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What Various Studies Really Reveal About File-Sharing

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the have-some-media dept.

Music 285

Dangerous_Minds writes "Drew Wilson of ZeroPaid has an interesting look at file-sharing. It all started with a review of a Phoenix study that was used to promote SOPA. Wilson says that the study was long on wild claims and short on fact. While most writers would simply criticize the study and move on, Wilson took it a step further and looked in to what file-sharing studies have really been saying throughout the years. What he found was an impressive 19 of 20 studies not getting any coverage. He launched a large series detailing what these studies have to say on file-sharing. The first study suggests that file-sharing litigation was a failure. The second study said that p2p has no effect on music sales. The third study found that the RIAA suppresses innovation. The fourth study says that the MPAA has simply been trying to preserve its oligopoly. The fifth study says that even when one uses the methodology of one download means one lost sale, the losses amount to less than $2 per album. The studies, so far, are being posted on a daily basis and are certainly worth the read."

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285 comments

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First... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39912969)

to say I wish I was surprised, but I'm not

Re:First... (-1)

WinstonWolfIT (1550079) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913369)

Nice job being first into a -1 dumbass.

Re:First... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39913903)

what a large superficially infected phallus you are, sir. /. reports what we all kinda knew all along....modern music (ESPECIALLY Metallica) blows goats. I have pr00f

P2P had no effect on music sales? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39912983)

I know anecdotes don't mean much but...

I was in university (and poor) when Napster became popular and I stopped paying for music. I have money now but the habit kind of stuck and I haven't paid for music since; I know many people who are the same way. I'm pretty sure that P2P has cost the music industry hundreds of dollars from me personally over the last 14 years.

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39913023)

I know that in CD sales, they lost on me as well.
T-shirt sales, tickets to events and so on are up by a lot. Arguably because I have more money now, but on the other hand, I also found many bands online, where in the past, I didn't exactly buy CDs/merchandising/tickets from any bands I didn't get to know through friends and pretty much heard every song off already.

Not that I go to many concerts of current day pop stars on anything. Its mostly the older guys.

In my opinion, it really is a problem with being stuck in an old medium. CD sales could go well, but they have to add in something extra, like a teddy bear or whatever.

In my case, the revenue has taken another lane, but its not gone. I don't know if it still arrives in the same hands, but making it so that everybody gets his fair share doesn't seem to be the fault of the person spending the money.

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (1, Interesting)

Maslaka (2633493) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913481)

I'm not so sure. I have bought some music, but this has always been if I really cannot find it for free (pirated). Part of it is because it's more convenient and faster, but mostly it is because by doing that I have more money to spend on other things. This seems to be same way with tons of people, so yes, what RIAA and labels are saying about piracy is not that far from the truth. Most of casual piracy is indeed because people can get away with it and "save" money by pirating.

I have also recently looked around iTunes and it seems like they have pretty much everything available, and more, like podcasts and remixes etc. If iTunes works any way similar to the mac app store, then there's no reasoning about convenience either. Buying is just a click away and everything works fast and quickly. Faster than pirating actually. The funny thing is, I live in a country that quite openly sells pirated software, movies and music. You can go to established, huge malls and most stores are selling pirated versions at cheap prices.

I do also go out more to venues and to listen live music (especially if dining out - which is almost every night as it's the way here, most people don't cook at home and want to socialize). However, I don't think it's because I've got better access to free music by piracy, but just because I've grown up and it's usual thing for young adults to do, especially if dating, and especially here.

But piracy really is a huge problem. Something needs to be done about it. I don't think the huge fines RIAA/MPAA puts on people and destroying lives are the right way, but someone needs to come up with better solution to the problem.

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (3, Interesting)

scourningparading (2633143) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913525)

But piracy really is a huge problem.

No. It's copying certain data without permission. I cannot fathom how anyone could perceive that as being a much more severe problem than jaywalking. They may or may not be losing potential profit, but that is all.

I cannot see how copying music is a "huge" problem even as someone who supports copyright. We have much, much, much larger problems to worry about, and oftentimes, dealing with copyright infringers is both a waste of time and taxpayer money (at least when it's the government dealing with them).

I don't think the huge fines RIAA/MPAA puts on people and destroying lives are the right way, but someone needs to come up with better solution to the problem.

Laughable. What do you suggest? Even as someone who supports the idea of reasonable copyright laws, I do not believe it is possible to stop.

Through legislation? Again, laughable. That will just make people angry, and likely invade people's privacy, violate rights, and a host of other things.

Laws? Again, won't work. It will just anger people even further, and it's impossible to stop them all.

If you're suggesting that they make a product that can compete with the pirated versions, then that is a much more sound strategy. That means no DRM, good customer support, and hassle-free. But still, there will be those who will not buy no matter what.

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (0, Flamebait)

Maslaka (2633493) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913591)

No. It's copying certain data without permission. I cannot fathom how anyone could perceive that as being a much more severe problem than jaywalking. They may or may not be losing potential profit, but that is all.

I cannot see how copying music is a "huge" problem even as someone who supports copyright. We have much, much, much larger problems to worry about, and oftentimes, dealing with copyright infringers is both a waste of time and taxpayer money (at least when it's the government dealing with them).

I know geeks (and those with asperger's syndrome) usually think in this kind of 0/1 binary way. Since it's just data and your copy will directly only generate cost of the bandwidth, then there must be no other costs involved, right? That, however, is far from truth and I find people with this kind of reasoning to be either extremely stupid or lying. Sure, pirate if you must, but at least be honest about it and stop lying to yourself and others.

If you're suggesting that they make a product that can compete with the pirated versions, then that is a much more sound strategy. That means no DRM, good customer support, and hassle-free. But still, there will be those who will not buy no matter what.

Gaming industry is pretty much coming to this. Instead of DRM it means games that are so integrated into online world that there is no way to pirate them. It also means F2P and Facebook games. Many slashdotters hate this, as can be seen on Diablo 3 stories and stories about Facebook games. However, it is entirely result of the rampant piracy. I guess this wasn't the answer people were looking for when they said game companies should innovate and provide better product instead of using DRM, but well, they just got themselves to blame.

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (5, Insightful)

scourningparading (2633143) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913715)

I know geeks (and those with asperger's syndrome) usually think in this kind of 0/1 binary way.

What an excellent way to start a comment. I'm sure you'll get many people to agree with you that way.

