The Times Online, in the UK, has yet another article about file sharing that pretty much does everything it can to spin everything towards the recording industry's point of view, while patting itself on the back for not reacting negatively to stories that the British version of the RIAA (the BPI) was suing kids for sharing unauthorized music files. The closest the article comes to a more balanced view is asking one struggling musician whose son was one of those charged about how she would feel about people sharing her music. At first, she says she wouldn't mind so much, since it would be great for people to hear her music. The reporter then asks a leading question, asking how she would feel if she was a big success, and five million people were downloading her album, and gets her to say she'd be angry that five million people were "stealing" her album. This whole exchange is seriously problematic for a variety of reasons. First, she just admitted she'd be happy if more people were listening to her music and that she wasn't making much money from it. Then, the reporter asks her how she would feel if she were making money from the music. So, let's see... right now, she isn't making money and doesn't care if people download her music for free -- which you would think would be the point at which she should care more, since she already isn't making money. But, if she is making money from massive sales, why should care if even more people are downloading the music? She's already making a lot more money than the situation (reality) where she isn't making any money. The article also claims that all studies have shown that downloads hurt sales -- when the truth is anything but, and even the RIAA's own figures have shown an increase in sales. Finally, the article repeats many times the idea that if BPI didn't sue, the recording industry would "go out of business," when clearly that's not true. The situation in China, for example, proves the opposite is true. The music industry can thrive, even when unauthorized copying is rampant. It just takes more creative thinking -- which is apparently sorely lacking in the recording industry... and certain Times UK Online reporters.
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