Music Piracy In Peer To Peer Networks Information Technology Essay

The usage of Peer-to-Peer webs is highly popular between immature people particularly when it comes to happening music. Nowadays, that a great figure of families both in the developed and in the development states have internet entree, sharing files on P2P webs is an easy undertaking without cost. Due to the fact that this type of file sharing is free of charge and at the same clip easier and quicker than sing a music shop, P2P webs are mostly used particularly by adolescents who are chiefly low-income members of the Internet community and really lament on new engineerings.

However, file-sharing related to music, despite its advantages, has sparked many contentions between the music industry and the users of such webs. The music industry claims it loses 1000000s of gross due to “ illegal ” downloading. In this essay, we will seek to look into the existent impact of P2P webs and whether adolescents who are sharing their vocals are responsible for a worldwide worsening tendency on the gross revenues of music Cadmiums. Furthermore, we will contract down the research in Greece and we will analyze whether the planetary conditions apply in this state every bit good. Finally, we will suggest some solutions that purpose battling music buccaneering and we will analyze their effectivity.

The IT Background of the Issue

Before P2P webs were created, people used to portion music by copying Cadmiums. However, from the clip that the first P2P web appeared, things changed. The definition for a P2P web is “ a web of two or more computing machines connected as equal spouses able to portion processing, control and entree to informations and peripherals ” .[ 2 ]P2P webs became the most advanced thought for sharing informations, particularly music. A P2P web consists of equals that portion their informations and which are both providers and consumers.[ 3 ]This means that the vocals, alternatively of being stored in a cardinal computing machine ( waiter ) , they are stored in each equal ‘s difficult phonograph record.[ 4 ]So, when person connected on the web is seeking for a vocal, he really has entree to the difficult phonograph record of all other equals. This besides implies, that P2P webs do non hold the impression of clients or waiters but merely equal equal nodes that at the same time function as “ clients ” and “ waiters ” to the other nodes on the web.[ 5 ]Since we do non hold a client-server theoretical account but we have merely equals sharing files, we can qualify a P2P web as decentralized and hard to close down.

A P2P web is easy to utilize, that ‘s why this engineering became so popular. Users of such webs can seek for content by directing arbitrary questions into the system. The node that wishes to get down the hunt sends a message to all nodes connected straight to it. Each of these nodes will in bend replicate and direct the message to its ain neighbours. This procedure continues until eventually the file is found in person ‘s difficult phonograph record.[ 6 ]

The first P2P music web, Napster, was designed in the late 1990 ‘s, due to the increased popularity of the mp3 music format. In the interim, many similar webs appeared, such as Gnutella, Kazaa, BitTorrent etc. Despite many efforts to close down such webs, every twelvemonth 1000s of new users participate in this file sharing procedure and its popularity additions every twenty-four hours.[ 7 ]

The Music Industry ‘s position

Throughout the 1990 ‘s, the music industry was rather successful. However, during the last old ages, harmonizing to recent gross revenues statistics, there has been a lessening in the figure of units sold and a diminution of net incomes.[ 8 ]For case, between 1994 and 2004 the figure of the top 100 album sold dropped from 194.9 million units to 153.3 million.[ 9 ]In France, the figure of new albums released fell by 8 % in the first half of 2008.[ 10 ]Furthermore, harmonizing to the IFPI ( International Federation of Phonographic Industry ) gross revenues dropped by 7.1 % in 2002, 8.8 % in 2001 and another 5.0 % in 2000.[ 11 ]Equally far as Greece is concerned, in the last 10 old ages, the music industry has lost more than 260ma‚¬ and harmonizing to the IFPI Greece belongs to the list with the states where music buccaneering is more than 50 % .[ 12 ]So, what is the ground for the diminution of music gross revenues globally?

Some months before gross revenues began to drop and the net income of the music industry to shrivel, Napster, a P2P application was launched. In June 1999, Napster was released and made the work of many creative persons available on the Internet for free.[ 13 ]Napster gained popularity quickly while at the same clip the bead of the music Cadmium gross revenues started at a fast gait. The relation for the music industry was clear. P2P webs such as Napster were responsible to a certain extent for the lessening in their gross.

