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Mp3 Piracy

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Essay title: Mp3 Piracy



The trading of MP3's or digital music over the Internet is all ways going to be prevalent

part of the music industry, and is an unrealistic goal to try to control. The cost of controlling the

piracy issues over the Internet would cost record companies more money than what they are

losing due to MP3 trading. The record industry is trying to fight the major sites and companies in

court with copyright suits. Quinlan states " Although downloading music over the Internet and

playing it back on computer or portable digital music players has become increasingly popular,

major record labels have been slow to embrace distribution over the Web because of the difficultly

in preventing unauthorized – and unpaid – copying of songs."


MP3 is a file format which compresses audio files to efficiently store the audio data in files

that can be easily downloaded on the Internet. MP3 files are identified by the file extension

MP3 and require specialized players which decompress the files and then play the audio files like a

regular CD. For all practical purposes, mp3 files can be exact, near-perfect digital copies of the

original recorded material. In other words, an mp3 file is a near-perfect copy of a cd and can be

stored on a computer or other data storage media.MP3 shrinks audio files in such a way that

sound quality is preserved, but the file size is significantly smaller than it would be as a regular CD

song file. This means you are able, to download an entire song in only a few minutes. After that,

you can play the song instantly–as many times as you want--regardless of your modem speed!

Kimmel (1997) states " Quite simply, the technology behind the MP3 audio format allows for high

compression ratio and CD- quality sound. An Mp3 file compresses a sound file to one-twelfth its

original size."

(MPEG Audio Layer 3) An audio compression technology that is part of the MPEG-1 and

MPEG-2 specifications. Developed in Germany in 1991 by the Fraunhofer Institute, MP3 music

files are played via software or a handheld device.

MP3 has made it feasible to download quality audio from the Web very quickly, causing

it to become a worldwide auditioning system for new musicians and labels. Established bands post

sample tracks from new albums to encourage CD sales, and new bands post their music on MP3

sites in order to develop an audience.

The main legal controversy involved with MP3 file's is that they are being traded around

the Internet without the artist consent of the artist or record companies.

Kimmel (1997) states the following:

It seem obvious that the use of MP3 technology does not for the most part, meet the

requirements, set by the Copyright Law of 1976, to clam fair use for educational purposes.

These arguments can include protection gaps, where copyright treaties only protect

material for a certain amount of time, thus making produced and distributed after this gap

has expired legal. Another legal justification of bootleg recordings is that the copyright is

not owned by the artist, publisher, or record company, though this defense has not been as

successful as the protection gap defense.

This is what is making it easy for sites to be around such as and programs such as


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