Since it's just data and your copy will directly only generate cost of the bandwidth, then there must be no other costs involved, right?

No, and that isn't what I said. In fact, if you read my comment, you would have seen that I said that a download may or may not cause a loss of potential profit. Which is completely true.

But even as someone who supports copyright (Surprise! Just because I disagree with you doesn't mean I'm a pirate.) I cannot understand how you could believe this is a huge deal. The effects can't be noticed by the victim (as they've lost nothing) unless they observe it themselves, nothing is really "taken" in the traditional sense of the word, and the actual effects are not measurable.

Sure, pirate if you must

I've noticed a trend. People seem to label others who disagree with them as the "enemy" (the people completely opposite to them). I actually said that I was in support of copyright. Can you not imagine a scenario where someone on your side disagrees with some of the things you say? I simply thought you were exaggerating about copyright infringement being a "huge" problem.

but at least be honest about it and stop lying to yourself and others.

If you wish to raise your chance of convincing people to agree with you above zero, I suggest dropping arrogant statements such as this. It will just make people less likely to listen to you.

Instead of DRM it means games that are so integrated into online world that there is no way to pirate them.

To me, that is a needless form of DRM. I'll never buy any games like that. I don't need single-player games that force me to be online (either due to conventional DRM or due to services like OnLive).

But if they get a copy of the game, there is no escape. This won't work for music or movies, though. It is more effective for games (due to them being interactive).

However, it is entirely result of the rampant piracy.

I'll need some proof. A citation, in fact.

But of course, there is no excuse for DRM and draconian measures. Punishing innocents for the actions of others is simply unjustifiable to me.

they just got themselves to blame.

This is an attitude that puzzles me. The game companies are the ones making these decisions. If anything, the blame mostly lies on them. They're the ones who implement the DRM and make the software, not the pirates. The pirates may indirectly cause them to change direction, but they still make the final decision.

Do not pretend as if no blame rests on the developers.

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (3, Insightful)

tburkhol (121842) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913937)

No. It's copying certain data without permission. I cannot fathom how anyone could perceive that as being a much more severe problem than jaywalking. They may or may not be losing potential profit, but that is all.

Did you miss the part of the GP's post where he says pirated versions of software are on sale, cheap, at his local mall? A company, musician, or artist takes a big risk in creating the data you seem to dismiss so lightly. Maybe it takes three months out of their life; maybe it requires years of full-time effort from 20 or more coders, artists and coordinators, but the only way they have to recoup that risk is for someone to give them money. Shareware has taught us that a very small fraction of people who download software will pay for it voluntarily (although certain well-established names clearly have a fan-base that will yield good returns).

Physical distribution channels have losses - breakage, overproduction, theft - that get built into the distribution, and I rather think of piracy (or maybe "redistribution of unauthorized copies for profit") and sharing (maybe "redistribution of unauthorized copies without charge") as an unavoidable distribution loss on digital enterprises. As long as it's a small enough fraction of the income, it's not going to hurt, but you have to be terribly naive to imagine that it's no "more sever than jaywalking." The problem is it's hard to quantify: in a physical channel, you know how many copies you produced and how many you sold, so you can calculate exactly what your distribution loss is. In a digital channel, you only know how many copies you sold and not how many were produced, so you can justify almost any number at all for your distribution loss. The unquantifiable loss makes it very hard to guess how much risk is involved in starting a new, multimillion dollar digital production; makes the loans to support salaries more expensive, makes the venture capital a more expensive, makes failure to release a product a little more likely.

I cannot see how copying music is a "huge" problem even as someone who supports copyright. We have much, much, much larger problems to worry about

Oh, I see: you're not talking about whether copyright infringement affects the quality and quantity of digital products, but about whether copyright infringement is equivalent to genocide in Sudan, earthquakes in Haiti and Japan, or the risk of nuclear war. Yeah, I guess in that context, you could even argue that murder (which claims fewer than 15,000 US lives each year) is a small problem.

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (2)

voidphoenix (710468) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913809)

So, your anecdote and personal experience trumps the 19/20 studies that the article talks about. Nice. Maybe you should remember that you're one person in 7 billion. I could get snarky and quote your post and asks for lots of citations, but there's no need for that. If you're not a shill, stop drinking the Kool-aid.

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39913025)

Cost the music distribution industry, perhaps. What about the statistics on the actual artists?

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (4, Interesting)

chilvence (1210312) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913637)

Thankyou, for stating the obvious :). I know that statement seems sarcastic, but it is the one thing people seem to so easily overlook. Not only is the music distribution industry redundant, the only thing it seems to be good for in my mind is promoting gutter trash like Justin Bieber, which most likely would never fly on its own.

Piracy may not be 100% right, but neither is expecting to get mega rich off the back of the general scumbag population just because you can do something that resembles actual music.

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (5, Informative)

Stirling Newberry (848268) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913957)

The vast majority of musicians and composers make no royalties at all, and of the rest, most do not make enough to live performing or composing. Copyright is a benefit to "the .1%" and not very much benefit to others.

I say this as someone who has actually gotten royalties. Artists, in general, must either work for nothing, or sign away their rights as part of getting distribution.

Copyright is about pipes, not content, in that corporate entities get the vast majority of royalties, directly, or indirectly in that they charge recording artists for "services" out of royalties. The pipe owners, as owners of rights of way often do, take virtually all the value of what is moved over them. And in our case are demanding a surveillance state enforce their ownership, as happened, for example, with the railroads in the 19th century. The people who own the pipes should be paid, but not at the cost of basic liberties. If someone cannot be paid without infringing on basic liberties, what they are doing probably isn't worth what they think they should be paid. The problem with making information rival and exclusive is that it more valuable generally as neither, and since it does not have a good physical analog, chain of possession does not make a good proxy for ownership.

What needs to be paid for then, is not really the artists in most cases, but the entire expensive apparatus of creating large artifacts, and distributing them, which means as much crowding out smaller footprint forms of art. There are thousands of people in the recording industry making a good living off of WA Mozart, none of them, however, are WA Mozart. Bartok's estate still gets royalties, but that does not help Bela Bartok. For all the good that the copyright system does most artists, they might as well be dead. However it takes legions of people to control and promote pop art, and without the huge flow of money associated with mass media, they would not exist, and could not be paid. Nor could media moghuls like Murdoch afford to buy and sell politicians. The money does not pay for art, but to support a system which is, at this point, largely about itself.

