UCLA Entertainment Law Review
Next-Generation Piracy: How Search Engines Will Destroy the Music Business
- Author(s): Civilini, Maria Chiara
- et al.
This Comment seeks to address the problems that search engines
create for the music business in our ever-evolving digital society.
Piracy costs are now measured in billions, encompassing lost revenue
and job cutbacks. As the world becomes even more dependent on the
Internet for entertainment, piracy can only get worse. Although in the
United States piracy has been addressed with respect to P2P file
sharing services, record companies are coming upon an era where
search engines will enable effective, quick, and simple piracy. This
evolution has already taken hold in China, a country where 99 percent
of music files are estimated to be pirated, and copyright infringement is
as easy as typing a song name into a specialized search engine. The
problem is slowly starting to be felt domestically. Although Supreme
Court precedents have addressed the issues of P2P file sharing,
current statutes and decisions are unequipped to deal with the next
generation of search engines.
This Comment argues that although search engines might be held
responsible for some of their contributions to piracy through the court
system, ultimately, the fundamentals which make up the business model
of music companies must change. Statutes, court decisions, and
society are comfortable allowing an open and unrestricted Internet,
ensuring that search engine capabilities will not be curbed As the
digital age progresses, recording companies will bleed money until
they are faced with a choice: adapt or die. This Comment proposes
that to survive, recording companies must delve deep into alternative
revenue streams, leaving behind their pursuit of pure music in the
process. Ultimately, pure music as an art form will vanish.