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The Six Day War, or Arab-Israeli conflict, was caused by previous feuds involving Israel and its neighboring Arab states. Rejection of Israel in 1948 and continued rejection involving an Egyptian blockage of shipping to Israel in 1956 were major precursors to the Six Day War. Israel, Egypt, Syria and Jordan were all major combatants in the conflict. The international community outside the Middle East and Arabian world were highly involved in the conflict as well. The Soviet Union and the United States did what they could to influence the events of the war. America’s involvement in the Six Day War was very sensitive. Already at war on another front, the U.S. chose its words wisely while reporting on the conflict. Egypt sided with other Arab nations calling for the annihilation of Israel. Egypt’s media was controlled by its government, so citizens of the nation heard only what their ruler wanted them to hear.

War: 1960's style. Image taken from think-israel.org.

The United States’ relationship with Egypt had always been somewhat tense. Egypt was able to build up its military capability during the Yemen War, and during this time Israel approached the U.S. for aid. The U.S. government was reluctant to help the small sliver of a nation, but in 1963 the Americans approved the transfer of surface-to-air missiles to Israel. The United States stated reason was a need to maintain a regional balance of power. By 1965 President Johnson cut all economic assistance to Egypt causing U.S.-Egypt relations to be worse than ever before, according to Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America. Such actions indicate the U.S. backed Israel whether admitting it or not. A June 1967 Universal Newsreel titled ‘Mid-East: Israeli-Egyptian Battle Erupts’ emphasized America’s supposed neutrality. The newsreel stated, “Our state department says we are neutral in word, thought and deed.”

An article published in Time during the Six Day War paints a different picture of America’s role in the conflict. The article states, “Risking national unpopularity and dissension even within his ruling Mapai party, Premier Eshkol, 71, has withheld Israel’s sword, counting on diplomacy and the good will of such friends as the U.S. and Britain to work out the problem.” Hence, the universal newsreel’s statement from the state department did not hold true. Leading up to the war, the U.S. pursued diplomatic solutions and sought to form a solution to challenge the Egyptian blockage on Israeli shipping in the Straits of Tiran. While the U.S. continued to refuse to aid Israel militarily, opposition to Israeli action began to soften in the beginning of June 1967.

In May of 1967, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Egypt’s prime minister, expelled UN peacekeepers from Sinai Peninsula and announced a blockage of the Straits of Tiran to Israel-bound shipping. The act violated previous armistice agreements and was regarded by most observers as a casus belli, or act of war. Due to these bold moves Arab governments began to endorse Nasser’s steps and prepared their own armies for war. Nasser made sure that Egypt’s citizens believed war was inevitable. Nasser in a May 1967 speech to the Arab Trade Unionists said, “Recently, we felt we are strong enough, that if we were to enter battle with Israel, with God’s help, we could triumph. On this basis we decided to take actual steps… Taking Sharm al Shaykh meant confrontation with Israel. Taking such action also meant that we were ready to enter a general war with Israel.” On the same day Mohammed Heikal, Nasser’s closest confidant and leading journalist in the Arab world, stated that Israel had no choice but resort to arms in the Egyptian newspaper Al Ahram. Essentially, Nasser was using his power and utilizing news coverage to persuade the Arab world to support his stance. Because Egypt’s media was controlled by the government citizens were more easily coerced into believing Israel was a major threat.

The Good Ol' Boys. Controlling media since before your mother was born.

