Friday, February 2, 2007

“QotW3: Anti-piracy for music and other media”

Copyrights and piracy laws, what are they? Downloaders of illegal music have been prosecuted. A man was also caught for riding free on someone’s Wi-Fi network. I own many copies of CDs of my favorite singers Boa and Coco as well as a couple of novels. How amazed I am to learn of the corrected myths surrounding ownership of items like these! I thought the simple line of ‘prohibited sales, distribution and public performance of this work’ was just like that.

According to Brady S Kevin, owning a VD or CD entitles a person to limited rights, “all of the exclusive rights associated with that copyright” are the owner’s. (Brady 2007). It is not necessary to have the actual copyright notice on the work. Since 1989, creators are entitled to the rights of the works when they have made their stuff into a ‘tangible medium”, even if it is just a sculpture or a piece of recording.

The most prominent issue regarding disregard for copyright is that illegal downloaders of software are not buying the legal CD or work. The artistes do not gain from piracy at all( Felix Oberholzer-Gee Koleman Strumpf). They may even be out of job if piracy continues.

Strumpf and Oberholzer-Gee (2005) have surveyed that “less than 1 percent of album sales have been displaced by filesharing”, but other evidence disputes this. German teenagers fileshare more during their holidays to their American counterparts. The professors compared the number of files downloaded and uploaded were the same during the festive season and holidays. But they concluded that filesharing was not the cause of low sales in albums.

Educating the public about all these laws and infringements is the best way to stop the flow of pirated files. Fines and jailing will deter offenders, but I know the majority of my friends still want to engage in filesharing and downloading free songs . People just want to get free music, instead of buying the albums. Users can save the effort of burning their discs and simply channel the files into their MP3s. Recording Industry Association of Singapore (RIAS) found out 25 new cases recently in October 2006( Channelnewsasia 2007).

Instead of getting pirated copies, log onto to listen to samples. I like to have music when I am working on an assignment. Pandora is a web radio that enables users to match listeners with their preferences and gives only a small preview of new titles in the market. This is a very good way of listening to new works without violation of copyrights. One limitation is “Only six skips per hour are allowed, including those resulting from a thumbs down response” (Wikipedia 2007). Of course free services will have disadvantages. I like to “Create new station” when I am bored with the selection of songs.

Even if you only infringe on one song, which seems harmless, under “section 504” of US law, the rightful owner can “collect statutory damages of $750 to $30,000 per work”(Brady 2007). The law that the entertainment industry is determined to go after illegal copiers seems very frightening.

The startling penalties are also implemented in Singapore. Some of them were the first to be arrested in February for having pirated music files. (Channelnewsasia 2007) The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore does not think arrest will warrant an end to piracy. These will only warn the public that it is possible to be caught.

Should information be free? Rebecca Martin (2007) has compiled some arguments pertaining to this. Coates states the CC license is the answer. It enables the creators to decide how much of their work can be open for free public use. This is a very good idea. The creators can share, albeit a small amount and users can have a little preview. Then we as users can benefit from free information if we cannot get in touch with the original authors! A winwin situation for the CC license. US laws presently have a lot of restrictions on everything, even a small paragraph or word can have a dire impact.

Most people on this blog agree that copyright does not stifle creativity, rather, it stops others from infringement. So far, Green Day has chosen not to pursue their rights any further (Martin 2007). Yes some information should be free, so that we can have a variety of arts circling the network and exchange pointers. These are also pretty useful for research purposes.

In conclusion all rights reserved are for the authors and artistes only, and we may be aspiring songwriters next time, so we should stop piracy now! If you do not want to pay the fee to have the album, just go to to listen to songs. Many shops are now following the Heeren in allowing listeners to hear songs at leisure.

The References!

Martin, Rebecca (2007) Remix culture, a rights nightmare Retrieved Feb 2, 2007 from

S Brady, Kevin (2007) Copyright FAQ: 25 common myths and misconceptions Retrieved Feb 2, 2007 from

Strumpf and Oberholzer-Gee (2005) The Effect of File Sharing on Record Sales An Empirical Analysis

Retrieved Feb 2, 2007 from

Wong, May (Oct 17,2006) 25 new cases of illegal music file-sharing handed over to police Retrieved Feb 2, 2007 from

Wikipedia: Pandora music service ( Feb 1, 2007) Retrieved Feb 2, 2007 From

1 comment:

Kevin said...

Perfect! There are viable music listening alternatives as you've stated, such as and Good that you touched on creative commons as well. Full grades awarded.