The music industry has been one of the most heavily affected industries by the advent of digital file sharing technologies. The rapid expansion of the internet in recent years has allowed people to easily share music online across the world without permission of the copyright owners of that music, and without the copyright owners profiting in any way from the widespread distribution of their work. This has caused significant revenue losses for record companies, and has caused them to seek a way to fight back against illegal downloading of music online. Record companies have tried filing lawsuits against individuals who download their copyrighted content, but have since given up that strategy. Since the problem began, many record companies and artists have been pushing the federal government to increase the protections it grants to copyright holders in an effort to stop illegal downloads. Government response to these requests so far has been minimal. Moving forward, the United States federal government really has three options: give more privileges copyright holders or increase the penalties for those who violate copyrights, eliminate the issue from their arena entirely by changing copyright law such that sharing of music online is no longer a violation of copyright, or do nothing and leave the law alone as it is. Read my report to learn more about the subject and see some recommendations for change.

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