That's not to say that there isn't room to believe that the data is wrong in any way, but I'm going to try and look on this at both ends.
Why I believe it's accurate:
For the most part, I think a number of people who download music genuinely are looking for more music because they love music that much. Like a nervous twitch, they're constantly looking for something to add to either their hobby, or for some of us, their lives.
Like someone who enjoys any type of entertainment, they don't like waiting. Movie buffs will go to midnight showings, and be the first to buy the special edition DVD the day it comes out. Music buffs will be the first to grab a leak, a way to have a digital copy in anticipation for the street date. What is a street date anyway nowadays? A way to market a record over a few weeks with radio play and music videos-- two sources that are surely becoming out of date thanks to this Internet thingy.
I'm sure there are other "business" reasons (pressings, distribution, stocking, etc.) to have weeks between mastering and physically being on the shelf, but with physical copies on the decline (except for vinyl, but that's a whole other discussion), it shouldn't be surprising that leaks and downloads will give consumers a preview before the release date. I would bet anything that a majority of offenders who downloaded X-Men: Origins are going to go see it this weekend.
What about downloading after a record has been released? There's so many channels to consume an existing record. What about those who hoard music?
Why I think the data isn't accurate:
I think leaks are the primary spike in illegal downloading over the past two years, at least. The study doesn't separate this data though. There's no difference as to whether the downloaded material is pre- or post- release dated. I think that's something that needs to be accounted for.
Also, the story says, "Researchers found that those who downloaded "free" music – whether from lawful or seedy sources – were also 10 times more likely to pay for music. This would make music pirates the industry's largest audience for digital sales."
Digital sales! What about physical sales? What if those in questioned just assumed "yes" for any type of purchase, no matter the medium?
I believe the study is accurate, because I believe that a majority of those who download are the ones putting money back into the system through concert tickets, t-shirt sales, physical copies, etc.
The study doesn't look to be without its faults. I think the approach to marketing will drastically change in the next decade, and I believe a lot of bands will rely on labels less, press less and give even more incentives to their existing fans, and new fans alike.
This year looks to be a great year for music, and some artists are doing some pretty insane pre-orders, along with sales on Amazon MP3, it's good to say the future looks bright for what we love. There's a fine line, we as consumers are riding, and I think some are making it work, unfortunately there are a few bad seeds here and there taking new technologies for granted.
Illegal downloading is illegal. There's no question on that. But making bad music and saturating the market should be illegal too.
In a blog posted earlier today, "the creator" made this comment:
Don't illegally share your files and you don't have a problem. Only reason to worry is if you're breaking the law. DRM free means it can be played anywhere - not that it's not trackable.
And I rebutted:
I agree with that. But the interesting point of the article is that someone could hook an iPod up to your iTunes and gain music, and then share that music under your "watermark."
My whole thing about file sharing is still this: What about 20 years ago when it wasn't online. When it wasn't able to be tracked. When people would buy one record and make tapes for their friends with it, or the old idea of a mix tape or cd.
With the Internet, we opened a larger channel of doing that same thing, and now it's gotten so huge that people tend to hoard, and I absolutely hate that. People who hoard music they never listen to is worthless. If I come across a record I got from a friend, and I don't like it, I'll erase it, but if I do like it, I'll buy it on CD or go see their show.
I think there's an even ground that will help artists be discovered, while still supporting them through sharing music online. Too many people take advantage of that though.
And that's how I feel about both sides of the table. It's not like the RIAA kicked my dog or anything, it's that they're this necessary evil because the "fans" are taking advantage of the system. While the system has changed in favor of a recession (see the front page deals every week on this site, including many when surfing Amazon MP3), we, as humans, will take from the cookie jar, if we feel we won't get caught.
In writing the book that I'm doing, and talking to a lot of the older bands, they're almost surprised to see the responses from their records years after their releases, but they also understand that the Internet and online sharing has helped.
Don't forget who the RIAA mostly targeted- college students. Because let's face it, we have a ton of money to put back in their system, that's why we took from the cookie jar to begin with- duh!
File sharing is illegal. But it's been illegal for some time- it just wasn't surfing through the Internet. No seriously, go ask your parents how they did it. Or for kids my age, what you did in primary school.
The model changed, and we're hurting and helping at the same time.
I agree with you Jason, I'm just trying to attack the issue from all sides.
