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Cultural Phenomenon

             The Internet and all its capabilities have made it so there is almost no need for anyone to leave their house. One capability seen as a new technological phenomenon is the ability to download music onto the computer. This ability allows a person to download music onto the computer instead of having to go out and buy the album. Music fanatics love the new technology, but a person in the music industry sees this new technology as a nuisance that’s taking away from their album sales.
             The record industry blames the steep decrease in their CD sales on online piracy, which is unauthorized Internet downloads. The industry feels the drops are primarily due to the new options provided by the Internet. They argue that services like Napster, which allows unrestricted access to a huge library of free music, would ultimately cut into their record sales. However, statistics have not yet backed up their claim. Sales of CDs have consistently grown, although not spectacularly, since the popularity of file-swapping services began exploding online. On the other hand, they claim that actual sale figures don’t matter; it’s the fact that Napster and similar services should not control the work of copyright owners and artists.
             It’s believed that the popularity of recorded music has not fallen, but the decreases reflect the fact that the commercial value of music is being widely devalued by mass copying and piracy. As proof, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) said a survey conducted in three of its top markets—the United States, Japan and Germany—showed a direct comparison between CD burning and file swapping and a smaller appetite for music purchases. In the United States, about 70 percent of people who downloaded songs and burned them onto CDs and 35 percent of people who downloaded more than 20 songs a month bought less music. In Germany, 18 percent of 10,000 people surveyed said that burning CDs caused them to buy less music.