While the current intensive pop system could not survive without copyright, a knowledge based system can. If our goal was paying artists, the system created would not look anything like the present perpetual copyright with a spy state enforcing it. We also wouldn't ever use the term "intellectual property" because it would be an obvious oxymoron.

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39913029)

On the flipside, I never used to pay for music at all - ever. I either copied from friends, or downloaded. Now I'm working and have money, and using Spotify Premium (€10 a month) since it came available.

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39913041)

And for every few albums I've downloaded, I've heard an musician I never would have otherwise, bought their album and gone to see their show when they come to town.

So the mediocre loose... but the talented, perhaps unappreciated, artists who don't get corporate radio airtime win.

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (4, Interesting)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913047)

Yes, but filesharing also means many people were exposed to music they might not have been otherwise, and of those there is a group who despite downloading an album will still go buy it (or buy a special limited edition version for an upgrade) to support the artist they are now a fan of.

Those extra sales will counteract the losses of the "I don't pay for anything" pirates.

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39913731)

as well as go and see them in concert. and lets not kid ourselves that every one bought all of their music before the internet, the amount of mix tapes created would give napster a run for its money.

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (4, Informative)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913777)

And concert tickets probably give more to the actual artists than the royalties on their album sales.

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (4, Insightful)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913061)

When Napster came out, I tried it, and within a couple of days, I found that it wasn't worth my time. On the other hand, once Sony started infecting computers with malware from music CDs, I stopped buying music at all.

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (-1, Troll)

adolf (21054) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913413)

I parse what you write as "I really don't like to listen to music, so I don't care about any of this."

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (0, Flamebait)

crutchy (1949900) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913501)

I parse what you write as "i'm a moron, so i don't care about parsing what other people write with any level of comprehension"

you weren't in germany in the early 1940's by any chance?

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39913871)

When dealing with internet posts, I usually parse everyone as "lolololol"
because really...anyone who doesn't have what I'm looking for is a troll.

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39913065)

Shut up, shut up, shut up....

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913109)

Shut up, shut up, shut up....

Your cognitive dissonance causing you pain, eh?

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913685)

Nah, he's just a Tool [down.net] fan.

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (4, Insightful)

Dragoniel (2633331) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913067)

Precisely because of "free" music and videos I heard many albums nobody I know heard of and saw movies that aren't available in my country and never will be. That's one thing corporations doesn't care about. But there is more - I would never have paid for any music or movies I downloaded anyway, because I can't afford it. So, how much actual money the corporations actually lost? Big fat zero. There goes your numbers. I buy content that is worth buying. Sometimes I download something and then buy it later, because it's worth it. Sometimes I don't - but it doesn't mean they lost money because I didn't - I wouldn't have paid without trying in the first place. Period.

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39913081)

The argument is that although you have the money it doesn't mean that you're a potential customer. If you had the money back then, would you have purchased the music? And do you place any value in the downloaded music you have now?

Say you lost your music collection. How do you value the digital music you pirated compared to the music you purchased? Would you re-purchase your entire collection again? I'm sure there's a fair bit in there which you just happen to have which you could care less for. You aren't their customer.

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (1)

scourningparading (2633143) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913319)

And do you place any value in the downloaded music you have now?

Or rather, do they place enough value in it that they'd pay for it?

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39913097)

File sharing didn't cost the Mafiaa cartels anything from me, their own actions have.

I will not EVER pay for their produced/distributed content again, because by doing so I would be helping fund a war on the free internet, lawsuits waged on their own customers, and bought legislation to stifle innovation.

Plus p2p file-sharing gives a better product without bullshit like unskippable ads, DRM, and idiotic FBI warnings on legally purchased media.

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (1)

powerspike (729889) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913213)

even better. Australian DVD's - which are region locked to prevent us from using oversea's ones (ie paying less then 1/2 what they charge here) still have FBI warnings on them, they can't even bother to put the Australian warnings on them these days!

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (1)

mrjb (547783) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913401)

Same in Europe. Not that I mind. The FBI warning is entirely non-intrusive compared to the techno-ridden, flashing, non-fast-forwardable "PIRACY. IT'S A CRIME" clip that we have to put up with if we actually pay for our media. One more reason not to.

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39913467)

After the player figures out what you fed it, try Stop, Stop, Play.

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (1)

Truekaiser (724672) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913967)

Or use a player that ignores that junk. vlc, mplayer, xine..

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (2)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913487)

Same in Europe. Not that I mind. The FBI warning is entirely non-intrusive compared to the techno-ridden, flashing, non-fast-forwardable "PIRACY. IT'S A CRIME" clip that we have to put up with if we actually pay for our media. One more reason not to.

This is one of the reasons I rip a DVD immediately on buying it [*]. All the unskippable trash can be removed and we just get the movie from the media server.

[*] I buy a handful of DVDs per year, but always from the bargain bins where the price is something below euro10. As new releases, they're always grossly overpriced, often around euro15-20 for DVD (or euro25-35 for BD).

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (2)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913881)

This is one of the reasons I rip a DVD immediately on buying it [*]. All the unskippable trash can be removed and we just get the movie from the media server.

That's the great irony of it... the pirates never see the FBI warning and "don't steal this" crap, because it's not part of the main film.

Of course, you do miss out on some of the "unskippable" content that, on rare occasions, can be quite funny. They put an ad for Windex at the start of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, for example... and the ad for Head & Shoulders at the end of Evolution. Shameless marketing, but in both cases, it's pertinent to the movie in question, and actually pretty funny... :) 99.9999999999% of the time it's just annoying crap, but from time to time it's actually worth watching at least some of it.

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (2)

fa2k (881632) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913969)

Plus p2p file-sharing gives a better product without bullshit like unskippable ads, DRM, and idiotic FBI warnings on legally purchased media.

The music industry isn't that bad in terms of freedom. It's possible to buy high-quality DRM-free music files at sites like iTunes, Amazon, Beatport, etc. The streaming sites/apps are arguably easier to use than both legal and pirated downloads, so they are in a separate category (still not well enough developed licensing that I can trust them as my only source of music). Your point about not supporting the war on the free internet is a very interesting one, but I think the movie industry is much worse, the TV industry seems to be less involved with the internet alltogether, but neither of these even offer DRM-free content. If we only consider the current state, not the previous actions, it almost seems good to support the music industry in comparison to Hollywod.

