Illegal music downloads cause issues within digital community

The growing approach to sharing music, films and now even textbooks involves downloading media with just a click and without a purchase.

Illegal downloading is a popular method in which files are shared between Internet users without a transaction fee.

Music has become one of the biggest issues with online pirating among college students, along with the software program Adobe Photoshop CS6, which has been downloaded more than 5,000 times.

According to a study by Intellectual Property Institute, one in three students participate in online piracy. With most songs ranging from 99 cents to $1.29, albums fall into the $10- $15 range.

Napster, a subscription music service, found that the average American owns 126 albums, amounting to over $1,500 in purchases and leaving the prospect of downloading the music for free through a questionable source a little more appealing.

Digital theft has been taken more seriously as the success of smaller artists is often tracked by their total sales.

Danielle Mayon, junior business administration major, said she thinks it is often easier to stream music through applications such as Spotify than to purchase an album.

“You are able to have more music and never have to limit yourself,” Mayon said. “You have a whole library, you can make playlists and check out what your friends are listening to.”

Many universities have tried to educate their students and prevent them from downloading illegally. An IPI study said 54 percent of students did not know what their college’s policy was regarding illegal downloading.

“The IT department is not a policeman but it will interfere if students usage of downloading illegal media affects other students,” said David Marley, CBU Director of Infrastructure Services.

The Recording Industry Association of America has been actively protecting the copyright holding of record labels and has even began to file lawsuits, often targeting college students. Major fines and severe action will be taken if it is discovered a student has been using services like LancerNet as such.

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