Myths about musicians and music piracy

Steven Caldwell Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Without hesitation, people casually discuss having watched the latest episode of Game of Thrones having accessed it illegally. They are disclosing not only an interest in a TV show, but confessing to a crime – a normalised crime. And by people I mean lots of people – conservative estimates suggest at least a third of the global population engages in digital piracy. An obvious reason why is to get access to media for free – it’s a low-risk, high-reward activity. In terms of music, the focus of this article, my assessment of why is a feeling of poor value for money – this is not the same as simply wanting something for free. And yet, music has never been cheaper in human history (nor have its biggest consumers, young people, had more disposable income). Such is the backdrop of my research into the psychology of music piracy. The search for the motivations which drive engagement in illegal downloading instead yielded insight into the justifications for doing so. Not reasons, excuses. It would appear that people who engage in digital piracy have constructed a belief system, one which is not rooted in reason or logic but in the hearsay that is accumulated from peer association, from sharing and circulating so-called ‘knowledge’ amongst like-minded friends. It’s tantamount to conspiratorial thinking, rejecting claims which contradict deeply held beliefs.
LanguageEnglish
Pages12-15
Number of pages4
JournalThe Skeptic
Volume26
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2017

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piracy
musician
Music
myth
music
Crime
Reward
offense
Motivation
Emotions
disposable income
History
Psychology
reward
Research
psychology
Population
Musicians
Piracy
history

Keywords

  • digital piracy
  • music piracy
  • copyright
  • illegal dowloading

Cite this

Caldwell Brown, S. (2017). Myths about musicians and music piracy. The Skeptic, 26(3), 12-15.
Caldwell Brown, Steven. / Myths about musicians and music piracy. In: The Skeptic. 2017 ; Vol. 26, No. 3. pp. 12-15.
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Caldwell Brown, S 2017, 'Myths about musicians and music piracy' The Skeptic, vol. 26, no. 3, pp. 12-15.

Myths about musicians and music piracy. / Caldwell Brown, Steven.

In: The Skeptic, Vol. 26, No. 3, 31.05.2017, p. 12-15.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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AB - Without hesitation, people casually discuss having watched the latest episode of Game of Thrones having accessed it illegally. They are disclosing not only an interest in a TV show, but confessing to a crime – a normalised crime. And by people I mean lots of people – conservative estimates suggest at least a third of the global population engages in digital piracy. An obvious reason why is to get access to media for free – it’s a low-risk, high-reward activity. In terms of music, the focus of this article, my assessment of why is a feeling of poor value for money – this is not the same as simply wanting something for free. And yet, music has never been cheaper in human history (nor have its biggest consumers, young people, had more disposable income). Such is the backdrop of my research into the psychology of music piracy. The search for the motivations which drive engagement in illegal downloading instead yielded insight into the justifications for doing so. Not reasons, excuses. It would appear that people who engage in digital piracy have constructed a belief system, one which is not rooted in reason or logic but in the hearsay that is accumulated from peer association, from sharing and circulating so-called ‘knowledge’ amongst like-minded friends. It’s tantamount to conspiratorial thinking, rejecting claims which contradict deeply held beliefs.

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Caldwell Brown S. Myths about musicians and music piracy. The Skeptic. 2017 May 31;26(3):12-15.