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (4, Interesting)

XiaoMing (1574363) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913099)

This is science at its best. Not only can you not cherry-pick your data to make a conclusive paper, but you also really shouldn't cherry-pick papers to make a conclusion (or vice versa) in life.

Keep in mind that the conclusion you are the living counter-example of is from one study out of many, and that the final study which directly relates one download to one lost sale (the most conservative estimate you can make) arrived at a loss of less than $2/album sold. So that means that even if not everyone were like you, the loss really becomes a sliding scale from $0-$2 per album.

You take all of the papers into account, and a larger pattern does emerge: Yes, any record that goes gold (500k sales) or platinum (1M sales) will see roughly ~$1M-$2M in losses. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_recording_sales_certification )
At the same time, we know that artists are thriving in this environment http://boingboing.net/2009/11/13/labels-may-be-losing.html [boingboing.net]

What does one do with these conclusions? Well that really depends on who you are: If you're the corporation, you obviously tighten your group and try to squish indie label companies for the sake of the bottom line (and in spite of artistic creativity). If you're the musician, you could "sell-out" because being well known, even if via overproduction and sheer marketing and autotuning, was your life goal, or you can maybe find a nice indie label that will help develop you for you. If you're Fox News, you defend the corporation because they're people too, who cares about our neighbors!

And as the average consumer? Well I guess I'm always impressed by the number of people defending corporations and what they think is "capitalism" in this day and age, when it's really resembling more and more a conspiracy by all the companies to screw over the consumers, rather than a competition to win their favor.

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39913323)

I'm always impressed by the number of people defending corporations and what they think is "capitalism" in this day and age

It has never been capitalism. Capitalism requires a fully informed and equal-opportunity market. Copyright, by its very definition, has nothing to do with equal opportunity. As for fully informed, well, you need a functioning education system for that.

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (1)

ausrob (864993) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913107)

I'm not sure it's that clear cut. Are you saying that *all* the music you downloaded you would have paid for, song for song or album-for-album? There's quite a big difference between what you acquired for free and what you *might* have been prepared to pay for.

The general consensus appears to be (or.. should be at least) that a downloaded song != a guaranteed sale. Thus the music industry, in stating that every download is a loss of revenue, is a nebulous statement at best.

There's data which suggests that some people, after downloading and listening to a single, have gone out and purchased the associated album; much like listening to a single on the radio might achieve.

There's also a few theories that people downloading tracks have been more likely to attend concerts, buy merchanise.

I'm not sure it's totally safe to assert that p2p/file sharing hasn't had an impact on revenue, but it's also hard to rule out an improvement in sales by the same token.

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (4, Interesting)

toejam13 (958243) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913191)

I'm just the opposite. By obtaining music through alternative channels, my CD collection eventually quadrupled in size (now over 300 discs).

One benefit was that I was exposed to a huge number of artists who receive little to no airplay by traditional terrestrial radio broadcasting. I'm not a fan of the soulless generic music that dominates most of the airwaves, so this was a very significant thing for me. When I discovered a new group I really liked, I'd go hit up an online retailer. Their recommendation system would then steer me towards other similar artists I had barely heard of. I'd then go back to the well to grab some of their music. Rinse and repeat.

Another benefit was identification. There used to be a huge number of songs from the '70s - '90s I really liked, but never knew their name. Thanks to an ID tag on a digital music file, I now knew the name of the artist and song and could go buy the album through a retailer. No more mistaking the music of one artist for another.

As online retailers have moved away from 20 second 32kbps previews to song clips of longer duration and better quality, it is just getting easier to use their sites to preview. But nothing beats the convenience of those alternative channels.

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39913807)

Bingo, all you have listed above is the exact reason why the big labels doesn't like alternative channels of distribution.

Lost sales is the excuse, they can't say "we want to monopolize the market [like all managers want] and chaotic/uncontrolled/democratic channels to make music known are thus our real enemy".

There is lots of copyrighted stuff in youtube, but there you can get ranking by paying a 50 cent army, so it's more like a traditional channel. Not so, the p2p.

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39913289)

I was in university (and poor) when Napster became popular and I stopped paying for music. I have money now but the habit kind of stuck and I haven't paid for music since; I know many people who are the same way

Before I was in university I didn't buy a single record, simply because I didn't like the crap that was being pushed through the radio (all radio). Both napster and new friends helped me to find music that I actually like. These days, I go to 3-4 concerts and 2 festivals a year.

Yes, I do download. Still, most of my music collection comes from CD rips, either from friends' or the library (which is legal in my country).

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (2)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913347)

I was in university (and poor) when Napster became popular and I stopped paying for music. I have money now but the habit kind of stuck and I haven't paid for music since; I know many people who are the same way. I'm pretty sure that P2P has cost the music industry hundreds of dollars from me personally over the last 14 years.

I know how you feel. I remember when I decided that records were basically overpriced crap and that I didn't feel like spending any more money on them. And I haven't. Except for the odd requested present, anyway.

Interesting point here is that this happened in the late 80s for me. Long before the advent of filesharing. I didn't need P2P to persuade me to stop buying, and the habit of not buying stuck so much that I don't d/l music either.

So in my case, it's the music industry that cost the music industry hundreds of dollars from me personally. Maybe P2P wasn't the pivotal factor in your own disenchantment either?

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (2)

mrjb (547783) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913389)

I'm pretty sure that P2P has cost the music industry hundreds of dollars from me personally over the last 14 years.

I'm sure I've cost the music industry hundreds as well, but for entirely different reasons. The litigation around the Napster thing made me realize what a bunch of scumbags the music industry really are. I've still paid for music, of course. I've got some CDs at charity shops. Others directly from independent artists. At least like that the money is going where I want it to. I've come to appreciate lastfm and jamendo for the rest of my music needs. I'm still listening to all the music I want, but the music industry simply aren't having my money anymore.

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913407)

Pre-napster, you most likely would have just done without while in university and poor or made a few tapes from friends and perhaps play the radio more. THAT would be the new habit you would have kept even when you had money again.

Of course, you're in a new demographic now that has always spent less of it's disposable income on music than younger people.

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913551)

Had you purchased all those CD's if P2P hadn't been around?

