Internet piracy means the act of downloading those materials that are copyrighted without the slightest knowledge of the copyright holder. The most common kinds of software piracy are retail piracy, internet piracy, counterfeiting, and over installation (Jost, 2000). To begin, retail piracy is the exchange of DVDs or CDs and tapes among several pals. It is a form of piracy in that; pals buy software that has been upgraded without a legitimate copy of the given program installed. Retail piracy takes place when an individual competes with the original software developer by producing a different copy that may not be as efficient as the original copy. However, the latter comes with a relatively cheaper price. The original owner, therefore, undergoes some loses because; most prefer buying cheaper products in order for them to save some money.
Counterfeiting, on the other hand, can be defined as, the process in which a person deliberately produces illegally a duplicate of the copyrighted material with the agenda of selling it. In most cases, the copies look legitimately like the initial copy. The copies are also sold at a cheaper price compared to the cost of the original copy. Over installation, however, refers to the process in which computer stations use particular software from a given server exceeding what was paid for in the license agreement. It is, therefore, true to make a general conclusion that: all the above types of piracy have negative impacts on the lives of copyright owners. They make the original owners undergo so much financial losses.
Internet piracy has become a serious issue within the music and movie industry. Motion Picture Association of America (2009) has pointed out that the art of downloading movies for free is not different from picking a DVD While many individual doing the piracy may be held responsible, owners of the pirated material may also carry some blames over their careless distribution of materials.
In the contemporary society, internet plays vital roles for individuals who are spanning the globe. It is not only a significant source of entertainment, but it is also a source of information (Garlick & Hunnewell, 2007). In the business and communication world, it has revolutionized most of the activities undertaken. However, people have begun misusing the ever-improving technology in the internet sector. A great percentage of the information on the internet is copyrighted. It, thus, necessary that all the copyrighted information available on the internet should be shared only after the copyright holder is aware, and is in total agreement with the idea.
There is a copyright law that people do violate any time they download copyrighted intellectual works that are online via the internet. Copyright law states that it is illegal and a serious offense to copy and distribute people’s pieces of intellectuals work (Garlick & Hunnewell, 2007). Most people are ignorant that copyright owners possess the ultimate right to dictate how and under what conditions other people should use their work. Many copyright owners have, in most cases, suggested that their works should be restricted because other people use their creative works without their knowledge. The illegal users, thus, end up using them with ill motives or rather for their own personal interest.
The increased downloading of movies, with no express authorization from the owners has raised concern for the copyright owners and other movie industry stakeholders (Motion Picture Association of America, 2009). Many organizations have been formed to fight internet piracy that has seen many artists lose huge amount income to illegal copyrighters. Organizations, such as RIAA (the Recording Industry Association of America), was formed to fight against internet piracy. For instance, in September 2003, more than two hundred people were sued because they made songs available for free on the internet. For each song that was downloaded for free, the defendant faced fines that amounted up to $100,000 (Jost, 2000). The industry stakeholders have tried to represent artists and recording labels in defending the copyrights of the productions. At that moment of the above lawsuits, the industry released a stern statement that whenever ones property is constantly stolen, there always comes a time to take appropriate action to prevent future occurrence of the same insult. According to Recording Industry Association of America, internet piracy is the process of illegally duplicating and going ahead to distribute sound recordings. Recordings are under the protection of copyright laws. These are simply the given set of laws that protect creative works. The most affected area in creative works is the song and movie industry. Making and distribution of copyrighted songs is the same as stealing the songs. It is, however, saddening that the Internet facilitates and eases the sharing of these illegal copies.
Through internet piracy, research has it that the entertainment industry loses billions of dollars annually. The pirates downloaded approximately twenty million copies of Transformers and Star Trek. This incident caused Paramount Pictures to incur extremely large losses in their annual profit. Torrent Freak reported that through piracy, Viacom studios had to cut down their revenues by$ 535. The Hangover and Twilight films were also not spared in the copyright infringement. In today’s digital industry, stealing of copyright ownership is rampant despite the practice being declared illegal and unethical. It takes the little effort as individuals use the availability of internet to download whatever they want from the internet, ranging from songs to movies for free. This has an enormous negative impact on the entertainment industry at large as the owners and industry players incur huge losses that results from piracy.
Studies have shown that the greatest threat to the entertainment industry as per now is the internet piracy. The president of motion pictures in America often equates the fight against internet piracy with the fight against terrorism in the country (Chamley, 2003). Some have also observed that the victims of internet piracy should also be used in equal measure as the culprits, as the current situation in entertainment industry demands the same. The reason is that individuals who claim their products have been stolen are the ones who expose their production to the online world. Once they use websites that have not been verified to distribute their music or videos, the redistribution becomes easy among the people visiting such websites. According to Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), suing of individuals is their last resort because their first attempt to offer education to the whole world on the negative impacts of internet piracy failed more than once (Debby, 2007).They went ahead to make an immense amount of music available at low cost in the internet, however, the problem of free downloading still persisted.
In the United States Constitution, internet piracy is a criminal offence punishable by law. Downloading music and movies is a crime because the process infringes the copyright laws. Internet piracy is against not only the federal laws, but also against constitutional rights concerning piracy. In 1997, President Clinton signed the NET (No Electronic Theft Act). This Act made it a crime to distribute, reproduce, or share those copies of copyrighted creative works through the internet. The law is put in place even in situations whereby the users are not making money from their activities (Quigley, 2008). However, a remarkably few people take note of such laws because enforcing such laws has offered enormous challenge to the law enforcers. The people tasked with ensuring that online materials are protected find it difficult to inefficient tools to cab online distribution of materials.
Those individuals violating the Royal Chatter that was given to Stationers’ Company should be referred to as pirates (Chamley, 2003). Pirates manufacture and sell illegally copyrighted works. In 1994, TRIPs advocated for criminal procedures and severe penalties in scenarios involving large-scale commercial internet piracy. There are some websites such as Napster.com that enable music fanatics to download different types of music without necessarily purchasing the whole album at large. These websites infringe the copyright laws. Internet piracy should be done away with because it infringes the copyright laws. It illegally uses works that are under copyright without permission of the owner.
From the foregoing discussion, it would be true to make a general conclusion that, internet piracy is a vice that is practiced in the contemporary society. Despite the numerous merits of the ever-improving technologies in the internet sector, internet piracy has got so many negative impacts on the entertainment industry at large. It does not only infringes the copyright laws, but it also makes the entertainment industry incur massive loses yearly. Though many people advocate for internet piracy, it should be known that individuals of the given pieces of works feel offended when they get they get their works duplicated then distributed without their consent. Those in support of internet claim that it is legal downloading movies and music from authorized sites. As an immediate solution to the vice, United States of America has several Acts including PIPA (protection of intellectual property right act) and SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) that have been put in place. Movie and music industries however, remain to be the most affected areas in the entertainment sector. A solution will only, however, arise when there will be a moral judgment that will be motivated by the respect of one another’s property.