A individual file shared can ensue in 1000000s of illegal downloads and matching losingss in grosss.[ 14 ]Harmonizing to the IFPI ‘s appraisals, over 40 billion files were illicitly “ file-shared ” in 2008, giving a buccaneering rate of around 95 % . Furthermore, a Jupiter Research estimates that music buccaneering cost the music industry ?180m in grosss during 2008 in the UK entirely.[ 15 ]The Institute of Policy Innovation concludes that music buccaneering causes $ 12.5 billion of economic losingss every twelvemonth and that 373,375 occupations were lost due to piracy merely in the US.[ 16 ]In Greece, the employment in the music industry fell by 67 % in the last decennary, compared to the 1990s.[ 17 ]

As statistics show, the fact that music gross revenues decrease globally and that P2P webs are runing is non a happenstance. If we narrow the research, we can detect that most P2P web users are college pupils. The Pittsburgh Tribune references in an article that every pupil on campus thinks that downloading online is an entitlement.[ 18 ]This attitude shows that most of the college pupils are frequent users of P2P webs. As a pupil of a Barg College said: “ Obviously I knew it was illegal, but no 1 got in problem for it ” .[ 19 ]Clearly music Web sites and P2P webs play an progressively of import function for the amusement of the immature coevals who already uses the Internet as a beginning.[ 20 ]A survey in 2004 found that 58 % of pupils in two Universities engaged in file sharing, and that 40 % of their music was pirated.

Furthermore college pupils are more likely to prosecute in buccaneering than the general population ( 25 % versus 16 % )[ 21 ]since their income is limited and they have more free clip.

Each pupil owns 2508 vocals on his computing machine, on norm and they pirate approximately 150 vocals per month.[ 22 ]Furthermore, harmonizing to the same study, when pupils pirate 10 % more music through P2P web sites, they buy 0.7 % fewer iTunes vocals and 0.4 % fewer Cadmiums. All these are grounds that music buccaneering in P2P webs performed by college pupils hurts up to an extent the music industry and the creative persons. However, as Whitney Broussard, a attorney of the music-law house of Selveren, Mandelbaum & A ; Mintz, said, “ The sharing may be technically illegal but there ‘s no manner to halt it ” .[ 23 ]

Therefore the music industry relates the diminution of CD gross revenues with the operation of P2P webs. However, what is the point of position of the pupils about this phenomenon?

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Students ‘ Position

So far we have examined the music industry ‘s position on the issue of music buccaneering via P2P webs. However, there exists a wholly contradictory position from pupils who are users of these webs. The new coevals and particularly those with broadband connexions spend more clip on the Internet for amusement activities like listening to music. They have realized that the Internet is offering many new possibilities for amusement.[ 24 ]So, what do all these pupils think about music buccaneering?

The general thought is that file sharing “ non merely does n’t ache legitimate Cadmium gross revenues, it may even hike gross revenues of some types of music ” .[ 25 ]Harmonizing to the study of the IFPI, the digital music industry grew internationally in 2008 by around 25 % and consumer demand for music is higher than of all time. Entire music ingestion rose by one tierce in the US between 2003 and 2007.[ 26 ]

P2P webs users have assorted statements which support so above position. The most of import one is that downloading stimulates the involvement for new music. Since users have entree to big volumes of music and of different genres, it is easy to portion music from unknown creative persons and genres since it does non affect an extra cost. In fact, 44 % of the users download unknown music by known creative persons and 30 % unknown music from unknown creative persons.[ 27 ]Many creative persons have already realized that this illegal downloading may really assist. As Radiohead said on the BBC, “ this file-sharing activity is grounds of a batch of involvement in music ” and that “ illicit downloading does promote people to go music fans ” .[ 28 ]

Oberholzer and Strumph, two Harvard Business School Professors, characterize those who portion unknown music as “ sampling stations ” , which means that they download a vocal or two and if they like the music they are likely to purchase the Cadmium or see an creative person ‘s concert.[ 29 ]It is clear that the involvement for music is promoted and that new creative persons and vocals are discovered in P2P webs. Harmonizing to the study performed by IPSOS Raid in 2002, one tierce of the respondents changed their favourite genre.

Another statement is that the budget of pupils is non sufficient to purchase all the Cadmiums that they want to, and at the same clip Cadmium monetary values are excessively high, which means that the existent value of the CDs is overestimated by the music industry.[ 30 ]“ Buying a whole Cadmium at the monetary value of 20a‚¬ for merely one or two vocals that are deserving, is something that most of us ca n’t afford ” , replied characteristically person to the study conducted in the range of this essay. And this is the general position of most pupils.