Despite being up against multiple neighboring countries, Israel’s military actions were swift and precise. Israel launched a pre-emptive strike against the Egyptian army and air force. Egypt’s air force was quickly crippled, and a well-executed Israeli ground offensive routed the Egyptian forces in Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula in four days.  It wasn’t until the end of the war that Egypt’s citizens grasped the scope of their losses. The state-controlled media was reporting that Egyptian forces had penetrated deep into Israel, that Tel-Aviv had been bombed and the Haifa oil refineries set alight. The U.S. media, however, was quick to cover Israel’s victories. A second June 1967 Universal Newsreel stated, “The first crippling blow came early in the four-day war when the Arab Air Force was destroyed on the ground in air raids on 25 bases in three countries: Egypt, Jordan and Syria.” President Nasser accused the U.S. of aiding Israel in the air raids. The accusation was briefly addressed in the newsreel. It said, “Egypt’s charges that the U.S. and British air units aided Israel are vigorously denied.” Addressing Nasser’s claims in the media shows a major difference in coverage of the conflict in Egypt and America. Officials in the U.S. used media coverage to showcase our nation’s concern for the dilemma while promoting a diplomatic solution. Whether or not the U.S. was more deeply involved in Israel’s military action is debatable. Nasser used media in Egypt to gain the cooperation of his citizens, and then attempted to persuade them to continue fighting by falsely reporting major losses.

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Numerous musicians use Soundcloud to share their music with the public and often offer free downloads. Image taken from SOUNDCLOUD

The music industry has rapidly changed since the introduction of Napster in 1999. Shawn Fanning was a 19-year-old college student when he infamously introduced the original file sharing site. Fanning saw unused space on the Internet as a means for people to search and share files. Napster took off at light speed, but free music downloading began to grab the attention of several high profile music acts, most notably Metallica, that filed copyright infringement lawsuits against the directory. After a prolonged legal battle the site was eventually shut down. It has since reemerged as a digital music service.

Music enthusiasts seem to be split in labeling the sharing of music files theft or fair game. As a music junky myself I find the topic worth further examination. In Nick Bilton’s “I live in the future & here’s how it works” the author admits he sometimes downloads his music for free using a file sharing site. The author also admits he feels ashamed for doing so. Should Bilton feel ashamed? How do musicians feel about file sharing? How do music executives view file sharing? Through numerous blog posts I will examine these questions and more. Speaking with local musicians and music agencies in the Anchorage area I will elaborate on individuals’ thoughts and feelings on the matter.

To Be Continued…

Until then. Enjoy this.

(Listen)

Image courtesy of Laserwolf

Anchorage’s music scene has been growing in recent years. This is not the result a of resurgence in music interest, but rather the blowout of social media. Everyone plus their grandma can be searched and found on Facebook, and the same goes for musicians. Having a social media presence allows artists to spread their work. Local artist Laserwolf is no exception to the trend.

On a cold, windy night in early March, local musician Todd Armstrong aka Laserwolf agreed to speak about file sharing and the ever-evolving music industry. The 21-year-old virtuoso scratched his unshaven chin and sipped on a glass of orange juice and vodka while recording equipment was being laid upon an unstable dining room table.

Across the living room sat a record player; something you rarely see in a young person’s dwelling. Within Armstrong’s room is a walk-in closet occupied with thousands of records. Tucked away in the musician’s pocket is a 160 GB iPod Classic. The MP3 player contains close to 15,000 songs. Armstrong is obviously a music enthusiast. Someone so embedded in music culture would never think of obtaining music illegally. But such an assumption is far from the truth.

Armstrong began making music when he was 14 years old. He downloaded the program FruityLoops, now known as FL Studio, after being introduced to it by a friend.

Image Taken from FLStudio.com

“I downloaded it, the same program (FL Studio). I stole it,” said Armstrong glancing into the camera with raised eyebrows, as to indicate the “theft” of the software launched his music endeavors.

As Laserwolf’s Facebook page indicates, he has been DJ-ing since 2008. Since turning 21 years old, he has played many more performances than in the past. The tracks Armstrong chooses to play at his shows are largely obtained through Internet blogs, and he likes performing because it allows him to share what he has found.

“I like DJ-ing because I like sharing the music that I’ve heard,” Armstrong said. “Because in general people don’t know how to get music… The good music. You know, you gotta’ dig on the Internet. I don’t know. I think of it as a way of sharing music.”

