Copyright

by Glyn Moody


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copyright, infringement, innovation, norway

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Recording Industry Has 'Virtually Eliminated Illegal File-Sharing' In Norway -- By Offering Better Products

from the they-said dept

Techdirt has written a number of times about growing evidence that good, reasonably-priced streaming services are reducing dramatically the number of illegal downloads in the regions where they are available. One of the countries where that was observed some years ago is Norway. Now, a new report in Music Business Worldwide indicates that things are looking even better for the recorded music business there:
A countrywide survey in December 2014 showed that just 4% of Norwegians under 30 years still used illegal file-sharing platforms to get hold of music.

Even better for the worldwide industry, less than 1% of people under 30 years said that file-sharing was their main source of obtaining music.
The head of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) in Norway, Marte Thorsby, explains why she thinks that has happened:
"We are now offering services that are both better and more user-friendly than illegal platforms… In [the past] five years, we have virtually eliminated illegal file-sharing in the music industry."
There we have it from the recording industry itself: offer "better and more user-friendly" products and illegal file-sharing just goes away on its own -- no intrusive surveillance, punitive three-strikes or clumsy site blocking required. How much clearer does it have to be?

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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 27 Jan 2015 @ 12:56am

    How much clearer does it have to be?

    Norway is small and while it is irrelevant the MAFIAA will generally point at this. What they want is absolute control as gatekeepers in the main markets. We are not talking with dumb people, they know damn well that making things easily available and for fair prices will tackle piracy. But it won't solve the gatekeeper part of their equation. And as that cherry on top of the cake the profits aren't borderline criminal, they'd have to settle with more mundane profits.

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

  • icon
    Rabbit80 (profile), 27 Jan 2015 @ 1:27am

    What you fail to mention in the article is that despite the number of people illegally downloading music being in the region of 70% in 2009, profits for the industry have only increased by 1.5% in the region - less than inflation.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 27 Jan 2015 @ 4:35am

      Re:

      But, that can't be right. They've almost completely eliminated piracy in that country if the study is to be believed, and since pirates steal billions worth of music on a yearly basis, with the pirates out of the picture, their profits should be soaring!

      Or, and this is just crazy talk so pay it no mind, maybe the fact that even with the pirates pretty much no longer a factor, their profits still haven't shot up, maybe, just maybe that indicates that piracy is not in fact this apocalyptic scourge on the music industry, or at least not in that country.

      But, like I said, clearly that's just crazy talk.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2015 @ 4:48am

        Re: Re:

        Maybe pirates were just the beginning. With the swashbuckling threat nearly eliminated and profits yet to increase, perhaps something more sinister lurks, hidden in the shadows, slicing into industry profits... Like ninjas!

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 27 Jan 2015 @ 4:39am

      Re:

      Joking/sarcasm aside, I've got a question regarding that number: Is it for just the record industry in that country, or does it cover the entire music industry as a whole? Because if more and more people in that area are getting their music from sources other than the standard labels and record companies, that could explain the tiny profit increase, as the money is being spent elsewhere.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2015 @ 4:42am

      Re:

      I had come to make this very point about the lack of increase in sales. Evidence once again that piracy is not the problem and never really has been. Piracy has been the mania that provided the scapegoat for all the ills and woes of the entertainment industry; nothing more.

      http://torrentfreak.com/unprecedented-music-piracy-collapse-fails-to-boost-revenues-150126/

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2015 @ 1:29am

    but offering better products hasn't increased the number of music sales. so that tells me and every other person with half a brain

    THAT PIRACY ISN'T HURTING THE INDUSTRIES IN THE SLIGHTEST! IN FACT, IT PROBABLY IS LEADING TO THE MAJORITY OF SALES BECAUSE OF BEING ABLE TO LISTEN TO THE DAMN MUSIC BEFORE BUYING!!

    but of course mine and every other reasonably intelligent persons view is a load of shite, because it tells the truth which is definitely not what the industries want to hear!! especially when governments and courts are being 'encouraged' and succeeding in bringing about the destruction of the net as we know it.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2015 @ 6:00am

      Re:

      This is definitely true for some music industries.
      (South) Korea is quite different in its music industry due to being quite young, and has a lot of digital streaming and purchases, but also a lot of foreign fans from relatively poor countries in East Asia.

