In my younger and more vulnerable years, I remember standing in line at my elementary school cafeteria, patiently waiting for my daily serving of stale cardboard pizza. A friend of mine came up to me and started talking about downloading a movie that hadn’t even hit theaters yet off of some program called Kazaa. Me being young and extremely inquisitive politely asked him: “what the hell is a Kazaa?” And this, my friends, is when I first learned about file sharing.
Had I known how much of an impact it would have on the music industry in the years to come, I probably wouldn’t have taken it as lightly as I initially did. But fast forward over a decade later and here we are, wading through a war against file sharing that seems to tackle a new curve each year. It’s quite obvious that file sharing has affected damn near every form of media that we used to willingly shell out money for. But with a little research, you’ll find that the attitude towards paying for movies, music, etc has drastically changed. Several “internet pirates” have expressed their contempt for paying for their media as if the idea of spending money on music is taboo. In result, record sales took a complete nosedive and that dream for upcoming musicians finally making money off of their music began to stretch further and further away.. And once torrenting got introduced to the party, things only got worse.
But in order to make an omelet, you have to break a few eggs as the saying goes. Peer-to-peer sharing has gotten so out of hand that companies are finally finding ways to crack down on these websites. After huge uploading sites such as Megaupload were taken down, the internet po-po finally broke out their batons and started beating some pirate ass. Apparently starting July 12th, internet service providers will partake in the fight against downloading. If an ISP finds out a customer has been illegally sharing media, they will mail them a letter warning them that they have been caught. If this persists, they will send a following message confirming that you got their first one. If it STILL continues…well…remember Martin’s infamous line in Bad Boys 2? I’m sure you get the gist of it.
It seems these companies may be onto something. Last year, physical album and digital record sales have actually improved by 4.8% than where they were in 2010. It looks as if that at least some file sharers have hung up the towel and finally caved in to paying for their music. Are happy days for record industries finally here again.
Truly, it’s a bit hard to say. Record sales may have increased, but where there is a will, there is a way. It seems like file sharers are hell bent on not paying a cent for their Erasure discographies. Some torrent sites that were once taken down have been resurrected under similar names. It’s possible that it won’t be long until we see another Megaupload in the picture.
So will the pirates finally surrender their battle against the record industry? Or will we see soldiers of the media triumph over the endless stream of downloaders out there? It’s a bit hard to determine, really. We would love to hear your input on what you think the future of downloading holds. Do you feel that illegal downloading has finally come to an end? Or will we forever remember this day as the day we almost caught the pirates of the internet?