Piracy: it’s not the problem, it’s the answer.

Online communities who use peer-to-peer and Web 2.0 technologies to interact with the digital music produced by major recording labels, are often blamed for the industries’ suffering profitability. This paper will argue that at a time when the industry is struggling to evolve its business model to keep up with the trends of consumers, members of virtual communities using Web 2.0 technologies to discuss, share, and remix digital music with an aim of gaining social capital, have in fact revealed a new method to promote and distribute recorded music. This is a model that should be adopted by the greater recorded music industry for it to thrive, despite the threat to profits posed by any infringement of copyright. The following will define social capital, discuss why people share music and offer examples of artists who use community-based consumer experiences to their advantage.

 

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