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Challenging Music Downloading Myths 560

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the something-to-think-about dept.
The BBC is reporting on a study by digital music research firm The Leading Question, which found that people who download music from peer to peer networks paid for four and a half times more music than regular music fans. Also that most of these people "are extremely enthusiastic about paid-for services, as long as they are suitably compelling." What is nice is that the BPI welcomed the findings that not all file sharers are actually evil... they still pledged to carry on the 'carrot and stick' approach though.
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Challenging Music Downloading Myths

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  • Common knowledge. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Poromenos1 (830658)
    This is something everyone knows, yet the RIAA still hasn't gotten wind of. Users would gladly pay for songs if they were sufficiently cheap and instantly available. Look at iTunes.
    • "Look at iTunes."

      Indeed. Yet people still down^H^H^H^Hfreeload. Care to speculate why?

      Seriously, with quality services such as iTunes out there, what legitimate reasons do people have to download mass quantities of music they haven't paid for?

      • Re:Common knowledge. (Score:5, Informative)

        by Phisbut (761268) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @10:06AM (#13175697)
        Seriously, with quality services such as iTunes out there, what legitimate reasons do people have to download mass quantities of music they haven't paid for?

        Because not every bit of music is available with iTunes... If you're looking for music from American artists, then you'll probably find it there, but don't try finding more "local" music or you'll be deceived.

        What I truly hate about iTunes though is that they actually have the music I want, but it's only available on their German store, or on their British store, or even sometimes on their US store, but not on the Canadian store, which I am required to use because I live in Canada (global market my ass).

        They have the file I want to pay for, but they won't let me pay for it, so guess what? I'm gonna figure out another way to get it, and that other way might not involve payment.

        • Re:Common knowledge. (Score:5, Informative)

          by DenDave (700621) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @10:31AM (#13175919)
          iTunes is indeed lacking many things. This is not, however Apple's fault. This is because many recording industry folks have yet to license music for download. Often, the contract for producing an album will not allow the recording label to re-sell the product to a third party. The future herein lies in the fact that new artists and music will be iTunes compatible.

          As for local music, this will change as apple expands its network of content managers and iTunes will probably end up dealing with the artist directly.

          This is perhaps why some albums will never appear in iTunes, the record label wants the boxed cd set to be sold and not the download.

          I must mention another alternative, where many good artists are trying something totally different. I am of course talking about Magnatune, where music is not evil. You should really check it out [magnatune.com]

        • by Kirth (183)
          Because not every bit of music is available with iTunes...

          And because iTunes isn't available in all countries? And because I have a very strict criterion for an online-music-shop, which wants to sell me something:

          - No DRM at all. Pure MP3.

          Do that, offer a broad bandwidth of different kinds of music and sell me these, and I'll be a buyer. But if you're fucking around with different reseller-rights for every country, and DRM, then you're doomed.
      • Re:Common knowledge. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by JFitzsimmons (764599) <justin@fitzsimmons.ca> on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @10:07AM (#13175708)
        For me: DRM. If I'm going to be paying someone for music, I want it in basically the same flexibility that I would get off a CD. Lossless and with the ability to exercise my fair use. ITMS is completely useless to me if I can't transfer the songs to my portable. And no, there's no way I'm wasting my money on an ipod just so I can carry my DRM tunes around when I already have a perfectly functional portable that I can fill with ripped vorbis or downloaded MP3.
        • Re:Common knowledge. (Score:3, Interesting)

          by el_womble (779715)
          This is a very good point. Not everyone can pay for music on iTMS. Kids are at the mercy of their parents buying them vouchers (The UK doesn't have these in stores) and not everyone wants to have a credit card - I sure as hell don't.

          And you're right, there isn't enough choice with formats - even real life stores allow for choice of media - they have vinyl sections, cd, even tape and mini-disk. Why can't there be a lossless store for enthusiasts? - I'd really like to see this happen. They have an audiobook s
      • by Anonymous Coward
        1. Lack of choice. Yes, even your beloved iTunes stocks a trivial amount of music.
        2. Overcharging. When the cost of downloading a CDs worth of tracks isn't almost the same as buying a physical CD (and unecumbered by DRM) get back to me.
      • I'm not trying to say it's the right thing do illegaly download music but p2p is easier than iTunes if you got anything but an iPod or don't like to play your music in iTunes. it just doesn't offer enough choice.

        I would rather buy WMA music because at least the technology behind it can be licenced by anyone willing to pay. But as I'm a *nix typ of guy that doesn't really solve my problem either.

