HADOPI May Be Succeeding — In Driving French Customers To Dotcom's Mega
from the don't-say-we-didn't-warn-you dept
Last week, Techdirt reported on the news that falling numbers of P2P users are being trumpeted as a victory for HADOPI’s “three strikes” approach in France, but that it is a hollow victory, since sales of recorded music are still dropping in that country. The French site Numerama points out something else interesting happening there (in French), as revealed by the following tweet from Kim Dotcom:
#Mega Top 5 premium membership countries: 1. France 2. Spain 3. Belgium 4. United States 5. Germany – Thanks a lot for buying!
Now, of course, as Techdirt always emphasizes, correlation is not causation, but it’s pretty suggestive that at precisely the same time that P2P use is dropping in France, its citizens should turn out to be the biggest premium users of Dotcom’s Mega service. This is, after all, precisely what we and everyone else have been predicting: that people would simply move from P2P services where they can be observed, to others — like Mega’s file-hosting site — where they cannot.
This interpretation is supported by the other notable fact to emerge from Dotcom’s tweet: that after French users, it is Spaniards who are signing up for Mega’s premium membership in droves — another group who have had a punitive copyright infringement law imposed on them recently. This means that in about a year’s time, we can probably expect the Spanish department tasked with implementing Ley Sinde to publish figures showing that the number of P2P users is falling — omitting to note, of course that they, like their French counterparts, have simply moved to alternatives instead.
Now, some will doubtless use these trends to argue that Mega should be shut down just as Megaupload was. But the correct inferences to draw are that HADOPI and Ley Sinde are just an expensive waste of time, and that people don’t expect to get everything for free, as the popularity in France and Spain of Dotcom’s paid-for Mega service shows. It’s just a matter of the recording and film industries offering the public what they want, in a form they want, at a reasonable price. Is that really too much to ask?