ILLEGAL DOWNLOADS

ILLEGAL DOWNLOADS | IELTS Academic Reading Sample Question

The passage contains the following question types from IELTS Reading Question Types:

  • Matching headings
  • Short-answer questions
  • True False Not Given

ILLEGAL DOWNLOADS

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-12, which are based on Reading Passage below.

A. Downloading music from the internet has become a simple, fast and easy thing to do. The correct or legal way of going about it seems to be ignored by those who find it too costly. Illegal music downloads have reached an all time high, and a recent survey of high school students revealed an estimated 3.6 billion songs being downloaded per month. There are now endless possibilities available to the public where music can be downloaded for free and people are choosing to take this route even though it is illegal. iTunes Is one of the most well known sites where music can be bought legally for just over 51 per track. So when it is this cheap why are people still going to alternative unauthorized sites? Or is the legal route still considered a costly way to go about it?

B. If you think that copying music results in simply a slap on the wrist, think twice. Under government law, record companies are entitled to $750 to $30,000 per infringement but the law allows the jury to increase that to as much as $150,000 per song if it finds the infringements were deliberate. The music industry has threatened about 35,000 people with charges of copyright Infringement over the past decade. In recent months there have been more cases of music piracy heading to the courts. The industry estimates that more than a hundred of these cases remain unsettled in court, with fewer than 10 offenders actively arguing the case against them. The penalties for breaching the copyright act differ slightly depending upon whether the infringing is for commercial or private financial gain, with the latter punishment being far milder.

C. Nonetheless, the potential gain from illegal downloading versus the punitive measures that can be taken are. In many cases, poles apart. Recently, an American woman shared 27 illegally downloaded songs with her friends and was ordered to pay $1.92 million to the record company for deliberate infringement of the companies’ copyrights. More recently in America a 12 year old girl was sued for downloading music illegally and could face a penalty of 1150,000 per song. The order of payment from the courts to the American woman who shared the 27 tracks with her friends has spurred controversy as the public disagree with the ordered Infringement. The woman shared 27 songs at $1.99 per song, so should she be liable to pay such a large and impossible amount?

D. It has also been noted that of all measures that can be taken, fining is actually the least likely method of preventing further abuse. With driving, for example, statistics have shown that those that repeatedly drive over the speed limit are not discouraged by the loss of a sum of money, but this attitude quickly changed when the penalty was possibly losing their driving licence or even spending time in prison.

E. Being a difficult thing to police, the music industry has decided that it would be much easier to go after the internet service provider than to try and track down each individual case. The music industry feels internet piracy has decreased their artists’ sales dramatically and is a danger to their business, although on the other hand, online music sales promote individual tracks to be sold rather than albums, therefore increasing the amount spent by the purchaser.

F. If there are so many issues around the downloading of music, you might wonder why sales of MP3 players and CD burners are increasing rapidly The answer is simple – these devices do have a legitimate purpose defined as ‘fair use’. You can choose to make your personal back-up copy to use in a MP3 player, or you may visit one of many web sites, like iTunes, which offers music that you pay for as you download. While some may wonder why you would pay for something that can be had for free, those who do prefer to obey the copyright protection laws have purchased over 150 million songs from the iTunes site alone.

G. Online music sales are a business just like any other and music companies are fighting to salvage their industry. Cary Sherman, the President of RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), stated that when your product is being regularly stolen, there comes a time when you have to take appropriate action. At the same time, the RIAA has offered amnesty to the illegal downloaded who decide to come forward and agree to stop illegally downloading music over the Internet. People who have already been sued are obviously not eligible for amnesty.

H. When high school students were asked how they felt about the business of downloading illegally from the net they appeared to be divided on the issue. Some seemed to think there was absolutely nothing wrong with it. Others felt that it should be thought of as a serious crime like any other form of theft.

Questions 1 – 5

The reading passage has eight paragraphs, A-H.
Which paragraph contains the following information?
Type the correct letter A-H in boxes 1-5.

1) The disparity between fines and costs
2) The potential costs of piracy to the defendant
3) The number of songs illegally obtained from the internet
4) Ambivalence towards the problem
5) A reprieve for illegal downloaders

Questions 6 – 9

Answer the questions below using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER from the passage for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 6 – 9 on your answer sheet.

6) The maximum fine that a record company can impose is ________________.
7) The penalty for breaking copyright laws is harsher when undertaken for _______________ benefit.
8) The music industry targets each ________________ rather than each specific person downloading illegally.
9) Appliances used in connection with illegal downloads are sold under the term_______________.

Questions 10 – 12

Do the following statements agree with the information given in the reading passage?
In boxes 10-12 on your answer sheet write

TRUE                         if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE                       if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN             if there is no information on this

10. Most people sued for illegal downloading actively fight back against the record company.
11. Illegal downloading can be difficult to monitor and control.
12. High school students are responsible for illegally downloading the most music.

Answers for IELTS Reading Sample Question

1) Paragraph C
The paragraph begins with ‘Nonetheless, the potential gain from illegal downloading versus the punitive measures that can be taken are, in many cases, poles apart.’

2) Paragraph B
The first part of the paragraph refers to the fines that can be exacted on the people illegally downloading (the defendant)

3) Paragraph A
Midway through the paragraph: ‘an estimated 3.6 billion songs being downloaded per month’

4) Paragraph H
First sentence of the paragraph begins ‘how they felt about the business of downloading illegally from the net they appeared to be divided on the issue’

5) Paragraph C
‘…the RIAA has offered amnesty to the illegal downloader’s who decide to come forward and agree to stop illegally downloading music՛

6) $30,000
‘record companies are entitled to $750 to $30,000 per infringement but the law allows the jury to increase that to as much as $150,000 per song’

7) Commercial
‘The penalties for breaching the copyright act differ slightly depending upon whether the infringing is for commercial or private financial gain, with the latter punishment being far milder.’ (Paragraph B)

8) Internet service provider
‘the music industry has decided that it would be much easier to go after the internet service provider than to try and track down each individual case.1 (paragraph E)

9) Fair use
‘…sales of MP3 players and CD burners are increasing rapidly…these devices do have a legitimate purpose defined as ‘fair use” (paragraph F)

10) False
‘The industry estimates that more than a hundred of these cases remain unsettled in court, with fewer than 10 offenders actively arguing the case against them.’ (paragraph B)

11) True
Being a difficult thing to police’ (paragraph E)

12) Not given
Paragraph A refers to ‘a recent survey of high school students’ but does not specify that they download the most.

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