Arts Record Industy Spin (or the Download Load)
posted by August 23 at 8:51 AMon
A new study about the at-large impact of music file sharing from the conservative Institute for Policy Innovation found that illegal downloads cost the U.S. economy $12.6 billion overall, kill 71,000 jobs, siphon $2.7 billion in workers’ earnings, and cost the government $422 million in tax revenue.
The study makes some basic mistakes, though.
1) It assumes that most downloads = a lost sale. I’d say most free downloads = somebody grabbing a song they wouldn’t have even considered adding to their music library if it hadn’t been free in the first place.
2) The study also misses the flip side: Illegal downloads lead to subsequent purchases. A recent recording industry study found that three out of four regular downloaders purchased music after tasting a sample.
3) The study also failed to adequately factor in the growing evidence that the music industry is stumbling in its own right—independently of file sharing.
The technology free love folks at ars technica are on the story.