New Study Shows Legal Music Services — Not Fear Of Harsh Copyright Laws — Reduce Illegal File Sharing
from the how-many-times-do-we-need-to-say-it? dept
The copyright industries seem to have only one tool in their tool box for addressing unauthorized file sharing: a legal hammer. But no matter how harsh the measure, the file sharing goes on, and so the maximalists call for even more disproportionate laws, which will doubtless be ignored in their turn. This is particularly frustrating, because we already know how to stop people downloading stuff: just offer good services at fair prices. When you do so, illegal file sharing drops dramatically, as Techdirt has noted time and again. Here’s yet more research confirming that fact, from a group at Lund University in Sweden:
Survey responses from around 4,000 individuals suggest that the number of active file-sharers has dropped in the past two years. Those who share files daily or almost daily has decreased from 32.8 percent in 2012 to 29 percent in 2014.
According to the head of the research group, this is why the numbers are dropping, as reported by TorrentFreak:
“If you listen to what young people themselves are saying, it is new and better legal services that have caused the decrease in file-sharing, rather than respect for the law. There has been a trend where alternative legal solutions such as Spotify and Netflix are changing consumption patterns among young people.”
Particularly striking is the following statistic:
Interestingly, in that same four-year period, the percentage of young people who said they believe that people should not share files because it is illegal dropped from 24 percent to 16.9 percent. So, even while young people are sharing files less often, their acceptance of the standards presented by the law appears to be dropping too.
In other words, we need not only more good-quality services, but also copyright reform to bring the law into line with today’s views.