        Wasn't there an article a while back how EU should standardize some kind of DRM? Maybe thats my only hope (I lice
      • Re:Common knowledge. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by tomstdenis (446163) <tomstdenis@REDHATgmail.com minus distro> on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @10:10AM (#13175732) Homepage
        Answer, they don't run windows or macos, don't own an ipod, don't care to run their software, etc, yada, etc.

        Though to be fair of the friends I have who were mass mp3 "pirates" [arr, avast ye matey!] in last decade or so they're less so [if stopped completely] now.

        It's cool when you're a teen and you wanna download everything and anything. For myself, I was part of the generation that grew up with mod/s3m/it/xm tracks and then this "net thing" hit us. So for us it was all new, fresh, cool, etc.

        I think most kids grow out of it once they get a good salary and can afford 20$ for a cd...

        Tom
        • by sp3tt (856121)
          But, much music is made for ages that do not have good salaries. $20 simply is not reasonable for a CD. Just because people pay for it does not mean it is a good prize.
      • What this article is saying is that whilst there are some who download all their music, and some who buy all their music. The *majority* of downloaders are in the middle and buy some and download some. They on average buy 4.5 times the amount that people who buy only would spend.

        The upshot is make music cheaper, $0.99 in the US but iTunes is 99p in the UK about $1.7. Without CD and distribution costs + supplier profit, straight to web service should make music cheaper. People are paying for 1 song at $0.99
      • by SatanicPuppy (611928) <Satanicpuppy&gmail,com> on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @10:12AM (#13175751) Journal
        I can only speak for myself, but a lot of times I download songs to see if I want to buy them. Or I download the remaining songs off an album to see if I want to buy the album. Or I download songs off albums I already own because I'm too lazy to go get the CD and rip it.

        iTunes is good, but sometimes I look at songs and think, "This isn't a one dollar song". Add to that the fact that downloading the all the MP3s of an album costs the same as buying a physical album, and you see that, a lot of the time, the music available online is too expensive. There is no reason that the cost should be the same.

        What they need are better download services, with wider selections, and variable pricing depending on demand. I don't care if the top ten downloads are 1.50 or 1.75, but I don't want to pay 1.00 for something that only me and two other people find appealing.

        I also get real sick of being locked into a player. Half those services try to make you use WMP or Realplayer, god I'd rather die. iTunes is only just tolerable.
           
      • Seriously, with quality services such as iTunes out there, what legitimate reasons do people have to download mass quantities of music they haven't paid for?

        Their client doesn't run on Linux, and their music isn't in mp3 or Ogg. That's what keeps me personally from using it, I'm not saying that those are the reasons for other people. If it were web based and had mp3s available, I'd probably go crazy and spend half my income on it for a few weeks :-)

        That said, after confining myself to buying CDs at conc

      • Because it's way overpriced, few are going to buy thousands of songs at $1 a piece. One could claim that if you don't have enough cash to spend, then you won't have thousands of songs available for listening at any time.

        Some might look at it as freeloading, stealing or worse... I see it as competition, and currently iTunes is too expensive and restrictive.
      • by Linus Torvaalds (876626) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @10:30AM (#13175910)

        Seriously, with quality services such as iTunes out there, what legitimate reasons do people have to download mass quantities of music they haven't paid for?

        Do you have a magical way of knowing whether you'll like music before you hear it? No? So I guess you'll have to hear the music before you buy it. For many people, downloading illegally is the most convenient method of hearing the music before they decide whether or not they are going to buy it.

      • by aslate (675607)
        Seriously, with quality services such as iTunes out there, what legitimate reasons do people have to download mass quantities of music they haven't paid for?

        Well, i can't for a start. No credit card. The teenagers that are often the ones who have large collections of pirated music either can't afford or access it. If i had a job and earnt £20,000 per year, perhaps a £10+ CD would seem reasonable, but my Summer job of £700 won't stretch to that extortionate a price.
      • by shark72 (702619)

        "Seriously, with quality services such as iTunes out there, what legitimate reasons do people have to download mass quantities of music they haven't paid for?"

        A common excuse around here is that a buck is still too high. It commonly goes like this: "if only the record companies would sell those tracks for $0.75 or $0.50, I'd buy them!" This is often accompanied by a claim that Apple and or the record labels "just don't get it," despite the fact that the iTMS has been a fantastically wild success by an

      • Re:Common knowledge. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by AuMatar (183847)
        Legit reasons?

