Useless Studies: Given The Choice Of No File Sharing Or No Internet, Guess What People Choose?

from the what-do-people-do,-not-what-they-say-they'd-do dept

A study by Entertainment Media Research claims that 72% of file sharers would stop file sharing, if sent a letter by their ISP threatening to cut them off the internet. This, obvious, supports the entertainment industry's effort over the past couple of years to get ISPs to act as their enforcers. It also ignores the fact that the EU has rejected such three strikes policies as a violation of users' rights. If someone puts a gun to your head and tells you to do something, plenty of people will probably do it, but that doesn't mean that it's right. Furthermore, what the study is really asking is, which of these two scenarios is preferable: no file sharing or no internet (which, by definition would mean no file sharing). Guess which people are going to say?

Unfortunately, results like this just mean that the industry will probably keep up its campaign to push for ISP enforcement, rather than actually coming up with better business models that embrace file sharing as promotion and a natural part of the market. They'll claim, of course, that this shows such an "educational campaign" will be effective -- ignoring the implicit "gun-to-head" part. However, as we recently discussed, there's little to indicate that the educational campaign has actually succeeded at all over the past decade, and there's little to believe that letters from ISPs will really be particularly effective in the long run. In a survey, of course people will say that they'll stop the activity to avoid getting cut off the internet. But that won't be because they think it's right or are comfortable with it. So the second a new, more secure or more underground method of file sharing comes along, they'll jump on that as well. If the entertainment industry wants to keep pursuing three strikes rules by promoting delusional studies like this one, that's it's choice, but it won't get the industry any closer to solving its business model problems.

Filed Under: entertainment industry, file sharing, studies, three strikes


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2008 @ 12:34pm

    This is by no means a large study... How many internet users are there, a couple hundred million?? This study was on 1500 of those... How many wouldn't care...? In Britain things might be a little different. I hardly think the big boys over here such as Time Warner or Comcast would start sending these out....

    There really needs to be a digital rights token that needs to be all encompassing for all forms of media.. After all, what is the harm in downloading a movie only to have it several months later on Cable? I spend $170 a month on internet and cable tv for one tv... Have I ever gotten a check back, saying you didn't use enough tv for the month we are going to give you a check back... When I do get one will be the day I stop downloading movies from the pirate bay.

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