For the study, released Monday, researchers at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina tracked music downloads over 17 weeks in 2002, matching data on file transfers with actual market performance of the songs and albums being downloaded. Even high levels of file-swapping seemed to translate into an effect on album sales that was "statistically indistinguishable from zero," they wrote."
from the under ground news. i couldn't find a link to the primary source, so i don't know how valid a reading of the report it is. hopefully all.
i've always been a defender of downloading, as anyone who has read this livejournal for a while will know. i find the arguments against downloading to be baseless when placed against the idea of an very realistic economic downturn for an industry that has enjoyed record profits for decades: in other words saying that such profits had to start shrinking in their current model one day. i've also found that the argument against downloading completely ignores the social aspects that new technology has brought to the world, and lastly, i have found that the question of an audience growing bored with the mass produced pop and who are outgrowing or simply becoming bored with its product, is not one that is ever addressed. but i repeat myself, as that is linked to my first point.
despite this, however, i have noticed that more and more people are falling into the thought that downloading is evil, and wrong, and it must be taught this way to our children. i have noticed (having heard with my own ears and seen with my own eyes) this opinion in students who, in our modern modern world, are worried that downloading a bland pop song will result in their (or their parents) sudden and nasty legal action from a faceless corporation. i ask you, honestly, does that sound right to you?
there is so many more important things to work against out there. off the top of my head, there are families without computers, there is the taboo of sexuality but not of violence in the media, and the fact that i get an endless amount of pointless and virus infested spam... i could go on. the simple fact is that downloading is not important. it begins and ends nothing outside an individual song.
if you live in america, btw, you might be interested to note that your congress appears to be preparing assaults against peer-to-peer technology on multiple fronts.
the same news front that i picked up the study report from, reports that, "A draft bill recently circulated among members of the House judiciary committee would make it much easier for the Justice Department to pursue criminal prosecutions against file sharers by lowering the burden of proof. The bill, obtained Thursday by Wired News, also would seek penalties of fines and prison time of up to ten years for file sharing.
In addition, on Thursday, Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) introduced a bill that would allow the Justice Department to pursue civil cases against file sharers, again making it easier for law enforcement to punish people trading copyright music over peer-to-peer networks. They dubbed the bill "Protecting Intellectual Rights Against Theft and Expropriation Act of 2004," or the Pirate Act."