        1)I refuse to use a DRMed service. Ever.
        2)$1 per song is still too expensive to use as a sampling service. I tend to download 5 or 6 songs by an artist to see if I like him, trying a new artist is not worth $5-$6
        3)I refuse to use a time limited service. Rhapsody/Napster/whatever would be fine except that they don't have full selection, and if I decide to stop paying I lose the music I already acquired.
        4)Not available on Linux. Pretty much a deal stopper there.

        eMusic used to have the right
    • by KDan (90353) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @10:02AM (#13175661) Homepage
      The Register [theregister.co.uk] story also points out that although they spend more on song downloads, that's still less than they used to spend on CDs - so the RIAA still loses out.

      Please note: I'm not arguing that the RIAA doesn't deserve to lose out. The whole music distribution system (incl. most legal download sites, imho) is one big rip-off and should go down as soon as possible, to become a faded memory of the 19th century.

      Daniel
      • by alvinrod (889928) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @10:32AM (#13175933)
        Is this really such a bad thing? If the various music artists around the world realize that they can get along just fine without the RIAA or big music labels, then the world will be a vastly better place.

        As technology becomes more widespread and digital music distribution becomes the norm rather than the exception, there's no reason why all the major record companies can't disappear. As an artist, you would no longer need a big company to make all the CDs, and you would get more profit from your songs without a greedy middle-man skimming off the top all of the time.

        Bands wouldn't need to spend large amounts of money on studio time to release and album because with a new distribution model they could just release single after single, which is how a lot of online music shoppers purchase their music. Startups could even offer their music for free to get people to listen to them (like some bands are doing now) and pay money to see them live.

        Right now the music industry is full of middle-men that screw everyone involved. If a company doesn't like a band they don't have to offer them a contract. We're probably missing out on a lot of good music in the mainstream because the music industry doesn't think it would be popular. While there are certainly a lot of albums out there worth the price they ask, there's a lot more that have only a few songs worth listening too on the album. Right now a lot of consumers (those without computers or the ability to use iTunes, Napster, etc.) are forced to pay $15 for what's really $5 worth of music. Then when someone doesn't want to subscribe to this business model called "fuck everyone" the music industry does as much as it can to resist any change.

        They're all quite happy having their pockets lined by someone else's hard work and dedication and exploiting the customer base as much as they can bear. This article [slashdot.org] is also pretty telling about some of the business practices these companies employ. Frankly, they don't give a damn about music, only making money. Here's hoping that the rotten bastards have a steady decline and are remeber only as a horribly oppressive and unsuccessful business model that no one will ever try again.

    • by stlhawkeye (868951)
      Except, the tagline here is a complete and utter fabrication.

      The BBC is reporting on a study by digital music research firm The Leading Question, which found that people who download music from peer to peer networks paid for four and a half times more music than regular music fans.

      This is a lie. This is NOT what they found. They found that these people spend 4 and half times more on legal digital music purchases than non-downloaders. The way this is written, it sounds like the average downloader who

  • Sadly, (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BlackCobra43 (596714) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @09:55AM (#13175607)
    recording companies around the globe will likely ignore this piece of common sense and prefer to continue their tagline of "all pirates are evil and they steal millions from us". I wish I was just being cynical, but at this point the stubborness of the *IAA to fight pirates is really disheartening.
  • by garcia (6573) * on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @09:56AM (#13175613) Homepage
    Rather than taking legal action against downloaders, the music industry needs to entice them to use legal alternatives, the report said.

    By chasing down people for using P2P they just cement my opinion that we should be downloading free music via legal alternatives like etree, dimeadozen, etc.

    I just can't imagine why people would be enticed to further support the RIAA's actions rather than dropping support for them all together.

    It's the sad nature of the public. They love to be abused.
    • By chasing down people for using P2P they just cement my opinion that we should be downloading free music via legal alternatives like etree, dimeadozen, etc.

      Yes thats it, the RIAA/MPAA are enforcing their copyrights by seeking legal justification and that makes them evi. Well yea, why didn't I think of that. Sort of like the police who are enforcing the local/state/federal laws - that must make them evil too.

      Can the **AA's do a better job, certainly. Can they stop recklously slinging statements th
      • Yes thats it, the RIAA/MPAA are enforcing their copyrights by seeking legal justification and that makes them evi. Well yea, why didn't I think of that. Sort of like the police who are enforcing the local/state/federal laws - that must make them evil too.

