Ethics refers to standards and norms that govern people’s behavior in given setting (Ciulla, 2008). Individuals are given direction on how to act in response to various issues and circumstances. This means that ethics are determined and governed by the society. However, ethics require self-monitoring and willingness as the society does not pressure adherence to individuals. To be at peace with the society, individuals ought to follow and adhere to the set norms and values (Verderber, Verderber & Sellnow, 2007). This is because they are formulated to be adhered to by all individuals in the society. If everyone adhered to them, then there would be a one happy society with limited chances of conflicts. Almost activity or actions that affect several people require ethical guidelines. Nevertheless, there are individuals who cannot be ethical due to their lack of self-respect. Such individuals include, but not limited to illegal downloader’s of music.
Illegal downloading of music is very common in the current world (Verderber, Verderber & Sellnow, 2007). This behavior has advanced to greater height especially in the developing countries. Illegal music downloads involves the transfer of music either audio or visual from the internet to own own/local computer without payments or permission. Music downloading is entrusted on specific online stores that authorize the transfer process after charges are deducted. Also, downloading is facilitated by artists who allow customers to access short previews or low quality samples from their websites or online music stores. Unfortunately, the illegal downloading of music is faced by challenges that affect consumer experience negatively. These challenges are brought about by record labels, artists and Recording Industry Association of America. One of the challenge emerged when Universal Music Group failed to renew their contract with iTunes. They based their decision on the issues of song pricing. The Universal group wanted to charge a little bit more or less depending on the artist. This was different from iTunes, which had a pricing standard of 99 cents per song. This was seen as one of the many future show-downs of legal music downloading.
Illegal downloading of music is opted by many because of low costs. Individuals who download songs illegally do it at no price. This is more of counterfeiting and piracy, which subjects loses to the artists and online music stores. Artists incur loses and their efforts are taken for granted as people acquire counterfeited or free music. Individuals involved in illegal music downloading argue that the tiresome process involved during song downloading puts them off. These situations are evident when the charges are deducted, but the song ails to download which is non-refundable. Another situation is when downloading involves many complicated steps before a song is transferred to the clients computer or phone. These issues are among the reason why individuals prefer illegal downloading. There is also need to identify reasons why individuals prefer cheap products while avoiding the original ones. This would help the industry in understanding consumer behavior and adjust their selling as well as marketing mechanisms accordingly (Ledlow & Coppola, 2011).
Legality and company leadership
Illegal music downloading is a legal issue meaning it violates set standards and laws (Verderber, Verderber & Sellnow, 2007). It also goes against set societal ethical standards and therefore, punishable. However, apart from being illegal, it is more efficient that legal downloading. Individuals turn to it due to its convenience as well as efficiency. This is because legal downloading involved a series of steps and a tiresome procedure before a song is transferred to client’s gadgets.
Universal Music Group and American association of music recording both have a leadership role on music downloading. They sell music to online purchasers according to their requests and their ability to make payments. They price the songs either according to the opinion of the artists or their own price setting. Theirs is to attract clients across the world by the use internet and company websites. However, their conflicts with artists brought numerous challenges on legal music downloading (Cohen, 2009). This made individuals to adopt illegal ways of song transfers, which are cheap and efficient.
The whole process can never be complete without the cooperation of artists, online music stores and associations of music recording. This means that decisions have t be agreed upon by all these stakeholders before there are initiated. Such decision includes song pricing and process of payments. The outcomes of illegal music downloads is enjoyed by the consumer in terms of efficiency and cost effectiveness at the expense of the artist. The illegal downloading has attracted companies that facilitate this kind of behavior. The consumer satisfaction takes precedence as far as any business venture is concerned (Shapiro & Stefkovich, 2010). However, it does not guarantee illegality and violation of values to please the client.
While it is important that we understand what happens in the past, it is also important that we evaluate and criticize what happened in the past. We should do this both to learn lessons from the actions people have taken in the past, but also to learn what is of value and worth remembering about what happened in the past. In this essay you will be asked to reflect on the moral implications of one of the events we have been studying. First, you will be asked to morally analyze the actions of a person from the past from that actor's point of view. Second, you will be asked to evaluate that action based on moral principles. This essay should be around 3 pages long (about 750 words). It should be type written and conform to the principles of standard written English.
This sample should be taken only as one example of how the essay can be written.
a. Historical Analysis
For the first section of this essay, you will be asked to choose one of the events on the topics list and to write an ethical analysis of the action taken. This analysis will consist of three parts. In the first part you should briefly describe the circumstances surrounding the event so that the reader can understand the historical situation. In the second part you should describe the range of possible actions which could have been taken in this situation. You will need to use some historical imagination to figure out what choices were available. In the third part you should describe the action taken and describe what you believe to be the moral principles governing that choice of action. That is, what ethical principles are reflected in this choice of action?
You might wish to consider the following questions in making your ethical analysis:
- What are the ends or purposes this person is trying to bring about? Based on this action, what do you think this person values? What does this suggest to you about this person's ultimate values? Why do you think this person values these things?
- What are the rules or principles this person is following in taking this action? Why do you think this person has chosen to follow these rules or principles?
b. Contemporary Analysis
For the second section of this essay, you will be asked to evaluate the action taken based on your moral principles. You should state whether or not you believe the choice made was good and what alternative action might have been a better choice. You should also state the moral principles on which you base your decision.
You might wish to consider the following questions in arriving at your evaluation of this action:
- What are the ends or purposes you believe this person should have been trying to bring about? What do you think this person ought to have valued? What are your ultimate values? Why do you value these things?
- What are the rules or principles you believe this person should have followed? Why do you think this person should have followed those principles?
The essay will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
A. Preliminaries: Does it meet the requirements of the assignment regarding format, length and due date?
B. Essay Organization: Is the essay well organized? Is there a discernible thesis? Do each of the paragraphs have a topic sentence?
C. Writing: Is the essay's prose clear and conform to the expectations of Standard Written English?
D. Historical Understanding: Does this essay demonstrate that the author understands the historical situation and the relevant sources?
E. Ethical Understanding: Does the author present a convincing moral argument? That is, does it offer valid, persuasive reasons for accepting the position advocated?
Each of these criteria will be given equal weight. The essay as a whole will be worth 40 points.
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