File-sharing - A threat to intellectual property rights, or is the music industry just taking us for a spin?
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AbstractFile-sharing has become synonym with the “digital economy” where large music conglomerates as well as certain artist voice strong concern over the impact on their bottom line. This research analyzes the music industry, which has been heavily impacted by a major technological shift i.e. the invention, and rollout, of the Internet. We look to the technological shift that has enabled the downloading phenomenon, as well as analyze the uniqueness of the music industries situation. By comparing the book publishing industry as well as the software industry, which are arguably also influenced by intellectual property rights and plagiarism, we try to find similarities as well as dissimilarities with the music industry. We find that the music industry has used alliances as well as Mergers and Acquisitions in order to consolidate their positions in an attempt to slow down change. There is no consensus on the exact extent of ill effects of filesharing. We point to an unwillingness to achieve convergence of purpose between the IT-community and the much of the music industry. Finally we point to the historical fact that consumers always get what they want in the end, which should indicate a need to find a viable e-commerce solution