it:
“Piracy is not a new phenomenon” (Janssens 1), however, with the advancements in technology over the past few decades, it has become a threatening problem for the music industry, more so after the introduction of the internet. “Music piracy is the copying and distributing of copies of a piece of music for which the composer, recording artist, or copyright-holding record company did not give consent.” (“Music”) As with any situation in life, there are always positive and negative outcomes. THESIS GOES HERE
Opportunities for artists have grown increasingly because of digital piracy. The traditional music industry consisted of “mostly small, independently created labeling companies run by entrepreneurs who would discover talent, create records and promote the performer’s live shows.” (Johnson 2) With the access of new technology, it is changing the way performers are being created and how music is being produced. “While it’s true that the Internet has dramatically debilitated the traditional institutions that dominated the music industry, the Internet is actually aiding music as a cultural institution by transforming it from its flawed past to a brand new structure” (Johnson 1). And though many artists are still recording under a record label, technology is making it easier for artists to become self-made musicians. “Some of our favorite artists who made it big on their own terms, used Wix Music as the platform to promote their music online. With a plethora of online tools like EPKs, streaming, distribution and selling features available right from your Wix Music account, there’s no reason why you too can’t promote your music on your own terms” (“5 Self-Made”). The artist Macklemore & Ryan Lewis used this method to make it big. Other sites besides Wix.com that artists use to promote their music are: Bandsintown, Songkick, YouTube, Apple Music / iTunes, Last.fm, Reddit Music, Spotify, Twitter, Dozmia and the use of music blogs (“10 Best”).
Consumer access to music has become easier due to digital piracy. Music was originally promoted over the radio, transitioning later into both radio and being recorded onto videocassettes starting in the 1960s. With technology always growing, we were introduced to the compact disc (“CD”) in the 1990s. In the 2000s, we were introduced to the internet and technology has continued to grow more and more ever since. “Recent findings show that the majority of music listening occurs via computers” (Brown 80) through streaming programs/applications such as Spotify, Pandora and Apple Music, just to name a few. This eliminates having to go to the store to purchase the entire album just to get one song. Customers now have access to purchase individual songs or albums at a reasonable price through iTunes or Google Play, saving them money while adding convenience at the same time. Music lovers now have the choice of what they want to listen to without someone dictating it for them. No more commercial breaks or dealing with the “played out” rhythm of songs that radio stations tend to follow. How cool is that? It is so cool because users now have more control over the music they want to listen to.
Piracy began with the copying of videocassettes and CDs, but has become an ever more increasing problem since the introduction of the internet in the 2000s bringing peer-to-peer (“P2P”) platforms making free downloading and sharing so easy through programs such as Napster and BitTorrent. “The music industry holds P2P file-sharing systems responsible for a 25% decline in music sales after 1999, and it has identified unauthorized file sharing over the Internet as a major threat to its long-term survival with large negative effects on the broader economy as well.” (Goel 6) With a decline in music sales, that usually means a loss of jobs. Due to digital piracy being such a big problem, strict laws have also been created to allow prosecution of “internet providers as well as the most active file-sharers”. (Goel 7) So on the negative side, people are losing jobs and being prosecuted; however, on the positive side, the artists have more freedom and music access is more convenient. Which side of the fence are you on? For artists and consumers, digital piracy is a positive development in the music industry because the control is shifting from corporations to the people.
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