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back to article Study finds file sharers buy more music

A preview of research conducted by The American Assembly, a “national, non-partisan public affairs forum” attached to Columbia University, has found that file sharers who acquire music also pay for more tunes than their non-freeloading brethren. Copy Culture in the US and Germany concludes “The biggest music pirates are also the …

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Well Durrr

The French found this out when their three strikes law reduced the number of legit sales. You can't help these morons

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Joke

Which is probably the best argument in favor of such laws. Anything that reduces the funding of the Robber-Barrons, I say! :-P

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Anonymous Coward

And in other news...

Water is still wet, the Pope is still Catholic, and bears, well...

However, statistics will be of no more use than common sense has been at changing the objectives of the RIAA and its paid voices in Congress.

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Anonymous Coward

We know it but they will deny it without a doubt and say it is flawed.

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

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Black Helicopters

We know it but they will deny it without a doubt and say it is flawed.

I wonder which El Reg writer will be doing that tomorrow?

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Sounds about right from my experiences

Most the people I know that download movies, spend a good chunk of money at the actual movie theater, have netflix subs, and huge legit DVD/BD libraries

Same with the people I knew who download music. I knew one guy who had hundreds of CD's, he would download the tracks so he could listen to his favorite songs off them on mp3 players when not at home(he wasn't adept enough to rip em or was prevented doing so b the protection).

Then there's people like me who don't download movies because they feel like most are shit not worth wasting the time looking for to download for free let alone spend money to see, same with music most current music I (usually am forced to) hear I feel I should be able to sue the producers for raping my eardrums.

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Anonymous Coward

The reason I download movies is because most of them aren't available anymore. I have a sub to netflix and there are some good films, but not the film I want to watch, same with lovefilm, same with the DVD store. Only other option? Download it. If it isn't available to buy where I am they shouldn't complain because obviously they haven't lost a sale.

Digital streaming services are getting better, but they're still missing a large library of films which people may want to watch. I know it's just a matter of time until they get a fuller set of films to show but I'm not waiting 2 years to watch beauty and the beast on netflix when I can just google a torrent for it. And I'm not paying for the DVD because I have the VHS still. (And seriously disney, the films over half a century old, drop the price dammit)

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Anonymous Coward

Check out this band

Another "Duh!" for the record companies. The best way to discover new music is for somebody to send you a few songs from their favorite bands, and they claim it is illegal.

What are the other options? The same corporations whining about poor sales are the same ones who bought all the US FM radio stations and slashed their playlists down to nothing. Spotify needs constant effort and playback and is tethered to DRM. Pandora doesn't take requests, doesn't play offline, and is also tethered to DRM. Amazon has a great storefront but some of their downloads have MP3 squealing in the high frequencies. iTunes sounds a bit nicer (maybe not faithful) but their selection is limited, their recommendations are comical, and the iTunes app is sluggish and bloated.

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Anonymous Coward

Yup

Sounds about right. I used to spend a fair amount of on music and stuff. Downloaded a bit too. Back then I had Terabytes of it, when that was an impressive metric. Not so much now. Mostly internet "radio". I wish the record co's the best of luck though. And by best of luck I mean choke on something and die.

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FAIL

like it matters

Like it matters what this study says, they will still look at it in a bad way that all those people that use p2p are costing them ton's of money.

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Re: like it matters

They'll probably now demand the survey results on a number by number basis so they can track down and sue each person who said they had file shared at some point in their lives.

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So, we conclude that sueing the heaviest P2P users into bankruptcy will actual lead to reduced sales of legitimate music, causing the RIAA to sue average P2P users who are obviously killing the industry, leading to reduced sales of legitimate music, causing the RIAA to sue light users of P2P leading to reduced sales of legitmate music, causing the RIAA to sue occaisional users of P2P, the end result being that all the money that people had to spend on music is now in the hands of the RIAA!

You see the thing is I can't work out if this is the most brilliant plan I have ever heard or just sheer stupidity, the end result being that either way they get all your money.

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Pirate

you mean, now in the hands of the RIAA's lawyers.

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Alert

the end result being that all the money that people had to spend on music is now in the hands of the RIAA!

Does any of the lawsuit money make it back to the artists?

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We've seen these people before...

We've seen these people before; here is the *previous* Register article based on a study by "The American Assembly": http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/01/04/study_piracy_legal_alternative/

One important note: consider this quote: “29% of those under 30 listen to ‘most or all’ of their music via streaming services. 11% have paid subscriptions.” This is unacceptable. In order to earn the equivalent of the income of a minimum wage job, a musician would have to sell 4.5 million stream per month on Spotify. The other streaming services, while not as bad, are not much better. The difference between having one's work stolen via piracy and illegal downloading, and getting a minuscule fraction of a cent per play on a streaming service, is negligible if not illusory.

