How The Internet Transformed Music Libraries

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As with any new, widely accessible invention, the internet was feared for its easy and quick distribution of items and ideas. Many music labels and artists set forth an endeavor to prevent the use of the web as a means to spread their creations illegally. However, the progressive internet and those who inhabit it could not be stopped.

Music companies began to see that stopping the technology was a futile task and switched over to using it to their advantage. Even small music labels and indie bands sought refuge online as their source of distribution. It provided a quick and inexpensive way to spread the word of one’s band or record company.

With internet acting as a proliferation zone for both standard genres and subgenres, personal audio libraries are becoming extremely diverse. Although illegal downloading is still prevalent within society, producers have taken notice of the possible marketing techniques through free song downloads. Many companies are now offering free song samples and limited time specials to customers as an incentive for further purchase.

To better cater to the public’s insatiable love of music, programs like iTunes provides vast stores of individually priced songs and albums from as many years and genres as they can. The power of specialized genres is definitely apparent when one browses through the nearly endless list of available songs, and realizes that it is always growing. ITunes is one of the most successful stores to supply a person’s music library, along with other entertainment mediums, such as movies and television shows, straight to a portable device anywhere in the world.

Connection to the world-wide-web has also made the library itself a variable tool. In years past, there was only the default music player that came equipped in the software of the computer itself, but now many different programs compete for the most popular install online. Some provide the music in stores, connect to a portable device like an iPod, burn disks, shrink file sizes, organize, and find all information for an untitled MP3. These programs have also inspired easier creation of independently made music from home that can be quickly shared with the world with a simple click of the mouse.

The internet has proved itself to be a guaranteed source of endless possibilities for many people and industries. The transformation of music collections from a physical library of records, cassettes and CDs, to an intangible virtual form has the web to thank. Even though there are those who see the online virtual music libraries as a deviation from the norm, there is no doubt that internet connection will continue to change how people use them.

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Occupy the Internet – Stop SOPA and PIPA
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THE WEB GOES ON STRIKE! Read All About It!

NOTE: After experiencing the day of protest about SOPA/PIP it is clear that the action could better be called a Web Blackout rather than a Strike.

TAKE ACTION! Google has a form.

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Free Online Music: Downloads vs. Internet Radio

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Listening to songs is an enjoyable pastime for most people. in contrast to before when you could only get music from record stores-which, regrettably, many people would not afford- these days, it is quite uncomplicated and hassle-free to just download your favorites to enjoy at your leisure without the inconvenience of going out and buying the album. From a consumer standpoint this is Neat, right? But from the music industry standpoint, this creates a never ending problem as sales continue to decrease.

However, there is a legal option to getting music by logging on to the Internet and finding web sites that let you download your favorite hits. That alternative is streaming internet radio. The Internet is always on and always accessible (well, almost always)….you will hardly ever find a person who does not use it, which makes Internet radio incredibly convenient. Since music files are all copyrighted content, Internet radio providers often show ads to pay royalties to the recording companies, which in turn grant permission to play their copyrighted works. But, you say, I want the files on my computer…so what are the penalties of illegally downloading music?

Lawsuit Summary

Who has not heard about the lawsuits filed by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)? These charges were filed against countless numbers of Internet users from all walks of life for downloading free online music. Its goal is not only to protect the integrity of the copyright content but, most importantly, to augment decreasing in music industry sales. After realizing that sales continued to drop and that the work did not produce significant impact Internet users whom they sued one by one, the RIAA has tweaked their method a bit.

A New Route

While these lawsuits are still on-going, it is geared towards a new direction. Instead of going after each Internet user that has downloaded a music file, a letter of complaint will be sent to your Internet Service Provider (ISP). This made it more sensible and effective for the RIAA. First, your capacity to download music files is reliant on your Internet connection, hence once you are dropped by your ISP, you will no longer be able to download files. Second, collaborating with handful of ISPs is much simpler than going to court to sue individuals. This effort has allowed the RIAA to differentiate regular users from the list of illegal downloaders.

The Supreme Verdict

The RIAA has gone so far as to take their case to the Supreme Court, but since of the fact that the RIAA initiatives to stop music piracy and copyright infringement did not seem to work at all, the Supreme Court was compelled not to review the case. This determination has brought about another action from the RIAA. Instead of going after small-time downloaders, they will only go after those users who are uploading more than a thousand files. This means that even if you download copyright materials, you may be safe from charges as long as you will not share these files for someone else’s benefit…at the very least for the time being.

Illegal music downloading is no doubt harming the music industry-many Internet users are captivated to the widespread accessibility of totally free music downloads online. The penalties, while currently being applied mainly to those that make music available for download, can be devastating. The RIAA has switched tactics before though, so we advise sticking to streaming internet radio in case they start targeting individuals again-it’s free of charge, practical and legal.

Listen to internet radio at 977Music.com. Streaming Free Online Music, to listeners from around the globe. Create an account today and start earning points, redeemable for prizes, while listening to your favorite music!

SOPA = Less Liberty and more Robo-Justice For All
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SOPA, aka the Protect IP Act, will bring Less Liberty and Robo-Justice for All.

Senator Ron Wyden’s "SOPA Statement Warns of Severe Repercussions to a Free and Open Internet if Bills are Passed"

You can read a Senate version of the bill in this PDF.

Sculpture of the "Spirit of Justice" from the Great Hall, 2nd floor of the Department of Justice in Washington D.C. The artist, Carl Paul Jennewein, created this aluminum sculpture in 1935. The dimensions are 12′ 6" tall x 48" in diameter. The source for this image of the "Spirit of Justice" is a another great photo by Carol M. Highsmith and available via the Library of Congress.

The image has been cropped, exposure increased, contrast increased, and the color is adjusted. The "Spirit of Justice" is holding a web page of the Protect IP Act pdf.