Music options are now limitless thanks to the digital revolution. People can easily download the newest singles or albums available at the click of a mouse. Whether that click carries out a legal or illegal action is up to the consumer. Many have opted for the illegal route despite multiple campaigns funded by the largest names in the music industry. According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), an organization that represents the interests of the recording industry worldwide, close to 95 percent of music downloads are unauthorized, with no payments to the artists or producers.[1]

Treasure trove of “free” data

The majority of these downloads happens through peer-to-peer (P2P) networking. This networking is a distributed application that divides tasks or workloads between peers. Peers are equally privileged participants in the application. They each make a portion of their resources, such as processing power, disk storage or network bandwidth, directly available to other network participants. Sharing without central coordination creates peers that are both suppliers and consumers of resources.

Peer-to-peer networking, or file sharing, works in direct opposition to the music industry’s traditional model of business. A model in which they solely provided the goods (music) and clients consume. P2P file sharing became popularized by systems like Napster, and the networks tend to have a considerable emphasis on music.

P2P decentralized network. Image taken from Wikipedia Commons

New distribution methods have caused a power struggle between the industry and consumers. The dominant players of the old economy forcefully lobby in support of legal acts that target file sharing, such as the Digital Economy Act, which passed through the UK Parliament on April 8, 2010 and entered into force on June 12, 2010. The act grants the UK government wide-ranging powers to tighten copyright law. File sharing is focused on, with serious offenders having the speed or capacity of their broadband service limited or temporarily suspended. This means that the owner of a connection (café owners, universities or libraries) can be held liable, even if the owner is not personally responsible for downloading pirated material.

Others see file sharing as a positive step toward open and free information. As Birgitte Andersen of the University of London puts it, “New digital technology has the power to revitalize the cultural industries and the service economy, and to create more value for its businesses and its consumers. Through access to resources, low cost virtual premises and worldwide exposure, it opens up opportunities for businesses (no matter how small or big) and individuals, who have the determination and ideas to do something, providing they understand digital technology.” [2]

Regardless of which argument you find yourself in agreement with, the music industry has changed immensely in the past decade—Napster was introduced to the public in 1999. The industry is also struggling to keep up with the new digital economy.

“You can get anything. I had a really slow Internet connection and I would start to download a bunch of albums. I would go to sleep and wake up and have like five new albums. Yes!” Armstrong shouted clenching his fits for emphasis. “I can listen to these for weeks and be happy. They’re (major music labels) dead. They’re mammoths. They’re dinosaurs. They’re going extinct, and it’s inevitable.” -Todd Armstrong



[1] Andersen, Birgitte (2010). “Shackling the digital economy means less for everyone: the impact on the music industry.” Prometheus, 28: 4, 375-383.

[2] Andersen, Birgitte (2010). “Shackling the digital economy means less for everyone: the impact on the music industry.” Prometheus, 28: 4, 375-383.

(Listen)

Companies such as Warner Music Group, EMI, Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group—all of which are represented by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) and have close ties to the IFPI—were developed around content production for analogue distribution channels, which they have dominated for decades. According to the IFPI, these four music majors control around 75 percent of the global music market.

Image taken from DavidAirey.com

On the one hand, the providers have worked with this analogue broadcasting and distribution via fixed format, such as CDs, LPs, and—in the past—cassette tapes, which has been around for ages. These formats are limited, however, to how much data they can carry, and they make for expensive business models. Andersen stated, “Venture capital is required to cover risk in volatile music markets, which is one of the reasons why music majors, such as Universal and Sony, achieve control over artists and markets (radio, clubs, retail) and are able to sell cultural services to listeners at a high price.”[1]

On the other hand, there is now a large part of the global populace that grew up with Internet service providers, having made the Internet and digitization a large part of their being.

These new (new compared to the music majors) providers are not developing content or products, but rather they are selling services using the “technological and business opportunities of digitization. They include Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Ebay… and have acted as a forceful business group.”[2]

The music industry is lobbying against this movement, and while it may not be losing, blunders in their market strategies began long before the advent of the Internet.

