Music Piracy On September 19, 2003, the Federal Communications Commission filed 196 lawsuits against citizens who were pirating music. The people ranged from a ten year-old girl to a seventy-five-year old grandfather, who had allowed his grandchildren to use his computer. The suits were filed against down-loaders who had pirated well over 800 songs. Only recently has the issue of file sharing become an out-of-control problem. The public is fascinated with having access to music without paying, or paying very little for it. Although down-loading is a common activity in households today, the FCC and artists alike find file sharing to be a hobby which must come to an end. Typically, the first step to promoting an album is to release the single on the radio. The audience grows affection for this song, and cannot wait for the C.D. to come out. However, thanks to the internet, people can have access to the single right after its radio release. File sharing solves the issue of waiting months to hear one particular song. In some cases, that one single happens to be the only good song on the album. Rather than pay eighteen dollars for twelve songs, in which only one holds significance, listeners are now downloading that solo track for free. Unknown bands also have a chance to introduce their music to the world; posting tracks online helps the musicians gain a following without going through a major record label. Websites such as Napster were a success because visitors could download as many songs as they liked without paying a dime. Eventually, the FCC found means to shut down the site, which led to the creation of such sites as Kazaa and Morpheus. Kazaa allows visitors to download up to two hundred songs before they have to pay a fee. After that, they are charged around ninety-nine cents a song. Napster made a comeback in the fall of 2002 by charging down-loaders around ninety cents a song. However, this minor charge came about only recently,…
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