Many creative persons every bit good seem to hold with this position. They do non hold a job if people portion or download their music for free because in fact they earn small from right of first publication.[ 31 ]However, the overestimated monetary values of Cadmiums are non the lone ground adolescents put the incrimination on the music industry. Adolescents blame the RIAA ( Recording Industry Association of America ) for the creative activity of misgiving among pupils and Universities disposals. Not in a few instances, RIAA accused the Universities which provide broadband connexions to their pupils, of the illegal file-sharing of vocals in P2P webs and gathered information about the pupils through the University.[ 32 ]

There are many studies that support pupils ‘ statements. One study is the 1 performed by Indicare in 2005 which states that “ two of three that have found a new creative person on the cyberspace have subsequently bought a Cadmium by this creative person and 16 % have bought more digital music ” .[ 33 ]Another research by the RIAA among those who use P2P webs showed that really music gross revenues went up by 3 % . Furthermore, as Nielsen SoundScan – an information system that tracks music gross revenues – reported digital album gross revenues totaled 66 million in 2008, an addition of 32 % .[ 34 ]

Local Survey

We have already seen the two contradictory positions on the issue of file sharing in P2P webs. Through a local study that conducted in the range of this essay we are traveling to follow the tendency in Greece. The study was conducted utilizing questionnaires ( see Appendix 1 for the complete questionnaire ) that were handed out to 85 pupils of ages 16 to 20. It was targeted to our school and to other schools in Greece every bit good. ( For full replies represented with charts see Appendix 2. )

From the first inquiry it is clear that most users have ADSL entree. ADSL is a broadband connexion, which provides increased bandwidth, so the informations are transmitted faster than with other connexions.[ 35 ]Hence, users with broadband demand less clip to download informations than those who have other types of connexion.

In the inquiry whether they use P2P webs to portion music, the bulk of pupils ( 80 % ) answered positively. This agrees with statistics from research conducted in other states as good. In Spain for illustration, 73 % of the population has P2P webs as a chief beginning for digital music.[ 36 ]Therefore so P2P webs are really popular when it comes to happening music.

In the following inquiry 41 % answered that they visit their P2P web about every twenty-four hours, something that can be justified. The questionnaire was handed out to pupils between 16 and 20 old ages old, who normally are normally of low income and at the same clip they enjoy surfing on the Internet and they have plentifulness of clip to make so.[ 37 ]

Answering to whether they know if it is legal to utilize P2P webs, 70 % responded that they were informed which shows that most people know that it is illegal sharing music. However, they are still non prevented from prosecuting in file-sharing. As it is reported in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review newspaper, after a study that was conducted among pupils, “ about 80 % of the 486 respondents knew it was illegal to download music without paying for it ” ,[ 38 ]something that agrees with the study ‘s findings. The surprising fact nevertheless, is that 30 % of those who answered the questionnaire have ne’er been informed whether sharing music is legal so these pupils really have the alibi every bit good that they do non cognize that they are making something incorrect.

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Another inquiry concerns the figure of vocals downloaded each month. Merely 17.0 % download more than 30 vocals per month, which means more than one vocal per twenty-four hours. Almost half of the pupils download less than 10 vocals per month while 38 % download between 10 and 30 vocals per month. The decision is that despite that most of the pupils use their P2P web rather often ; they are non all heavy downloaders, since merely few of them download more than 30 vocals per month. Hence, they can non be the lone ground for the diminution in the world-wide music gross revenues.

Equally far as the beginning of the music files is concerned, 70 % responded that their music files normally come from file sharing. This confirms the claim of the music industry – that P2P webs hurt the gross from the units sold since most of the vocals are non paid. And at the same clip, 65.4 % spend merely 0-20a‚¬ on purchasing Cadmiums per month, which confirms that Cadmium gross revenues are hurt since the major clients of the music industry ( adolescents ) spend less than 20 a‚¬ per month on purchasing Cadmiums.

However, 68 % of the pupils answered that they had discovered new creative persons or genres of music while utilizing P2P webs something that supports the statement of pupils that “ Downloading stimulates the involvement for new music ”[ 39 ]

Then, about half of the people ( 56 % ) responded that they are non likely to buy the Cadmium of the creative person after they discover a vocal which they like on the web. Since this per centum is near the center, it shows that those asked are distributed among the two sides. However, once more we should bear in head that the research is limited to less than 100 people. But in the following inquiry 57 % of pupils said that they had visited a concert or a topographic point where the creative persons that they found on the Net perform live, which is really a addition for the music industry, nevertheless once more this is near the center. Hence, these consequences confirm that this topic is really problematic since they are in the center and are non in favor of any side.

Finally every bit far as some solutions to the job of file-sharing, about 65 % of those who answered the questionnaire believe that sites such as iTunes, that charge you a little fee – are a solution.


