Four related developments have made the whole process even easier and more widespread: the unsecured mp3 file format, broadband connections, CD burning capabilities mentioned above, and cheap data storage devices. The mp3 file format is able to compress file sizes (to 1/12th) while preserving the quality and at low cost; broadband connections allow faster Internet access, CD burning enables the music to be stored on mobile media, and cheap data storage devices allow large music collections to be maintained. Furthermore, these music files can be “copied millions of times without the loss of quality, downloaded without the knowledge of the copyright holder and transmitted around the world instantly over networks” (Sparrow, 2006:2).The development of peer-to-peer (P2P) networks further eased the process of searching for music files on the Internet. These filesharing programs are designed specifically to locate music and other such content, and in a way that does not rely on accessing a central server. Instead, files remain on individual hard drives and the programs simply facilitate the direct sharing of files. They bypass the record companies because downloaders acquire files without any money flowing to them (Graham, 2005). But “what really scares the music industry is the sheer scale and ease of the piracy allowed by the internet” (Hammersley, 2002) because of lost revenue. To put this in context, according to Kusek & Leonhard (2008),. How the Impact of the Internet has Affected the Music Industry.
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