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Consequences of Illegal Downloading Essay

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Updated: Sep 13th, 2021


Internet piracy mainly refers to downloading of intellectual property such as movies, television, music, games and software programs via the Internet. Illegal downloading of movies via the Internet occurs in different ways. One is file sharing commonly experienced in colleges. Other ways through which Internet piracy occur include pirate servers, websites and hacked computers. A single file posted on the Internet can result in millions of down loads bringing a great loss to the music industry.

The movie industry has contributed a lot to the growth of the U.S economy. But my worry is that most people including colleges don’t recognize that illegal down loading causes a lot of problems to the movie industry. Computers are normally meant for learning purposes and research but most students have been found using the Internets for down loading movies and songs. The illegal downloading presents the greatest threat to the economic basis of movie making. Theft on movies actually hurts the local business in the entire community in United States. For example illegal downloading of movies in United States currently cost each video store almost more than $10,000 per year (Quirk36). It therefore means that illegal downloading of movies via the Internet is like tax evasion, which can only be stopped by forcing people to take the legal consequences. Due to the problems caused by this dirty act the so-called Internet piracy, I have decided to highlight some of the impacts it has on the industry in the entire United States. The illegal down loading of movies brings a big loss to the economy of the moving making in United States. Those who participate in this game have been invading taxes.As a result they threaten the economic security of the technicians, craftsmen and artisans who have put a lot of effort in creating these movies. If appropriate measures are not taken the intellectual rights of these people will not be protected (Scott 52).

This paper therefore gives some of the impacts that illegal downloading has on the movie industry. It has been presented after a postal questionnaire was used to capture the relevant information required. The target groups were mainly lawyers, employees from the movie industry and some representatives from various universities. The questionnaire mainly contained questions on the impacts of illegal down loading of movies on the movie industry and the entire economy of U.S.The lawyers who participated in the study were to give information on how the measures put into place to punish movie pirates can be effectively be implemented. Coming up with effective measures can reduce the rate at which people illegally down load movies.

Impacts of illegal downloading on movie industry

The illegal down loading of movies causes a total loss $20.5 billion per year by the U.S movie industries (Tucker 31). This act reduces the number of jobs that are to be created by these industries. It is estimated that 140,000 jobs can be created by these industries if at all movie piracy is stopped. However the fact that the practice is still growing, all these jobs are lost because of movie piracy.

The piracy of movies prevents money from reaching the movie industries. These people evade paying taxes that could be used in the expansion of the industry (Sherman 14).

Most colleges and universities provide high speed Internet access to their students, faculty and even staff. The Internet networks are supposed to be used for education and research. However the purposes for such campus networks have shifted from research to entertainment. The free peer-to-peer (p2p) file sharing programs in colleges and universities have made it quite easy for the students to illegally download and share the copyrighted music and movies via the campus network connections (Gattiker 24). For example the copyright infringing file sharing in various colleges cost US movie industry approximately $ 500 million (Sherman 66). College students downloaded around 1.3 billion music tracks in 2005 illegally in the US.

Majority of those involved in film copyright theft are male between ages of 16-24 living in urban areas. Around $ 2.4 billion by 2005 was lost to boot legging, $ 1.4 to illegal copying and $ 2.3 billion to Internet piracy (Tucker17). This shows how illegal downloading and boot legging brings a big economic loss to US economy.

Another impact that the illegal downloading of movies has on the US movie industry is that most of the people participating whose livelihood depend on crating movies will lose their jobs. This is because people who steal movies online threaten the economic activities of these people. They won’t continue coming up with work that is then stolen by some people. Their work and creative efforts therefore need to be protected. Over one million people in US obtain their income or work in the film industry (Sherman 13). They work like, artisans, technicians, presenters and craftsmen.