We have already examined both points of position and we have examined as good whether statistics confirm the statements of each side. Still, the true impact of music buccaneering over P2P webs is a really problematic topic and both sides have strong statements to back up their point of position. So, are at that place any solutions that would assist both sides to accommodate and hold equal additions and losingss?

The first solution that presently seems to be most accepted by both sides is the creative activity of legal sites such as iTunes where you can listen to or download a specific sum of music with a little charge. The Chief Executive of Apple Computers, Steve Jobs, said that “ DRM ‘s have n’t worked, and may ne’er work, to hold music buccaneering ”[ 40 ], knocking the music industry ‘s attitude about digital rights direction ( DRM ) . For that ground he created iTunes, an unfastened online music market place, which became the universe top-selling music shop. Measuring this solution we can propose that such sites may supply an effectual solution to the job since they do non merely hold a broad assortment of merchandises but besides enable clients to purchase merely the vocals that they want and non the whole Cadmium for a little monetary value ( i.e. 1 $ /song ) . This seems to work for the music industry every bit good as music consumers.

Another solution marks high school pupils and college pupils through educational plans.[ 41 ]When the music industry realizes that attitudes have changed, so alternatively of actioning its ain clients it can put in some educational plans that will inform pupils about what is legal – 30 % of those who answered the questionnaire have ne’er heard whether file sharing in P2P webs is legal – and what is non. Furthermore these educational plans should inform the pupils on issues of right of first publication and rational belongings. They should besides show all the alternate ways of geting music alternatively of trusting on music buccaneering.

Furthermore, as Russell Simons, president and CEO of Rush Communications provinces, “ The civilization has shifted ” and the proposed solution is a “ originative duologue ” which is in understanding with the educational plans for schools and colleges. It should besides affect consumers of greater ages who should be informed on issues of file sharing and right of first publications.[ 42 ]Such a step, is likely to assist in the job of music buccaneering since people will be more informed about the great jobs for music industry associated with buccaneering, and at the same clip they will hold the opportunity to show their personal point of position that if taken into consideration by the music industry may take to solutions that benefit both sides.

On October 23rd 2009, the BBC published the article “ Europe backs down on buccaneering programs ” harmonizing to which new statute law is traveling to be imposed on many states across Europe and the chief marks are traveling to be P2P webs. This solution is much crueler than the old 1s since it involves Internet Service Providers ( ISP ‘s ) closing down the internet entree on heavy downloaders and users of P2P webs.[ 43 ]This is likely to convey the opposite consequences and shortly new engineerings will be developed that will do file sharing executable once more. At the same clip, as Ed O’Brien, the Radiohead guitar player, said on the BBC, “ It ‘s traveling to get down a war which they ‘ll ne’er win ” , when he was mentioning to the music industry.[ 44 ]Furthermore many creative persons are afraid that such a barbarous step may turn fans off from music.

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Therefore, we have examined the two positions of the issue of music buccaneering in P2P webs. The one position is that of the music industry which sees its grosss shriveling and the other position is that of adolescents, who are frequent users of P2Pnetworks, and who find these webs the optimal solution to the job of holding to travel to a music shop to purchase music and wage for it and at the same clip they have discovered other advantages of such webs as good. Both sides have their statements that they support with the consequences of the assorted researches that are taking topographic point in many states around the universe. However, my personal research does non look to give consequences that are in favor of merely one side, and while some consequences agree with what the music industry says, others contradict them and back up the opposite point of position, that of pupils. This shows that the attitudes for this topic are invariably altering and is non one that is right and one that is incorrect since both sides have right statements.

The job of buccaneering nevertheless still remains unresolved and for this ground there are some solutions proposed. One would hold been the creative activity of legal web sites such as iTunes that offer the same chances as P2P webs but do non harm the music industry to the same extent. Another solution could hold been the creative activity of educational plans, aiming at pupils that will inform about the impact of music buccaneering. The consequences of such a step nevertheless, will be obvious merely in the long-run. Finally the less effectual solution so far is the usage of statute law in order to censor the being of P2P webs. Therefore, we can recognize that there is a figure of steps that could be taken to work out the job of music buccaneering.

Hence, the overall decision is that the impact of file sharing in P2P webs, still remains a problematic topic that alterations every twenty-four hours and we should wait until new solutions are found that delight both sides, and the music industry, and the adolescents that use P2P webs.