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (1)

lakeland (218447) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913569)

I dunno, I'd say I'm up slightly.

It's hard to say though, some years ago I just stopped looking out for new music - free or paid. I think the principal issue is that I'd rather kill a few minutes playing a brainless app than listening to some new music.

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39913609)

As far as anecdotes go, I was the complete opposite. I loved that you could browser other people's libraries in Napster. I discovered lots of new bands and bought the vast majority of all the music I ever bought during that time.

After the MAFIA started going crazy by sueing everybody and buying laws, I realised that these greedy assholes don't deserve any of my money. Since that time I hardly bought any music; and I always make sure the artists aren't connected to the MAFIA.

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (1)

Eraesr (1629799) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913657)

The question is though, have they lost hundreds of dollars from you because P2P has been available, or because their own distribution methods are really, really expensive and inconvenient for you?

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (3, Insightful)

msimm (580077) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913691)

hundreds of dollars from me personally over the last 14 years

Nothing personal, but the only thing this anecdote underlines is the fact that you'd have been a marginal consumer in the first place.

As another (counter?) anecdote: I've spent hundreds of dollars every year for the past 14 years (or so) and like yourself, I'm an avid downloader of music.

Not to parrot popular sentiment, but I believe the music industry is slowly strangling itself with the protectivist measures it continues to take. I don't listen to loads of top "" music but I think as more and more people get 'geeky' the alternatives, which focus almost 100% on the consumer side of the experience, become more and more acceptable.

They could drop margins, shift focus to the consumer, and see what happens. Or they could not, maintain some heavy-handed control...and see what happens.

Oddly, one of the best genres to result from the post-consumer digital pop-music age is bootleg remixes. Which introduces me to consumer oriented music I might no have otherwise listened to. And of course violates copyright.

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913753)

OTOH, I buy lots more music now, a mix of CDs and downloaded tracks from Amazon - mainly the latter unless the CD offers something special. I listen to a radio show in the UK (6 Music) and buy Mojo Magazine which expose me to lots of ideas for new bands to check out.
I used to hammer Napster back in the day but that was mainly to download rare stuff you simply couldn't buy period or was unavailable in my country.
I have sometimes treated downloads as try before you buy - for instance I d/l all of the West Wing before buying it on DVD. Ditto for BSG and other shows. TBH, I probably buy more than I should given my lack of 'me time' as I have about 150 DVDs in the 'to be watched' pile.

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913799)

For me, it's completely the reverse. I never bought much music, I never was on Napster, I don't use P2P except for downloading Linux distributions and similar stuff, I don't listen to music radio stations (and I only listen to radio anyway if I am driving, and then it's mostly news radio), I was never much of a customer to musicians. I couldn't care less about their copyrights, their means to generate income or whatever their business model is. The same goes for movies, my children own many more DVDs than I ever had, and it's still somewhere at the less-than-100-level, and many of them are already scratched and unplayable (children, ey?).

But nevertheless, the music and movie industries always try to press the matter of copyright onto me, trying to limit what I can do, wanting to monitor every step I do online and applying for new laws and regulations all the way. So lets say to them: Go away! I don't care for your income. I am not interested in your business model, and everything is fine to me as long as you stop infringing on my life! Stop talking about poor artists dying, I am not interested in their works. Just go away and fight your little wars somewhere else where they don't affect me!

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39913877)

Yes and no.

  I got broadband DSL when I was 13 so I never bought CDs (maybe 4 or 5 before that). But what is for sure is the music industry made tons of cash with me, and that P2P is the sole responsible for this.

  I've attended at least 200 gigs and that would represent a shitload of CDs. ALL those bands I had listend to thanks to P2P (or friend or whatever "illegal" sharing technique)

  You don't need to buy CDs to make the music industry some money, and you surely don't need to make the artists some money !

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (5, Insightful)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913911)

"I'm pretty sure that P2P has cost the music industry hundreds of dollars from me personally over the last 14 years."

The personal music taste is getting somewhat fixed when you're around 14 years old. So the music I downloaded was more or less from that period. I bought their vinyl albums and singles several times, since they don't survive younger siblings and teenager's care very much. I also bought 8-tracks of the very same groups for my car. (yes, I'm that old) Later I bought cassettes and CDs of again the very same albums, some of them several times because I always forgot to lock my (crappy anyway) car in these times not to mention that cassettes got eaten by the player regularly.
After having bought some albums up to 6 or 7 times, I really don't have any conscience problems for having downloaded those.
After all it was me that paid for the sex and drugs of these guys in the sixties, seventies and eighties. I don't see why I should also be responsible for their pension plan.
Enough is enough.

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (1)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913925)

I was also in university when P2P became popular and I also never buy music now. But it has nothing to do with P2P.. it has a lot more to do with the fact that LEGAL music is available for free everywhere now. It is not like it was when we were young and if you wanted to listen to music in your room you had to have a truckload of CDs or tapes - nowadays kids just fire up YouTube or one of the 100 digital music channels people get for free with their TV service.

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913945)

You could say it like that. Or, you could simply say "I no longer feel the need." For decades, I paid for or lived in a home where cable TV was paid for. As life became more difficult, I resorted to bribing the installers when they installed internet and this last go around, the installer wouldn't take the bribe. The result was an eye-opener. I no longer need cable... and I see now that I never did.

In the past, I have bought music... long, long ago. Money has not been lost on me.

Anyway, we know what they know. It's hard to put a price tag on P2P and the internet is what it is. It's a game changer to be sure but the "harm" is to few and the benefit to many... even to the people who are otherwise "harmed." Smart money says "stop giving it to lawyers and give it to strategists." They aren't smart money.

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39914019)

The study says that the "negative" effects are completely balanced by the "positive" effects. In other words, every dollar you did not spend was still spent by others elsewhere.

Re:P2P had no effect on music sales? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39914027)

Many people are now boycotting the RIAA and all members because they cheat artists, cheat on their taxes and destroy lives.

You can now get a larger punishment for downloading a copy of a song than for physically stealing a CD.

You can now get a larger punishment for sharing copies than for killing someone.

The US government hasn't lifted a finger against the cartel for cheating on their taxes or cheating artists which multiple other countries have convicted them of.

Facts. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39912989)

Unfortunately, people don't care about them, regardless of the number of studies you do, the degrees you wave around in their faces and the clearer the data. Our mind actively ignores all information that conflicts with our current worldviews.

