Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility in the Music Industry

1754 Words 8 Pages
Since the music industry is quite diverse it is consequently impacted by a great number of ethical issues. The issues span across the production side to the consumptions side of music. They issues deal with things as inconsequential as lip syncing to the breaking of laws when stealing music. Although there are a lot of different areas that can be examined within the industry, the most important ethical issues fall under the category of compensation.

The first major aspect of compensation is in regard to royalties. Royalties are defined as “an amount of money that is paid to the original creator of a product, book, or piece of music based on how many copies have been sold” according to Webster’s dictionary. Artists
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The question then became “Just because we can get the music we want without paying for it, should we?” (Tyson, 2000, p.1). This issue of illegal downloads, which is also referred to as piracy, has been a hot topic ever since the introduction of Napster. According to Recording Industry Association of America “In the decade since peer-to-peer (p2p) file-sharing site Napster emerged in 1999, music sales in the U.S. have dropped 47 percent, from $14.6 billion to $7.7 billion” (RIAA, 2014).
When people illegally download music they are robbing the artists of royalties. The fact that people are increasingly stealing music begs a further question of how slippery this slope is. Will the music industry stop making money altogether because people can just find a way to get their music illegally? While this is the far extreme it is important to note the far reaching implications of what this could mean for the industry. Striking losses of profits would cripple artists and everyone involved in producing or distributed the music. An example of how the music industry is losing profits on royalties is evident with the declining us of CDs. Today, the CD is becoming an outdated and inferior product that only true fans of an artist will seek out. Another example is when music is being purchased legally online. When consumers purchase online music it is almost always going to be a lower cost. As a consumer, you have the option to just buy the songs you like.