A study in Canada has been released that proves what many (myself included) have known for years, that on average people that pirate music are more likely to buy CD’s rather than less. The study was sponsored by the Canadian government and is a bit of a slog to read, but there is already some very good analysis of it on the Web.
While I have seen (and helped conduct) a number of studies on this topic in recent years, this one is by far the most conclusive and the most reliable one I have seen. Spanning nearly a year and with over 2000 participants this study has a very low margin for error. From what I have seen so far, there also doesn’t seem to be any inherent bias in the conducters of this study, although this is something I will be researching further.
The study is exclusively conducted among Canadian citizens, and the cultural and environmental similarities make this almost directly applicable to the majority of the English speaking first world. The first key finding was that the net effect of illegal downloads on CD purchases in Canada was zero. That’s right, zero, zilch, nada, nil, the big donut. Amongst those that did download though, there was a direct, positive correlation between the number of songs downloaded and the number of CD’s purchased. The more people got for free, the more they paid for.
I have long known that the RIAA’s tactic of suing big downloaders meant they were also targeting their biggest customers. Ironically the money they win from their lawsuits is money that would probably have been spent on music. It’s not as stupid when you factor in that they are trying to change a cultural mores rather than claim damages. In this case they are only moderately stupid, given that the group they are targeting are not likely to respond well to these tactics, rather than monumentally stupid in driving their best customers away.
This study will generate a lot of noise in the coming days/weeks. It is unlikely that the music industry will come to its senses, but here’s hoping.
Reports from the Capitol v Thomas case are starting to come in with the jury awarding $220,000 to the record companies. There is no mention of an appeal yet, but one would assume this is inevitable.
An interesting fact that came up in the trial was that Thomas was a very large consumer of legal music. This backs up what has been said for years, that the recording industry is sueing their biggest customers. Expecting the recording industry to get their heads out of the sand at this point is a pipe dream.
If you are interested in this trial, keep an eye on Ars Technica this week. They are giving this daily coverage, the first days wrapup already posted.
The beginning has been predictable, with RIAA witnesses banging on about how much piracy costs them. The defence tactic to date seems to be around questioning the methods the RIAA uses to gather their information, and whether they can offer conclusive proof.
After more than 4 years of their much reviled litigation of their customers, the RIAA may be about to get what it has tried to avoid, actually going to trial. While I am sure you have heard of the recent ruling of costs against them, this was after they tried to back out of the case without prejudice, and were smacked for the judge for it. The only facts tried in court in this case were regarding whether they could pull out of litigation scott free after costing the defendant money.
This trial will actually judge the merits of RIAA’s tactics directly, and so far the RIAA has seemed very scared of this. Historically the terms of settlement have been attractive enough that anyone charged that is actually guilty has settled, and in the cases where the defendant has fought, the RIAA has dropped out in some way before getting to a jury. In this case the RIAA tried for summary judgement, meaning the judge makes a determination without going to full jury trial. That was denied so we will see the RIAA in court with a jury on October 2. You can see more detail on the case at Recording Industry vs the People
The RIAA must be having some trouble in court as they have had issues with mis-identification of the people they are going after. So in order to preserve evidence longer they want ISP’s to hold connection logs up to 180 days. If the ISP agrees to do so apparently the RIAA will offer those they are suing a discount on their settlement of $1000.00
So let me get this straight, the RIAA wants ISP’s to hold logs longer, which will in turn let them sue more people, and in return the RIAA is going to do the ISP a favour and help their customers save money in the litigation that may or may not have happened had the ISP held the logs for a shorter period.
This stinks really bad and it is obvious that the RIAA sees a lot of money to be made in their continual abuse of the justice system and strong arming of those they are accusing.
Any ISP that agrees to this should be put on a blacklist. recordingindustryvspeople.blogspot.com
Yes you read correctly not 1.65 Million not 1.65 Billion but 1.65 Trillion dollars is the amount of the Lawsuit against AllofMp3.com this number is so beyond ridiculous that I cannot even start to comprehend what these idiots over at the RIAA are thinking.
This number may be so outrageous that they may finally draw the attention of the general populous in this country, this demonstrates how insane this organization really is. If I knew how many artist they represent we could come up with a dollar amount of how much each would collect if the RIAA was actually able to collect on such a insane number. [CyberTechNews]
It really takes a class act to drop a lawsuit against a mother and then re-assign the lawsuit to her kids. Kids are kids, and I just bet if those at the RIAA went home and searched their kids computers they may be surprised to find some illegal music at home as well.
Let’s get really honest here. Kids do stupid stuff, and with technology the way it is today most parents have naught a clue as to what the kids are up to. I have been called in more than once by a suspecting parent to do some low level analysis of their kids computer to find out what they are up to.
In 99% of the cases, the kids have not covered their tracks and a wealth of material from software, videos, games and music and of course porn show up on the drive. Sometimes the kids work hard to be stealthy but some digging around usually reveals the goods.
I usually have a heart to heart with the parent and work on a computer use strategy that will help mitigate the activity. I usually leave before the nuclear bomb goes off in those homes, but in the end lets face it the parents are ultimately responsible for the kids actions.
They call kids minors for a reason. It’s because the laws of this country in most instances realize kids are gonna mess up and cut them a break if the issue is isolated. Which brings us full circle the RIAA is worried about one thing Money, Money, Money. [TechDirt]
In what can only be described as a stunning turn of events it appears that Russia has agreed to shutdown AllofMP3.com as of this writing the site was still up and online. I am sure that many will be disappointed if the site indeed gets shutdown. The question I have is where will it re-surface next? But I think everyone knew that the sites days were numbered. [TechCrunch]