Drop In P2P File Sharing Due To Limewire Shutdown A Pyrrhic Victory For The Recording Industry

from the all-those-interested-people...-gone dept

A whole bunch of folks have been submitting NPD’s latest report, which notes an apparently large dropoff in P2P file sharing in the fourth quarter, which it attributes to the closure of Limewire. I had hesitated to get into this, because NPD’s numbers and analysis have historically been suspect, so I always take anything that comes from them with a pretty large grain of salt. They also work for the usual suspects, calling into question some of their objectivity.

And, indeed, there are certainly some questions about the accuracy of the report, which involves self-reported user surveys — generally not the most reliable method of getting accurate data on something like file sharing (especially in the wake of something being shut down for being “illegal.”) That said, the numbers are big enough that even if they’re a bit off, it certainly does suggest something happened, and just to be nice, I’ll even grant the basic premise that file sharing in the US slowed down when Limewire shut down. Limewire historically has been popular, though not with the more technically savvy folks, but with a more general crowd, who tended to treat it much more like radio than as a way to “obtain” music.

But here’s the big question: assuming we accept this massive dropoff in P2P file sharing, was there a corresponding jump in music sales?

I am pretty sure that we won’t see a corresponding giant leap in music sales for the same quarter. And that’s kind of the point that we’ve been making all along. For all this talk of enforcement, why can’t anyone provide any evidence that it actually leads people to go back to buying stuff? In the case of Limewire, since most users didn’t really look at it as a replacement for sales, but as a replacement for radio, it’s not likely that they’re suddenly going to run to start paying. Instead, they’ll switch to other options, whether it’s YouTube, Pandora, GrooveShark or something else. If Spotify were actually available in the US, I would bet that it would sop up many ex-Limewire users.

And that’s really the major point here. Rather than seeing this decrease as a “victory” for the RIAA (as some have suggested), it highlights what an astounding lost opportunity it has been. Limewire, whatever its faults, was very eager to work with the recording industry to monetize the massive user base it had. And the record labels refused, just as they refused to negotiate with Napster a decade ago (something many in the industry now claim to regret — despite the fact that they’ve done it again and again and again). So rather than taking that opportunity, it’s been squandered. Similarly, if the record labels got their act together, services like Spotify would have launched in the US long ago. But the labels keep demanding more and more ridiculous conditions on the deal, and thus, the people go elsewhere… often to places where the labels won’t get paid at all.

This is what happens when you mistakenly think that the thing to focus on is stopping infringement rather than making more money. It’s the “but… but… piracy” argument all over again, where people get so focused on that, they forget the endgame. So, sure, the shuttering of Limewire may have stopped people from using P2P to obtain files. But will it actually get people to buy? Unlikely. And that’s a massive squandered opportunity.

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Companies: limewire, npd

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Comments on “Drop In P2P File Sharing Due To Limewire Shutdown A Pyrrhic Victory For The Recording Industry”

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137 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

And then we have the fact that the drop is only temporary until people figure out that there are other platforms that can be used for exactly the same thing and switch to those. And then the industry will target that platform, bring it down and we start the cycle again.

None of this, of course, is getting them any money (unless limewire pays them the 75 trillion they apparently owe…lol). Which kinda makes me wonder: what’s the point?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Thanks for that, I was curious what the numbers actually looked like too. Looks like WMG lost 1 million more than this same quester a year ago, and they’ve been losing boatloads of money for a while now. Hard to believe they are still in business and that shareholders haven’t demanded the CEO step down a long time ago.

ECA (profile) says:

Re: gOOD COMMENT, AC..

Good comment but lets look at this a different way..

FROM DOS to WIN95..

win 95 was created as point and click inferface to introduce computers to MORE PEOPLE..
After the introduction until NOW.. Computer USERS have been learning things. HOW to make windows DO THINGS, how to FIX windows.. Many of those younger users have gained knowledge of HOW computers work.

Dont you think they are Learning HOW the internet works?
IF 1 avenue dont work, LETS FIND ANOTHER.. Then ANOTHER..
Eventually they MAY find a BETTER WAY.

All the Corp is doing is FORCING it underground. Forcing SHARING into the mist, where they cant see it. BUT, also into the arena where you will have to PAY to have access to systems and you better KNOW the sysop to gain access. Just like the Drug use gangs. Its going to get to being TOTALLY private.

AS the DEA has said. 99% of the MJ they find around the country is along irrigation ditches.. Finding GROWERS is getting harder and harder.

Anonymous Coward says:

In the other thread(i.e. the one about the study stating piracy is no responsible for sales decline), there was this dude gloating, and honestly I don’t think they realize it, that their sales are gone forever, people are not only spending less they are annoyed with the industry.

There will be no significant increase in sales and we all can laugh hard at the industry pundits who for years said that piracy was to blame for their problems.

Now they have this great “victory” against piracy, that is being trumpeted as some sort of great moment, but I still didn’t see sales go up, so it can’t be piracy the problem, not piracy alone anyways.

I will now ROFLMAO, because I know they will never see a dime from me ever again and that I can promise.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“Now they have this great “victory” against piracy, that is being trumpeted as some sort of great moment, but I still didn’t see sales go up, so it can’t be piracy the problem, not piracy alone anyways.”

This point cannot be stressed enough. P2P traffic has dropped (sharply, apparently). Now, let’s assume that all (or a large majority) of that traffic is “pirate” traffic. If sales do not increase, then one must conclude that piracy is not hurting sales.

