7 June 2007

Ten “inconvenient truths” about file-swapping

by Anton Piatek

I saw the following article about the “10 inconvenient truths about file-swapping” that was released by the EU’s IFPI (music industry group) and had to make my own comments…

IFPI: Ten “inconvenient truths” about file-swapping

  1. Pirate Bay, one of the flagships of the anti-copyright movement, makes thousands of euros from advertising on its site, while maintaining its anti-establishment “free music” rhetoric._
    It probably does, but it has yet to be found to be illegal or breaking any laws in its own country_
  2., the well-known Russian web site, has not been licensed by a single IFPI member, has been disowned by right holder groups worldwide and is facing criminal proceedings in Russia._
    Again, AFAIK it has not broken any laws in Russia as it pays royalties to the “Russian RIAA”_
  3. Organized criminal gangs and even terrorist groups use the sale of counterfeit CDs to raise revenue and launder money._
    When was the last time you bougt (rather than downloaded for free) a counterfeit cd or dvd?_
  4. Illegal file-sharers don’t care whether the copyright-infringing work they distribute is from a major or independent label._
    No, but only the big name labels charge ridiculous prices – see or magnatunes.com_
  5. Reduced revenues for record companies mean less money available to take a risk on “underground” artists and more inclination to invest in “bankers” like American Idol stars._
    So why has all alternative music I have ever heard had to start off on a small label until they are making mega-bucks? The big labels don’t take the risks anyway._
  6. ISPs often advertise music as a benefit of signing up to their service, but facilitate the illegal swapping on copyright infringing music on a grand scale._
    I have never seen this, nor would it appeal unless it was decent quality online radio streaming (128k+ bbc radio) or drm free downloads_
  7. The anti-copyright movement does not create jobs, exports, tax revenues and economic growth–it largely consists of people pontificating on a commercial world about which they know little._
    Does suing people left right and center help anyones life?_
  8. Piracy is not caused by poverty. Professor Zhang of Nanjing University found the Chinese citizens who bought pirate products were mainly middle- or higher-income earners._
    Because the poor people don’t have access to computers as easily, and most of the piracy I know of goes on via the internet_
  9. Most people know it is wrong to file-share copyright infringing material but won’t stop till the law makes them, according to a recent study by the Australian anti-piracy group MIPI._
    Because the are not willing to pay the price demanded for the latest CD or DVD_
  10. P2P networks are not hotbeds for discovering new music. It is popular music that is illegally file-shared most frequently._
    Exactly – popular music people are not willing to pay that much for, and all the new music is either free on myspace or cheap on alternative sites (see #4 above)_