Everything which I said in my comment about *that* article, applies to *this* article too:

1) Who are these people that I, or anyone really, should care about their opinions or the study that they have commissioned? Let me answer that for you! Looking at http://piracy.ssrc.org/partners/ we see their work commended by highly laudatory statements from, among others, William Patry, senior copyright counsel, Google, and Michael Geist, favorite academic authority of the anti-copyright bureaucrats in Canadian government (and for more about whom go to http://www.musictechpolicy.com/ and use search to find many articles about this well-paid shill.)

And would I, or anyone else, be surprised to learn that Google is funneling money to either Columbia University, the American Assembly, or both, rather like they funnel money into the Berkman Center at Harvard?

In spite of how often The American Assembly likes to say that their organization was founded by Dwight Eisenhower, this organization seems to have no real existence other than a few guys sitting around doing, well, doing not much other than thinking of schemes to get grant money. At any rate, looking at some of their previous work and the people who support them (see the MPEE Support Group on Facebook, for example) the contents of this latest "empirical study" were easily predictable. (On the MPEE Facebook page find the following: "The reliably obnoxious Andrew Orlowski...")

"The data, from respected think-tank American Assembly..." Respected by whom, for heaven's sake? Google, Michael Geist, and others who profit from piracy?

2) "When it comes to the penalties for piracy the American public is a lot more forgiving than the courts." What the courts say is one thing, but *juries* have awarded copyright holders enormous sums for damages. Is there any reason to think that those juries were less representative of the American public than the sample in this survey (or the shills from The American Assembly and the organizations that fund it)?

I understand that there are people who want to justify content theft but they need to do better than this "highly-respected" "American Assembly".

(Various edits made.)

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Ad hominem

People often accuse others of the crimes they would commit themselves. Say whatever you like about the people who collected the data, but bare in mind how many will interpret what you write.

If you think the study results are caused by bias, conduct your own study and publish the results - even if those results are not the ones you want.

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@Flocke Kroes: Re: Ad hominem

"People often accuse others of the crimes they would commit themselves. Say whatever you like about the people who collected the data, but bare in mind how many will interpret what you write."

And since there have been a huge number of occasions when you could have made these same comments on this website but didn't, I assume that they are only operative when someone is impugning an organization, researcher, or study of which you approve. And note that while you are accusing me of making ad hominem attacks, that is what you are doing here. So tell me again why I need to listen to a hypocrite such as yourself. And so, yes, people *do* sometimes accuse others of the crimes they would commit themselves, as your behavior shows.

And we will all do our very very best to "bare" that in mind. : )

"If you think the study results are caused by bias, conduct your own study and publish the results - even if those results are not the ones you want."

Insofar as this site reports on studies done for all sorts of reasons, and insofar as every single study reported on here has critics, please feel free to make this same inane comment all over the website. Just to sort of balance out the hypocrisy of the first paragraph of your post, as opposed to adding to it.

I bet your mother used to tell you this kind of drivel all the time when you were a kid, right? "Don't criticize it if you can't do it better" or "If you don't like how I cooked your oatmeal, then cook it yourself, you little shitass!" Well the next time you take a plane ride, and you are dissatisfied for any reason - such as not getting to your destination fast enough, or being stacked up while waiting to land, well you just go right to the cockpit and grab that control column and fly that fucker yourself! Good luck! And this principle can be applied to so very many things in life, always with outstanding and noteworthy results!

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Meh

Re: @Flocke Kroes: Ad hominem

And since there have been a huge number of occasions when you could have made these same comments on this website but didn't, I assume that they are only operative when someone is impugning an organization, researcher, or study of which you approve. And note that while you are accusing me of making ad hominem attacks, that is what you are doing here. So tell me again why I need to listen to a hypocrite such as yourself. And so, yes, people *do* sometimes accuse others of the crimes they would commit themselves, as your behavior shows.

I'm sorry but that above quote is the intellectual equivalent to "I know you are but what am I" it doesn't matter how well you dress it up.

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WTF?

Re: We've seen these people before...

"One important note: consider this quote: “29% of those under 30 listen to ‘most or all’ of their music via streaming services. 11% have paid subscriptions.” This is unacceptable. In order to earn the equivalent of the income of a minimum wage job, a musician would have to sell 4.5 million stream per month on Spotify. The other streaming services, while not as bad, are not much better. The difference between having one's work stolen via piracy and illegal downloading, and getting a minuscule fraction of a cent per play on a streaming service, is negligible if not illusory."

Unacceptable? Why is it unacceptable? I am listening to music which I am paying for at a tenner a month; those who don't pay are getting a poorer stream and paying via adverts. It's morally acceptable and legally fine. Why the fuck do you feel it is unacceptable?

If the amount that the streaming services are giving to the music industry isn't enough, or if the music industry is keeping too big a cut before passing on the rest to the musicians, that's for them to sort out.

