The music industry sees illegal music downloading as a big problem. In recent years the industry has pushed for stricter copyright laws and harsh punishments for music pirates. Studies, however, are divided as to whether illegal downloading decreases legal sales much.
In 2002, 803 million CDs were sold. This was 80 million fewer CDs than 2001 and raised fears in the recording industry about the effects of illegal downloading.
A 2001 study by Peinz and Waelbroeck concluded that illegal downloading decreased legal music sales by 20 percent from 1998 to 2002. A 2007 study by Oberholzer-Gee and Strumpf, however, found that illegal downloading decreases sales by only 0.7 percent.
A correlation between decreased CD sales and illegal music downloading does not mean that one caused the other. Alternate explanations include increased sales of DVDs, computer games and other entertainment and the availability of legal MP3 downloads of singles rather than entire albums.
Illegal downloading may be a benefit to the music industry because it increases exposure, especially for lesser-known artists.
The consequences for music pirates can be severe. In July 2009, a downloader was ordered to pay $675,000 to the RIAA for the illegal sharing of 30 songs.
What Are the Dangers of Downloading Music?
For serious music fans, nothing beats the ease of downloading their favorite sounds off their computer. However, the convenience masks a host...
How Does Downloading Music Affect the Economy?
Although actual financial figures are unknown, an August 2007 Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI) study estimated that billions of dollars are lost...
Negative Effects of Downloading Music
Music downloads from file-sharing sources have become increasingly popular since the advent of Napster in 1999. Downloads are easy to locate and...
The Cons of Illegally Downloading Music
Since music became available in digital formats, it has become much easier to obtain music illegally. Copyright law is necessary to protect...
The Disadvantages of Downloading Music
In February 2013, someone on the planet downloaded iTunes' 25 billionth song. At that moment, people around the world were also downloading...
Illegal Music File Sharing Consequences
File sharing is a convenient way for music fans to download music for free, but many think it is a form of...