Here lies the problem of intent to distribute and flimsy evidence. In a source found today, it seems that it is possible that the RIAA can still track you using your iTunes account's e-mail address if your files get out there.
Should we worry, or should we not? What does this have to do with legal suits that are supposedly not going to happen as opposed to shutting down ISPs?
I'd love to hear your thoughts, or see this on the front page? Maybe there's no worries.
Well, it's Tuesday. The only information I have to report is that a fewsources have said that the RIAA are still suing people, even after they're not. I don't know with them anymore. I'm beginning not to care either.
I was at work today, and someone asked me what I was graduating in and then it turned into a 20 minute conversation about industry trends. Then I thought, "maybe I could teach this stuff?"
Quickly, I decided against it.
Anyway, I found this quaint little video on the Inter-Web and thought it was interesting. Like a lot of VH1 RockDocs I watch, it's a lot of the same shit I already knew, but for those of you who need a quick refresher course, I found it to be the Cliff Notes of the music industry's ever changing model, and possibly, an interesting take on where it could lead:
I encourage you to check this out and check this out <--- I'd like to see more ideas in this forum. But as my first, I'd say it was a grand success. (haha)
The book is coming along nicely. I haven't written a whole lot yet, but I'm giving myself a deadline on interviews and readings as of the week before Mardi Gras, and then straight writing until the end of school. My professor is giving me a lot of room to do my own thing, which is great.
Also, where the hell has Adrian been?
Also +1, I'll be doing some reviews hopefully this week for this site. Think I should start back writing to help my writing.
So I guess I should just change my blog name to read: Music Industry.
It looks as though we can all cease to worry our little heads over the Recording Industry Association of America anymore. They aren't coming to your homes to rape your dad and slay the rest of your family.
No. It seems the RIAA have given up targeting individual college students, who already live on a goddamn dollar menu and cheap beer (which is slowly cutting our lifetime in half) and now targeting ISP's (Internet-service providers).
So does this mean we can run a muck on the Web and hoard illegal files like a New York City riot?
Looking more into this article, it seems as if your Internet line will get slowed, cut-off...blacklisted?
"Depending on the agreement, the ISP will either forward the note to customers, or alert customers that they appear to be uploading music illegally, and ask them to stop. If the customers continue the file-sharing, they will get one or two more emails, perhaps accompanied by slower service from the provider. Finally, the ISP may cut off their access altogether." - WSJ.com
So it seems if you get caught, it doesn't matter who you specifically are, your lines will just be severed.
What the RIAA fails to do here is to catch up with back doors, while at the same time, those who are illegally downloading are in the same boat. I constantly have friends ask me what to use instead of Limewire.
I, myself, have been very good lately. Along with Amazon MP3's great deals each week and iTunes pretty reasonable prices, I've decided to stick to MP3 and vinyl for the time being. A CD here and there, but I've found myself slacking.
If I ever do want to reach my hand in the cookie jar without leaving a nickel, I have my ways, and mostly without having to go through any ISP.
Surprisingly, the RIAA may be on the right track to blacklist customers from their use of the "Inter-Web." If an industry reviewer is caught leaking advances, then the same happens to them.
This is a constant battle. As humans, if we can get it for free, then we'll take a taste. With new technologies, it's becoming easier and easier to get around the system. If the Internet laws don't get updated, then someone will find a way past that which is out-dated.
As humans, we also sometimes live in a state of fear and paranoia, and that's why one of the last lines of the article interested me:
"The RIAA says piracy would have been even worse without the lawsuits. Citing data from consulting firm NPD Group Inc., the industry says the percentage of Internet users who download music over the Internet has remained fairly constant, hovering around 19% over the past few years. However, the volume of music files shared over the Internet has grown steadily." - WSJ.com
Steadily. Guess we're not as afraid of the big bad wolf anymore.
This is an interesting article on why you should call mommy and daddy if the RIAA raids your dorms.
Significantly, these cases are not always open-and-shut. A student's computer may be used not only by the student, but also by a roommate, girlfriend or boyfriend, classmate or fellow fraternity or sorority member. Thus, if illegal downloading occurs, the student is not the only possible culprit.
Just a refresher, it'll probably look something like this:
I guess British artist are now taking on their own bureaucracy. Instead of weaseling through a channel like the RIAA, guess the Brit's are showing they can take a hold in the studio and in their finances.