      As a result, I would expect piracy is quite common, but one thing that k-pop does on physical releases is provide interesting or value-add physical products (rather than just a case with a CD inside it), and there are lots of fans in East Asia to the point where some groups have had concerts in those countries before they have held domestic ones.

      Piracy almost certainly helped k-pop grow, but the domestic industry has embraced digital media entirely, and recognised that physical products should be more than just the same as the digital copy but on a CD, and provides posters when CD purchases, or other added extras in the physical package.

      By approaching both sides domestically, and also promoting abroad, you make the most of any foreign piracy by monetising pirate fans with concerts and merchandise, and you make the most of the domestic digital market by offering good value digital purchases and streaming, along with good value physical products.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2015 @ 1:32am

    Wait, what? I hear no-one saying this is all thanks to brutal anti-filesharing crackdown?
    Everyone knows that innovative music industry is one of the signs of the impending apocalypse...

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

    • identicon
      David, 27 Jan 2015 @ 1:59am

      Re:

      I don't think this is "all thanks to brutal anti-filesharing crackdown". However, the "market" for non-legal filesharing is international, and the somewhat U.S.-centric endeavors to shut down as well as poison torrents are causing similar annoyances in Norway than elsewhere.

      While the U.S.-centric legal shenanigans against individual filesharers probably don't take hold in Norway, their effect on making uncontrolled copies reliably available is certainly there.

      So as long as there are legal and reasonably priced alternatives, there is no point in going through the nuisances primarily due to technical anti-filesharing activities of the music industry.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 27 Jan 2015 @ 2:12am

      Re:

      "I hear no-one saying this is all thanks to brutal anti-filesharing crackdown?"

      Probably because it's almost certain nothing to do with anything of the sort.

      "Everyone knows that innovative music industry is one of the signs of the impending apocalypse."

      Not really. Historically, these industries do tend to accept new technology when they're forced to accept them. It's just a shame that we've had to wade through over a decade's worth of lies and self-immolation to get there.

      Besides, this has nothing to do with an "innovative music industry". This is largely due to outsiders (Apple, Amazon, YouTube, Spotify, etc.) coming in and showing them how to give customers what they actually want rather than try propping up what the labels would prefer to have.

      That the recording industry is now trying to get credit for finally agreeing to work out some reasonable licencing to these services does not mean the claim is accurate.

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

    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 27 Jan 2015 @ 2:39am

      Re:

      Expect the usual trolls to be largely absent from the comments in this article.

      What strikes me is that even as piracy took a nose dive the revenues actually declined if inflation is added to the equation. This is something that can and should be explored. I'd guess that people are spending more on independent music, direct donations and other stuff. The pie has grown but the regular music players aren't capable of getting a larger piece of it.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2015 @ 2:57am

        Re: Re:

        The pie has grown but the regular music players aren't capable of getting a larger piece of it.

        The top down structure of the legacy players, with their demand for control, does not scale as well as a server on which anyone can publish. Kim Dotcom had come up with a dangerous model for the legacy players, count downloads and share part of the profits pro-rata, without demanding athe copyright, or a distribution contract. This model scales well and quickly, just add servers and storage. This model doe not support a load of middlemen, and so had to go.

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

  • icon
    Violynne (profile), 27 Jan 2015 @ 3:28am

    99 cents for a song is not reasonable.

    $20/mo for a streaming site is not reasonable.

    Record labels taking 90% of the revenue which is supposed to go to the artist is not reasonable.

    The RIAA, which single-handedly forced Danish laws to punish citizens against downloading files is most assuredly not reasonable.

    There's one statistical fact about surveys: they're all statistical bullshit because they never tell the complete picture.

    Here's a little reminder about this survey's "proof":
    https://www.techdirt.com/search-g.php?q=danish

    Reasonable offers. That's like saying Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast give its customers reasonable offers.

