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matthewmannn

Worried About Unauthorized Copying and Piracy?

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Quote Originally Posted by matthewmannn View Post
Many artists and music fans alike mistakenly consider piracy and unauthorized copying of music to be the same thing, however, there are major differences. Unauthorized copying is making duplicates of music, most of the time for personal convenience. Some examples include burning CDs, importing music from a friendís iTunes onto your iPod, or sharing music through Limewire. Artists must be aware that copying is prevalent and that it can be performed both legally and illegally. From the artists perspective controlling or stopping unauthorized copying of your music is next to impossible. It might be a better strategy to plan on your music being copied and try to maximize the positive effects that copying can have on your success. More copies of your music (even if you are not being paid for them) can mean more fans, more plays and more buzz for your band.

Piracy, on the other hand, is when someone is mass producing and selling your music for their personal income. This is always illegal (unlike other forms of legal copying). Pirates generally replicate the most popular songs and big hits because that is how they can make the most money. Piracy will only be a problem if your music becomes very successful, but it is important to have a strategy in place in case it does.

There have been several unsuccessful attempts at stopping piracy. Apple tried to use Digital Rights Management (DRM), which can provide restrictions that will not allow people to burn your CDs using your personal computer. Many companies, such as Blockbuster, for instance, use DRM for their DVDs to prevent renters from copying their movies. Without DRM people are often tempted to burn rented/borrowed DVDís or music and distribute it to their friends for free.

On the bright side, pirating and unauthorized copying can enhance an artistís success because when people share your music, they are recommending your music to other people. A recent study also shows that the people that do the most unauthorized copying also spend the most money on music, merchandise and products. Getting your music into the hands of these interested fans, even if they donít pay for it, can lead to other income in the future. Previously, many musicians were faced with the problem of getting their music out there, but with copying, their music can be effectively distributed. Imagine a trade-off between distribution and the amount of money you make of each piece of music. Controlling this trade-off can be difficult in the beginning, so spend your time making quality music because quality content will earn you fans, exposure and opportunities. One way or another, your expanding fan base (maybe through unauthorized copying) will find a way to support you and your music.

Thank you for your time, Matthew Mann.

Author: Matthew Mann aka McEssay 2018(c) - blogger, McEssay writer, and rapper from New York.
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