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File sharing

            File Sharing is the RIAA's Scapegoat for the Decline of CD Sales.
             The year 1999 became the reigning year of Napster as communities of music producers and listeners were introduced to Internet peer-to-peer file sharing. The historical growth of Napster users soon troubled the record industry. Numerous record labels quickly filed suits claiming Napster file sharing violates the copyright laws of their intellectual property. After an extensive legal battle the ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the record companies. The termination of Napster incited the production of a seemingly endless list of alternatives. These new generations of file sharing networks are not quite clones of the pioneering Napster. Their structural modifications removed the necessity of a central database. Certain applications do not even require users to log in using a screen name or any other identifying information. Since such altered characteristics decelerates the industry's depletion of free peer-to-peer music networks the RIAA is in pursuit of any opportunity to slander them. One of the most common accusations is that file sharing is resulting in a decline of CD sales. The industry's allegations that file sharing weakens CD sales are incorrectly justified. .
             The statistics presented by the music industry to display the correlation between file sharing and decreasing CD sales are deceiving. Hilary Rosen claims in the RIAA's 2001 year-end shipments report that, "a large factor contributing to the decrease in overall shipments last year is online piracy and CD burning" (Rosen). However, the RIAA's very own statistics do not support this conclusion that downloaded music is responsible for the industry's alleged slump. Compact disc unit sales for the years 1999 in which Napster was introduced were reported as 938.9 million, reported units sold in 2000 were 942.5 million, reported units in 2001 were 881.

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