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.

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Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2014 @ 9:17am

    This is what happens when you put lawyers and accountants in charge.

    Accountants can't really figure out the value of art, so it must be pricy.

    Lawyers on the other hand are like someone holding the hammer and looking for a nail. All solutions are found in court.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2014 @ 9:21am

    Somehow this will be spun as a propiracy article

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2014 @ 9:25am

    Re:

    We are talking about the content cartels here. You use the word "accountants" rather loosely considering no movie ever makes a profit and musical artists rarely earn royalties from their works.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Michael, Jun 5th, 2014 @ 9:45am

    Re:

    All solutions are found in court

    That is not true at all. Many attorneys are perfectly happy to help you avoid court by paying them a settlement.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    TheResidentSkeptic (profile), Jun 5th, 2014 @ 9:47am

    Seriously?

    You mean if we start selling our stuff, people will buy it instead of steal it?

    That's the dumbest thing we've ever heard.

    /signed,
    Content Owners

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2014 @ 9:48am

    Re: Re:

    Q. How do you tell the difference between a mathematician, a statistician and an accountant.
    A. Ask what two plus two is. The mathematicians says 4. The statistician say depending on circumstances about 4. The accountant asks what do you want it to be.

    (As told to me by an accountant).

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Michael, Jun 5th, 2014 @ 9:49am

    Re: Seriously?

    licensing

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    The Skunk, Jun 5th, 2014 @ 10:00am

    The ***ias..

    Fingers in ears, close our eyes...
    we hear nothing, we see nothing

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2014 @ 10:02am

    It's funny that as the record industry in recent years has routinely pointed to the existence of paid download services in its arguments against file-sharing, we shouldn't forget that for the first decade of the internet's existence, there was basically no legal download option available. If you wanted to listen to a song, you had to buy the whole album on CD, cassette, or LP. (And if the record labels had their way, that would still be the only option today.) We have to thank "piracy" for forcing their hand and giving us the full range of (authorized) digital download services that exist today.

    Had the record industry granted iTunes and Spotify permission to operate a decade earlier, there's no question that Napster, Kazaa, and Limewire would never have been born.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    AnonCow, Jun 5th, 2014 @ 10:07am

    I used to illegally download all of my music. Since I started using Spotify, I only illegally download the rare track or two that I can't find on Spotify because it is too obscure or too new.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2014 @ 10:48am

    Re: Re:

    All solutions that are not paid off are found in court

    Better fit?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2014 @ 11:02am

    but if the industries were to supply good, legal services at realistic prices and people then used them instead of the alternatives, there would be almost no one for the industries to sue, get convicted, fined massive amounts, have their lives ruined and probably get jailed or, if the pressure of such a miniscule act was too much for the accused to bear, suicide was implemented! there is no way there will be any admission of this working simply because the industries dont want it to work. to then have to admit that everything they have done, the laws they have had upgraded and the new ones implemented, the bribes they have thrown around and the back-scratching that has been done by governments and industry representatives, was a waste would give them heart attacks (we live in hope!) for governments and legal officials to have to then back track on the laws they have put in place to have to admit that all the industry surveys were loaded and the independent ones were true would break hearts. if they then had to admit that those jailed were done so because of false evidence, well!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2014 @ 11:32am

    Re:

    That is the main issue.

    The economic viability of selling on the internet at that time was very questionable. Ironically it hasn't improved much today since the "all you can eat"-model was the main enemy at the time! The cost of music online is artificially set since the advertisement costs are impossible to pinpoint geographically.

    Then again: The cost of a CD is a historical artifact with the building of a long chain of more or less low-value links soaking up the increased profit as the CDs physical production costs went down to almost nothing.

     

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  14.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jun 5th, 2014 @ 12:48pm

    I've noted before, but if 'reducing file-sharing' was really their goal, they would have done it years back, and would have been reaping the rewards from it since then.

    It's not, and never has been, the goal though.

    'Stopping piracy' has always been a boogieman, the scare-tactic and excuse they pull out to get laws passed and changed in their favor, all aimed at their actual goal, that of stomping out any potential competition and maintaining their power over the customer and artists.

