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MP3 I Want My MTV The Ethical Implications of Downloading Mp3s What is the RIAA? Recording Industry Association of America Represents +500 companies related to musicians, artists, and producers Members are responsible for 90% of the music released in the U.S.

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i want my mtv


I Want My MTV

The Ethical Implications of Downloading Mp3s

what is the riaa
What is the RIAA?
  • Recording Industry Association of America
    • Represents +500 companies related to musicians, artists, and producers
    • Members are responsible for 90% of the music released in the U.S.
      • Includes: BMG, EMI, Sony, Tommy Boy, etc.
according to the riaa
According to the RIAA...
  • Online Piracy
    • Playing or downloading songs and lyrics from the Internet…
      • Without authorization
      • Without compensating the artists
  • Downloading even one song is piracy, even if it is not resold.
the riaa is a large proponent of the sdmi
The RIAA is a large proponent of the SDMI
  • Secure Digital Music Initiative
    • Blueprint of standards for electronics manufacturers and software engineers
      • Designed to limit the number of times a music file can be copied
      • Helps to enforce copyrights
  • Will likely go the way of the Betamax
    • Would take away freedoms and institute rules where there presently are none
      • Not consumer friendly
what have they done about mp3s
What have they done about MP3s?
  • Legislate
    • v. Diamond (Rio)
        • Lost. Court found Rio wasn’t a “digital recording device” and therefore not subject to government regulation
    • v. Mp3.com (Instant Listening and Beam-it)
        • Ongoing. RIAA claims lawsuit has nothing to do with MP3s, only with the fact that mp3.com copied 45,000 CDs they did not license.
    • v. Napster
        • Ongoing. RIAA found virtually all traffic across Napster’s servers was illegal, even though Napster does not actually host any MP3 files.
also the riaa has
Also, the RIAA has…
  • Harassed
    • 71 Carnegie Mellon students had internet privileges revoked in November, 1999
      • Result of unannounced, random search of 250 student files, some were password protected.
      • Dean of Student Affairs at CMU said search was instigated by RIAA after they threatened the University with legal action
riaa s soundbyting campaign
RIAA’s Soundbyting Campaign
  • 300 universities around the country
  • According to RIAA, has resulted in a 10% drop in university music sites offering illegal downloads

“We’re finding sites with fewer songs

available for download. . .”

-From RIAA’s 1999 MidYear Anti-Piracy Report


“…are becoming harder to find.”

-Frank Chreighton

RIAA Senior Vice President

Director of Anti-Piracy

where can i find mp3s
Where can I find MP3s?
  • The Web
    • AudioFind.com, mp3.lycos.com
  • Napster / Macster
    • www.napster.com, www.macster.com
  • AppleTalk Network
    • Choates, Mass Row, River Cluster, etc...
  • Your Hard Drive
    • Admit it.

Official Release Date:

February 29, 2000

how much does the industry lose
How much does the industry lose?
  • “$5 billion every year to piracy worldwide--$1 million a day in the U.S.”
    • Some math:
      • $1 million X 365 days = $365 million/yr in U.S.
      • $5 billion - $365 million……hmmm…
      • Are college campuses really doing that much damage?
will the mp3 boom destroy the industry
Will the MP3 boom destroy the industry?
  • By midyear 1999, U.S. market had sustained 1998’s “phenomenal increases,” and added 7% growth in sales.
  • Net value of all products shipped in the U.S. = $6.0 billion by midyear 1999
  • “CD Album Product at an All-Time High”

-RIAA 1999 Midyear Shipment Report

can mp3s be used for good as well as evil
Can MP3s Be Used for Good as Well as Evil?
  • Mp3.com also provides a distribution service for unsigned bands
    • 56,000 songs from 11,000 artists
    • Band “Red Delicious” has #2 hit on the site’s Top 40, and will open for Tom Petty
      • Has 3rd top selling CD on Mp3.com’s DAM label
      • Total CD sales? 600.
      • But, has received calls from several major labels due to their exposure on the website
many artists support mp3s
Many Artists Support Mp3s
  • “I love the freedom…You don’t have to answer to A&R...We don’t have to play by anyone else’s rules.”
        • Darryl McDaniel, Run D.M.C.
  • “What you’ve got is…a balancing out…everybody will have to share a little bit more” “The beautiful thing now is I’ll have a producer, I’ll have an artist, and he’ll go and cut a song and the next day it’s up…It’s like -- boww! -- it’s out.”
        • Chuck D, Public Enemy
my opinion
My Opinion
  • Downloading illegal mp3s is, technically, ethically wrong
      • Analogous to walking out of a music store with an armful of CDs without paying
      • Cheats the artists, the stores, and the record companies
      • RIAA claims this piracy is why the price of CDs continually increases
but it just feels so good
But it just feels SO good...
  • Great for those one-hit wonders
      • “Video Killed the Radio Star,” “867-5309”
          • Who really wants to buy those albums?
  • Who wants to pay $20 for a CD, regardless?
      • Many believe MP3 craze was fueled by exorbitant in-store music prices
  • Perhaps not as rampant as RIAA would like you to believe
      • Mp3’s are “basically a rich white kid’s game.”
          • Scott Smith, president of Digital On Demand
      • Meaning, there’s a select crowd with access, and even fewer who choose to use it.
  • RIAA: Too little, too late
      • Left picking up the pieces.