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Contact: Tricia Whitehead
Spinhouse Public Relations
615.599.7746; spinhouse@comcast.net

CHRISTIAN TEENS TAKE THE MORAL HIGH GROUND ON MUSIC PIRACY…NOT!
Gospel Music Association Launches "Millions of Wrongs Don't Make It Right"

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - April 25, 2004 -- Christian teen music fans do not hold a higher ground morally when it comes to how they acquire music, reveals a new study commissioned by the Gospel Music Association. The study was conducted by The Barna Group of Ventura, Calif., the leading research firm for information and analysis regarding cultural trends and the Christian Church.

That finding, among others in the Barna study, are being used to shape an industry-wide campaign to educate and inform Christian music consumers about illegal downloading, file sharing and CD burning, announced John W. Styll, president of the GMA, at a press conference leading off GMA Week 2004 in Nashville. The campaign theme is "Millions of Wrongs Don't Make It Right" and will be conducted under the leadership of the Christian Music Trade Association (CMTA), a GMA-affiliated organization made up of the industry's leading recording companies.

"Like all other segments of the music industry, our album sales have been affected by the ongoing music piracy committed by consumers," said Styll. "We went into this study wanting to learn more about our young consumers and how their faith intersects with this vital issue. We were somewhat surprised to find that it does not. This furthers our resolve that we, meaning the industry, parents and spiritual leaders, need to do a better job educating the hearts and minds of young people to the basic biblical principle, 'thou shalt not steal.'"

The Barna Group surveyed 1,448 teenagers, including both Christians and teens of other faith commitments. Some key findings of the study, which were released by The Barna Group (and follow this news release), were:

With regard to attitudes:

  • The study shows that born again Christian teens are not much different than are non-born again teens in terms of holding an anti-piracy moral position. Just 10% of Christian teens believe that copying CDs for friends and unauthorized music downloading are morally wrong, compared to 6% of non-born agains.
  • Only one in 13 teenagers (eight percent) expressed moral opposition to piracy.
  • 21 percent of teens think copying CDs and unauthorized downloading were morally okay.
  • 65 percent of teens, classified as moral pragmatists, embrace a "whatever works" philosophy regarding music acquisition, believing music piracy is not a moral issue or holding inconsistent views on CD burning and downloading (that is, one is wrong, the other is not).

With regard to behavior:
  • Overall, 80 percent of teenagers have engaged in at least one type of music piracy in the past six months. Born again Christian teens engaged in the illegal behavior at nearly the same rate as all other teens (77% to 81%, respectively).
  • The strongest deterrent against piracy behavior was a teen's moral view. Among teens that believe piracy is wrong, "only" 58 percent had engaged in any form of piracy within the last six months.
  • Despite using the Internet to engage in music piracy, retail stores still remain the most common music source for teens (84 percent).

Part of The Barna Group study was dedicated to testing slogans and logos for a gospel music industry anti-piracy campaign. From the results, the GMA has chosen "Millions of Wrongs Don't Make It Right" for the campaign's theme.

"The GMA has been an outspoken supporter of the Recording Industry Association of America's (RIAA) efforts to fight piracy, but we still believe we must make a stronger and more direct appeal to our specific music fan base. With the campaign, we hope to establish the moral argument for our consumers; thereby moving them from wrong behavior to the many legal alternatives to acquire their music," Styll said.

The GMA, under the direction of a CMTA Anti-Piracy Task Force, will make "Millions of Wrongs Don't Make It Right" a grassroots effort, identifying partners at music labels, churches, ministry organizations, retailers, radio and other media to help deliver the message. A brochure has been created, which includes endorsements from well-respected artists Steven Curtis Chapman, Stacie Orrico and Shaun Groves that will be available in downloadable form for use on websites or for distribution at various Christian events, such as concert tours, summer music festivals and worship gatherings.

"It will take the collective and sustained effort of many to stamp out music piracy. We look forward to building support and momentum within and outside the gospel music industry for 'Millions of Wrongs Don't Make It Right,'" said Gabriel Aviles, Director of the CMTA.

Founded in 1964, the 4,500-member Gospel Music Association (www.gospelmusic.org) is dedicated to exposing, promoting and celebrating the gospel through music. The GMA represents all styles of gospel music including contemporary pop, rock, urban gospel, praise & worship, southern gospel, country and children's gospel music. The GMA produces GMA's Annual Music Awards , which recognizes achievement in all genres of gospel music.

Click here to download this press release in a Word document.

Continue to the Barna research information...
GMA Music Piracy Facts | GMA Music Piracy Facts PDF

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