Local musician and creator of The Alaska Commons Blog John Arrono traveled with two bands, Thought Crime and Sleep in Fame, from 2000-2005 as the bands’ lead singers. He has been on multiple tours and festivals, and has opened for acts such as Slayer, Hatebreed, Thrice, Face to Face, Machinehead and Papa Roach among others.

Aronno stated that the recording industry made a huge calculated mistake, starting back in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Looking to save money, the industry started to sign fewer bands, with an aim to also sign those bands to shorter contracts. In the ‘60s and ‘70s, most bands signed three or five album contracts; nowadays, thousands of bands get signed every year. It is likely that the majority of the bands will be dropped from their label before their first album makes it to the shelves.

Bow Wow Wow, where are you now? Image taken from Wall Flowers Society.

“The strategy was to depend heavily on revenue from hit singles rather than full albums and sustained careers. The brief popularity in the new media of music videos, likewise, took the focus off the music and onto the packaging. They gambled that they could cut costs while maintaining sales by concentrating their efforts on publicizing specific artists,” said Aronno. “The lack of variety, however, has vastly affected popular music. By scaling back on artists and not working to develop their talent into long and profitable careers, they have devastated their own industry.”

The recording industry views this strategy of signing and dropping artists ad nausea in a different light. In 2008, Universal launched Global Talent Services (GTS), a company that provides global services to artists’ managers. According to Universal Music Latin America and Iberian Peninsula Chairman Jesús Lopez, it aims “not to get new revenue, but rather to maximize operations, particularly for those artists who are on the brink of pan-regional development and need support in multiple companies.”[3]


[1] Andersen, Birgitte (2010). “Shackling the digital economy means less for everyone: the impact on the music industry.” Prometheus, 28: 4, 375-383.

[2] Andersen, Birgitte (2010). “Shackling the digital economy means less for everyone: the impact on the music industry.” Prometheus, 28: 4, 375-383.

[3] Cobo, L. (2008). The Face Of Change. Billboard, 120(15), 24-27. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

(Listen)

To musicians, the most effective tool for spreading music is not a service implemented by the recording industry. Rather, it is the Internet.

“All they’re doing is signing the artists, and they (the music majors) have connections to distribute the music,” said Armstrong. “It’s not like there’s any Sam Goodies anymore. The industry is dead and it’s all about the artist now. And through the computer, through the Internet, it’s artist directly to listener.”

As early as 1999, Napster demonstrated that there was high demand for digital music and that consumers were willing to trade the music quality of CDs for convenience, as they started downloading small files from huge, illegal, online collections.

Cha-ching. Image taken from gsmdome.com.

As Jason Rutter, professor at the School of Mass Communication Research in Leuven, Belgium stated, Napster showed that there was “an untapped potential for a new model of music distribution and consumption. What might be seen as a natural extension of early Internet utopianism for free exchange of information and a frictionless market had, however, a significant impact on the music industry and, in turn, other digital content industries.”[1]

A recent Bloomberg article titled “Digital sales hit the wall as listeners turn to streaming services,” stated that U.S. sales of all kinds of recorded music—CDs, downloads, and other formats—will fall to $7 billion in 2012, or a bit more than half their level in 2005.

Impact on sales has not been entirely negative. The most viable of changes in the music industry as a result of digital innovations was the launch of iTunes by Apple in 2001 to compliment its mp3 player—the iPod. By February 2010—a quarter in which it was reported that iTunes sales accounted for 28 percent of the U.S. market and 70 percent of U.S. download market—Apple had sold 10 billion songs through the iTunes store, and had a catalogue of 12 million tracks. [2]

Photo taken from The Garfield Messenger

The success of the digital download market has played a major role in revitalizing what was considered to be a dead element of the traditional music market—the sale of singles. In 2009, just 1.2 million vinyl and CD singles were shipped in the UK, contrasting with 113.2 million units in 1996. Thanks to digital downloads, however, that year the UK music industry managed to show its highest ever level of single sales with 152 million units being sold with 98 percent of these sales being digital downloads. [3]

Digital downloads are beginning to lose their new-car smell, however. The number of music enthusiasts using iTunes, Amazon.com, and other digital music stores has leveled off at about 40 million people, market researcher NPD Group reports. Audiences are increasingly turning to ad-supported streaming sites such as Pandora.

