A paper by Felix Oberholzer of Harvard Business School and Koleman Strumpf of UNC Chapel Hill shows strong evidence that file-sharing has "statistically indistinguishable from zero" effect on CD sales and the RIAA decides to sue 482 more people for sharing copyright music on peer-to-peer networks. This brings the number of people sued by the RIAA for file-sharing to 3,429. I guess that if you can't convince everyone, you can always try to scare people into submission.

But it looks like the RIAA will have event MORE reasons to sue people. They're trying to "criminalize the act of inducing another to commit a copyright violation."

7 Comments

Thankfully the RIAA can't force me to buy their member companies crappy music. I rarely buy cd's now because of these actions and also the fact that the music just blows. A lot of the great music are on the independent scene.

I actually know Koleman personally. I'm really impressed and amazed by how much mainstream attention his paper has gotten. But be careful: this paper is the first step in what will likely be a long empirical debate. The eventual consensus is still far away.

The RIAA (and their counterparts elsewhere) keep forgetting many of those downloading songs from the net would not have bought the CD anyway - mostly because they are kids who don't have the money. I have done my bit of filesharing in the past and found out about some great music that way (which I bought later). In my opinion they should just produce more quality music in a broader range of styles. Not everyone loves the latest [insert country]-Idol or some such star. But over here in Germany I think I have heard one or the other record company acknowledge that maybe filesharing isn't the only reason for terrible sales. And anybody remember how the Australian record companies tried to keep publicity from their new (good) sales numbers this or last year?

My g_d that's 10 million dollars at the rate they charge not to prosecute. I call that extortion on a grand scale. Acording to the proposed legislation the pencil manufacturer should be liable as well.

Hi everybody, :-)

I would agree that file sharing really is not the problem. I have intensely discussed this issue with many of my friends and everybody agrees. In my opinion there are two main reasons for the bad sales numbers that many record companies have seen in the past few years, first, the quality of music on many new mainstream albums has decreased sharply over the past few years. Think about it, nowadays if you buy an album you are lucky if there are two or three good songs on it, out of 20. Secondly, because of the bad economy, many people have to be more cautious on what they are spending their money, CD's, at 15-20 $ or €, are an easy way to safe money. Personally I do believe that file sharing could actually help the Music industry to increase sales. Normally people tend to listen only one or two genres of music, i.e. pop/rock, rap/alternative, ... and have a selected few artists that they buy albums from, by getting access to different music for free they might discover that other types of music/artists are also intersting to them and this could lead them to eventually buy CD's that they would not have considered otherwise.

I have to agree with Yashima's point. I buy about 2-3 cds a week, but if I didn't have a way to preview music over the internet my purchases would be much more rare (perhaps 1-2 a month). File sharing networks were the easiest way to preview music at first, but with all the litigation going on I elected to go with an on-demand streaming product (rhapsody). This has given me an inexpensive way to explore unfamiliar music without like a thief. While I have almost no sympathy for the far-from-innocent music industry, I think I can understand their fears: a whole new generation has arisen who expects their music to be free at the click of a button. Downloaders act like Robin Hood while the industry paints itself a victim, and both end up looking equally ridiculous to me. Regardless of how messed up this all is, isn't it wonderful to live in a time when music is so accessible?

I am still wondering why people are not talking about the collective licenseing proposal from the EFF. Of course the record companies and current licencensing outfits did not like it.

I feel that if enough users call for collective licening where a license is included in your network connectivity costs,then the tactic can take over. It does need some nice wording/sales pitch though.

Leave a comment

3 TrackBacks

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: If you can't convince 'em, sue 'em.

TrackBack URL for this entry: http://joi.ito.com/MT-4.35-en/mt-tb.cgi/1666

A post on Joi Ito's blog highlights a new study published by Felix Oberholzer of Harvard Business School and Koleman Strumpf of UNC Chapel Hill on Filesharing and it's effects on the Music Industry. File Sharing March 2004... Read More

A post on Joi Ito's blog highlights a new study published by Felix Oberholzer of Harvard Business School and Koleman Strumpf of UNC Chapel Hill on Filesharing and it's effects on the Music Industry. File Sharing March 2004... Read More

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Business and the Economy category.

Books is the previous category.

Computer and Network Risks is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index.

Monthly Archives