The internet has been proven as one of the most important and practically one of the most awe-inspiring systems in technology that has been developed to aid better ways of communication and connection between individuals all around the globe. Ever since the introduction of the internet to the human community, the exploration of the different benefits that it provides the society with has been researched about, expanded and rather developed to make sure that the internet does provide the most convenient way of communications worldwide. Besides communication, the internet also aids in making it possible for files and documents to be shared online between individuals [who at times might not even know each other]. Relatively, such advancement has created a great bridge between organizations that entail to operate online. Other online schools and their students also benefit well from the said modern operations of technology. Relatively though, like any particular development or invention that aids the society towards modern advancement, there is always another side of the coin.
Amidst all the advantages that online information sharing has provided, there are particular disadvantages that has developed through time. Instead of just passing on documents in the internet, several users found a way to send in music and audio files of produced movies and music arrangements online (Chozick, 2012). Getting the latest productions and making them available online has made it easier for those who may not want to go to the theaters or perhaps buy their own DVD copies of the movies to acquire a file that would let them enjoy the said form of entertainment without having to pay as much. Back then, when it first started, the act was considered non-malicious as most of the sharers did not actually require money for their files to be downloaded by other users. Nevertheless, there has been the development of the different disadvantages of the act on the entertainment industry and how it is able to gain the profit that it supposedly deserves. At this point, coining the term “online piracy” began to give birth to what is now known as the illegal sharing of files over the internet (Lessig, 2004).
According to the surveys and legal records that RIAA or the Recording Industry Association of America, there are at least 56% of the supposed sales of the recording industry in America that results to nothing because of the existence of online piracy (Reilly, 2011). The agency claims that several internet users who undergo the file-sharing act should be stripped off from their anonymity thus making it easier of the agency to identify possible sources of online theft. This campaign by the agency however has been considered by most online users as a specific process of just stripping the market off from what they deserve to receive from the industry (Reilly, 2011). Users and sharers of file argue that the files they share are for free, thus should not be considered as something that they use to profit from.
Nevertheless, if the situation is closely given particular attention to, it could be understood how much the entertainment industry suffers from the act of online file sharing. According to Lessig’s (2004) book on Free Culture, the modern society has been lead to believe that because they are free, they are already allowed to do anything they may please do, especially if they are not even directly hurting anyone in the process (122). Due to this argument, sharers of file see nothing hurtful about what they are doing, in a way, some of them even believe that they are helping in the campaign towards promoting good and affordable products of the entertainment industry [both the visual and audio productions].
Nevertheless, it could be noted that the truth behind the matter involves the poor condition by which the entertainment industry is able to generate the ample amount of profit it hopes to earn from what it produces in the first place. What makes it harder for the entertainment industry to accept such condition of file sharing is the fact that the producers, the creators and even the actors put so much effort into the process of creating such pieces of work and yet they are not able to get ample earnings from it, although the popularity of their work may be accounted to be at a higher rate [because of their works being made free for the public to enjoy].
This is the reason why SOPA or the Stop Online Piracy Act has been introduced to the society (Reilly, 2011). Online sharers are then encouraged to stop sharing files that are considered to have copyright notes. Users on the other end are specifically directed to pay and download from legal sources hence making it easier for them to get their desired entertainment pieces at a much lower price than when they are to buy the records or the movies from particular distributing shops. Although the rule of SOPA was rather agreeable for most producers and the entertainment industry as a whole, online users argue that it is a specific move against their freedom as citizens who simply want to get what they deserve through free sharing (Chozick, 2012).
Overall, it could be noted that with the emergence of online piracy or online theft, the condition of the entertainment industry is being jeopardized especially that the ones who are engaged in the industry are likely considered to have been specifically robbed off from the efforts that they put forth just to come up with particular story lines and specific musical arrangements to entertain the public with (Smith, 2012). Whether it is for business or for the plain hope of sharing what one has for free, sharing or distributing something that is not personally owned by the giver is considered theft and thus should be stopped, may it be online or not.
Chozick, Amy (July 9, 2012). “Tech and Media Elite Are Likely to Debate Piracy“. New York Times.
Lessig, L. (2004). Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity. Penguin Books.
Reilly, A. M. (November 16, 2011). “The Stop Online Piracy Act: What Industry Leaders Can Do About It“. Industry Leaders Magazine.
Smith, Lamar (January 9, 2012). “Fighting Online Piracy (Letter)”. New York Times.