Anonymous Poster says:

Re: Re: Re:

“P2P traffic has dropped (sharply, apparently). Now, let’s assume that all (or a large majority) of that traffic is “pirate” traffic. If sales do not increase, then one must conclude that piracy is not hurting sales.”

This would be true for logical, rational human beings.

The RIAA clearly employs nobody like that anywhere in their organization.

Michael (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I will be clear – I do not believe piracy is a lost sale or that the music industry is in shambles, etc., etc.

However, you have a logic fail:

“If sales do not increase, then one must conclude that piracy is not hurting sales”

No, it could also mean that once someone has turned to illegal file sharing they are a permanent lost customer or will become unlikely to come back and buy soon after file sharing is no longer an option. This evidence also supports the idea that “piracy” has already done irreparable damage.

I don’t necessarily believe it, but it is also a possible conclusion.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Possible but improbable.
You see if that was true nobody would have bought anything since the introduction of 8-Tracks.

God knows I pirated everything in my youth and only stop “buying” all that junk after Sony(the DRM) and Napster(The suing), I didn’t spent a dime in music since.

Michael (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

“You see if that was true nobody would have bought anything since the introduction of 8-Tracks.”

Not necessarily. They could be ok temporarily. Since they have digital versions of the music, they old re-purchase of music because the media has changed (the CD comes and we all bought the white album again) has almost certainly been reduced. So you may have a portion of time in which people that were “pirating” music may abstain from purchasing anything new in protest. I agree, this seems unlikely, but it is not impossible.

Your statement that one must now conclude piracy is not hurting sales is taking a rather simplistic view that may not take into account some longer term effects. In actuality, we know the digital age (with piracy as part of it) has absolutely diminished the sale of CD’s. What we see from the evidence presented in the article is that, at least short-term, a reduction in PTP activity does not help sell more of them.

This is not about whether or not piracy and this age of sharing is hurting the record companies, it is about whether or not their strategy of fighting piracy would help even if they “won”.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

We don’t “know” that piracy was the factor that reduced CD sales.

What I do know is that I don’t see discmans being sold what I do see in stores are MP3 players everywhere.

What I do know is that if you sell USB thumbdrives they sell more than CD’s.

What I do know is that singles sell 10x less than the price of a full album.

What I do know is that people pirated and acquired songs for free long before the internet and that didn’t appear to have a negative effect on sales.

What I do know is that after the industry started to sue everyone their sales tanked for good, just plot the numbers from the financial reports of the labels and you will see when that sharp drop happened.

Piracy may or may not hurt sales, but if it hurts so does radio, so did the 8-track, so did the cassette tapes, what were the long term effects of decades of unabashed piracy since the inception of recording devices?

As I recall everyone I knew knows what a mix-tape is and they all did it, they also recorded radio and the radio stations even had promotional nights with 1 hour without interruptions, everybody pirated and it was cool, now a younger generation of managers freak out about it?

Not cool.

About your comment that people may abstain, well I don’t know about others but I have been abstaining for the last 10 years.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I agree here. Plus, there’ll need to be some time before people consider purchasing music again too; it doesn’t happen overnight. The people that used Limewire weren’t technically savvy, and chances are they don’t have an alternative (yet), but they’ve gotten used to not paying for music they want to listen to, and it’ll be difficult to convince them that they should. These are also people who probably didn’t buy too much music to begin with, and they definitely would not have bought music in the same quantity they listened to it/downloaded it via limewire.

My money says they’ll simply go back to recording their music off the radio and wait until they hear about the next big thing on the news…

fogbugzd (profile) says:

Re: Was there a jump in music sales?

>>It is an emotional campaign driven by the rage of seeing people enjoy something they did not pay for.

Moral outrage may explain the feelings of the artists involved, but I don’t think it explains the industry exec’s position. I think continuation of the campaign can be attributed to a couple of things. For the music recording industry, they desperately need something to blame for declining sales. They don’t want to address the real issues, so they blame piracy for all of their woes. For both the recording industry and the movie industry (which is still doing relatively well by many measures) it is a problem of repeating their own FUD for so long that they now believe it. The myths about private infringement have become embedded in the corporate culture, and if you want to advance in the industry you must recite the “piracy is killing us” mantra.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Was there a jump in music sales?

I agree. In a way this is a lot like Regan’s welfare queen. The fiction slowly becomes the fact.

At some point every conversation about welfare (music, movies, etc.) comes down to those who accept the fiction for truth and those who still realize it is a fiction; people on welfare are all lazy and abusing the system (copyright infringement, wrongly called stealing, is the ONLY problem with the industry).

I like TechDirt, but sometimes I feel like Mike is wasting his time talking about the “big labels.” The people working at these places have so much emotional investment in the lie that any evidence to the contrary is seen as a personal attack. Just look at some of the trolls in this and other threads. Heck, just look at some of the musicians comments in threads on this site. Anyone who has convinced themselves that copyright infringement is literally a form of theft is probably beyond hope, the lie is too ingrained.

John Doe says:

But, but

“It’s the “but… but… piracy” argument all over again, where people get so focused on that, they forget the endgame”

I can understand someone with a dog in the fight focusing on the buts, but what I don’t understand is when Joe consumer gets blinded by that argument. I have tried to discuss this with people and they just can’t get past the whole “piracy is wrong/theft” argument. I try to get them to see that while yes, piracy is wrong, focusing on stopping pirates just blocks them from seeing the big picture.

