IELTS essay, topic: Should copyright materials such as music, films and books be freely available on the Internet (opinion)?
This is a model response to a Writing Task 2 topic from High Scorer’s Choice IELTS Practice Tests book series (reprinted with permission). This answer is likely to score IELTS Band 9.
Set 2 General Training book, Practice Test 10
Writing Task 2
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic:
There is a problem today that copyright materials such as music, films and books are freely available on the Internet with the result that the owners of the works lose money.
Do you feel that this is a good or bad thing?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your knowledge or experience.
You should write at least 250 words.
In modern day society, it has become common to make copyright protected material freely available on the Internet with the result that the owners of the work lose large sums of money. The discussion of whether or not this distribution is of positive or negative nature has therefore been raised. Personally, I believe that this issue has both negative and positive effects.
Distributing copyright protected material freely online can firstly help make this material more popular. Often people are not willing to spend money on a film or song before being exposed to it once, as they cannot be sure that they will enjoy the material they are about to purchase. If they purchase a song or film and then do not like it, the money spent will have been wasted, which is disappointing. Frequently, people purchase copyright protected material that they enjoyed after being exposed to it once, meaning that often owners often receive money at a later stage. An owner’s reputation can additionally improve, because frequently owners who allow their work to be distributed partially or completely online have a more positive reputation amongst customers.
Regardless of the positive effects of the free online distribution of copyright protected material, it can be said that this distribution has several negative effects. Firstly, owners lose large sums of money through it. A lot of time and money can be spent producing the material distributed, as certain spaces and equipment must be rented or bought to produce a certain song or film. Like all other people, artists need money to survive and thus are at a disadvantage when they do not receive money for their work. I personally believe therefore that governments should make sure that when something is performed in public or when work is displayed in public, artists should receive credit and money.
In conclusion, it can be said that the online distribution of copyright protected material has both negative and positive effects. In my opinion, it cannot fully be determined whether this distribution is of a positive or negative nature; one must decide upon this for oneself.
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