Module 5: Disrupting the Music Industry

This week we discuss about file-sharing or pirate. What should we do about that? It is very complicated to think about that question. What our suggestion for recorded music industry how they deal with ‘pirate’? I think they could make different decisions depend on the case; such as for sell or share with other people. Steinmetz (2013) said “Pirates claim to share content because (1) it is the intrinsic capillary nature of data and (2) its spread is integral to the development of cultural activity”(56). I think it will be really bad if someone shares music for money, it obviously violates profits of the recorded music company. Of course the company should do something with law. In other hand, if people share it free, the company might make a black list to warn them. Downloading a CD is different from shoplifting, because online digital copies are ‘non-rivalrous’ goods. Even after I download a CD, a copy remains on the original sharer’s computer, and it also remains on the shelf of the record store (Condry, 2004, 349). Money is very important to music companies. I believe the company should use the law to protect its profits.


In Condry’s (2004) article, he lists couple reasons about why students do not want to a CD. The price is one of them (356). There is my own experience. Jay Chou is a very well known and popular singer since I was in sixth grade. For most students, Jay Chou’s songs are amazing and we all love his songs, so we buy his new released album every time. It is my first time I realize I want to buy legal copy CDs for supporting him. In my hometown, it is very hard to buy the legal copy CDs because fake ones are everywhere. Some stores even sell fake ones to pretend to be legal copy CDs. However, we still try our best to buy his legal copy CDs and now I still believe and hope all the CDs I brought are real. At the beginning, he just new to the music industry, his CD’s price is acceptable. However, the price is getting higher every year while he becomes a super star gradually. And then, I stop buying in recent years because the price was not acceptable at all. I remember the last year I check out the price of his CD is about $7 in 2008. $7 is much money for a student in my country in that time. I guess it is still much money for buy a CD now, but for some real fans; they absolutely would love to pay for it, just not me any more. In other words, I am not really his fan any more. Condry (2004) also said “If music is just a commodity, consumers will get it as cheaply as they can. If music is the art and lifeblood of a group they care about, fans will support that group” (259).



Condry, Ian. (2004). Cultures of Music Piracy: An Ethnographic Comparison of the US and Japan. International Journal of Cultural Studies. 7 (3), pg. 343-363.

Steinmetz, K., K. Tunnell (2013). Under the Pixelated Jolly Roger: A Study of On-Line Pirates. Deviant Behavior. 34 (1), pg. 53-67.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. chenyiming
    Jun 24, 2013 @ 12:45:11

    Thank you for sharing your story. I think your story is familiar to a lot of people; we buy from artists as long as we feel like they’re in our reach somehow, but after a while they stop seeming like real people. This becomes even more true when we feel like they are not treating us with the same care we have for them (i.e. by makign CDs more expense). As soon as the artist you were a fan of became more like a corporate entity, it became much easier to not support him by buying CDs.

    I hope you have time to comment on my blog too!


  2. Trackback: Chen's Digital Media Blog | Money = Love?

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