A fact lots of well educated people don't seem to understand regardless of the number of studies showing this effect.

Re:Facts. (2)

Alan R Light (1277886) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913165)

"A fact lots of well educated people don't seem to understand regardless of the number of studies showing this effect."

Obviously this fact conflicts with their world view. I have observed this effect in action, however, on multiple occasions, sometimes to comical effect - such as people believing I said the direct opposite of what I actually just said.

Re:Facts. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39913339)

Our mind actively ignores all information that conflicts with our current worldviews.

In the absolute sense, that isn't true. I've been convinced to change my mind many times. One of the largest changes is that I became an atheist. It's not impossible... you just need to be a bit open-minded (a bit) and wait a while.

Re:Facts. (1)

jkflying (2190798) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913629)

Unfortunately, the fact that you're an atheist puts you in the minority of people who are willing to change their mind...

Re:Facts. (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913973)

Oh no. We get it. We ALL get it.

I think the most impressive study related to human belief and behavior was the one where a single test subject was placed among a group of actors all giving the wrong answers to questions. The test subject ended up answering things incorrectly with the group and even believing in the wrong answers. This test has been run many, many times with fairly consistent results. (I'm not going to say what I would have done if tested, but I'm pretty sure it would have resulted in huge amounts of stress and would have warped my sense of reality for a while.)

But. The more facts are repeated and demonstrated, but more of a crowd can be developed. Just as in the case of "The Pirate Party" the crowds are growing and it will eventually defeat the mainstream.

Sure, demonstrating the facts once is pretty useless. Twice... yeah, still useless. But dozens of times? Not quite so useless. The masses are hard to sway... but not impossible.

How about a study that shows.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39912993)

... that file sharing content that one does not own or have received any distribution copying rights to is disrespectful to the rights that are supposedly granted to the copyright holder?

Period.

Sugar coat it however you like... rationalize it, justify it, whatever you do... it's still a violation of the rights of the copyright holder.

Re:How about a study that shows.... (5, Insightful)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913033)

You assume that the current framework is ethical. Rationalize mind abuse all you want its still mind abuse. Copyright holders assert far too many rights, one of which is that once they let the cat out of the bag, they presume they can stuff it back in anytime they desire. Maximization of profit is not a strong enough reason to allow the current abusive system to continue.

Re:How about a study that shows.... (2)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#39914015)

You're painting this picture a little wrongly.

The war on drugs, alcohol, adultery and entertainment piracy fail primarily because the conflict too heavily with standard human behavior. Humans are exactly less than we idealize and we have flourished and prospered because of it.

Sure, it's true that copyright and rights holders are "wrong" and abusive, but it begs the question about why and how it is wrong -- the true core of what is wrong about it. It's the fact that it conflicts with the factors of human behavior and true human values that makes it wrong.

One of the most significant factor contributing to the rise of humans and technology is the fact that we NEED to share. It's not merely a want or a wish of the good-hearted, but an instinctive need just the same as our need to have sex and children and all that. It's not enough to say that knowledge wants to be free, it's that it needs to be free. And entertainment is just another form of knowledge... don't kid yourself.

And to push against human nature and especially human need is... well... it's just bad.

Re:How about a study that shows.... (1)

sowth (748135) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913117)

...that sending bot generated DMCA complaints and other fraudulent complaints of works they don't own is disrespectful to the copyright holder and the author's free speech.

Sugar coat it however you like... rationalize it, justify it, whatever you do... it's still a violation of the rights of the real author.

Same goes for questionable lawsuits against writers of communications software.

Re:How about a study that shows.... (3, Interesting)

The1stImmortal (1990110) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913123)

First of all, I happen to agree that distribution against the author's wishes is somewhat disrespectful.
However.
  • - Something being merely disrespectful has rarely stopped people actually doing something. This applies to both individuals and companies.
  • - It is reasonably rare these days (at least in big-business copyright trade like pop music, pop cinema etc) that the person(s) who actually created a given work is/are the same as the people earning the majority of income from the work, or doing the marketing, setting distribution terms etc - and of course often also seperate from those initiating legal actions
  • - Authors rights are hardly inherent natural rights - they are social rights. That is, the existance, and continued respect, of Authors' rights is dependent on society and culture (and increasingly, on business culture). Should society generally move in a different direction in terms of considering authors to have rights over their work, then it's possible that Authors' rights will diminish or cease to exist. It is possible we are seeing such a movement in social/cultural perception of a social right occuring

Now, there are other issues implied in your post. For instance, those who control copyright in a work may act at odds with the wishes of the author, or even at times at odds with the legal owner of the copyright. Even when technically legal, this is itself a form disrespect that should be fought (though whether the fighting is done by breaking the law or by changing the law is an open question)
Also, there is the question of inappropriate influence. Compared to the size of the "copyright industry" (by which I mean primarily film and music, and to an extent software, where the product is copyright-enforced artificial scarcity), there is an argument that inappropriate levels of political influence are exerted. Possibly this is due to the "fame" obsession in the general populace - ie, perceptual bias.

Re:How about a study that shows.... (5, Informative)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913575)

First of all, I happen to agree that distribution against the author's wishes is somewhat disrespectful.

Nobody is more disrespectful of the artists than the record industry.

The record industry has a long history of fiddling the accounts so the artists make approximately zero from record sales. If P2P has any effect it's to skews the accounting so the record execs make less. The artists will still make approximately zero, ie. it doesn't bother them much.

Re:How about a study that shows.... (1)

scourningparading (2633143) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913343)

... that file sharing content that one does not own or have received any distribution copying rights to is disrespectful to the rights that are supposedly granted to the copyright holder?

Such a study would be useless. People already know that copyright exists.

Furthermore, what if people don't agree that they should have these rights to begin with, and don't care if they're "disrespectful" towards them? Laws aren't always just.

Re:How about a study that shows.... (4, Insightful)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913351)

And I may not disagree, but that sure as hell does not justify the lying, fraud, thuggery, bribery, and the rest of the long list of nasty things the **AA organizations have done. I daresay they've done far more damage overall than people downloading a few tracks.

Re:How about a study that shows.... (3, Informative)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913595)

Yep.

And lets not forget the record industry isn't really very big. Gross yearly revenue is single digit billions of dollars. To you or me that's a lot of money but in the scheme of things it's a drop in the ocean. The amount of government time they've wasted over this is probably worth more, we should just buy them out and get it over with.