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

    • icon
      Rabbit80 (profile), 27 Jan 2015 @ 3:35am

      Re:

      $20/mo for streaming service - In the case of Spotify / Deezer which have apps for my phone which allow offline play, I find it pretty reasonable!

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2015 @ 4:45am

        Re: Re:

        $20/m is more than my Netflix subscription.

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

      • icon
        mattshow (profile), 27 Jan 2015 @ 8:04am

        Re: Re:

        Agreed. I pay $10/month for Google Play All Access, and before that I used Sony's Music Unlimited service. I listen to a ton of music, at home, in the car, at work when I can get away with it. Having access to that huge library of music, including brand new releases, is of tremendous value to me. I love having a friend text me to say "Oh, did you hear so-and-so released a new album" and 30 seconds and 10 clicks later, be listening to it, is of huge value to me. I've often remarked I'd pay double (or even more) what I currently pay for a good streaming service. I get far more value out of the music streaming services than I do out of my Netflix subscription.

        That might not be true for everyone, or even most, but I find $20/month to be perfectly reasonable.

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

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 27 Jan 2015 @ 8:58am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "That might not be true for everyone"

          This is the key point. What is a reasonable price point has a large subjective component. From the point of view of business, this is what makes determining the price for your products and services a bit of a black art -- a combination of sociology and economics.

          I'm not familiar with any video service outside of Netflix, so I can't say if those price points are reasonable to me or not, but I do know that the Netflix rate is more than fair for me.

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

    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 27 Jan 2015 @ 5:20am

      Re:

      I find $20 reasonable if it offers ease of use and a broad catalog. The issue now is that every MAFIAA incumbent wants to launch their own streaming service for $20 instead of licensing the content for Netflix and the likes.

      I find it reasonable since I've been using Netflix heavily. I got a Family plan and I got my parents connected and my girl has been using a lot for the series it has. Sure I'm paying about $12 but I wouldn't mind if it was $20. They deserve for the service. My only issue with it is the crap DRM and the lack of a standalone desktop software.

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

      • icon
        Ninja (profile), 27 Jan 2015 @ 5:22am

        Re: Re:

        As a reminder: how much would you be spending if you had to buy the physical media for everything you watched individually?

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

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 27 Jan 2015 @ 9:01am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I think a more appropriate comparison would be with the cost of video rental (since that's effectively what things like Netflix are). Taking into account the benefits and drawbacks of old-school rentals vs Netflix and looking at the prices for each, I think that Netflix is priced comparably.

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

    • icon
      Chronno S. Trigger (profile), 27 Jan 2015 @ 5:24am

      Re:

      It would appear that whatever is available is reasonable to most people in Norway.

      Also, I don't know if it's available in other countries, but Google Music is $10/m. Is that reasonable to you?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2015 @ 3:42am

    The MAFIAA said it couldn't be done. At least not without suing single mothers for millions of dollars.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2015 @ 4:45am

    Having a monetery counterpart that people can easilly use is fine........but sharing IS NOT illegal........the sharing community will always be the inovators in technology use, and their counterparts mostly catching up, in fact i envision the monetary side making one or two inovations, that the sharing community if requested could most likely implement faster inovation then if the monetary side had to implement a sharing side inovation..........thered be no restrictions for the sharing side as their would be for the monetary side, and ive found many community devs quite capable for those now thinking that only the monetary side can implement something worthwhile

    Being able to send the author a little something for their art, EASILLY, affordably, securely and privately), is nice to have.......but in no way do i think that having a monatery side should shutdown the sharing inovative side, monetary's ORIGIN..........let sharing rise and fall in its own violition, when there is no need sharing will fall, when theirs a need sharing will rise.......but it should never be restricted, for inovations sake

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

  • icon
    Dave (profile), 27 Jan 2015 @ 4:58am

    About these better products...

    Would these be the same products from which artists are pulling their music, because they claim a million streams only nets them a few hundred bucks?

    The same products that Taylor Swift claims is devaluing her art?

    The same products that Thom Yorke, who made a mint on a BitTorrent release, called "the last desperate fart of a dying corpse" and a new tool for major label gatekeeping?

