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Positives And Negatives Of The Internet

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This essay will discuss both the positives and negatives of the Internet and how it has impacted on the music industry. Piracy, distribution and networking are just some of the aspects that have drastically changed the music scene since the arrival of the Internet. Has the Internet changed the music industry for the better or worse?

In the early 1960s a computer scientist called J. C. R. Licklider proposed “the concept of a Galactic Network”. Investintech (2009) Licklider could see that having access to things like software, digital libraries and banking all on a global network could be revolutionary. This idea of a global network of computers “ultimately led to the creation of the ARPANET”. Raychel Rappold (2014) The ARPANET, which is
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CNN Money (2010) Millions of downloaders were attracted by this prospect of free downloads, which then quickly led to the attraction of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and artist such as Lars Ulrich of Metallica. This eventually led to a court order to shut Napster down. “A heated legal battle between Napster and the RIAA ends in March with an injunction against the site. Napster shuts down its network in July, declares bankruptcy, and is later reborn as a legal music subscription service in 2001”. Gearlog (2010)

The MP3 file format enabled music files to be shared with great ease across all computer systems. “The development of the MP3 compression standard in the early 90s allowed vast amounts of digital audio information to be compressed into manageable files”. David Hesmondhalgh (2007) While the MP3 file format has its positives such as being digital, relatively small in file size and maintaining good sound quality it also meant it was very easy to share for free over the Internet.

Digital downloads have largely contributed to lack in CD sales and even forced some stores to close down or revaluate their businesses. In 2004 Tower Records declared bankruptcy due to digital downloading. “Tower, has been unable to cope with competition from digital downloading and file copying”. BBC News (2004) The RIAA released a report stating that streaming services such as Spotify overtook CD sales last year, which is the first time in
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