Combating pirates is better left to the Navy while record labels, movie studios and publishers should focus on making money.

Anonymous Coward says:

Has anyone considered that by the time Limewire was shut down, the “long tail” desires of most people had been met, and as a result, there is no increase in music sales because most people have huge libraries of pirated music already?

Also, we don’t know the effects if Limewire stayed active. Is the current music industry decline better than it would have been?

The potential is that piracy has decimated the market for years to come, and has taught an entire generation that just taking what you want is okay, acceptable, and in some way noble.

Jay says:

Re: Re:

Please read the article again. PLEASE, especially this part:
For all this talk of enforcement, why can’t anyone provide any evidence that it actually leads people to go back to buying stuff? In the case of Limewire, since most users didn’t really look at it as a replacement for sales, but as a replacement for radio, it’s not likely that they’re suddenly going to run to start paying. Instead, they’ll switch to other options, whether it’s YouTube, Pandora, GrooveShark or something else. If Spotify were actually available in the US, I would bet that it would sop up many ex-Limewire users.

I’m sorry, but your “piracy is evil” routine is in another castle.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“Has anyone considered that by the time Limewire was shut down, the “long tail” desires of most people had been met, and as a result, there is no increase in music sales because most people have huge libraries of pirated music already?”

Well, if that’s the case then we can all just pack up and go home, right? If the great evil of raporacy resulted in people getting to that mythical line where they have all the music they want now and no new artist can break this lack of desire, no matter how good he/she/they is/are, then it’s all over. And, more importantly, it would have been over with or without the raporacy. You’re suggesting that once we acquire a certain amount of music, we won’t want any more. I can’t imagine what you’re basing that on….

“Also, we don’t know the effects if Limewire stayed active. Is the current music industry decline better than it would have been?”

You’re right, we don’t know that, but it really doesn’t matter. The execs in charge aren’t tasked with slowing the decline of their business, they’re tasked with getting their businesses to make as much money as possible. Clearly, what they’re currently doing isn’t working. It’s really that simple.

“The potential is that piracy has decimated the market for years to come, and has taught an entire generation that just taking what you want is okay, acceptable, and in some way noble.”

Well, which market? The market for recorded music? Absolutely. Piracy had a hand in it, though likely not as much as the emergence of single song digital sales, the economic decline, the emergence of other entertainment options, and the prevalence of indipendently released music on the internet. But, sure, piracy probably had some kind of hand in it.

But so what? Either way, it’s over. CD sales are going to go away for a myriad of reasons. And yet music is still being created. A LOT of it, in fact.

So where’s the global problem here?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

But so what? Either way, it’s over. CD sales are going to go away for a myriad of reasons. And yet music is still being created. A LOT of it, in fact.

This is my favorite piece of nonsense that gets spewed here. There is some sort of magic belief that “before piracy” or “before the internet” that nobody made music, that there were no bands, except for bands waiting to be plucked up by record labels and made stars.

What a freaking joke.

Before the internet (and for people old enough to remember, before the “disco revolution”), the live music scene in the western world was huge. The big clubs were the ones not with the latest laser toy and a guy selling Ecstasy tabs in the washroom, but places with stages, live bands, dance floors, and shows. They made music, they performed music, they sold music… all outside of the “label system”.

Many bands got their breaks not from signing with a record label, but by self publishing. There were tons of EPs, singles, and compilation disks made over the years as bands recorded and promoted themselves, selling swag (t-shirts, singles, and such) after shows, and promoting themselves with it. One famous case is metal band Motley Crue, who pretty much self-promoted themselves out of LA and into the national limelight on the back of a self published disk that sold 20,000 copies. They used that to get a distribution deal in Canada, a tour, and the rest is rock and roll history.

Music is always created regardless. It was before, it is now, there isn’t really a difference.

The global problem? Ask me again in 10 years when classic rock is still grinding along and the “hot new internet bands” from 2010 are all out there working day jobs and wishing they had actually gotten paid for all the effort they put into music for nothing.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I think you need to tune your reading comprehension a bit. That text you quoted cannot, in any decent language, imply what you made it imply. To me, it reads “despite the fact that CD sales are dropping, music is STILL being made (as in, music was already being done before)”.

So, basically, you made up something that nobody ever claimed and attacked that. Ok, cool. I could think of better ways to spend an afternoon, but ok…

Jay says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I guess you’re right. They have day jobs. They don’t look like a regular musician.

Their music isn’t mainstream. No one would like it.

There’s a language barrier. We won’t understand.

They’re Dutch

They’re Russian

They’re Jewish

But you know what? At least they’re passionate about trying to do something for themselves. Whether it pays off today or in 10 years, at least they get up every day if not to play, then to find a way to make that road easier. When the industry dies, those people will continue to make the music. The money from the defunct lobbying programs and the overpaid Congressmen will eventually be dispersed to newer endeavors.