“I generally am introduced to new music through radio or Pandora. If I like a track, I’ll usually download a couple additional (tracks) off of the album. Sometimes, I’ll download the whole album. If I like it, I buy the CD,” said Aronno.

The problem is—at least for the recording industry—is those services are far less profitable than sales of individual tracks. “It would take 200 streams to make up for a single download,” said Robb McDaniels, chief executive officer of INgrooves, an online music distributor, in the aforementioned Bloomberg article.

Rutter explains it best: “Digitalization has driven a shift in the nature of the market from one in which music sales were focused on physical goods, to one where digital distribution and secondary markets are the driving forces behind income generation.”[4]

The future of the music industry remains elusive as Bond, James Bond. Not the suave Sean Connery Bond of the ‘60s, but rather the newest of the Bonds, Daniel Craig. Craig is a destructive Bond who uses force to achieve his objectives, not realizing that his actions are hurting rather than helping.

The recording industry cannot stop music fans from clicking that download button one more time.

Aronno believes that at some point the music industry will hit bottom and start to build a new model of operation from scratch.

“Artistic movements are always subject to peaks and troughs, and we’re going through an unprecedented trough, because private industry has been repressive of talent and the creative process. Major labels own the airwaves and use them to flood the market with Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift,” said Aronno. “The result is something a world away from a period of enlightenment. Industry has literally dumbed down music, and we’re feeling the impacts of that now. It’s why people are… playing games about music rather than writing their own music. At some point, something new has to happen. But that’s not going to come from the think tanks inside the major labels. Much the opposite, they will fight any change with ever cent left in their coffers.”

Your new best friend. Image taken from Fileserve.

Large numbers of people are using illegal download services to obtain their music, and while the demographic doing so may not surprise you (18-24 year olds) the view points of musicians using these services might.

“It’s better for the artist (file sharing) because everyone has the ability to listen to their music if they have Internet access. If they want 30 more cents… I’m not buying music,” Armstrong lets out a genuine laugh. “I don’t have money to buy music. I’m not in a union. I don’t have a living wage. My priority is: I like music, I like to listen to it, there’s nothing good on the radio, I don’t want to spend $1.29 on a mp3 that I could fuckin’ ‘steal’,” Armstrong raises his hands, gesturing quotation marks. “I guess, is a word you could use. I like the term borrow.”


[1] Rutter, Jason (2010). “Consumers, crime and the downloading of music.” Prometheus, 28:4, 411-418.

[2] Apple (2010). “iTunes store tops 10 billion songs sold.” Press release, February 25, 2010, available at http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2010/02/25itunes.html.

[3] Rutter, Jason (2010). “Consumers, crime and the downloading of music.” Prometheus, 28:4, 411-418.

[4] Rutter, Jason (2010). “Consumers, crime and the downloading of music.” Prometheus, 28:4, 411-418.

(Listen 1)(Listen 2)

Last year, songwriter and musician Evan Phillips started a booking company for Indie bands, dubbing the operation Monolith Agency. According to the Agency’s website, Monolith is an “artist-centered business who’s primary goal is to provide high quality booking and publicity services for independent musicians.   We believe that hard work and mutual investment over time is the best way for our artists to achieve a long lasting and gratifying career.”

Image obtained from Monolith Agency website

Phillips has been involved with music for more than 15 years. He is the lead singer for the Alaska band The Whipsaws; they have released three albums total. He is also a member of the Indie folk group Easton Stagger Phillips; the group consists of Phillips, an American songwriter and a Canadian songwriter. ESP has released one album in America and Europe. Phillips is embedded in the music industry. He performs and aids aspiring musicians to travel and spread their music. Thus, he must purchase CDs all the time.

Wrong.