Web Sites

Wiktionary, hypertext transfer protocol: // ( Accessed July 29th 2009 )

Wikipedia, hypertext transfer protocol: // ( Accessed July 25th 2009 )


How the Old Napster Worked, Jeff Tyson, hypertext transfer protocol: // ( Accessed July 29th 2009 )

Students aim to halt music buccaneering be equals – Bill Zlatos – November 21st 2005 – hypertext transfer protocol: //

( Accessed July 3rd 2009 )

“ Music buccaneering crackdown cyberspaces college childs ” – Anna Jo Bratton – Yahoo intelligence – May 14th 2007 hypertext transfer protocol: // ; _ylt=Anem7yWA3R0EXnApxocH9ZcE1vAI – ( Accessed June 17th 2009 ) –

Musicians hit out at buccaneering programs – BBC News – hypertext transfer protocol: // – September tenth 2009 ( Accessed September 26th 2009 )

Europe backs down on Piracy plans – BBC News – hypertext transfer protocol: // – 23 October 2009 ( Accessed October 23rd 2009 )

New York Law Journal – “ Privacy needs cardinal despite music buccaneering on campuses ” – Donald N. David – October 25th 2007

“ Apple ‘s command to stop music buccaneering protection may signal terminal to right of first publication system. “ – February 8th 2007- ( Accessed July 3rd 2009 )

“ Musicians hit out at buccaneering programs ” – BBC News – Ian Youngs – 10 September 2009

I- IˆIµI?I?I±I„IµI?I± I?I»I¬IˆI„IµI? I?I?I?I±I?I¬ I„I· I?I?I?I?I?I?I?I±I†I?I?I® I±I?I?I?I¬ ( Music buccaneering hurts to a great extent the music market ) – – 17 September 2007 – Accessed 30/5/2009


Tendencies in downloading and file sharing of music – Olle Findahl – August 2006

Decentralized P2Pnetwork architecture: Gnutella and Freenet – Jem E. Berkes – University of Manitoba – 9 April 2003

Measuring the Effect of Online Music Gross saless – Alejandro Zentner – University of Chicago

IFPI Digital Music study 2009: Drumhead

From the Boardroom to Classroom: Piracy Impacts and Solutions – Deborah Taylor Tate – University of Pennsylvania – Penn Intelectual Property Group – December 2nd 2008

“ Should the music Industry sue its ain clients? Impacts of music Piracy and Policy suggestions ” – Tin Cheuk ( Tommy ) Leung – University of Minnesota – November 8th 2008

Intellectual Property Crime Report 2007 – IP offense group

The Heavenly Jukebox – Charles C. Mann – The Atlantic Online – September 2000

Feliz Oberholzer-Gee interview by Sean Silverthorne, Editor, HBS Working Knowledge – Hemoglobin professor

“ Peer-to-Peer: Has the music Stopped? ” – Julia Hanna – February 3rd 2003


Tomorrow ‘s Technology and You – George Beekman, Michael J. Quinn, 8th Edition – Pearson International Edition

Appendix 1

Below I provide the complete questionnaire that I handed out as portion of the primary research.

Music Piracy Questionnaire

What type of Internet connexion do you have at place?


Dial up



Make you utilize Peer-to-Peer Networks ( like Limewire, KaZaA etc. ) to portion music?



If yes, how often?

About every twenty-four hours

Once a hebdomad

Once or twice a month

State which plan you use:

Have you been informed whether it is legal or non to utilize P2P file sharing to download music?



How many vocals do you download from P2P webs on mean each month?

Less than 10

Between 10 and 30

More than 30

Your music files come more frequently from original music Cadmiums or from sharing?

From original Cadmiums

From file sharing

Why do you prefer P2P to happen music? :

How much do you pass on purchasing Cadmiums?

0a‚¬ – 20a‚¬/month


more than 50a‚¬/month

Had you of all time discovered a new creative person or genre of music while utilizing your P2P web?



Have you of all time purchased Cadmiums of new creative persons you foremost heard on the Net?



After detecting new creative persons on the Net which are of your gustatory sensation, have you gone to any of their concerts or topographic points where they execute live?



If you find a vocal in the web and you like it will you so purchase the creative person ‘s Cadmium?



The music files you have downloaded are merely saved as play lists in your Personal computer or you save them in your mp3 or iPhone every bit good?

Merely in my Personal computer

Besides in mp3s, iPhones etcaˆ¦

How much clip make you pass on listening to music that comes from the Net compared to other beginnings? ( Answer with per centum i.e. 30 % ) ?

Do you believe that sites such as iTunes are a solution to legalising file sharing?



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