Among the creative industries in US that are affected by the movie piracy include book publishing, music, video, television and movies. These industries contribute around five percent of American gross product. According to the research I conducted I have found out that music downloads are causing a substantial decrease in the movie sales. Music and movie downloading cause around 20% reductions in the music sales in the United States (Cowan 56). The decline in the music and movie sales is also caused other factors such as file sharing networks. Illegal downloading therefore reduces its expenditure by $25 percapita for those who are engaged in the illegal downloading of music (Christensen 13). Reduction in sales means that these people will realize low income. It can also lead to the increase in unemployment, as most people will have to pack and go home. The major reason why most people download movies or get involved in piracy is that most of the original movies are sold at very expensive prices. By the time the new movies are produced, the industry sells them at a price that most buyers cannot afford. They therefore feel that illegal downloading is the best means.

Illegal downloading also cause some of the problems to the movie industry. With time they will have to suffer because those who are likely to invest in the business will not agree to the risk (David Nicholas & Ian Rowlands 40). Entrepreneurs are known to be people creating new ideas and products. Their rights on personal property (intelligence) should be protected in order to encourage the growth of the industry. Without proper law the industry will be left with few people. Many people are discouraged from investing in the industry. Lack of investors mean that jobs will be lost. The illegal downloading therefore hurts the movie industry a great deal since jobs are lost and sales are also low.

Fighting the war on illegal downloading of movie in US means dealing with a number of things. Passing laws against those who are involved in the practice cannot completely stop the activity. The film industry is a thriving economic engine that generates jobs to a large number of people in US. Movies are very valuable products that have to be controlled and protected. Apart from losing a huge amount of money by the industry, the loss of intellectual property should also considered. Nobody will be happy when others steal creative ideas of other people. This loss of intellectual property is likely to discourage investors from putting their money into the industry. The main aim of any business organization is to make profit and therefore blind risks like investing in movie industry will not bring any benefit to the investors should the piracy continues.

The US government together with various lawmakers needs to educate its people about copyright laws and the consequences of breaking those laws. Not only education to be provided but also strong measures must be taken against those who are found to be victims. One of the reasons people get involved in illegal downloading of movies is because of the high charges fixed by the movie industry (Quirk 111). The movie industries therefore need to provide legitimate hassle-free ways for consumers to obtain movies at a reasonable cost. Piracy is the greatest obstacle the film industry currently faces. Colleges and Universities using the Internet for learning and research cause most of the losses. Lawmakers and federal agencies should help these industries to fight the battle.

The following measures therefore can be taken by the movie industry to reduce the rate of illegal downloading in the area. The measures include educating people about the consequences of piracy, taking action against Internet thieves, working with the law enforcement authorities around the world to sweep out pirate operations and ensuring that consumers have legitimate ways to get movies online and through various sources. The National Association of Theatre owners (NATO) and MPAA have also established a take action reward scheme to reward theatre employees who stop an illegal Cam cording. What is lacking is the reinforcement of the policy during implementation (Sherman 47).

The movie industry is likely to collapse if the battle on fighting piracy is not won. More money will be lost as a result of decrease in sales of movies by the industry. This will cause a big shock to the economy, as majority of the people will lose their jobs. Otherwise illegal downloading of movies via the Internet is a very bad habit and people need to change their behavior in order to stop it.

Work cited

Sherman, C. Music on the Internet; Brookings Review, Vol 19, 2001.

Nicholas,D and Rowlands, I. The Internet :Its Impacts and Evaluation.

Newyork: ISLIB/IMI, 2000.

Cowan, J. S. Is a war on Terror Possible? Lessons from Long against Piracy, Queen’s Quarterly, Vol 14, 2007.

Christensen K, D.Fighting Software Piracy in Cyberspace; Legal and Technological Solutions, Law and Policy International Business, Vol 28, 1997.

Quirk M.. The Movie Pirates: Will Internet Bootleggers Kill or Make it Stronger? The Atlantic Monthly, Vol 299, 2007.

Tucker, P. Device Thwarts Digital Picture Taking; The Futurist, Vol 41, 2007.

Paul R.Paradise.Trademark Counterferting, Product Piracy, and the Billion-Dollar Threat to the U.S.West Port CT, 1999.

Gattiker U, E. The Internet as a diverse community: Cultural, Organizational, and Political Issues. London: Erlbaum Associates, 2001.

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