“Honesty, I haven’t bought a record or song in over a year.  I either listen to Pandora, or sync my iPod with friends to get their music,” said Phillips. “I don’t consider it stealing.  In a perfect world, every musician would be compensated for every song that gets downloaded.  But let’s face it; any band that plans to make it in this day and age needs to have a live show.  Touring is the bread and butter of any band’s income.”

Aronno believes that file sharing is a double-edged sword. He stated it is probably the greatest tool that lesser known artists and bands can have to get exposure. Indie bands traditionally are not the ones fighting file sharing.

“Lars Ulrich of Metallica was the leader in the fight to break Napster, but he wasn’t exactly hurting, in terms of making money. It was just greed, and possibly some recognition that they weren’t making very good albums,” Aronno said. “Most bands are thrilled to get their music out there; most bands believe in the music they write, and thus depend on our better nature, as consumers, to respect their hard work and go out and buy their album if we like what we hear.”

People’s better nature doesn’t always shine through, however. A high number of downloads doesn’t always translate into listeners attending concerts. People download songs and listen to them at home rather than fork over $20 (or much more) to attend live performances. Despite sharing his thoughts on the negative aspects of file sharing, Aronno considers the current method of dealing with offenders as ineffective.

Image taken from LA Daily Journal Article

“I think criminalizing and prosecuting piracy is a pretty dumb use of time and resources. Technology always outpaces our ability to control, or even understand it. The only piracy that offends me is third party piracy; people who download with the express intent to repackage and sell it to someone else. That’s disrespectful to the artist. But downloading a band because you like their music? That’s a compliment,” said Aronno.

Armstrong explores multiple blogs to prepare his sets (lists of songs) for performances. Lacking an Internet connection this can be difficult at times, but whenever he has access to a computer he finds doing so useful and easy, being familiar with the technology. The spread of music through the Internet inspires the DJ. Inspiration doesn’t always spark enough interest to persuade Laserwolf to purchase music.

“I dig through blogs. I have a set number of blogs I go to whenever I have access to a computer. And I just dig through them, through the posts, and I might listen to about five albums at the time. Whatever I like, I download,” said Armstrong. “But I mean it’s the artists giving it to the blogs, so it’s not illegal…for the most part.”

It’s still P2P file sharing.

“Yeah, I guess.”

And you do that?

“…Yeah.

Do you consider it stealing?

“No. It’s overpriced. They’re just robbing me with their overpriced CDs. Why should I pay $20 for a CD when I can get it for free? I will only buy a CD if I like the artist enough.”

Music downloading is commonly identified as an activity that is predominantly undertaken by music fans.[1]


[1] Kinnally, W., Lacayo, A., McClung, S., & Sapolsky, B. (2008). Getting up on the download: college students’ motivations for acquiring music via the web. New Media & Society, 10(6), 893-913. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

(Listen)

Innovations in digital distribution (most often originating from outside the recording and publishing industries) have significantly changed users’ relationships to the music they consume.

Photo taken from stuffwhitepeoplelike.com

In a study conducted for New Media & Society, a sample of 630 college students participated in a music downloading study. Nine in ten, or 89.8 percent, of the respondents had downloaded music from the web. The participant pool was 69 percent Caucasian, 14 percent African American, 8 percent Hispanic and 8 percent other. The respondents downloaded an average of 265 songs in the past year and had an average of 677 songs stored on their computers.

The study concluded that for the most part college-aged individuals view music downloading—like other web applications—as entertainment. The conclusion raised questions about the purposefulness of the downloading. Some college students go to the web to download specific songs that they enjoy. Others appear to be less goal-directed and view downloading as a way to occupy time.[1]

Disposable income was the second dominant factor in making the decision to download music illegally, according to the study. It states, “The strength of the convenience/economic utility factor in this study reflects the respondents’ interests in the immediacy and accessibility of acquiring music via the web as well as the cost benefit.”[2]

John Aronno relates music to food. He stated that people will always spend some amount of money on music.