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Re: We've seen these people before...

First of all, I think that you are making a terrible mistake. A musician is not supposed to live by the streaming services. A musician is supposed to live by that AND by giving concerts, by playing live, by licensing his/her music for commercial use, by being hired to write music for different occasions, by providing merchandize based on his/her music, by making public paid appearences, etc etc etc. So in that chain of possible incomes, streaming music is just one - and to my understanding its main purpose is to serve ALL the rest. Which are far more profitable and let's face it -closer to what a musician is supposed to do: perform music LIVE.

On the other hand, people are erroneously made to believe that if you download a song, it is a lost sale because otherwise you would have paid for it. This is absolutely not true, because it is based on an assumption that one would pay for something that he acquired for "free". For example, suppose that a friend of yours gave you his car and you drive it for free. Is that a lost sale for the car manufacturer? We dont know!! Because if you had to pay for the car then maybe you would have decided that you didn't need it or cant afford it. Or maybe that the public transportation services are just fine (call me air radio). Or maybe you would value your money differently and decided to buy a different brand car. Or that you buy a motorcycle. Or whatever. The thing is that by having a driving experience with the car, yourself, for an unrestricted amount of time and being able to test it in your everyday life, you have a MUCH MUCH MUCH bigger chance to actually go and buy that particular car or a car by the same manufacturer (making the basic assumption that it is a car without any major drawbacks).

That is also valid to music. I cannot afford to buy any given record that comes out. However in the course of years, I have legitimetely bought ALL records that I consider worthy and music companies have got a considerable amount of money from me. At the same time, I have also spent even more money in concert tickets, also to listen to bands that otherwise would have never known. Sorry, but my money are not enough to rush into any record store and give 15 to 20 euros to buy any unknown band. And radio, well fuck it, record companies are "buying" the playlists and I seem to hear the same things over and over again. So, I end up using youtube, myspace (at least in the past) and other streaming services to get to know new music. And then I go and buy it. IF it is worthy.

By the way, in different parts of the world there exist different laws. Globalization does not let us consider this. Let me give you an example. Human to human copies of music is absolutely legitimate in my country and protected by law. Music is considered a cultural commodity and people are free to make copies for personal use and for their "normal social surroundings" (albeit non-profit). That means I can make a copy of a few songs for a friend or a relative - I cannot though go out and make a thousand copies and give them for free to anyone who passes in front of my house. Musicians and record labels are compensated for this by a specific tax. This tax is applicable to all mediums that can be used to copy music (e.g. blank CDs, CD recorders, hard disks, PCs, etc etc etc). So even if I have an office and never listen to music or copy it, I pay for these. (It should also be noted, that record labels that use copy protection mechanisms that prevent me from making these legit copies, are in clear violation of the law).

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: We've seen these people before...

I hadn't seen that, thanks.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: We've seen these people before...

@Something...

Why should a musician perform music live? It's not always possible, there are many bands or musicians who couldn't perform their music live, even if they wanted to. Look at the later work by the Beatles for an example of studio only music.

Take it from someone who has gone on tour. Tours are very, very expensive, they are primarily advertising at best, they don't make money until you have quite a large fanbase. You have to employ lighting guys, merchandise guys, sound guys, managers, people to drive you between venues. You have to hire hotels and sort out logistics, humping around instruments, lights, PA, racks of equipment etc. etc. All this does not come cheap. On top of that, you have the lifestyle, even if it's not a drink and drugs type of band/tour the lifestyle is not healthy, it's totally knackering, you don't get a good nights sleep for weeks or months. If you have a family, you can forget about them, or your tour, that's the choice.

So, I ask again: Why does a band have to perform live?

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Re: We've seen these people before...

"Why does a band have to perform live?"

Well, the Musician's Union completely disagree with you. They have been using the slogan "Keep Music Live" since 1965,

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Happy

Re: We've seen these people before...

Hmmm. Why was that downvoted?

OK - a bit more justification.

There is, frankly, very little music that is worth listening to that can't be performed live. A live performance is unique - it won't be the same any two nights. You get the sheer immediacy in a live performance, that you can't get in a recording, no matter how good. You get a wonderful sense of being there, which isn't possible with recorded music.

I've seen Bruce Springsteen in a stadium. I've seen Joe Pass, playing solo jazz guitar at Ronnie Scotts. Two completely different musicians, in a completely different environment - but both, in their way, wonderful experiences which cannot be duplicated by a recording.

That's why musicians should perform live.

It's the same with theatre, compared to film. I've seen some marvellous films - but the best, the most exhilarating evenings are those where the actors are on top form, where the audience is rapt - where the SHOW is what it's all about.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: We've seen these people before...

@Turtle

Unfortunately, a rather rambling and confused comment and I don't really see what your point is.

