What are some steps that can be taken to protect copyrighted music?
In today's world, the major threat to copyrights comes from illegal downloading over file sharing networks. It is exceedingly difficult to shut down websites that host these networks. Therefore, the industry needs to try other methods of protecting their copyrights.
One way for them to do this would be to create protections that prevent the music from being copied. But this has not seemed to work as there are plenty of people who are able to devise ways around these protections.
Another option would be to sue those who distribute pirated copies of works. But this has seemed to be a bad option because of the negative publicity that comes with filing suits against various people for downloading films or music.
That leaves three more plausible options. First, music could be made more easily available and at lower cost. This would reduce the temptation to pirate the music as the cost of getting it legally would be decreased. Second, the artists could try to bundle various perks with copies of the music that are actually bought on CD. This could come in the form of things like nice cover art or liner notes or other things. These might make buying more attractive. Finally, there is the option of going after pirates through internet service providers (ISPs). If ISPs could identify people who are downloading illegally, they could slow those people's connections (after a few warnings) and even eventually cut them off.