Pirating music and other media has grown with easy access to streaming apps in the rising culture of music.
The illegal downloading of music alone has increased by 44 percent from 2008 to 2014, according to Digital Music News.
“A lot of people don’t want to spend their money on buying music,” said Madison Weaver, a sophomore studying communication. “They have other things they need to pay for.”
Weaver said illegally downloadable music is very accessible.
Nate Wise, digital content and intellectual property rights specialist for BYU-Idaho, said despite streaming services such as Spotify, people still want music. He said students should be aware of privacy on YouTube services and phone apps.
Wise said many uploaders should technically have a synchronizer license before synchronizing video with music.
“Digital piracy was defined as the illegal copying of digital goods, software, digital documents, digital audio (including music and voice) and digital video for any other reason other than to backup without explicit permission from and compensation to the copyright holder,” according to the International Journal of Cyber Criminology.
Wise said some videos get to stay up because of YouTube’s licensing agreements, but this does not shield the uploader if an organization decides to target them for illegal downloading.
“The RIAA asserts that piracy has cost the United States economy over $12 billion in annual output as well as over 70,000 lost jobs,” according to the Online Piracy website. “The RIAA has also said that “both the volume of music acquired without paying for it and the resulting drop in revenues are staggering.”
Wise said to be aware of phone apps found even in legitimate app stores.
“Some of those apps are using peer-to-peer networks to find and deliver music, so it’s just another way into those illegal services that bypass the right holders,” Wise said.
Wise said it is important to keep right holders in mind, and if something is free, users should check if it’s legally free.
“Music copyright can get complicated,” Wise said.
Wise said that overall, students should pay attention to their inner Liahona, the Holy Ghost.
“The complexity of technology makes it sometimes a little murky,” Wise said. “It really is up to us to think about how we are using music — and are we being fair.”
Tyler Barton, student honor administrator, said cases of music or other media pirating are treated like any other case of dishonesty when it comes to Honor Code policy. The consequence is decided after a careful study of each case.
“We agree to be completely honest in all our dealings, including class assignments and tests. This means we don’t plagiarize material, fabricate or falsify information, or cheat,” according to the Honor Code.
Wise said obeying the law with media has allowed BYU-I as a university to maintain a favorable reputation among other organizations.
Wise said it is also a pattern followed by the Church. Even the meme used by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland in the most recent general conference showing a dinosaur, representing tomorrow, and two kids running away, was clear before it was displayed.
Wise said students can take a closer look into the universities’ copyright policy at byui.edu/copyright. He said he is also glad to visit with anyone who has questions about copyright laws.
He said that while his position does not allow legal advice, he can help students understand the law.
“If you don’t know the law, it’s hard to make a good decision,” Wise said. “If you’re ignorant, it doesn’t absolve you from it. You’re still guilty.”