I’ll just be happy to know that at the very least, the spirit of music will continue to live on.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Exactly music gets created and consumed despite piracy, which is not really piracy, people sharing songs and distributing them among themselves unfortunately will not mean the end of the world because there are other revenues streams available that are capable of supporting artists, they just want have the power to stop people from sharing it no matter which laws are in place, people will just find legal alternatives that gives them what they want and they want to be able to share, if you think that is not clear by now you better pay attention to services like Jamendo that will grow and flourish while the big 3 go under.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

But I’m being rude, let me at least tackle this point:

“The global problem? Ask me again in 10 years when classic rock is still grinding along and the “hot new internet bands” from 2010 are all out there working day jobs and wishing they had actually gotten paid for all the effort they put into music for nothing”

The difference is that the bands of today are firmly set in reality. They know they cannot battle piracy through brute force. They must connect with fans and give them a reason to buy. If they fail, I assume they were prepared for the possibility, unlike the aging dinossaurs who bitch and whine every time someone does not buy their new “Our best songs from the 60’s” disc (volume 3: a compilation of the songs in volume 1 and 2). If they fail, well tough.

Also, I don’t think that we should cheer the fact that “classic rock” is still “grinding along”, if is true in 10 years. That would mean culture was stuck in the 60s. We need to evolve, even if it is at the expense of some decaying stars.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

The difference is that the bands of today are firmly set in reality

Yup, they no longer have any long term plans, everything seems to revolve around getting a bunch of views on youtube as fast as you can and then fading away like a one hit wonder – without the hit.

I don’t think that we should cheer the fact that “classic rock” is still “grinding along”, if is true in 10 years. That would mean culture was stuck in the 60s. We need to evolve, even if it is at the expense of some decaying stars

It’s not cheering, trust me. It’s a rather sad thought of the movie industry ending up like music, where the best movies were made in (say) the 90s, and 20 years from now we will still be watching them because it was a high water mark, and everything after was fairly lame.

Classic Rock is a the classical music of a generation. We tend to forget that outside of a certain amount of classical music, there are any number of musical trends over the last 500-600 years that have come and gone, and have been all but forgotten, because while they were popular for a short time frame, they were not significant. My personal feeling is that music is in one of those “not significant” times, where the combination of auto-tune and “anyone can do it” tools has created some truly forgettable music, label or not.

When you step back, the current situation isn’t very productive for anyone. There is a lot of flailing about, but very little produced of note (except perhaps Jay-Z’s 99 Problems… but I digress).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Quote:

Yup, they no longer have any long term plans, everything seems to revolve around getting a bunch of views on youtube as fast as you can and then fading away like a one hit wonder – without the hit.,

you are aware that what you described is the old business model and how it worked right?, so whats new again?

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

That was the most epic strawman of all time. Not only did you quote me and then willfully misinterpret the quote in such a way that no one with a testicle-sized brain would accept your version, but then you applied it to Techdirt globally.

I applaud your trolling skills sir, although I wish you could have included a “save the children” reference or car analogy….

RadialSkid (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Meriam Webster disagrees:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/myriad

Recent criticism of the use of myriad as a noun, both in the plural form myriads and in the phrase a myriad of, seems to reflect a mistaken belief that the word was originally and is still properly only an adjective. As the entries here show, however, the noun is in fact the older form, dating to the 16th century. The noun myriad has appeared in the works of such writers as Milton (plural myriads) and Thoreau (a myriad of), and it continues to occur frequently in reputable English. There is no reason to avoid it.

If “myriad” was the Greek word for “ton,” the criticism would make sense…but it’s not the Greek word for ton, it’s DERIVED from said word.

Anonymous Coward says:

P2P and torrents have indeed declined, but there’s been an even bigger increase in datalocker downloads in the past year. There are now some functional search engines for datalockers so the kids have moved on to an even easier method for getting their music.

The beauty of the datalockers is that there are so many of them. When the **AAs harrass one (rapidshare for example), or one tries to go legit (hotfile for example), there are seven others to take their place.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Nobody in the industry is claiming that, talk about bull crap. If the artist puts the music out for free, that is their choice. If a “fan” decides to put an artist’s music out for free, that is a problem.

If you can’t understand the difference, it’s no wonder you support “piracy”, just like Mike does, because neither of you seem to really understand what you are supporting.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

What are you supporting when you think a fan exposing a favored artist to other potential fans is a problem? Has it ever been anything but? Have you never experienced radio? Have you never played or recorded something for someone else to experience at no cost to them?

You seem to support a model/system/mindset that is continually proving itself to be too stupid to live in this day and age.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

That is why I don’t “buy”, rent or lease anything from an artist that don’t use a CC Commons license, that is why I tell all my friends how wonderful Jamendo and Magnatune are, that is why those artists that don’t do it will never see my money.

It is not a problem if a fan distribute music, it is how we share culture, we pass to one another trying to forbid that is the real problem, but I guess you are blinded by greed and power.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“If the artist puts the music out for free, that is their choice.”

That’s why collection agencies demand money from restaurants and other venues who want to host independent performers under the pretext that someone “might” infringe, or else the collection agencies threaten the venues with an expensive lawsuit with potentially insane statutory damages if the collection agency wins (but if the venue can even win any damages, the statutory damages in its favor would be relatively small in comparison, often smaller than the legal expenses).

That’s why radio frequencies are wrongfully monopolized by corporate gatekeepers, to wrongfully make it more difficult for artists to create and distribute their free music.

