Napster

“Napter and Online Piracy” by Shane Ham and Robert D. Atkinson talks about the some of the troubles that have come with the invention of Napster.   While they recognize that Napster is very beneficial for artists that may want to share their music for free, they declare that the way users used Napster was detrimental to the music industry.   They also briefly allude to what technologies like Napster in the digitized age could mean for the future (now past perhaps?) of the book and movies.
Some people claim that artists shouldn’t worry about the illegal sharing that goes on because most of their revenue is gained from shows, and actually being a performer.   Even before the digitized age, mainstream musicians were making the majority of their money from concerts; however, in this pre-digitized era, they were concerned about revenue from both sources.   Why should it be different now?   I think that it was beneficial to compare this logic to Barnes and Nobles and their book sales because the ability of sharing material through the Internet has not only had an effect on the music industry, but on many other industries as well.

I wonder how much revenue the Internet has cut into from the movie industry.   A lot of profit is made from people actually going to see the film in the theater, but a lot is also from DVD (formerly VHS) sales.   The Internet negatively affects both sales.   Personally, I no longer buy or rent DVDs because of the accessibility of free movies found on campus.   Before I came to Pomona I would go to the movies on average about once a month.   Now that I’m here and am able to access the Network, I haven’t gone to the movies since August.

Just as Ham and Atkinson argue, intellectual property must be protected.   To do this, we must find a way to stay ahead of technology and educate policy-makers (since as the article states, teenagers are often more knowledgeable than adults).   It seems to me that it would also be very beneficial to change the mindset of those downloading illegally.   Theaters and films have run ads that try to guilt people about piracy; however, these ads are ineffective.   This is because the culture surrounding illegal downloading no longer carries any guilt.   I know I never feel guilty.   To get things to change, we definitely need to change the thinking and reasoning behind illegal sharing.

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