Music piracy is a conceptually abstract and intangible phenomenon that is considered to be the main enemy of the global music industry. However, this practice is not condemned unanimously by all parties involved; while artists may thoroughly despise it, consumers are very divided with regards to it. The discrepancy in how this phenomenon is seen lies in the fact that piracy is a very flexible term and can be moulded to fit any kind of argument. Therefore, before we even try to analyse the extent to which the music industry is damaged by piracy, we must firstly understand what piracy really is.
The Economic Times defines it as “the copying and distributing of copies of a piece of music for which the composer, recording artist, or copyright-holding record company did not give consent.” Dictionary.com makes an even broader definition defining piracy as “the unauthorized reproduction or use of a copyrighted book, recording, television program, patented intervention, trademarked product, etc.” If we use this definition as the only true definition of piracy, we can be accused of piracy if we sing under the shower and someone hears us. The American Federal law code, (Title 17, United States Code Sections 501 and 506), other than unauthorized reproduction, also includes the simple copying of the medium without any further use (e.g. for backup).
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