Should People Who Download Music and Movies Illegally Be Punished?

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Words: 771 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Jan 25, 2024

Words: 771|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Jan 25, 2024

The United States’ government came up with the Copyright Act of 1976 to protect the works of arts by different artists. The act outlines the punishable felonies concerning authenticity; for instance, it is a punishable offense to illegally download music from the internet. In addition, it sets the specific fines for the committing such crimes; for example, it says that one could pay a fine of up to $ 30,000, per piece of work (Burrell & Coleman, n.d.). Therefore, though downloading songs, freely, from the internet could sound normal, it is a felony. However, there exist some questions on, whether, or not this act is worth the penalties.

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For this reason, a critical analysis of the transgression will determine, whether, or not it merits for the charges.

The law outlines downloading music from the internet as wrong, however, a deep analysis deviates from the people downloading the content, and instead, points to the various websites that provide the permission. For instance, YouTube allows people to watch videos freely, and for some it permits download, while for others it does not. When one downloads such a work, he or she is not wrong, as he or she got the permission of the source (Zhang et al., 2014). What is more, listening to a song from the internet is like listening to a radio station, and therefore, downloading such an article is more like recording a radio presentation for future use, which is not in any way a crime. For sure, the cradle of the mistake is with the specific website, and therefore, the individual does not deserve any charges.

Downloading music from the internet is already engraved in the minds of every member of the society. Therefore, according to the Behavioral Theory, one is likely to get the influence from his/her environment; subsequently, downloading the internet materials without any aspect of suspicion, as the individual believes that it is the norm of the society (Farrell, 2015). In such an instance, one could assume that the offender is not cognizant of the law, as what the law prescribes is the total opposite of what he or she sees in practice (Farrell, 2015). Therefore, the criminal does not deserve a punishment, as he or she commits a crime that he or she is unaware of.

Similarly, one could look at the aspect of disparity in income, as it is a norm that not everyone can have the same amount of income. Bearing that in mind, not everyone can afford going to the theatre, or purchasing an iPod; however, everyone has equal rights to access the songs. In addition, most songs bear a great message, which could transform the public; for instance, most Hip-Hop songs stress on the essence of justice in the community. Likewise, one of the considerations before passing a sentence is the motive of the crime (Mpofu, 2015); and this case, it is for both the entertainment and the educative value, which is of great importance to the individual.

Concisely, the law prohibits piracy; however, an individual that downloads a song from the internet does not deserve any kind of punishment. A look at the considerations that a judge should make before passing a sentence makes it a plausible act to download songs without paying. Notably, one should always consider the positive side of these acts, for example, the effects on the morals of the society. Besides, one should look at how much the individual is aware of the crime before punishing him or her. Furthermore, one could lay much blame on the individuals, yet the mistake is not theirs, but the internet’s. For sure, there is no reason at all to punish those who download songs from the internet, without paying for them.

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Works Cited

  1. Burrell, R., & Coleman, (n.d.). United States Copyright Act 1976, 17 USC, s. 107. The Digital Impact Copyright Exceptions, 375-375. doi:10.1017/cbo9780511666964.016
  2. Farrell, G. (2015). Crime concentration theory. Crime Prevention & Community Safety Crime Prev Community Saf, 17(4), 233-248. doi:10.1057/cpcs.2015.17
  3. Mpofu, (2015, July 25). Things To Consider Before You Pass Judgment Or Critique. Retrieved November 22, 2016, from
  4. Zhang, H., Zuo, C., Guo, S., Cui, L., & Chen, J. (2014). SafeBrowsingCloud: Detecting Drive-by-Downloads Attack Using Cloud Computing Environment. Lecture Notes in Computer Science Internet of Vehicles – Technologies and Services, 292-303. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-11167-4_29
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Should People who Download Music and Movies Illegally be Punished? (2024, January 24). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 20, 2024, from
“Should People who Download Music and Movies Illegally be Punished?” GradesFixer, 24 Jan. 2024,
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Should People who Download Music and Movies Illegally be Punished? [Internet] GradesFixer. 2024 Jan 24 [cited 2024 Jun 20]. Available from:
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