Introduction

Call me traditional, but I would much rather buy the record or CD than download the MP3 file. I think this is because I get the packaging: the cover art, the lyrics sheet, flyers, posters, whatever comes with it. Maybe this is materialistic. I admit that I like have the actual object in my hand. When I collect a lot of them, I like to see how much space they take up on my shelf or CD rack. Personally, I do not think MP3 will ever be able to replace my records and CDs.

However, in light of all the hubbub and controversy about MP3s, my feelings about this must not be representative of the general public's. The arrival of MP3 on the music scene has excited many artists and listeners, but not the major labels who hold all of the copyrights. Now their copyrights, a major source of income, are vulnerable. Not only is some of this music being pirated off the web, but MP3s call the very notion of copyright into question. Two very distinct sides hold prominent places in the debate about copyright as it relates to digital music. One, the major record labels, want to expand to notion of copyright to better protect themselves and their money. The second; made up of some listeners, some musicians, and some, mostly smaller, labels; want to eliminate copyright all together. Judging from the way things have gone so far, it seems as though the labels are winning this battle. As I will show, I am not being cynical when I say that this comes as no surprise.

 

 

 

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