    Just checking.

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

  • icon
    DaveK (profile), 27 Jan 2015 @ 6:21am

    >"How much clearer does it have to be?"

    It could be written in hundred-foot high letters of fire and signed by God himself and some people still wouldn't get the message.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2015 @ 6:30am

    If streaming is the only future for music (or video) via the internet, they will not have me as a customer. Besides the fact that AT&T doesn't provide fast enough speeds to its rural customers to make streaming viable (at least for video), I want the music/video on my computer. I don't want to have to rely on a central source that may not be there next month. I want to be able to download the music and do whatever I want with it on any of the playback devices I might have.

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

  • icon
    Chris S (profile), 27 Jan 2015 @ 6:55am

    US Music Industry:

    "We don't want your simple logic! Give us real world numbers and examples!"

    Gives them this article.

    US Music Industry:

    (Fingers in ears, eyes closed) "LALALALALA WE CAN"T HEAR YOU!"

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

  • identicon
    Patrick, 27 Jan 2015 @ 7:06am

    Imagine that

    Isn't that a shocker, all the stuff about convenient access various people have been saying since Napster turned out to be true.

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

  • icon
    Peter (profile), 27 Jan 2015 @ 7:28am

    There is a PS:

    Eradicating piracy boosted revenue from $75.94m in 2009 to $77.1m in 2014, a stunning 1.5 % (source: Torrentfreak)

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

  • identicon
    Guardian, 27 Jan 2015 @ 9:56am

    @ you all

    um piracy has not been reduced ITS ONLY more focused on a few people doing then handbombing

    you can see proof that sales are only up 1.5%...if all these people were buying you'd see huge jump....

    only idiots think otherwise

    and 1 person buying a vpn ( encrypted) and 10 friends using it ( encrypted) gives them ( hollystupid) no clue as to what is up....

    shop smart
    SHOP S-MART

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

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 27 Jan 2015 @ 10:01am

      Re: @ you all

      "you can see proof that sales are only up 1.5%...if all these people were buying you'd see huge jump...."

      The lack of a jump in sales is not evidence that piracy hasn't been reduced. It may very well be that piracy rates have gone down, but the ex-pirates are still not buying the music.

      This seems like an expected result to me: most people who engage in piracy but don't buy are the sorts that wouldn't buy in the first place. Getting rid of the piracy in no way means that they'll suddenly start.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2015 @ 10:09am

      Re: @ you all

      Sales and Piracy are not a scale.
      Removing piracy does not tip the scale back towards sales.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 27 Jan 2015 @ 11:54pm

      Re: @ you all

      "only idiots think otherwise"

      Equally, only an idiot would believe this is a zero sum game, and that lower piracy automatically means more sales at the same level. That's an assumption of RIAA-level stupidity.

      As the whiners keep reminding us, Spotify does not equal sales. So, people who stop pirating aren't buying more music, they're just using a service to legally obtain it. Which, they should be happy about since it apparently hasn't led to a *drop* in sales, but they can't take good news if it didn't make them billionaires overnight...

      There's also other ways to obtain music than "file sharing", which is what the survey specifically asked about. If people aren't using an "illegal file sharing platform", that doesn't mean they're buying the music, it just means the service they use (which may or may not be legal) doesn't fit in that category. Although, the facts point toward legal services being used.

      Interesting that you automatically assume everyone must still be pirating, though.

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

  • identicon
    ed, 27 Jan 2015 @ 11:51am

    Or it could be, there is simply no new music worth listening to.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2015 @ 3:38pm

    Norway is a white country with good life quality.

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

  • icon
    Michelle (profile), 5 Feb 2015 @ 2:13pm

    Music

    I coulnt agree more with this comment.
    THAT PIRACY ISN'T HURTING THE INDUSTRIES IN THE SLIGHTEST! IN FACT, IT PROBABLY IS LEADING TO THE MAJORITY OF SALES BECAUSE OF BEING ABLE TO LISTEN TO THE DAMN MUSIC BEFORE BUYING!!

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


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