The Canadian government should regulate the illegal download of music and movies, as it is keeping artists from getting paid, it is impacting the way audiences consume art, and it is hurting the creative process of the artistic society.
In social forums like Facebook, istagram, reddit it is often argued that entertainment piracy is good for the industry, since it can help broaden the reach of these expressions and expand the fanbase of artists. Nevertheless, the fact remains that the practice of illegal downloading of music and movies has a deep impact in the creator’s personal economy and ability to finance future creative endeavours. Therefore, reproductions and free downloads, from illegal ONLINE sources do not generate any kind of income for the artist. And this affects not just those involved in the creative process, but also all of those people involved the distribution industry economy (cinemas, music stores, art galleries).
In an interview back in 2015, René from the Puerto Rican band Calle 13 stated that thanks to piracy, his songs had reached faraway places that could not be reached by any other type of media (GREAT example). However, it has been discovered that the quality in which these songs arrived to those remote locations was very low, and people were not really enjoying his creation, but a very low-resolution version of them. The same can ALSO be said about movies and tv shows. Studios give their very best to create high quality video and audio that gets ripped apart by online pirates when they compress the files in order to be able to reproduce them. The illegal downloading of music and video ends up hurting the consumer, who is not receiving the piece how the artist intended, thus it will not be as enjoyable.
Furthermore, piracy is having a large impact in the way artists are expressing themselves. A survey made last year by Statistic Canada showed that 80% of artists are worried about creating really great pieces (songs, movies, paintings) that demand a lot of their time and spirit, only to have it illegally reproduced online without any type of economic retribution. The same survey stated that half of that 80% was seriously considering halting all big projects and just focusing on “easy” stuff, while more serious regulations come along. Great.
Though controlling illegal downloads in the internet era can be complicated, the Canadian government must find a way to do it if it does not want to keep hurting artists, distributors, and consumers. However, it should not just be a government regulation, but a shared task with the audience and SOCIETY. Downloading an illegal song or movie is a conscious act, and most people are not aware of the consequences. If the public knew how a little click can affect hundreds of lives in the mainstream economy, it would change their social acceptance of online piracy.
By ending Piracy, Canadians can ensure that artist in music, movies and theatre can continue to enrich society for the betterment of everyone.