Essentially music is an idea. It retains no mass nor is it a physical object yet it is distributed and sold as if it is a tangible object. With the growth of the Internet illegally acquiring free music has become easier and easier with virtually no risk of getting caught. Many argue that illegally downloading music isn’t immoral by relying on the excuse that everyone else does it. Slowly and steadily illegal downloading is becoming the norm, which begs the question, is illegally downloading music immoral/ stealing?
Many musicians would argue that they deserve to be paid for the art that they are investing so much of their time and emotions in. The most famous case of this was the 2000 Napster controversy. Officials had often overlooked the illegal music-sharing site until it was brought media attention by musicians who were angry about their music being distributed for free. Among these musicians was Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich. Lars was the sort of a figurehead in the movement to sue napster for each individual song that they had “stolen” from artists around the globe “Napster hijacked our music without asking. They never sought our permission. Our catalog of music simply became available as free downloads on the Napster system.” From the point of view of the artist it is very easy to see how illegally downloading music can be viewed as immoral.
It can be argued that when the artists feel like their fans they lose some of their motivation to create music are cheating them. However should money be the ultimate goal when creating art? Although file sharing is technically illegal isn’t the spread of music why these artists got into making music in the first place? Could it be possible that illegal downloading is purifying the music industry by bettering the artist’s intentions when making the music? After all how can a price be put on something that is transmitted over sound waves and also the amount of money being lost to these sites becomes irrelevant in the long run “I challenge record companies to show me evidence of a single penny they’ve lost due to Napster.”(Dave Rowntree)