Piracy pillages music industry

Crystal Wong is the kind of person who petrifies entertainment executives.

The 24-year-old San Mateo, Calif. resident, who handles human resources at an Internet security company, rarely visits record stores anymore. She downloads most music she wants, such as tunes by singer-songwriter Michelle Branch, from the Web without paying music companies — or Branch — a dime.

She doesn't consider this wrong.

"Artists make money other ways" including from concerts, she says. "I'm sure they're taken care of." Besides, "There are still a ton of people who've never heard of (free music sites) like Napster and Morphius. So it doesn't concern me all that much."

But it scares the pants off music companies and others who see digital downloading and copying spinning out of control.

About 17% of all adults wired to the Internet at home, work or school say they've downloaded music, according to a new CNN/USA TODAY/Gallup Poll. Millions more use CD burners, standard on many new personal computers, to copy for friends CDs bought or songs downloaded. In less than two minutes, on a blank disc costing less than a buck, they can make an identical copy of an hourlong CD. Music companies succeeded in court in putting the easiest-to-use site for public tune-sharing, Napster with its central system, on hold. But other sites that allow Internet exchange directly between individual users, such as Morphius, still flourish.

Movies could be next as the price of DVD burners plummets.

News source: USATODAY - Tech

View: Complete article at USATODAY.com

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