Of course, I might just be being thick.

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Re: We've seen these people before...

Here's another not live musician, albeit again from the 60's and early 70's -- Harry Nilsson who had considerable success without ever playing major concerts or touring. Still, this is VERY unusual.

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Anonymous Coward

h2h sharing

Human 2 human sharing has been going on since the compact cassette became cheap and plentiful.

Heck, in the 70's we'd buy an album (LP), tape it, share it and then take the vinyl back to the store for a refund or exchange.

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Re: h2h sharing

I used to do that with the radio. Songs coming up that I like? Excellent, hit record. Honestly though I'm not a huge music person. I'm happy enough listening to the radio.

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Re: h2h sharing

Getting my first car ten years ago was also the first time I had a cassette player for many years, being a CD and MD convert... I would visit friends and they would place shoe-boxes full of cassettes into my hand... 90 minutes of a John Peel show a decade old, or some a playlist they had made by diving across the room to hit the Record button whenever a good tune came on the radio, so that the first 5 seconds of each track was missing...

During my student days, before mass broadband and Shazam and the iPod was FireWire only, I would make a point of tracking down on CD tracks I had only heard on old cassettes...

Made me remember how many tracks were repeated too often on Radio 1 in the nineties (haven't listened since) so it strikes me there was only a limited range of artists getting airplay back then.

/ Nostalgia

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Meh

Try It and Buy It

My wife likes Andre Rieu style music, and we always download his latest concert recording to give it a quick listen and to see how many if the pieces are same-same.

If a new recording has 40-50% new material, she will buy the DVD/CD.

The reason we buy is because our home entertainment system (stereo) seems tp highlight the limitations of MP3 format music. If we didn't have the opportunity to 'scan' a performance, we wouldn't even buy a copy.

With pop music it seems that there are one or two good tracks and the rest garbage. I understand why some people might find downloading preferable.

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MAFIAA response.....

(with fingers in ears) LALALALALALALALA! We're not listening to you!

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Re: MAFIAA response.....

Anyone ever notice how that's just Mafia with an extra A tacked on? They even practice the same crimes. Extortion, racketeering, threats (ableit legal, not violent) prostitution (have you heard the lyrics in some of these songs?)

And much like the mafia half a century ago, they have the government under their thumb.

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JDX
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What a surprise

When a report criticising file sharing comes out, it's just daft rubbish. When a report comes out in favour of file sharing, it's credible research.

And this from a community who genuinely believe they are objective and high-thinking. Tragic.

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Re: What a surprise

That would likely have something to do with the fact that every study that proclaims the evil and negative effects of file-sharing on the entertainment industry, is always paid for directly by said industry.

Or do you suspect that thousands of file-sharers have contributed their paychecks in order to fund this one?

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JDX
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Re: What a surprise

If the entertainment industry thought the research that piracy led to more sales, they would stop whinging. They quite like money.

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Conclusion

No conclusion so I'll give one.

Music fans buy/download more music than non-music fans, and I suspect the same goes for movies, knitting patterns and whatever.

Who'd a thunked it?

All this shows is that those who have in interest in something acquire it by one means or another more than those who don't.

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Conclusion

Exactly.

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Re: Conclusion

"All this shows is that those who have in interest in something acquire it by one means or another more than those who don't."

And along the way, it shows that, on an individual basis, those who sample their sounds via less-than-traditional methods tend to contribute more to the industry financially.

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Re: Conclusion

>And along the way, it shows that, on an individual basis, those who sample their sounds via less-than-traditional methods tend to contribute more to the industry financially.

No it doesn't. It does not show any correlation between what has been pirated, or sampled as you prefer to call it, and what has been paid for.

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Thumb Down

Your conclusion is wrong

Being a music fan or not depends on whether you are exposed to music -- and find something you like. That is why a lot of teenagers are avid music fans: they spend a lot of time with friends listening to music. Take away the easy way to discover music, you also remove people from the music fan category.

Who'd a thunked it?

Want an example? I don't have much time anymore (work, kids, ...). The last time i discovered new music was when I listened to Pandora (back in the days when it was accessible and free in Germany) - very convenient. Now I am only a fan of my music collection from the 80s and 90s, it's conveniently located next to the CD player..

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Conclusion

Hang on, was that critical thinking on an article about copyright on the Register?

Tell me it wasn't so...

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Re: Your conclusion is wrong

>Take away the easy way to discover music

I guess then that in the pre-free-download-internet days there was no fan base for music, they must have been really difficult times for people like the Beatles, Elvis and scores more making all that music and not having anybody to listen to them.

And I don't think you realise that you gave me a thumbs down, said my conclusion was wrong then proceeded to say exactly the same thing I said. People who like music will download and buy music those who don't won't.

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Copyright Math

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZadCj8O1-0

That is all.

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