Tests Taken: 67209
Published on: 14 Dec 2017
You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.
The charts below show the percentage of monthly household income spent on various items by two different groups in one European country.
Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and making comparisons where relevant.
You should write at least 150 words.
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Modern technology has made it easier for individuals to download copyrighted music and books from the internet for no charge.
To what extent is this a positive or a negative development?
You should write at least 250 words.
The two pie charts show that low and high income groups spend their disposable income (earnings excluding house rent or purchase) on similar items but in different proportions.
Regarding the low income group, the highest proportion of their money is spent on food and drink - 29 percent, compared to just 1 5 percent for the high income group. This is closely followed by 24 percent paid out on fuel bills, which contrasts with a much lower figure for this item for the high income group (only 7 percent). The most popular item for the high earners is recreation and cultural activities - 21 percent compared with 11 percent by the low earning group. The higher group also spend a much higher proportion than the lower income group on restaurants and hotels (12 percent and 4 percent respectively) and on transportation (16 percent and 9 percent respectively). The proportion of expenditure on clothing for the two groups is very similar, with only one percent difference between the two (six percent for high income group and five percent for the low).
Few would argue that technologies developed in recent years have had a significant impact on the way books and music are shared. The Internet enables very cheap, or even completely free, access to words and sounds.
For many people this is a very negative development. Firstly, they make the point that downloading words and music without paying is morally wrong - it is, after all, a form of stealing, just as much as if someone had shop-lifted a CD. Secondly, they claim that if nobody actually buys music or books then the people who produce them, for example, novelists, journalists or musicians, will no longer be able to make a living from such work. Eventually new work will stop being created, no one will perform live and whole industries will cease to function. They say that eventually the only way to make money from writing and music will be through things like celebrity endorsements, and mediocrity will flourish.
I believe, however, that freer access to books and music on the Internet is a liberating development, allowing more people to enjoy what was once the preserve of the few. It is particularly good that young people can freely experience a wide range of music and writing. I feel the only way to prevent accessing books and music is by stricter monitoring and harsher penalties and that this would be extremely damaging, because it would increase surveillance and control. I believe it would stifle creativity and undermine creative industries much more than free access is said to do now. I believe writers and musicians will find a way of benefiting from the new situation and good artists will be able to make a living as they always have done.