        You're confusing things here so let me help you sort it out:
        • The RIAA is not the same as the police and shouldn't be enforcing laws.
        • I don't download music illegally so I'm not doing anything wrong by advocating that others shouldn't either.
        • People should not
        • You're confusing things here so let me help you sort it out:
          The RIAA is not the same as the police and shouldn't be enforcing laws.
          I don't download music illegally so I'm not doing anything wrong by advocating that others shouldn't either.
          People should not support a conglomorate that claims they are losing millions to these pirates yet spend thousands in legal fees trying to prosecute them.


          You are correct:
          The RIAA should not be enforcing laws, and they are not. They are spending their money to tra
          • People will support what they want. Apprantly the **AA's are making a ton of money, so the majority of people do not care what you or I care about.

            Then you shouldn't even question what I am doing. People need to be educated that what the RIAA is doing/saying is non-sense. There are legal, viable, and possibly better alternatives out there.

            How would they ever know if they weren't told be someone who does? We have the power, the medium, and the message. Don't just shut down and give up because you think i
      • Supply and demand always wins. When the resource is price supported through artificial scarcity or monopoly price fixing, the consumers will find a way around it, be it blackmarket or p2p or whatever. The RIAA is learning this the hard way.

        The way to fix it is to lower prices, and make it easier to get a legal copy than an illegal copy. Downloading is a pain in the ass. I'd rather have a legal copy, but I'm not going to spread 'em for the RIAA for the privledge of listening to their music.

        • Well with regards to scarcity, I think you are wrong in this case. In all honesty, I have NEVER had a problem getting my hands on a movie/cd even the day it was released (i am thinking Lord of the Rings, when Metallica came out with their Load CD in 1996, etc.) So that is out of the question.

          Then we get to price fixing - and the **AA's were sued for this, but they won. They obviously did not get the big hoopla as the current cases are getting because the media is not supporting them.

          Getting the mu
    • "It's the sad nature of the public. They love to be abused."

      It's even worse than that; they simply don't care.

      The world is a good place as long as they can get their Top 40 fix. Finding quality alternatives to major-label music is just too much work. The RIAA knows they can walk all over these people, and so they do.

      It's just a shame when people who DO care are impacted.

      • Finding quality alternatives to major-label music is just too much work.

        Ahem:

        Dave Matthews Band, Los Lonely Boys, Wilco, Jack Johnson, John Mayer, and Pearl Jam (just to name a few) are all "well known" bands that are distributed and listened to on radio stations daily around the world.

        Next?
  • by Captain Scurvy (818996) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @09:57AM (#13175618) Homepage
    I know it's illegal and that it can possibly hurt artists, but if it wasn't for downloading music illegally, I would have never bothered listening to Michael Buble, would have never bought two tickets to his show, and would have never spent over $200 on merchandise afterwards. So there's a good side to it as well that isn't always as obvious.
    • Any lawyers out there? The reason I ask, is although the parent post makes a very valid point, he just admitted to illegally downloading music.

      I'm just genuinely curious if posting stuff like this could end up screwing yourself over a few months/years down the road when some big corporation wants to make an example of you to the public.
      • I am sure the parents real name is not Captain Scurvy. If he said my real name is Max Russel and I live on Central Ave, Albany NY 12205. Then it could come back to haunt him. Otherwise it would be to much work for most cases.
    • by zr-rifle (677585) <zedr@zedr . c om> on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @10:11AM (#13175740) Homepage
      You spent $200 in Buble' merchandise???
       
      If this isn't an epitome of evilness, I don't know what else could be...
    • by RedSteve (690399) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @10:21AM (#13175829)
      unfortunately, since the labels don't see any of the ticket or merchandise money -- only money from the sales of the albums -- they couldn't care less about anything from your post after "downloading music illegally".
    • by jellomizer (103300) * on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @10:22AM (#13175842)
      The music indrustry doesn't want you to listen to different music they want you to listen to their popular music that you know from the radio. Because then they can mass produce the CD's, saving a lot in manufacturing costs, and sell them at a much higher price, because they are popular. The recording companies dont want you spending money on show tickets, and merchandise because the artest gets a bigger cut of the action, and not them. If everyone had a different favorate musicain the recording indrustry couldn't make much money because they will have to many products with the overhead involved. That is why Internet download are dangerious because it makes people aware of different music.
      • That is why Internet download are dangerious because it makes people aware of different music.

        I don't think that this is the primary reason, why the cartelists so much hate the internet. The reason is control or loss thereof. Prior to the internet you had virtually no chance in hell to get your music published, unless you agreed to a contract, which makes slavery actually look like the prefered choice [negativland.com]. The Internet can change all that. Everybody with a [insert favorite instrument], a cheap microphone and

      • Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong!