No, I don’t buy the argument that the legal system, record labels, and corporations argue that artists should be able to freely release their content. Outside the Internet the system is exactly designed to resist such a thing and to make content artificially more expensive for absolutely no good reason. They may claim such a thing, that copy’right’ is for the artists, but their actions, the actions of our legal system, speak very differently.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Also see

http://www.techdirt.com/article.php?sid=20090811%2F0152565837&threaded=true&sp=1

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100224/0229248284.shtml

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100624/1640199954.shtml

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110223/02180213220/music-publishers-still-annoyed-free-online-archive-public-domain-musical-scores.shtml

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20050711/2013234.shtml

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100922/04284311111/label-complains-that-amazon-devalues-artists-by-making-music-cheap.shtml

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100706/03220710079.shtml

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20091202/0122097161.shtml

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090109/1823043352.shtml

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100305/0317058431.shtml

and there are many other instances where they have practically argued that people shouldn’t be allowed to give content away for free.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20061109/092726.shtml

and

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20091021/1134566619.shtml

Given their absolutely absurd actions, it can reasonably be argued that

“from the recording industry’s point of view, if you acquire music, and you don’t pay them, then you are a pirate.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

There are these things called “links” and while there are some “links” to Techdirt there are also “links” to not-Techdirt. Or does the BBC not count?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/tayside_and_central/8317952.stm

Seriously, how is that opinion? Or are you being purposefully dense on purpose?

Sorry, play again!

AW says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

Okay how about the fact that a food shop not half an hour from me was nearly put out of business for just this? They had an open mic night where people could come play music they created, even though no songs were allowed except original songs they received a $10k bill between the collection agencies because an agent for one of them happened to stop in to eat and found out that they had an open mic night. No proof any songs were used, but they couldn’t afford to fight in court. So take your little apologist industry crap and shove it. It’s affected good people whom I know and it pushes more people every day. Every time you and your ilk step over that line more of us side against you, every time you tell us we have to pay you to have original ideas because someone else out of a billion people got there first, every time you try to bankrupt a family for music or movies…you push us farther away. You break up families through bankruptcy, you ruin lives by blackmail. You are nothing but horrible thieves and you WILL get what’s coming whether this life or the next and I am working every day to put you all out of business. I’ve had enough of you and I can do it better.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

“Those are Mike’s opinions, not facts.

This has been pointed out to you before, but virtually every single article on here points to a source other than Techdirt. In most cases, the external source is what is prompting Mike to write the article in the first place. This does not affect the facts nor the existence of the original link, it’s just easier to copy the original article when someone’s compiling the evidence you so often pretend to crave.

Given that you routinely present nothing but your own opinion as fact, you’re on dangerous ground here, and you’d be best to try and actually address peoples’ points rather than find technicalities to ignore the truth.

You remind me of an idiot journalist being thoroughly decimated in a “debate” on another blog. He was pointed out to be wrong on a part of science that was vital to the idiotic article he had written for a newspaper. When it was explained to him, the person explaining provided an easy primer on the subject, linking to Wikipedia. He then proceeded to try and ignore the evidence because Wikipedia was cited, despite the linked article containing over 160 cites from scientific papers. He looked like an utter moron, and eventually descended into criticising grammar rather than admit he was wrong. This from a so-called “professional journalist”.

Try attacking the evidence and not the source. Engage at least one of your brain cells before arguing here, it helps.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

Paul, as it has been pointed out to you before, the links in Mike’s stories often go to opinion pieces by others, or stories built up from opinion pieces from others. In most cases, the external source’s opinion post is what triggered Mike to add on to it, giving it a sort of truthiness that just isn’t supported when you look further down the chain.

Perhaps we could look at the NYT “China Hang Up” story. Did that make the Techdirt story a good starting point on this one? Nope.

Try attacking the evidence and not the source

Techdirt isn’t a credible source. Mike has stated over and over again (very recently even) that this is his opinion, not fact. If you are trying to make a point, try to make it with fact, not opinion. Pointing to techdirt isn’t point to facts, and I am not going to spend a couple of hours spelunking though a myriad of non-relevant links and internal techdirt links to try to find some fact you are vaguely waving at.

Try engaging at least one of your brain cells in the process before asking others to do it.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

Again, you refuse to address the actual points, rather choosing attacking those making them. Pathetic.

“Techdirt isn’t a credible source.”

You’ll note, I didn’t say that this blog was a credible source, I said that it links to those who are – and links will always take you back to the primary source, even if you have to go through another 3rd party to do so.

That’s the nature of an opinion blog, and yet you waste your time attacking Mike as though he’s claiming to be a journalist. People come here to discuss what’s happening, and yet you attack them. you refuse to address points, instead choosing to focus on some throwaway line or simply pretend that your personal op[inion is some kind of universal truth. That’s childish at best, and at worst derails the conversation away from some interesting and insightful areas. Trolling at its worst.

The OP clearly just used the Techdirt links as an easy way to find the points he was trying to make. Why not address those points, rather than dismiss them because you don’t like the fact that he found them here? I see this tactic far too much – asshole trolls who try to deflect away from the fact they are wrong by trying to make others do their research for them, and then attacking the research rather than the evidence.

“Try engaging at least one of your brain cells in the process before asking others to do it.”

Hilarious. All I’m asking is that you prepare yourself to take part in intelligent debate, stop attacking those with different opinions and prepare to hear the point of view of others. Apparently this is beyond you, for I’ve yet to see you make any real points, present real evidence or concede that the corporate line you always toe may not be the correct course for all media – no matter how much evidence is presented, you attack the messenger.

It would be nice to have someone on your “side” who is prepared to debate intelligently. But, no, making a pathetic joke is all you care about.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

No but he does link to a lot of material that is.

