The P2P Economy of Art
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.
Geoffrey Hinton tells us why he’s now scared of the tech he helped build
“I have suddenly switched my views on whether these things are going to be more intelligent than us.”
ChatGPT is going to change education, not destroy it
The narrative around cheating students doesn’t tell the whole story. Meet the teachers who think generative AI could actually make learning better.
Meet the people who use Notion to plan their whole lives
The workplace tool’s appeal extends far beyond organizing work projects. Many users find it’s just as useful for managing their free time.
Learning to code isn’t enough
Historically, learn-to-code efforts have provided opportunities for the few, but new efforts are aiming to be inclusive.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.