Should People Be Penalized for Downloading and Unauthorized Copy of a Song or Movie

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Should people be penalized for downloading an unauthorized copy of a song or a movie? As the era of technology has progressed, Internet advances have allowed peer-to-peer sharing between people around the world possible. This peer-to-peer sharing has manifested the debate of copyright infringement, and many CEO’s of major Internet companies have been convicted for copyright infringement. Although peer-to-peer sharing has allowed direct access to songs, movies and TV shows, it has also had several repercussions on copyright holders. Peer-to-peer sharing websites should cease to exist as they commercially damage copyright holders, steal exclusive rights without authorization, and allow unknown sources to copy information on personal computer data. Although some people believe that peer-to-peer sharing websites should be readily available for their low cost, these websites should be considered illegal as copyright holders witness severe losses in sales, employment and profits. As the renowned file sharing website Napster emerged, in 1999, Cary H. Sherman, chairman and CEO of Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), noted that the United States music industry had witnessed a major decrease in sales and employment decreased to less than 10,000 professionals (Cary H. Sherman). Moreover, Creative America, a group of Hollywood studios, explained, due to the abundance of peer-to-peer sharing websites, copyright infringement costs U.S companies $5.5 billion in sales a year.

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