“Economic downturns don’t depress music, they make people turn to it. Music is what gets us through the worst of times. Piracy has become so prevalent because it is so convenient, not because people couldn’t afford to purchase the music,” said Aronno.

Evan Phillips believes it has more to do with making the best of your resources.

“I think it has a little to do with income level.  It has more to do with being smart,” said Phillips. “If 100 people are given the opportunity to pay for something versus getting it for free, my hunch is that at least 80 of them would choose to get it for free despite income level.”

The IFPI collected data in 2006 indicating that in the five largest European music markets (UK, Germany, Spain, Sweden and France), most of the users of legal music download services were newcomers to Internet music downloading.

Image taken from the Capitalist Shrugged blog.

Legal downloads of songs to iPods, computers, and other devices have stalled, researcher Nielsen Soundscan reports, growing just 0.3 percent last year. Also, a early digital money maker for music companies, ring tones, peaked in 2007 at $714 million and have since fallen 24 percent, according to data from researcher SNL Kagan.

P2P file sharing is illegal, and it is apparent to the people who do so that it cuts into the revenue of the music industry. This does little to sway this group, however, viewing the falling percentiles and millions and the money spent on campaigns to halt such operations as pure greed.

It is often referred to as ethically questionable behavior in consumption. Dr. Kyoko Fukukawa of the Bradford University School of Management argues that “rather than applying pre-existing universal moral principles, more than 80 percent of consumers make ethics related decisions on ad hoc and contextual basis, weighing factors such as cost perceived benefit and value against ethical considerations.”[3]

Other scholars argue that the music labels are now threatened by true competition from new Internet services providers. Their business models are based upon inclusiveness, interaction and competition through exposure of many artists, as well as high variety and low price for users.[4] Their direct and indirect economic effects can be huge, and they open up our cultures.

Toxic Music. Taken from the Lonesome Writer Amaryeahtajuddin blog.

One of the mechanisms the recording industry has tried to implement to fight P2P file sharing is depositing large volumes of polluted music files into file sharing networks. Some examples of polluting a music file include replacing part of the content with white noise, cutting the duration, inserting warnings about the illegality of P2P downloading or changing the song title.

Within public advertising and campaigning (funded by trade associations) the discourse of downloading illegal content as being unethical and immoral is common. There is an explicit intention to shape consumer behavior to benefit the industry by encouraging higher user spending on cultural goods.

The Music Matters anti-piracy campaign reminds consumers to “make the ethical choice.”

Monolith Agency is an example of how people in the music industry can continue to make money. Bands on the Agency’s roster tour heavily, and it makes a percentage of off every show it books for bands. Publishing and licensing songs are yet another way for artists to generate revenue.

“There’s a lot of money to be made in licensing your songs to commercials, movies, and TV shows.  My band mate Leeroy Stagger had a 45-second clip of one of his songs on Gray’s Anatomy a few years ago,” said Phillips. “He’s still getting residual royalties off that.  I’m pretty sure he got a check for $12,000 last year.”

If we decide to punish people, I think the most fitting crime would be for them to be forced to learn how to play the song they’ve downloaded on a musical instrument of the perpetrator’s choosing. But, again, as long as it’s not for-profit piracy, I don’t have an issue with it.” –John Aronno


[1] Kinnally, W., Lacayo, A., McClung, S., & Sapolsky, B. (2008). Getting up on the download: college students’ motivations for acquiring music via the web. New Media & Society, 10(6), 893-913. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

[2] Kinnally, W., Lacayo, A., McClung, S., & Sapolsky, B. (2008). Getting up on the download: college students’ motivations for acquiring music via the web. New Media & Society, 10(6), 893-913. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

[3] Fukukawa, K. (2002). “Developing a framework for ethically questionable behavior in consumption,” Journal of Business Ethics, 41, 1-2, p. 99-119.

[4] Andersen, Birgitte (2010). “Shackling the digital economy means less for everyone: the impact on the music industry.” Prometheus, 28: 4, 375-383.

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