File Sharing Isn't Going Away – Even If Parents Talk To Their Kids

from the misunderstanding-the-point dept

It’s always a little upsetting to see the press parroting the music industry’s views on file sharing without admitting that the discussion is a little more complex than that. Still, I guess it’s no surprise to see a report saying that music “piracy” is supposed to increase over the next five years. Of course, the reporter (and the analysts who put together this report) seem to be doing the same stupid math that the industry likes so much: they consider every downloaded song as a lost sale. This is incorrect for any number of reasons, but we’ll name the two biggest: (1) there’s no proof that the person who downloaded the track would have bought it otherwise and (2) there is plenty of evidence that some people use file sharing to find songs they like and then go and buy the CDs. Meanwhile, the San Francisco Chronicle is telling parents that they need to add a “why music downloading is bad” talk to their typical parent talks about drugs, sex, alcohol, peer pressure and whatever else it is that parents are supposed to teach their kids these days. They even point to a “Parent’s Guide” giving pointers on how to tell your kids about file sharing. I wonder if people will show off copies of that file as a joke, years from now, if the industry ever gets its act together and embraces file sharing like they should.

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