Envisional was commissioned by NBC Universal to analyse bandwidth usage across the internet with the specific aim of assessing how much of that usage infringed upon copyright.
http://documents.envisional.com/docs/Envisional-Internet_Usage-Jan2011.pdf
∘ The study shows a dramatic reduction in copyright infringement for music.
? RIETI – Research Institute of Economy, Trade & Industry, IAA – Study about piracy showing that it actually helps sell more DVD’s.
? RIETI – Do Illegal Copies of Movies Reduce the Revenue of Legal Products? The case of TV animation in Japan
http://www.rieti.go.jp/en/publications/summary/11010021.html
∘ Author Name: TANAKA Tatsuo (Faculty Fellow, RIETI)
∘ Creation Date: January 2011 11-J-010
? The Norwegian Music Industry in the Age of Digitalization. (Richard Bjerkoe, Anders Sorbo)
? Date of submission: 01.09.2010
http://www.scribd.com/doc/37406039/Thesis-Bjerkoe-Sorbo
∘ The study shows that the music industry in Norway is growing despite piracy claims to the contrary.
? Jailhouse Frocks: Locating the Public Interest in Policing Counterfeit Luxury Fashion Goods
http://bjc.oxfordjournals.org/content/50/6/1094.short?rss=1
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1649773
∘ David S. Wall and Joanna Large (2010)
∘ This article seeks to locate the public interest in policing counterfeit luxury fashion goods by separating it out from the broader debate over safety-critical counterfeits such as aircraft parts. Meaning to stop wasting resources trying to protect something that doesn’t need protections like luxury fashion goods.
? PRS for Music – Economic Insight 20 ? Adding up the UK music industry for 2009
http://www.prsformusic.com/creators/news/research/Documents/Economic%20Insight%2020%20web.pdf
? The Swedish Music Industry in Graphs – Economic Development Report 2000 – 2008 – Dec2009
? Daniel Johansson & Markus Larsson (December 2009)
http://www.trendmaze.com/media/1038/swedish_music_industry_2000-2008.pdf
? Legal, Economic and Cultural Aspects of File Sharing
Nico van EIJK, Joost POORT, Paul RUTTEN (2010)
http://www.ivir.nl/publications/vaneijk/Communications&Strategies_2010.pdf
∘ The studies demonstrate that filesharers buy more secondary merchandise and there is no apparent change in purchasing habits from them in relation to music.
? Intellectual Property Rights and Innovation: Evidence from the Human Genome
∘ Heidi L. Williams
∘ July 2010
http://papers.nber.org/papers/w16213

“Celera’s short-term IP thus appears to have had persistent negative effects on subsequent innovation relative to a counterfactual of Celera genes having always been in the public domain.”

? Wired – Labels: Lower Music Prices And Increase Your Profits, Study Says
? By Eliot Van Buskirk (January 29, 2010 11:57 am)
http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/01/labels-lower-music-prices-and-increase-your-profits-study-says
? File-Sharing and Copyright
No. 09-132
Felix Oberholzer-Gee and Koleman Strumpf
Strategy
May 2009
http://www.hbs.edu/research/pdf/09-132.pdf
http://www.hbs.edu/research/facpubs/workingpapers/papers0809.html#wp09-132
? Media Piracy in Emerging Economies
? A report by: The Social Science Research Council
? Posted on March 15, 2011 by karaganis
http://piracy.ssrc.org/
? Creative Destruction and Copyright Protection, a paper by the London School of Economics’ Bart Cammaerts and Bingchun Meng
http://www.scribd.com/doc/51217629/LSE-MPPbrief1-creative-destruction-and-copyright-protection

Check for more studies
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20091101/2005096753.shtml
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20091103/1904526791.shtml
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20091202/1503337167.shtml
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20091207/2310207240.shtml
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100122/0921257872.shtml
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090824/1430475981.shtml
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090828/0444096038.shtml

Not an Electronic Rodent says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Well, from the recording industry’s point of view, if you acquire music, and you don’t pay them, then you are a pirate.

Well, from the recording industry’s point of view, if you acquire, listen to, are informed of or even think about music, and you don’t pay them, then you are a pirate.
There FTFY πŸ™‚

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

That isn’t “legalizes piracy”, talk about an oxymoron concept.

It’s just an artist choosing to give away their music. That is always an option.

If you can’t tell the difference between this and actual piracy, then things are much worse than anyone makes out, because the population are turning into morons.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

The population is using technology available to it.

The population is the only thing permitting copyright to exist.

The population is bigger than you. The population has the pockets you want to pick. The population no longer respects your way and has chosen the highway.

You have always been invited to come along, but choose to stay behind choking on the dust waving a tattered copy of How It Used to Be.

Who’s the moron?

McBeese says:

The music war is over...

I think the music war is over, even if a few battles are still to come over the next few years.

Streaming has won, most people just don’t know it yet. Why would I take the trouble to buy or pirate music, manage it, back it up, and distribute it to my devices when it is available to me on demand from several different streaming services? People are lazy and streaming is easier so streaming will prevail just as surely as water flows down hill.

Yes, some people will still copy music files but they won’t be the mainstream consumer. Everybody will have some obscure favorites that aren’t available on many of the streaming services, but these bands weren’t likely to generate large followings anyway, so they will be happy if people copy and distribute their music.

Streams will generate money using advertising and/or reasonably-priced subscriptions.

Everybody wins.

McBeese says:

Re: Re: The music war is over...

Hassle? What hassle? Hassle is downloading, storing, backing up, syncing, organizing, …

I may not be typical (yet), but I’m only ever without a data connection when I’m on planes. And don’t forget, many of the leading streaming services already offer caching options so that your music isn’t interrupted when you’re without network coverage.