        Product differentiation is the key to high profit margins, and corporations know this. You don't see one kind of Campbell's soup on the store shelves, do you? No, because people will pay more for their favorite kind of soup (spicy gristle w/salted rinds, yum!) rather than a simple old standard. There's plenty of reason to dislike the recording industry, but your argument is misguided here...
      • by tclark (140640) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @11:26AM (#13176415) Homepage
        Recording companies don't care about consumers; they're scared as hell that the artists will decide that they don't need record companies any more. The artists will quit signing with them, or they will insist on better terms.

        Recording companies stay in business because they control artists' access to listeners. The Internet is threatening this, and the recording companies are going apeshit over it.
  • Hands up (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BarryNorton (778694) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @09:58AM (#13175628)
    I don't know about enthusiasm for paid services (sounds a touch rude... though seriously, I used to use eMusic in the days before it became a nightmare, and have never used iTunes or similar), but I am a downloader who's very enthusiastic about music...

    I spend as much money as I can afford on CD and vinyl and am completely unapologetic about downloading leaked pre-releases, deleted releases, music I'd consider buying but only after hearing (RIP John Peel, there are fewer and fewer places to do so), and sometimes just music I've not yet the money or time to buy...

    • I was with you right up until the last one. Music is a luxury. It's not food, or shelter. You're not going to die if you don't get it. Not having the money to buy something is not an excuse to steal it.
      • But who do you think would call it stealing - the artist, or the music companies they're forced to deal with?

        I've yet to meet a musician who disagreed with my stance...
  • Telling the truth? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Illix (772190) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @09:59AM (#13175631)
    I like the way the spokespeople in the article speak entirely as though the recording industry's major problem with filesharing is not that it's illegal, but that it costs them money - probably a more accurate reflection of their sentiments, but certainly not the line the RIAA has been spouting.
  • As to how much music down loaders have that should count the amount that they now have. My MP3 files amount to about 11 gigs, but I used to work in a record store so it's skewed. I do fit that profile of owning more music. I just didn't pay retail for it. And I will be damned if I am going to lug a turn table and 70+ records in to work each day.
  • by SamSim (630795) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @10:00AM (#13175633) Homepage Journal
    One day I am going to find and buy - or else delete from my hard drive - all the music I have illegally downloaded.
  • Try before you buy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spaztech (899194) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @10:00AM (#13175640)

    It's nice to hear the CD before you pay $20 for one good song and fifteen crap songs. I have never downloaded off of a P2P myself though.. ((smile))
  • by Weaselmancer (533834) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @10:00AM (#13175642)

    The whole piracy/peer-to-peer argument has been done and done. And no matter how powerful the argument, the industry believes that every single time you download something, they lose a sale. And that's that.

    Statistics and studies do not matter to these people. Your desire to kick the tires before you buy doesn't matter either. You got it - you didn't pay for it - we lost money. Of course the reality of it is something totally different, but these organizations have had a stranglehold on their commodity for so long, they're not comfortable with anything less than a stranglehold.

    So they fight. And if that means ignoring studies and taking up ridiculous positoins - so be it. We're convinced - but they are never going to be.

    • We're convinced - but they are never going to be.

      But we should *not* stand down in the face of their tactics as that's exactly what they are hoping for. We, the educated public, should continue to spread the anti-conglomorate message to those people that might have been swayed by the rhetoric being passed along by the RIAA.

      Tell people that there are viable alternatives out there for them to listen to the music they enjoy. There are bands that do support free distribution of their music and *those* are the
    • And no matter how powerful the argument, the industry believes that every single time you download something, they lose a sale

      They are shrewd businesspeople and they know as well as you and I that we will acquire music legally if given the occasion. The Economist has already revealed that their losses has little to do with music download and has helped if anything

      What they want to do is to frame the question in such a way that they can promote legislation that will do away with fair use and will strenghte
    • I think there is a lot of oversimplification on all sides. The reality is more complex. For example, the fact that the average person both downloads and purchases music does not mean that the labels make as much as they would if downloading were not available. Of course, the labels do not have a right to profit, but they do have a right to the pursuit of happiness which is often interpreted as the same thing. OTOH, firms do need to a make a suitable profit to operate, and, as much as we whine, most of u
    • by twifosp (532320) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @11:01AM (#13176210)
      It's not that they honestly believe that every single time you download something, they lose a sale. They do know better.

