In 2009, digital music sales revenues increased by $4.2 billion. However, total revenue fell by 12%. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry blames digital piracy for much of slump in profits.
The Federation also estimated that illegal downloads now account for almost 95% of all music downloads.
The music industry is not the only area that is annually hurt by digital piracy. Motion Picture Association of America estimates that movie piracy costs major studios $6.1 billion in profits each year.
Bilo Hoese, a junior, takes pride in illegal downloading and believes that pirating is an American duty.
“We’re bringing back the glory days of the tri-cornered hat era! I just download whatever my sister can get.”
“It’s great,” said Tim Wolf, a junior. Wolf enjoys the economic value of illegal downloading. “I save so much money.”
According to a recent Leesville Road High School student body survey, 46 percent of Leesville students admit to have illegally downloaded a movie, song, etc. sometime in their lifetime. Of the 46 percent, about 15 percent admit to pirating at a regular basis.
“I also know for a fact that my friend, who I will not specify, illegally downloads a bunch of stuff like movies every Friday or songs every day,” said Matthew Conrad, a freshman.
Although Conrad does not agree with illegally downloading, he does not think much should be done about the problem.
“Of course, I never download anything illegally. But I don’t think people should make a big deal out of it either. All these movie stars and artists make plenty of money already anyways.”
Cory Scheviak, a junior, believes that the indifference is the main source for the pirating.
“I think it’s too easy and people and the government need to step up and put in more security.”
Bobby Nevins agrees with Scheviak. “The thing is, international copyright laws protecting artists are weak, and as long as they remain weak, any American efforts to reduce pirating will be completely overrun by foreign websites and companies offering American music for only cent of their dollar value.”
In recent legislative actions, the government has set a secret goal to reduce illegal filesharing of songs and movies by up to 80 percent by 2011.
“It’s about time the government did something. When you think about it, why would anyone buy a song for a dollar when they can get it for two cents?”