Music Sharing Online Essay

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EN 132 17 April 2009 Music Sharing Online Is Not Wrong. When faced by a federal jury, a Minnesota woman named Jamie Thomas fell into despair after receiving a devastating verdict. Thomas was ordered to pay $ 9,250 for each of the 24 songs that were shared. (Freed 1) Some record companies say that cases like these “sends a message” to not share music online. It also sends a message to people who legitimately share their music online; they are criminals, no different than a common thief. The music industry has targeted ordinary people for online music sharing since 2003. Since that time, there has been a said “war” between the music industry and people who use peer to peer networks for file sharing. Record companies have filed over 26,000 lawsuits over online music sharing since the lawsuits began in 2003. If prosecuted for copyright infringement, a file sharer can face up to 5 years in prison and pay up to $250,000 in fines. (Freed 2) Music companies have argued that sharing music online hurts their sales. Many people who have been outraged by the punishment that music sharers face have argued that it actually helps artists and record companies. As technology develops, the music industry will continue to be hurt unless it develops with the growing internet use for music. Since the birth of high speed internet, such as cable, broadband, and DSL, P2P networks have sprung up in millions of homes and the popularity of file sharing has grown tremendously. In April 2003, 6.9 million households began to use file sharing programs monthly before the lawsuits began. Now even after the thousands of successful law suits, the number of music sharing households has risen to 7.8 million from the month of March 2007. People who work for record companies are also hurt by the growing technology. Record companies argue that all the hard work, money,

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