Music industry blames troubles on CD-burning
Album sales dropped 9 percent in 2002, and the recording industry blames the decline in sales on rampant, illegal CD-copying and swapping of MP3 files.
According to Wired magazine, 20 percent of Americans over the age of 12 own a CD burner, and the figure rises to 50 percent among those who download music from the Web.
Although black market copies that are sold for profit are clearly harmful to the recording industry, the jury’s still out on the potential harm of free sharing and swapping.
In a recent study by Ipsos-Reid, 81 percent of people who downloaded music reported that they still purchased as many or even more CDs than before they started downloading, leading some to argue that music-sharing actually boosts CD sales by getting the music out to a larger audience.
Although most experts agree that CD-burning has led to a decline in CD sales to computer-savvy teenagers and twentysomethings, others say that factors such as the idea that a CD only contains one or two good songs, high CD prices, and the troubled economy also contribute to the lack of sales.
Sources: The Christian Science Monitor, cnetnews.com, wired.com
Do you buy CDs, bum them, or both? Would you say buming CDs from downloaded music or making copies for friends is common among your peers? What about MP3 sharing? If you download music or bum CDs, do you still buy them? Explain. Do you think choosing to copy a CD from a friend rather than buy it is unethical or immoral? Why or why not? Is there a difference between copying a CD from a friend or purchasing a used CD (neither benefits the recording artist)?
Do you agree that new music technology is the reason album sales are declining? Or do you think that sharing and swapping music files actually increases awareness of artists or songs and therefore may boost sales?
What makes something cheating? Do you think copying a CD from a friend hurts people? If so, who? the recording artist? the record label? the record store? Explain.
Scripture links: Leviticus 6:1-4; Psalm 62:10; 1 Corinthians 6:7-8; 1 Thessalonians 4:6; and James 5:4.
Copyright Group Publishing, Inc. Mar/Apr 2003
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