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Old April 1st, 2004, 06:16 AM   #1
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Bad Week for the Music Mogul jihad

Triple setback for music giants' global jihad
By Andrew Orlowski in San Francisco

The music industry's war on file swapping has suffered major three setbacks in recent weeks, and today's rebuff by a Canadian federal court is only the latest tactical defeat.

We're now seeing indications that not only are the legal threats not working, but neither are the carrots of "legitimate" music download services, which even after a year of hype, comprise less than half of one per cent of the "illegal" P2P downloads every day.

But in Canada, where 29 people have been targeted, the jihad has already hit a bump. On Wednesday a Federal Court judge ruled that use of the Kazaa P2P network didn't constitute copyright infringement, against the wishes of the plaintiffs, the CRIA (Canadian Recording Industry Association), which had sought to identify the users.

The ruling is the third major setback for the music giants in recent days. A study released on Monday showed that peer to peer file swapping network don't harm CD sales, or at best, have a negligible impact. Professors Oberholzer-Gee and Strumpf concluded that it takes 5,000 downloads to reduce CD sales by one.

A study conducted two years ago attributed the decline to lower production; music sales typically fall when the economy is doing poorly, and consumers have less discretionary spending. In fact, a 2002 survey by Forrester Research reached the same conclusion and urged the labels to monetize the P2P networks and increase playlists.

Earlier this month, Apple said that its iTunes Music Store would miss its target of 100 million music downloads by between 30 and 50 million. This and similar services such as Napster are the preferred options of the pigopolists: but for every song purchased and downloaded from iTMS, 260 are downloaded from the P2P networks, according to the RIAA's own figures. And despite an avalanche of press for the new DRM-encumbered services, and the threat of fines, the number of P2P users is again on the increase.

But most ominously of all, a survey by Ipsos-Insight reports that 22 per cent of US downloaders over 12 had bought music last year. Which shows that people have tried the new 'legitimate' online DRM music services and found them wanting.

By emphasizing threats and litigation the music industry is risking a long-term backlash when different compensation models are eventually introduced.
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Old April 1st, 2004, 09:09 AM   #2
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My opinion on the whole subject is short and sweet....if CDs were not 20 BUCKS A POP then people buy them. They could charge 5 bucks a cd and still make good profit. Its all about greed. Now don't get me wrong, I know artists deserve their money, but so do their fans who are buying their music. CDs are way overpriced. And alot of the times you get a half assed album with maybe 2 good songs and the rest are all crap that sounds like it was just thrown together at the last minute. I think the music industry did this to themselves. And by enforcing it the way they are right now (ie. suing little 12 year old girls who live in the projects) its just making more and more people hate them and retaliate by downloading more and more from P2P networks. Thats just my opinion anyway. But I'm no genius.
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Old April 1st, 2004, 09:44 AM   #3
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Well, there are psychological reasons, and there are legal reasons. Psychologically and ethically, you could say the price bloating etc. are part of what aided in people not caring about the RIAA. But legally, they have the right to ask whatever the heck they want. And legally, anyone stealing music for whatever reason, is still stealing.

So there are causes and there are effects. The cause may be bad customer service, but the effect is still governed by law. There is no law against bad customer service. The main thing is, by being so blatantly arrogant with their legal pursuits, the RIAA has at least brought attention to the matter, declared it as a hot ticket item, and got people at least realizing that when they download for free without consent of the artist or the label, they are stealing.

After all, the first step to a cure is acknowledging you have a problem...
Imran Zaidi is offline   Reply

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