    If the artists can only be successful by signing over the rights to their creations, if fans can only purchase music, or movies, or other forms of entertainment from them, then it follows that they hold all the cards. They can dictate the terms, and control the entire process, from creation to 'sale'.

    Control, and the power and profits it brings, is and always will be their true goal, so in the end it doesn't matter how many times studies come out showing how they could decimate piracy by simply offering their wares on reasonable platforms, for reasonable rates, and without dozens of strings attached, because when you get down to it, they do not want to stop piracy.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2014 @ 1:48pm

    Sweden huh?

    We'll there is quite an abundance of legal services in the US aren't there?

    Yes, there are. Yet...

    http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2014/06/04/p2p-still-bigger-spotify-soundcloud-twitt er-instagram-pandora

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    RD, Jun 5th, 2014 @ 3:26pm

    X-Files Bluray

    So for the detractors who chime in here about "thieves!!" I would like to ask a simple question:

    WHY can't I buy or get the X-Files series in HD? And please don't give me any shit about "they didn't make it in HD" because HD copies do, in fact, exist. But you can't buy them anywhere or obtain them in any legal manner. (Likewise dont give me any shit about streaming. That is not OWNING.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    charliebrown (profile), Jun 5th, 2014 @ 3:55pm

    Australia

    This content is not available in your country so you might as well pirate it because then you might actually get it before hell freezes over. Besides, why would we want your money? Crappy little Australian Dollars.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2014 @ 5:44pm

    Re:

    Don't you mean blame piracy for the dubious privilege of buying shitty lossy audio files for 99 cents a pop?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2014 @ 7:25pm

    Re: Australia

    I am not afraid to admit that I pirated all four seasons of Game of Thrones. However, I also own the complete first three seasons on Blu-ray, and I would likely not have done so had the piracy option not shown me that GoT was a show worth supporting as soon as I was allowed to.

    There, cards on the table. Someone please tell me that what I did was wrong and I should be locked up for the rest of my life because, if anything, stamping out piracy would have LOST them a sale, and piracy itself MADE a sale.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2014 @ 7:34pm

    I've been torrenting music for as long as I can remember. Now that we have Spotify in my country, I've already deleted all those mp3s that I've collected. Fair price + convenience > free.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jun 5th, 2014 @ 8:54pm

    Re: Re: Australia

    Aha though, you've only bought three seasons, compared to the four you downloaded, so the three purchases are meaningless, you're still a dirty pirate!

    Also, everyone knows that everyone has endless disposable income to spend on entertainment, and that people are quite willing to drop ridiculous amounts on DVD/Blu-Ray sets of tv series/movies/music that they've never watched/heard before, so piracy obviously had nothing to do with your purchase, since clearly you would have purchased the seasons even had if you'd had no idea of the quality or lack thereof of the show!

    (Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go find some aspirin, the concussion I had to give myself to think like a tv/music exec is really starting to smart.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jun 6th, 2014 @ 1:25am

    Re:

    "I only illegally download the rare track or two that I can't find on Spotify because it is too obscure or too new."

    I'd add a third category - because the label is too backward to licencing it there.

    Now, I don't pirate but if I want to listen to, say, Tool or AC/DC, that's not an option available to me on Spotify due to their licencing. Some of those albums are both famous and decades old.

    The labels' fantasy is that this will make me go out and buy a copy. In reality, I already own the albums, so if I'm out and about and I don't have that album synced to my iPhone, it just means they don't get the revenue from my plays. That revenue goes to their competitors.

    While it's never going to make anyone rich, they're turning down a revenue stream because they believe in a fantasy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Jun 6th, 2014 @ 1:40am

    Re:

    Well, that's a nicely misleading infographics, completely unsourced and not saying what you think it does. I also wonder if it takes into account the use of VPNs and other services that people use to avoid regional blocks on legitimate services (i.e. it's possible that many of the people listed as being in the US are actually resident in a country with no legal options). Plus, define "P2P" - are we talking about downloads of P2P streaming services as well? How are the users collated and tracked?

    Not to mention that the number of legal services is irrelevant - if a band or studio outright refuses to licence content and leave no legal download option, people still can't download legally.

    Erm, thanks, I guess?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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