Their profits are a tiny fraction of the value of the Internet, it's certainly not worth wrecking the Internet for such a small amount, but that's what they're doing.

Re:How about a study that shows.... (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#39914025)

That is a very interesting point. It needs to be explored. If it can be shown that the current intellectual property pursuits are a drain on government and the economy... oh wait, I think they already know that too.

That's why all of these "self-policing" laws are being made. The DMCA and many laws like it and the worse ones which keep coming are all designed to help make it easier to remove content. They almost completely remove due process and certainly avoids the courts interference.

Re:How about a study that shows.... (3, Informative)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913417)

It is a granted right, not an inalienable natural right. It is supposed to be a bargain struck between the public and the artist. Through deeply unethical manipulation, the law no longer reflects such a fair and balanced bargain. It's little wonder that a growing portion of the public no longer respect it.

Cost who? (3, Insightful)

surd1618 (1878068) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913031)

Pressing millions of copies of a musician's studio-crafted single-- highly exploitative practice that took the hard work of the most compliant musicians they could find. The musicians who manage to game the music industry are just as rare, per capita, as the consumers who actually seek out what they want rather than what they are force-fed by media outlets. This has been true for sixty years.

I have paid musicians for copies of their music that came with personalized notes, or shout-outs that included my name, or logo-printed kazoos, and lots of actual art included. A few artists have come up with products that people might be into e.g. Beck putting a bunch of custom stickers in one of his albums instead of cover art.

Basically I think that the record-funded music industry has been the anomaly, not the corrective factor that the internet introduces into the industry.

Low standards (0)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913063)

Wow, citing research published in the Journal of Evolutionary Economics, the publishing arm of the International Joseph A. Schumpeter Society! Well I guess that proves everything, case closed!

Cherry-picking sympathetic journals while not even addressing the obvious correlation between piracy and decreased music sales is intellectually dishonest.

Re:Low standards (3, Informative)

spokenoise (2140056) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913113)

Congratulations! You have just pointed out what both sides are doing except one side has far more money and publicity power and the other has 10 million internets until the first side buys your government and then the other has no internets.

Re:Low standards (5, Insightful)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913125)

Cherry-picking sympathetic journals...

Sorry, but this really smacks of the True Scotsman fallacy. Yes, research can be skewed - but if you are using researched funded by the RIAA or MPAA etc, then it is just as likely to be as skewed as you claim these to be, thereby making the comment redundant in itself. How about posting a few links to legitimate research done by neutral parties with no interest either way, instead of simply dismissing these?

Re:Low standards (2)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913255)

It does require you look at the actual data and work done inside the paper, to make sure it is scientifically sound, instead of just trusting the researcher's conclusions.

Unfortunately, TFA did not do that. I hope someone else is less lazy than me, and looks at the studies to see what potential problems there might be, or if they are sound.

Re:Low standards (-1, Troll)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913315)

True Scotsman Fallacy? I prefer to think of it as the "pretending your point is proved by an economics paper published in some shitty journal without peer review or any sort of influence" fallacy.

Re:Low standards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39913375)

Either you're wilfully misunderstanding his point, or you're an idiot. Either way, please mod down.

Re:Low standards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39913139)

I think the studies were meant to evaluate the alleged correlation, which you so boldly claim as matter of fact without evidence.

Re:Low standards (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913265)

Cherry-picking sympathetic journals while not even addressing the obvious correlation between piracy and decreased music sales is intellectually dishonest.

And rejecting studies just because of where they were published, without any contrary evidence, would be intellectually lazy...

Re:Low standards (4, Insightful)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913293)

I think the obvious correlation between piracy and global warming is clearly the bigger issue here. It has not been proven conclusively that there has been a causal relation between piracy and the music industry!

Re:Low standards (5, Insightful)

caitsith01 (606117) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913431)

the obvious correlation between piracy and decreased music sales is intellectually dishonest

What's intellectually dishonest is asserting that there is an "obvious correlation".

A few points about music:

1. Supply is effectively infinite. There is always something new you haven't listened to yet. You could never consume it all in one lifetime of non-stop listening.

2. Copying music without a licence does not in any way imply that you would buy the relevant music. At most, it implies that you were sufficiently interested to invest about 10 seconds of your time and about 10 cents worth of bandwidth to "check it out".

3. Copying music without a licence does imply that you are interested in listening to music generally. The more you copy, the more interested you are. There are studies showing that the biggest "pirates" tend to be the biggest spenders on music.

4. In my experience, there is an extremely strong correlation between people copying music and people buying music. Specifically, many people now essentially "try before they buy". For example, someone might download an old Radiohead album. If they have any taste, they will be blown away by its quality. Next time Radiohead release a new album, they will be far, far more likely to buy it than they were before.

5. Most people have a reasonably hard limit of how much spending on entertainment they can "justify". Because the supply of new music is near infinite, people are likely to spend up to their limit on music and then copy thereafter (not as neatly as that, but psychologically).

6. IIRC there is evidence that the rise in on-line copying has actually improved music sales.

7. Music isn't like a car. You don't download one album, then not want another one for 10 years.

Thoughts (-1)

brit74 (831798) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913285)

My first thought was that samzenpus really *LOVES* articles about piracy. Three in a row, samzenpus? Yeash.

Second: yes, piracy does hurt sales. There's decent evidence to show this is the case. One line of support comes from the large declines in music sales over the past ten years and the small declines in the US in movie revenue. A second line of support comes from the fact that I know plenty of people who think you're crazy if you buy music (or any digital media for that matter). For them, it just doesn't make sense to pay for something you can get for free on the internet. Personally, while I have never pirated music, I've been using Spotify for the past year or so and my music purchases have dropped to zero. If Spotify is a good proxy for piracy, then count me as one more person who would've seen my music buying habits drop to zero if I actually thought piracy was moral. Heck, I've got an iTunes gift card on my coffeetable that I've had for over a year, and I haven't used it because it's not even worth the hassle of typing it in - and it wouldn't even cost me any of my own money to actually use it!

Re:Thoughts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39913341)

One line of support comes from the large declines in music sales over the past ten years and the small declines in the US in movie revenue.

Both industries are doing great, even more so when you consider the current economical situation.

Re:Thoughts (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39913393)

You appear to be confusing correlation and causation.

