How Big A Problem Are Unauthorized Downloads In China?

from the well,-when-you-only-tell-one-side-of-the-story dept

How much unauthorized downloading of music happens in China? According to the IFPI (sort of a global RIAA) nearly 100% of downloads in China are unauthorized. Of course, that could simply be a function of the types of music download services have available, rather than any indication that China is some sort of “problem.” Yet, of course, it’s much more fun to blame an entire country than recognize that perhaps the people there are trying to send you a message. More important, however, is what the story left out. Even if it’s true that 100% of music downloads in China are unauthorized, many Chinese musicians have learned to adapt to the different marketplace — and thrive. That means encouraging the free spread of their music and using the ensuing attention and fame to make more money — whether by concerts or more potential sponsors or a variety of other business models that have been popping up. Given that these adaptations have worked out quite well for many Chinese musicians, it would make sense for an article highlighting the “risks” of downloading to also include the details of how the the musicians have coped and new business models have been adopted with success — suggesting that for all the handwringing of the IFPI, maybe the impact hasn’t been that bad.

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Comments on “How Big A Problem Are Unauthorized Downloads In China?”

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dorpus says:

The Consequences

A Chinese rapper, “demonkay”, has infuriated Koreans with an anti-Korean rap song. The song starts with a Korean expression for “Wake up, get to work!!” The song then proceeds to trash Koreans, calling them a bunch of showoffs who amount to nothing. The song says that Koreans should be called dogs instead of people, that they wag their tails for China, and that Korea will one day be buried again by the 5,000-year-old culture of China. The song singles out the city of Pusan (where the rapper apparently lives) as a “heap of trash and nicotine addiction”.

Predictably, Korean netters have been flooding his blog with death threats. This is an example of how free speech in Asia mostly causes people to spew hate; it does not lead to Anglo-style town hall civility.


cutter892 says:

The pipe dream

It’s because of stories like the one you are taking about dorpus that maybe people will finally understand that world peace is a pipe dream. As for the story itself it seams more likely that the Chinese government is paying these artist to make it seem like they have a thriving music industry. Which could explain the hate spewing and pro Chinese government lyrics that dorpus was talking about. Yes artist can make money even with downloading going on they just need to be creative. I just wish people would stop using China as an example of how things are done because everything the outside world see’s about China is hand crafted by the Communist government there.

The Man says:


You discuss China like they have a market. They are communist, they are Americas enemy. The people may want free market. The government, learning from the failure of Russa, know they can not create a false market and survive and have allowed more free market than they like. Corporate CEO’s disapear in the night there, replaced by government people. We should not be lured to a false security by their communist facade of capitalism. They are now starting their invasion of Russia. One needs only to remember the lessons of Machiavelli to see what they are doing with their “investments” in russia. Building apartment complexes and buildings all to house and be run by Chinese.


CPowell (profile) says:


I’m so sick of all this. I’ve learned about a lot of new and old artists from downloading on the net. I understand they need to make a living, we all do. But I never would have bought the music just to see if I liked it. As for that, I think they may owe us for the advertising of their music that we do when we rave about it to our friends and spread the word of some great music we just found. It hasn’t cost them any real money that they have said. Some will even admit they are selling music that had gotten old and forgotten. Lighten up guys and realize this is a losing battle and if you take the music from us because we will not pay for it, it just goes away. The music will just lay in abscurity where it was when we found it and enjoyed it all over again or heard someone we never would have found if not for the net.

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