      But they do need to cry foul, and keep up the appearances that every single download is a crime, and a lost sale. They are using the same strategy of fear mongering that our government is fond of.

      The reasons are simple. If they were to let up and say, ok so some music downloads are ok, but we still think we are losing sales, then their entire basis for legislation is thrown out the window.

      I hope it doesn't sound like I'm defending them. I think the RIAA, and cooperations like them, are some of the absolute WORST things about this country.

      But I can understand why they are keeping up the public relations stint of crying foul. They don't need music fans to believe them. They just need congress to. As soon as they "convince" congress with their "arguements" ($$$,$$$,$$$) they will get more legislation that will introduce more DRM, and possibly even remove the free-use clauses from current law.

      They know full well that some bands are discovered soley through the internet. They just don't care. That is a small drop in the bucket compared to the marketing machine that makes acts like Britney Spears and The Backstreet Boys sucessfull. They don't need underground marketing when they have pepsi jingles and MTV in the middle of time square.

      What I can't figure out is why they pay so much for marketing crap bands when we would be just as happy with zero marketing for good bands. We'll find the music on our own. The RIAA could probably make just as much money if they just gave up. But I hope they don't. I hope they legislate themselves into the grave.

  • But our concern is that file-sharers' expenditure on music overall is down, a fact borne out by study after study. So we must always spend more on music not less! How dare we as consumers decide to spend less of our disposable income on something other than music.
  • Bribery (Score:2, Interesting)

    by djfray (803421)
    I fail to see the relevance of this. Yes, while some people I know who download a lot of music tend to buy more music than other people, they are still downloading much more than they are buying. A record stolen is a record that the record company, the artist, and all the tricky bastards in between on the cut aren't getting paid for. And they have every right to be pissed about that. If someone buys more real estate than the average person, they shouldn't be turned a blind eye for stealing massively gre
  • The BBC is reporting on a study by digital music research firm The Leading Question, which found that people who download music from peer to peer networks paid for four and a half times more music than regular music fans.

    I may eventually regret using Yahoo Music Unlimited, but one of the nice things about it is that you get to find out which CDs really stink and aren't worth buying.... Turns out, almost all CDs out there are really bad.

    I'm sure that this isn't a shocking revelation, but the fact that M.C. H
  • by calvind (706059) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @10:09AM (#13175730) Journal
    Anyone else think the people who are harming the music industry are the RIAA? People who download music off the Internet (hardcore music lovers) probably take up a majority of the people who spread awareness about music artist's songs.
  • The real problem (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ostien (893052) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @10:09AM (#13175731)
    How about record companies sign bands that are fresh and innovative not the same old crap and perhapse overall record sales and legal downloading revenu will go up.
  • I don't think we should be really giving BPI (or RIAA when they do) a lot of credit for acknowledging that downloaders aren't all evil. They're making a buttload of cash off people who are getting music electronically. They have ZERO production costs (other than a few kilowatts of electricity), reduced equipment maintinance (costs of maintaining duplicating equipment vs. Apple's servers), and zero shipping costs.

    Giving them credit is like patting a child on the head and telling them "good job!" when they ea
  • by gearmonger (672422) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @10:12AM (#13175752)
    Of course, most of that expense is on CD-Rs and DVD-Rs, but hey, consumerism is consumerism, right?

    More seriously, my wife's and my music purchasing really picked up after we discovered Napster all those years ago. Sampling a couple of songs from an artist often convinces us we want the whole album, and we still really enjoy the permanance of physical media (yes, we rip all our CDs, but I think of the collection of actual media as an aesthetically interesting, if not large, physical backup).

  • carrots? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ctnp (668659) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @10:13AM (#13175754) Journal

    "'...which is why we need to continue our carrot and stick approach to the problem of illegal file-sharing,' he [Philips] said."

      What carrots? All I see are sticks. Are good file-sharers being rewarded at all? Let's see...

      New CD at Best Buy, at a cut-rate price: $12.00

      Paying for an entire CD with 15 songs off of iTunes: $14.85, not including the hidden costs of their DRM.

