Illegal Downloads and the Affect on the Film Industry

13468 Words54 Pages
MEDIA@LSE Electronic MSc Dissertation Series
Compiled by Dr. Bart Cammaerts and Dr. Nick Anstead

Why pay if it’s free? Streaming, downloading, and digital music consumption in the “iTunes era”
Theodore Giletti,
MSc in Media & Communications

Other dissertations of the series are available online here: http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/media@lse/mediaWorkingPapers/

Dissertation submitted to the Department of Media and Communications, London School of Economics and Political Science, August 2011, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the MSc in Media & Communications. Supervised by Dr. Bingchun Meng.

Published by Media@LSE, London School of Economics and Political Science ("LSE"), Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE. The
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These trends are not confined to European or American music markets. Baidu, China’s largest online search company, recently signed a deal with rights holders to license music on its website for both free download and streaming (Hille, 2011). The surge in popularity has led some to believe that the digital music market represents the recording industry’s next sustainable business model, along with diversification into live events and merchandise. However, relatively little is understood about the consumer who uses a combination of legal and illegal sources to acquire music a la carte. In the decade prior to the Internet, the music industry was relatively healthy overall with worldwide sales peaking in 1998 (Baym, 2010). Since then, peer-to-peer (P2P) networks such as Napster have contributed to the decline in sales of CDs. There is some disagreement about the extent to which file sharing has negatively impacted the recording; however, evidence points to copyright infringement as a significant factor. The digitalization of music effectively removed the industry’s monopoly on high-quality reproduction so that illegal copies were of equal standard to the original (May, 2007). Concomitantly, the intangible nature of digital music has resulted in new consumption practices. Efforts to counter digital piracy have primarily used legal mechanisms to dismantle P2P networks and prosecute file sharers. More
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