You can pretend the world is flat, but it isn’t. Streaming has won. If you’re holding on to digital file libraries, you’re soon to become the new generation of dinosaur.

Jay says:

Re: Re: Re: The music war is over...

I think there’s room for both.

There ARE people that enjoy huge collections of… Stuff for lack of a better word.

While the cyber locker is great, along with the idea of huge online storage, I still enjoy the idea of having a lot of (my own) music on a hard drive. It might change, but there’s still plenty of viability in backing up everything you have on ever larger external hard drives.

McBeese says:

Re: Re: Re:2 The music war is over...

Sure, and some people still prefer vinyl.

There will always be stragglers and exceptions, but I think we’re at the front end of another mainstream format migration. Vinyl went to tape which went to CD which went to digital files which is now going to streaming. In my opinion.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 The music war is over...

The only wrench in your theory (and this is no judgement on your theory), is ISP controls on bandwidth consumption, via pricing or capping or throttling or what have you.

Those efforts plus the entertainment industry’s antagonism toward streaming services…okay, two wrenches. πŸ˜‰

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 The music war is over...

IMO that is not fully going to happen, servers go down, servers loose service, political situations appear that create legal barriers, it reminds me of the lean clients that IT people were so psyched about it and that never really got traction exactly because it was not reliable enough, plus on the cloud is giving the power to someone that is not you to control your life you become dependent on others to come through for you and that never ever ended up well.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 The music war is over...

I agree with you for the mainstreamers. Not mainstream as in music, but mainstream is in a majority of listeners in a majority of situations. For most people, streaming is fine. In a lot of cases, it’s preferred (road trips and parties come to mind).

That said, there will still be a ton of people download, collecting, backing up, syncing, etc their own music for any number of reasons. However, the point is moot, that’s not at all what you are arguing.

I think relative to the users in question here (those that were using limewire), streaming music will quickly become their replacement. Until their ISP caps the hell out of their connection and the services go under due to the labels unwillingness to create a fair contract anyway.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: The music war is over...

Streaming has won. If you’re holding on to digital file libraries, you’re soon to become the new generation of dinosaur.

This is completely wrong, of course, as has already been demonstrated repeatedly when content services have abruptly shut down and left their users with no content, no refund, no recourse. You don’t own the bits unless you store the bits, on your media on your computer on your network. Any other alternative — like the trendy-but-stupid approach of “storing them in the cloud” — leaves you vulnerable not just to outages and security breaches, not just to government fishing expeditions, but to the deliberate shutdown of the service in question.

The aggregate price of media (purchase, maintenance, operation, backup) has already dropped to the point where it’s easily feasible to store all of one’s books, photos and audio on local media. Video will fall within that scope in a few years, given current trends. So, for example, a many-TB network fileserver in the basement, with a synchronized backup in a friend’s basement somewhere else — which by the way, can stream just as easily as anyone else’s server — is a far better idea than relying on a streaming service which may delete all of artist X’s artwork or songs or videos tomorrow because of a rights disagreement or a court order or just because.

“The cloud” is a trendy buzzword favored by marketing departments who would like people to stop doing their own computing and cede power back to corporations. The sad part is that many — clearly unaware of history and/or unable to learn from it — do so willingly.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: The music war is over...

Even when wifi access becomes ubiquitous I’m still not going to want my music to suffer from outages when I could have it all with me without that hassle.

By that logic, you should exclusively use a hand-cranked phonograph, or maybe pay a string quartet to follow you around.

Connectivity is only going to saturate the world more and more. Outages are always a possibility, as they are with electricity, but that possibility is easily outshined by the convenience.

Steven (profile) says:

Double blind

The Recording industry players are missing two big things that are going to destroy them if they don’t wake up.

The first, that is commonly talked about, is the move from a scarce to a non-scarce product. They just don’t seem to be able to break the value/price split that this brings to the table.

The second, which is talked about in a bit of a round about way, is the move from the advantage of scale to the leveling of the playing field. The entire reason they guys could be the ‘gatekeepers’ for so long was their ability of scale. The internet has now given everybody that ability of scale. What they could do (if they had any good standing in the community left) is move from gatekeeper to filter to help people connect to music they like. But instead they’ll just give that up and die.

As Mike has noted before it’s really worth trying to learn from this as this is going to happen to nearly all industries. The products don’t even have to be infinite (as digital files aren’t truly infinite anyway) it just has to be able to out produce demand.

Anonymous Coward says:

Has anyone thought of the idea that the results of this hog wash came out late? That it was supposed to help influence the judge to support them suing for the trillions of dollars…only it didn’t arrive on time to do the job?

It is likely you will never hear of this article again because it doesn’t send the right message that the music industry wants put in the public’s face. If you do hear of it again, it will someone using it to make a point of how wrong the latest industry puff piece is.

AC #8 has a good point. In the process of chasing after the pirates, hell bent for leather, no matter whom gets in the way, that same industry has generated a lot of ill will.

I seriously doubt I will ever again buy from the majors just because of how they have been in the past. At some point I woke up and realized what a bastard they’ve been. That drug me to sites like this where I had my eyes opened more on just what the heck they are up to and why.

Before that, long before that, I was a regular music buyer. Now I don’t buy anymore. I’ve changed my entertainment values and requirements and music just isn’t part of it.