      It seems all we're getting are sticks and heavier sticks from the recording industry. Yet they think they're being nice by offering to license music for a more expensive price. Fuck them, I'll save my $15 bucks and download free music off archive.org.
    • Re:carrots? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Rude Turnip (49495) <(valuation) (at) (gmail.com)> on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @10:52AM (#13176122)
      "Paying for an entire CD with 15 songs off of iTunes: $14.85,"

      If you download the whole album (instead of one track at a time) it's only $10, or about $0.67 per song. There is a well-known tool for removing Apple's (intentionally) weak DRM, so that's barely an issue anymore.
    • "Carrot and stick" refers to putting a carrot at the end of a stick, which is held above the head of a reluctant mule by its passenger. The mule walks forward to get the carrot, which it can never quite reach, at least until it arrives at its destination, when it's given the carrot. "Carrot and stick" means "incentive." It does not mean "alternately rewarding and beating." Anybody who's beaten a mule knows full well that the damned thing will just kick you in the head.

      -Waldo Jaquith
  • The study found that regular downloaders of unlicensed music spent an average of &pound;5.52 a month on legal digital music.

    This compares to just &pound;1.27 spent by other music fans.

    I think dividing the test set into illegal/not-illegal downloaders might be misleading. I'd be more interested in connected/unconnected. The second group would contain all music purchases without internet access who then would have purchased $0 from the internet. At least comparing digital downloads vers

  • Same Old, Same Old (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Feneric (765069) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @10:16AM (#13175788) Homepage

    It's pretty much a repeat of history. Back when FM radio and analog tape cassette recording was in its infancy, the music industry also cried foul about people recording music from radio shows and claimed it was cutting into their profits.

    Studies of that time showed similar results to the one mentioned in the article: people who recorded music from radio also bought a heck of a lot more music than those who didn't. Ultimately radio served as an advertising medium and wasn't hurting sales at all. The music industry eventually made its peace with radio.

    We can only hope that eventually the music industry will relearn this old lesson...

    • Ultimately radio served as an advertising medium and wasn't hurting sales at all. The music industry eventually made its peace with radio.

      We can only hope that eventually the music industry will relearn this old lesson...


      No, we really don't want P2P services to turn into the monolithic, streamlined corporate marketing scheme that radio has become. The only reason the RIAA "made peace" with radio is because they effectively took control of it. Only a very tiny fraction of stations are not owned by some corpo
  • Things never change (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rudy_wayne (414635) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @10:19AM (#13175810)
    While going through some old magazines, I came across a copy of "Modern Recording" from early 1981.

    24 years ago, the recording industry was making the same exact claims that they are making today -- they are losing huge amounts of money due to "piracy". Back in those days, personal computers and the Internet were almost non-existant. CDs didn't exist and the main form of recorded music was the vinyl LP. According to the RIAA back then, the villain was cassette tape recorders. People were borrowing their friends albums and recording them onto cassettes instead of buying their own copy.

    So, the RIAA commissioned a study that they hoped to take to Congress as proof that they needed tougher laws to deal with this terrible problem. But a funny thing happened. Their study showed that people who had a good quality cassette deck in their stereo sysytem bought nearly twice as many albums as people who didn't.

    Sound familiar?
  • by stlhawkeye (868951) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @10:20AM (#13175813) Homepage Journal
    I'm skeptical of the objectivity [google.com] of this study. Just as sketpical as I am of the objectivity of the studies paid for the RIAA and their ilk.
  • I don't download (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gillbates (106458) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @10:22AM (#13175838) Homepage Journal

    I rarely, if ever, download music - legally or not.

    Interestingly, I haven't bought a CD for myself in years...

    I wonder if the RIAA assumes I'm a pirate because I'm not feeding their monopoly. I wonder if the RIAA is even aware that people like me have stopped buying music because we got sick and tired of being treated like criminals - copy restricted CD's, lawsuits against music fans, etc...

    I wonder if it ever occurs to the **AA's that their revenue shortfalls are due more to the manner in which they treat their customers than piracy. Face it - while the average Asian may have a good reason to commit music piracy, the average American is affluent enough that they'd rather buy music than steal it. Yet, most Americans want to know they like something before they buy it. And this is what P2P provided.

    I don't use P2P. I don't buy music, either. Wonder how long it will take the likes of the RIAA to figure out the connection between the two...

  • It's not simple... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by scottsk (781208) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @10:22AM (#13175839) Homepage

    I used to use Napster and some of the others for two things: (1) downloading music that can't be bought, i.e. out-of-print albums, b-sides, etc. and (2) trying music. Back then, I bought numerous CDs after trying music I really liked. Some of these CDs were retail CDs, where I wanted a higher quality sound than a low-grade MP3. Others were b-sides I bought on CD singles off of eBay because I wanted the better sound quality. But I also bought a lot of retail CDs I never would have bought if I had to buy them without hearing them first. So the bottom line for the RIAA is that the P2P effect is not simple: file sharing has caused me to buy music I downloaded, but not always at retail. More music may be sold as a result, but it's not all profit for the RIAA.

