Piracy in the Media Essay example

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Piracy in the Media

In today’s technological age and consumer-driven economy, it is not a surprise that media piracy is a big business. It is estimated that in one year $12.4 billion worth of business is stolen from original manufacturers by media pirating. Piracy, the illegal copying or counterfeiting of copyrighted material, is a major problem for a vast range of industries (Ang, 2001). For example, just in the recorded music industry, “music pirates account for almost $300 million in lost record sales annually in the United States” (Gray Zone, 2002), and that is just in the U.S. More is lost in foreign markets. This not only affects the media manufacturers but also the consumers of the media. They become the victims of
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What exactly can be copyrighted? Basically, anything that you can hear, see, and touch can be protected, and copyright protection immediately begins when the product produced is created and fixed in a tangible form, such as on paper or saved into a computer (Copyright, 2002). The punishment for copyright infringement, otherwise known as piracy, can be extremely severe. The federal U.S. Copyright Law, which establishes copyright protection, states that “copyright infringements are punishable by up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines” and “up to ten years in prison for repeat offenders” (Copyright, 2002), but even with such harsh punishments, piracy is still very prevalent in our society in all media forms.

The Industry Fights Back

In this day and age, it seems that the vast majority of people own a computer. Many of these computers have the capability of writing or “burning” compact discs, and the content of these burned discs are likely to be pirated music, movies, or computer programs. Pirating these types of media can save the consumer a lot of money by not going to the store to purchase these items. Instead the Internet has provided the user with a plethora of content to pirate, but what about the creators and producers of such media? The heads of the movie companies and the music industry are doing everything they can to prevent piracy from ad campaigns to computer software in the hopes of salvaging their…

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