Intellectual Property and the Future of the Music Industry Essay

2398 Words10 Pages
Corruption, Conscience, and Copyright: The Current State of Intellectual Property and the Future of the Music Industry “Today’s pirates operate not on the high seas but on the Internet, in illegal CD factories, distribution centers, and on the street. The pirate’s credo is still the same--why pay for it when it’s so easy to steal? The credo is as wrong as it ever was. Stealing is still illegal, unethical, and all too frequent in today’s digital age. That is why RIAA [Recording Industry Association of America] continues to fight music piracy.” – RIAA.com The human conscience is a powerful tool. And if you are like most Americans, you probably consider yourself to be a rather moral person, at least based upon your own morality,…show more content…
But why, then, do millions of Americans continue to download copyrighted material from the internet? Perhaps, despite legal prohibition, most consciences do not consider it immoral. And perhaps these millions of American consciences are correct. Let me make it clear, there is no doubt that property rights are a necessary feature of a successful economy. This certainly includes intellectual property rights, which ensure quality and consistency for buyers, and secure incentives for continued production by the sellers. However, intellectual property rights are inherently more abstract than rights concerning physical property, and there has always been a legally interpreted grey area concerning intellectual property. Intellectual property, unlike physical property, is non-rival. If a good is rival, it means that one person’s use of the object will diminish another person’s use of that object, as in the example of an apple: one person’s eating of an apple will diminish another person’s ability to eat that apple. Intellectual property, on the other hand, is not rival, meaning one person’s use will not diminish another person’s use. For example, one person’s viewing of a painting will not diminish another’s experience of that painting, or one person’s listening to a song will not diminish the experience of another person listening to that same song. The non-rival nature of
Open Document