So no matter if they manage to lock up the net or not, the ill will has had a reinforcing effect and they have lost a customer permanently for all sorts of reasons. The prime one being I don’t like how they do business and won’t support them.

VancouverDave says:

What everyone seems to be overlooking here is that RIAA does not do this to increase artists’ revenue, or even labels’ revenue.

It does this to increase RIAA’s revenue. Showing “results” allows RIAA to continue to charge the labels for its services; I suspect that showing large headlines and purchasing legislation in major countries allows RIAA to also increase its rates and, so, its profitability.

darryl says:

Poor Mike, cant steal anymore..

It would not be because you Americans are POOR at the moment, you cant afford your houses, your cars, your food, or anything else.

You cant even afford to manufacture anything!

Yet, Mike conviently ignores that, it’s all about what you can steal for Mike.

Who does not mention the massive problems you have, as long as you can steal things.

and there will not be a direct or immediate change in sales, and the other fact is most DO NOT use limewire as a “radio” they use those services to download music.

then listen to it, not to be fed with music like radio, where you get what you are given. that is paid for by advertising.

But the US is a basket case, cant even balance its own books, but as long as Mike can flog his crystal balls, and rip people off with shit stories that feed the trolls.

and does absolutely no good for anyone (except mike). then the US deserves all it gets.

Enjoy being powned by China πŸ™‚

artistrights (profile) says:

But here’s the big question: assuming we accept this massive dropoff in P2P file sharing, was there a corresponding jump in music sales?

“Album sales for the five-week period ending March 21 totaled 31.95 million units, up 4.5 percent from the corresponding period in 2010, and digital downloads were up 12.7 percent to 130.1 million units, marking the first time since 2004 that music sales have experienced a year-over-year gain of this length, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

-Source: http://www.grammy.com/blogs/music-sales-up-for-five-straight-weeks

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

“No one really cares whether you want to keep your head in the sand or not, Paul. “

Ah, your usual response. “My opinion is right and yours is wrong”, with nothing to back it up. Typical.

“We’re going going to see more enforcement this year and next”

I’m sure we are. Will it affect file sharing in any direct way? I doubt it, but that’s my opinion.

“the corresponding bump in sales”

Correlation still != causation

“We already know what your reaction to these things is going to be.”

My reaction will be to look deeper into the figures and try to work out why any such bump has happened. Will it be because of the enforcement? I very, very much doubt it, but we’ll see when we get there.

But, it could be something else. Will it because Spotify finally got their way around the US licencing maze? Because of whatever ends up happening with Warner and EMI? Will there be something else, say better albums or some musical trend driving sales? I don’t know, but we’ll see when we get there.

You, of course, will still be trying to deny that anybody who dislikes the current system could be anything but a pirate, and continue to attack every presentation of alternative business models. Meanwhile, ifg a drop occurs instead of a bump, you’ll be saying it’s the fault of the pirates and not they continued failures of the industry.

artistrights (profile) says:

But here’s the big question: assuming we accept this massive dropoff in P2P file sharing, was there a corresponding jump in music sales?

“Taylor Swift enjoys ?Speak Now? album sales after Limewire shut down: Swift?s triumph in the sales chart is one of the first success stories of music artist after Limewire.com?s big shut down last week.”

http://www.popherald.com/limewire-taylor-swift-speak-now-album/1609

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Sick Of Sarah rocks bittorrent.

http://www.finanznachrichten.de/19376828
http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2011/03/sick-of-sara-goes-platinum-via-bittorrent.html
http://www.pr-inside.com/bittorrent-rocks-with-new-sick-of-r2417301.htm
http://www.dailybinarynews.com/?p=3899
http://www.tgdaily.com/games-and-entertainment-features/54750-sick-of-sarah-tops-a-million-bittorrent-downloads?quicktabs_1=0

Quote:

Sick of Sarah has been described by critics as the next big girl band, and 2205 has been lauded by some of the godmothers of rock music, including Nancy Wilson of Heart and Susanna Hoffs of The Bangles – both of whom took Sick of Sarah on the road in 2010.

See what I did there? I took a single point of data an said that Bittorrent and filesharing are awesome, just like you with your lame data.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Taylor Swift enjoys ?Speak Now? album sales after Limewire shut down: Swift?s triumph in the sales chart is one of the first success stories of music artist after Limewire.com?s big shut down last week.

Now look at the sun headline:
Taylor Swift?s album, the first to taste the ?sales triumph? after Limewire shutdown?

Note the quotation marks and question mark at the end.

Note also the last line of the article.

But even before Limewire?s shut down, Lil Wayne?s ?Tha Carter III,? managed to sell million copies in one week. According to Billboard, ?Tha Carter III? recorded 1,006,000 albums sold in one week.

ECA (profile) says:

OK, understand something STUPID

IF I was(stupid) the movie/recording industry…

I would want the SAME price in all the countries that I send Music/video to..

So, lets think about that.

$10 AMERICAN is EQUAL to WHAT in other nations??

In MANY nations, $10 US, is about equal to a WEEKS/MONTHS PAY for working..

WHY charge the SAME amount in USA dollars?
because SOME persons in the USA found something out…”IT WAS” cheaper to order things from other nations..

SO, what to the Cits, in other nations DO??(I wont tell you)

HOW does the Audio/Video corps MAKE up the difference?
CHARGE YOU MORE, AND MORE AND MORE AND MORE..
They dont want to DEAL with the concepts of capitalism.

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