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Make illegal downloading music files punishable by law All people who download files have got two options; download the legal way, or the illegal way. With legal downloading the buyer pays a certain amount of money for the music file he or she downloads, which goes to the artist, the record company and, in some cases, to the distributer of the file. But illegal downloading prevents record companies, artists and distributers to generate income. In addition, downloading music files on the internet has become increasingly popular amongst internet users. Around 95 percent of all music is downloaded without payment to artists or producers. ” (John Kennedy, Digital music report 2009, 2009, p. 3). It is crystal clear that illegal downloading has become a case of significant size and harms the total music industry. Illegally downloading music files should become punishable by law. Illegal downloading is actually a way of stealing files which do not belong to the illegal downloader. In everyday life you see shoplifters, bank robbers and so on. These crimes make it to the newspaper and the journals.

Illegally downloading music files is not a crime that is recognized soon, it is not that obvious as stealing fruits out of a grocery store. But in the end, it still is a way of making something yours which does not belong to you. This description is another way of pointing out that you are stealing somebody’s property. Looking from an economical or financial perspective you can conclude that artists, record companies and distributers of music are missing substantial amounts of money due to illegal downloading. “Independent research conducted for the BPI by Jupiter Research shows that the record business will lose ? 00 million in revenue due to illegal downloading in 2009. Between 2007 and 2012 the cumulative effect will be ? 1. 2 billion. ” (G. Taylor, The Guardian, May 22, 2009). Notice that these numbers are only counting the losses in the United Kingdom, according to that, it is obvious that the losses covering the complete industry are substantially larger. Due to the fact that the record companies and distributers are missing lots of money it happens that record companies and distributers go bankrupt. An example is Swing-In, a former local music store situated in Nuenen, The Netherlands.

According to owner Arno Maas, the store was suffering from decreasing sales due to the increasing downloading market. Running the business was no longer profitable, so Maas decided to strike off his store from the Dutch Chamber of Commerce in early 2008. Now we see that people lose their jobs due to decreasing sales and eventually bankruptcies. Unless bands, record companies and distributers are missing lots of money there are bands which claim to have no problems with people who are downloading their music illegally. An example of such a band is the Dutch band Voicst.

Frontman Tjeerd Bomhof pointed out that his band has no problems with illegally downloading music: “For beginning bands like us it is a way of gaining more awareness amongst public. We think we can earn back the money we’re missing because of downloading by selling more tickets for our gigs due to greater awareness. ” (2009, March 5). NOS Journaal op 3 [Television broadcast]. The statement that Tjeerd Bomhof makes may be true for him and his band but there are other bands which do not need this downloading to gain more awareness. Think of bands like Coldplay, U2 and Green Day, they are missing money due to illegal downloading.

Still, illegal downloading is another way of making something yours what does not belong to you. So, first of all illegal downloading is another way of stealing. In addition, artists, record companies and stores which sell music are missing lots of money. And of course it can cost people in these industries their jobs, which is not good for the employment. Unless there are people out of the music industry who claim that downloading music illegally is no issue for them, it is still stealing other people’s work, and there are bands which have got other ideas about this subject. Based on these facts we can conclude that illegally downloading music files should become punishable by law because it hurts the complete music industry.

Reference List: (Kennedy, John, Digital music report 2009, 2009, p. 3 of 32) http://www. ifpi. org/content/library/DMR2009. pdf (Taylor, Geof, The Guardian, May 22, 2009) http://www. guardian. co. uk/commentisfree/2009/may/22/illegal-downloads-isps (Bomhof, Tjeerd, NOS Journaal op 3 [Television broadcast], March 5, 2009)

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