The drop in music sales has also been contemporaneous with the introduction into common use of the oxazolidinone class of antibiotics, but I doubt you would be as keen to draw a causal conclusion in that case.

Re:Thoughts (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39913565)

So in summary:

Line of support #1: correlation without causal evidence. Based on what you've provided, the decline could very well be caused by the decreasing influence of the moon's gravity upon the earth as it slowly deorbits. "Don't thank me - thank the moon's gravitaitonal pull", as it were. Furthermore, I posit that as I have aged, my flatulent output has been steadliy increasing as music sales decline. Coincidence?! You decide.

Line of support #2: anecdote. Apparently, if you 'know plenty of people', why, that ought to be enough proof for anybody. What with only 7 billiion or so other people on this planet you presumably do not know, your 'plenty of people' that you know surely covers all the bases.

Line of support #3: projection. Since you do or think a certain thing, everyone else must be doing and thinking the same thing. Another term for this is narcissism, but that's putting it nicely.

Line of support #4: lack of use of iTunes music card. I'm not even sure what logical fallacy this falls under, but then again, I'm fairly sure this proves nothing. That's no worse than your other points, though.

Does that about cover it?

Please educate yourself on the meaning of 'evidence' and 'science' and then reassess your thoughts. These words do not mean what you think they mean; that much is obvious.

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Three stories in a row? (3, Insightful)

Grayhand (2610049) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913457)

Seems like a lot of wasted space. The bulk of the Slashdot community will never change their opinion and the other side won't change their opinion. The arguments are always the same so why is the subject matter worthy of three posts in a row? Yes they are slightly different but the responses aren't. We might as well run three posts in a row on Evolution verses Creationism. I'm not trying to troll but it seems like the whole thread ends up being redundant and we're into the second decade of the debate. There just has to be other tech stories to cover. There's lots of cool stuff going on in the maker community. Things like the Cube bringing slick professional 3D printing at an afordable price $1,299. http://cubify.com/cube/index.aspx [cubify.com] Or a $249 vacuum former kit. http://www.phlatboyz.com/Phlatformer-Kit_p_10.html [phlatboyz.com] It just seems there's more happening in the tech world than limiting copyrights and the downloading fight. If some one comes up with a fresh slant on the subject I'm thrilled to hear it but the two sides are so far apart I don't see any compromise in the near future if ever. Just saying to the editors can we keep it to a couple of stories a day and space them out a bit?

Re:Three stories in a row? (1)

scourningparading (2633143) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913543)

The bulk of the Slashdot community will never change their opinion and the other side won't change their opinion. The arguments are always the same so why is the subject matter worthy of three posts in a row?

I often wonder why I even waste my time replying. There's often nothing factually incorrect about the comments in question. They're just differing opinions.

But I just can't help myself...

Big Assumption (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39913583)

Guys, you are assuming that the *AA and the politicians hate filesharing because it damage them economically.
That lands you in the apparent paradox that the same song is both pushed for free delivery via advertising/promotion, and forbidden from free delivery via file sharing.

What is the difference between the two? CONTROL as usual.

File sharing is not a problem because of lost sales in a problematic economy. It is a problem because it puts ALL the music in the same potential position. Both indie and mainstream. Since art has always been used to push ideas, uncontrolled delivery of art is not what any power in charge, no matter the kind, sees with favor.

This also explains why nobody gives a flying f*ck when the new technology makes some professions and products utterly irrelevant, and then get up in arms when the same technology alters the equilibrium on the production of art.

Who are these guys? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39913593)

Open up google and put in the following line:
"T. Randolph Beard" "George S. Ford" "Lawrence J. Spiwak"

Doing a quick google search using the names in the article shows something interesting. Articles on telecommunications, wireless, net neutrality threats, and a bunch of other stuff. What also pops up is this strange organization called Phoenix Center.

T. Randolph Beard (Professor of Economics, Auburn University)
George S. Ford (Chief Economist, Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal & Economic Public Policy Studies)
Lawrence J. Spiwak (President, Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal & Economic Public Policy Studies )

Do another google search with the following line:
site:www.phoenix-center.org pdf

This shows a whole bunch of articles behind this strange organization.

It's very hard to research (3, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913693)

Given the creative accounting of the entertainment industry, it's impossible to get meaningful numbers for a research like this. But then again, until they become frank with society, they shouldn't ask for any legislatory help from society either. The right thing to do would be to tell the entertainment industry to come clean with their numbers, otherwise no copyright enforcement law will be based on an informed decision. If they refuse, then just let them die, assuming they really are dying.

This agrees with "The Case for Copyright Reform" (5, Informative)

Christian Engstrom (633834) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913709)

As a Member of the European Parliament for the Swedish Pirate Party, I have just published a short book (108 pages) on copyright reform together with Rick Falkvinge, who is the founder of the first and Swedish Pirate party.

The studies mentioned here seem to paint exactly the same picture as a number of studies that we refer to in that book. File sharing is not hurting revenues for the cultural sector. When we look at statistics for the last decade, with rampant file sharing on the internet, we see that more money is going into film, music, books, games and other culture than ever before, and that a larger portion of it is going to the artists and other creative people involved (as opposed to middle men such as the big record companies).

Two weeks ago we had a book launch for "The Case for Copyright Reform" in the European Parliament, and I have distributed a paper copy of it to each of the 754 MEPs (Members of the European Parliament).

Now all that remains to be seen is how many of my colleagues in the parliament will actually read it, but that's another story. ;)

If you are interested in checking out the book, you can download "The Case for Copyright Reform" (for free, obviously) from http://www.copyrightreform.eu/ [copyrightreform.eu] You can also order a paper copy at cost price via print-on-demand, if you prefer that.

It is time that we start looking at copyright legislation in a fact-based manner, as opposed to the IPR fundamentalist way that has been dominant in this policy area so far on both sides of the Atlantic.

There is a better way.

Re:This agrees with "The Case for Copyright Reform (1)

GeoffreyBernardo (1991048) | more than 2 years ago | (#39913853)

Thank you for the book.

Re:This agrees with "The Case for Copyright Reform (1)

Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) | more than 2 years ago | (#39914013)

So, got a schedule for the big world takeover? Really, I haven't seen even the faintest sign of fact-based ANYTHING in this country since 1980. Things are starting to go seriously wrong...

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