Rosen and others see that period as disastrous for the business.
In a multiple regression analysis, downloading activity was found to be positively related to deficient self-regulation and the expected social outcomes of downloading behavior. Downloading activity was lessened by dissatisfaction with poor quality downloads.
Those who are willing to discontinue downloading are motivated by fear of punishment, but skilled and habitual downloaders were unlikely to discontinue. Normative beliefs also affected downloading. The perception that downloading was morally unacceptable was positively related to intentions to discontinue downloading, while beliefs that the behavior was morally acceptable were positively related to current downloading activity.
The Downloading Problem Downloading media files over the Internet is a new and highly controversial form of media consumption behavior. Beginning with the Napster phenomenon inthe craze peaked in the spring of around the time that the record industry in the United States first made good on threats to prosecute downloaders.
At that time, some 35 million U. Four percent said they did so on an average day. Statistics such as those quoted above are the result of millions of individual decisions about whether or not to engage in downloading behavior, and draw upon theories of media consumption behavior. At the same time, downloading is a widely debated social and public policy issue, calling our attention to new media attendance motivations that highlight normative and ethical concerns.
The file sharing controversy provides the conceptual context for the present study. The industry had a convenient scapegoat in Napster: Its success coincided with a drop in CD compact disc sales, leading to the supposition that the phenomenon was being driven by the substitution of free online music for CD purchases Stern, By mid, the industry succeeded in shutting down the original Napster—which by that time claimed 50 million users—through court rulings that enforced the Copyright Term Extension Act of Napster, however, was soon replaced by new file sharing programs that used peer-to-peer P2P technology.
Unlike the original Napster, P2P programs act as user interfaces for end users, facilitating direct exchanges between them instead of coordinating the exchanges through a central file server.
That distinction eluded the anticircumvention provision of the new copyright law that had tripped up Napster. With the P2P software companies beyond the reach of the law, the RIAA responded by suing their users, with an initial wave of lawsuits against individual copyright infringers in early Septemberimmediately preceding the collection of the data reported here.
Other industry information campaigns e. File sharing grew especially popular on college campuses, where there were large numbers of music fans with limited budgets, high speed Internet connections, and time on their hands.
While individuals themselves would be liable, the university would typically escape harm. The Copyright Term Extension Act of reinforced that protection for universities, provided they took down offending content in a timely manner after receiving a notice of infringement.
Because of the sheer amount of file sharing activity at colleges, file sharing opponents confronted universities, such as when the RIAA filed copyright infringement suits naming selected major universities as codefendants Carlson, Later the RIAA sent a threatening letter Rosen, to some 2, college and university presidents enlisting them in the policing of copyright infringement on their own campuses.
For their part, universities had their own reasons to discourage file sharing, notably the strain it placed on overloaded computer networks.
In order to avoid costly legal battles, as well as to restore the integrity of their own data networks, many universities actively sought to discourage downloading.
Universities used tactics ranging from supplying identities of infringers to the industry, mounting their own information campaigns, and threatening their students with disciplinary actions if they did not stop file sharing Carlson, The ultimate goal of these efforts was to create a culture shift among file-sharers Borland, Evidence of their success is thus far mixed, however.
Indeed, the sales data that initially led to the conclusion that downloading was harming the industry are themselves controversial: A downturn in the general economy, an upswing in college tuition costs, and a dearth of new music all pose competing explanations for declining music sales.
Clearly, more insightful research is needed about online music consumption behavior and its effect on the music industry. A fundamental question is what motivates downloading behavior? Are industry executives, public policy makers, and college administrators using the most appropriate and effective strategies in their efforts to deter file sharing?
Do they properly understand the usage patterns and motivations for this new form of media consumption aside from the narrow perspective of their own institutional self-interests?
Unfortunately, the studies that followed the conventional Uses and Gratifications approach most closely e. A variety of innovative operational and conceptual approaches, however, have emerged through Internet-related research that holds the promise of creating more robust models of media consumption behavior.
It is best known in the annals of communication research in its earlier incarnation as social learning theory Bandura,through which the mechanism of vicarious learning was introduced to media effects research.
SCT, as it is now known, is a broad theory of human behavior and so may be applied to media consumption behavior as well as to the behavioral effects of media consumption. As such, it shares many features with other behavioral theories, such as the Theory of Planned Behavior Ajzen, But while there are many parallels between the two cf.
Bandura,pp. SCT posits that the performance of a behavior is determined in part by its expected outcomes.
The question of whether MP3 and DivX are technologies of piracy is, of course, related to the way both have come to be closely associated with the unauthorized distribution of content through file-sharing. Arguments against file sharing predicated on legal, moral, and ethical grounds (e.g., file sharing is illegal, harms struggling musicians, or is morally wrong) address the second subfunction of self-regulation, the judgmental process. MP3's and the Music Industry The Internet is now being used in many exciting and interesting ways. The music industry, however, has come to feel that it may be being abused.
The expectations may be learned through observation of the consequences visited upon others the mechanism of vicarious learningbut the consequences learned from direct personal experience the mechanism of enactive learning are also powerful.Genius is a catalyst to evolution and innovation.
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