    The unfortunate part about the new online services is you can't browse the catalogues without first signing up and selling your soul to their DRM. I would love to see if out-of-print music is available on some legal download services, such as out-of-print albums and b-sides, but I doubt there is anything on these services you can't find in Circuit City or the mall, so I don't ever sign up for the DRM.

    The one thing no one ever mentions is the CD replacement effect. People who grew up listening to cassettes and LPs in the 70s and 80s got jobs in the 90s and could afford to dump their cassettes and buy CDs. This sort of generational shift in media will never happen again, and the RIAA's sales figures were bloated by people buying albums they already had. The effect is over. Everone now is buying music on CDs from the beginning, and has nothing to replace.

  • "lost dollars" (Score:2, Insightful)

    by therealking (223121)
    But our concern is that file-sharers' expenditure on music overall is down, a fact borne out by study after study. This is probably due to many CDs on iTunes costing $9.99, where a CD in the store is costing $16.99. Also buyers are able to be more selective about thier purchases, since I may only want 1 or 2 songs from an album instead of the whole album.
  • Theres far less distribution and packaging cost, the record companies dont even handle the servers for downloading.

    Were not getting all the goodies that come with a CD so why should we have to pay $9.99 for a downloaded album?

    If the downloaded albums were cheaper Id take a chance on groups ive never heard of.


  • What is nice is that the BPI welcomed the findings that not all file sharers are actually evil... they still pledged to carry on the 'carrot and stick' approach though.


    ...what is the carrot again?

    I mean, we've seen plenty of stick action in the US and recently the EU, but what are those figurative carrots they are speaking about?

    Oh, maybe they consider letting us pay for downloaded songs via iTunes etc. a big favour.
    Or not having people assaulted by hired goons - at least for now.
  • by darkmayo (251580) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @10:35AM (#13175962)
    I download music with no intent of paying for it, I go to live shows make bootlegs and sell them.. after stealing the bands equipment from the back of the van of course... I kick kittens and puppies and beat up old people while selling smack to their grand kids. Britney Spears and all those wonderfully manufactured musicians are going hungry because of me.

    I am evil hear me roar.

  • by shark72 (702619) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @11:20AM (#13176365)

    I, and most of my peers, have downloaded plenty of illegal music in our day. Now that the P2P services are getting worse and worse, and the legal services are getting more and more enticing, we're making the switch. I, for one, spend at least $30 a month on the iTMS each month. I do this not because I may have downloaded a P2P track here or there, but because I like music. This is not a cause-and-effect relationship.

    On the other hand, my relatives over the age of 50, many of whom do not have computers and thus have never used a P2P service, do not buy a lot of music. So, in my little group, our results match those of the survey.

    This is a second-order relationship: Younger people buy more music. Younger people tend to be more wired. Younger people who are online and who like music are likely to have used a P2P service at some point. This is the very psychographic that the online music stores are targetting. In other words, of course the generation of younger online music listeners is going to be the first to flock to the legal stores.

  • by brkello (642429) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @11:53AM (#13176695)
    But really, you guys are full of crap. Sure, you illegally downloaded content that didn't belong to you. Then you went and spent money at a show or bought it. To you, that justifies copyright infringement. But it doesn't mater what you think, it's against the law and it's not really that hard to understand why. You are getting things for free that you should be paying for. If the artist is cool with free downloads, fine, but they aren't.

    When you can now go to iTunes and preview all the music you want (well, the first 30 seconds of it), you have no justification for still doing this. I won't argue, the RIAA is evil. They price fix and people should be legally going after that monopoly. But just because some group is using crappy practicies, it doesn't give you the right to break the law.

    That being said, I actually don't care if people download music or not. Just don't try to justify that you are doing the right thing. Because you aren't.
  • I buy all my music (Score:3, Interesting)

    by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @12:52PM (#13177239) Homepage Journal
    or i get it for free at my radio station on radio.yahoo.com (Launch, which doesn't work well with Firefox or Opera ...) when I'm on an XP laptop.

    But I've stopped buying from big chains and only buying from the musicians themselves at their shows (they get half the take, instead of 2 cents) or at local indie music stores where they get $1 from the $12 CD price.

    my prediction is this situation will continue to get worse as more and more people avoid the price-fixing parasites at the middle tier and reroute from the consumer to the provider (musicians).

"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." -- Bernard Berenson

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