There’s long been a discussion about the economic impact of file-sharing on the artistic community, but there’s been precious little data to actually have a real discussion about the potential effects of P2P networks. Instead, the technorati and media companies have staked out polar opposite positions, dug in their heels, and screamed at each other since 1999.
There is a new study called P2P, Online File-Sharing, and the Music Industry that sheds some light on the phenomenon, although the researchers are quick to point out that there the results are derived from limited data. One interesting finding from the summary introduction:
the ‘bottom’ 3/4 of artists sell more as a consequence of file-sharing while the top 1/4 sell less
The first point is basically what those of us who have been following the phenomenon would expect: unknown musicians derive more popularity from having their work on these networks, and are exposed to more consumer; while popular musicians, who have a multitude of tracks available to a huge public, are losing sales.
What this creates is a much more complex question of how these networks should be monitored or controlled, since – if we believe that musicians, whether popular or not, should all be protected equally regardless of status – there are differing effects on artists. Adding to the complexity of the issue is this: there is a societal formula in this study, which measures the social impact of these networks delivering music and compares that with the economic loss of the music industry.
Thanks to BoingBoing for the heads-up.
Why China is still obsessed with disinfecting everything
Most public health bodies dealing with covid have long since moved on from the idea of surface transmission. China’s didn’t—and that helps it control the narrative about the disease’s origins and danger.
These materials were meant to revolutionize the solar industry. Why hasn’t it happened?
Perovskites are promising, but real-world conditions have held them back.
Anti-aging drugs are being tested as a way to treat covid
Drugs that rejuvenate our immune systems and make us biologically younger could help protect us from the disease’s worst effects.
A quick guide to the most important AI law you’ve never heard of
The European Union is planning new legislation aimed at curbing the worst harms associated with artificial intelligence.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.