Do you respect your music?

Or, rather, do you respect the person who created it. You do realize, of course, that someone put a considerable amount of time and

One track may seem trivial, but spread that across millions of people…

energy into writing it? You also realize that it was then recorded, edited and mastered over dozens of hours before it was then prepped for distribution then, finally, put somewhere that you might obtain it for a fee, in the hopes that the people that did all this work might get something back for their labor.

The discussion about the music industry and its issues in terms of profit sharing is not a discussion that we should be having right now. So I ask you again.

Do you respect your music?

If you pirate music on a regular basis, or even just here and there, then I can answer for you: probably not.

But exactly how much of an impact does music piracy have on revenue?

As you can probably imagine, tracking music piracy is very difficult. There is no way to really know how many times something is downloaded illegally. How do you propose to track the cost of something that is never paid for? The best we can really do is estimate, and as we know, estimates are inherently flawed. That being said, take a look at some of these states from the RIAA  (Recording Industry Association of America):
-In the decade since peer-to-peer (p2p) file-sharing site Napster emerged in 1999, music sales in the U.S. have dropped 47 percent, from $14.6 billion to $7.7 billion.
-From 2004 through 2009 alone, approximately 30 billion songs were illegally downloaded on file-sharing networks.
-NPD reports that only 37 percent of music acquired by U.S. consumers in 2009 was paid for.

According to a blog post on the blog Freakonomics, TheStop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) that online piracy (in all forms) costs the US economy somewhere between $200 and $250 billion a year and are responsible for the loss of some 750,000 jobs. Some estimates are much more conservative, closer to $58 billion.

Now, it should be noted that these numbers include all digital piracy, not just music. But this number is clearly still in the billions of dollars.

Mark Twain once said that there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. Although this can be most certainly true, I believe that there is a definite problem when it comes to music piracy.

To you, music piracy may seem like no big deal. You download a song or to illegally, no one is the wiser. And really, does one song really hurt? Well… Imagine if 1 million people said that. Actually, we don’t have to imagine…

Categories: Internet Music