Questions over government file-sharing study

When Industry Canada came out with a study last week that found file-sharing doesn't lead to reduced CD sales -- and in fact may even lead to an increase in sales among those who download a lot -- it came as a surprise to many, most of all the music industry, which has been arguing for years that downloads are killing the record business. It also came as a surprise to Stan Liebowitz, an economist with the University of Texas, who has been studying the impact that file-sharing and other Internet-related technologies have on music sales for several years, and has repeatedly come to the exact opposite conclusion.

Prof. Liebowitz has been studying the impact of technology on copyright since the 1970s, when he did a study for the Canadian government looking at the effect of photocopying on the publishing industry (he concluded that it would not have an overly negative effect). He also wrote a study in 1985 looking at a new technology called the VCR, and has done research that he says shows radio also contributes to lower sales of traditional records and CDs. On his website, Prof. Liebowitz takes issue with the study done by two researchers at the University of London, who were commissioned by Industry Canada. According to the University of Texas economist, who is also a director of the Center for the Economic Analysis of Property Rights and Innovation, the study has a number of methodological problems and also fails what he refers to as "the laugh test."

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Ya, his theory of radio causing a drop in record sales is a total crock!
This guy must be on crack... his studies are nothing but a fraud.

...and has done research that he says shows radio also contributes to lower sales of traditional records and CDs.

LOL how the hell does radio contribute to lower CD sales??? Radio was around looong before CDs were and the only reason most people buy CDs is because of the music they hear on the radio. Songs that don't make radio don't sell a whole lot of CDs...

Just from that makes him lose all credibility in my opinion anyway.

in fact [file sharing] may even lead to an increase in sales among those who download a lot -- it came as a surprise to many, most of all [to] the music industry

Many? No, few. Pretty much all of which are the music "industry". Mainly because it defeats their self-preserving argument.
He also wrote a study in 1985 looking at a new technology called the VCR

A VCR was new technology for Canada in 1985? Way to make the Canadians look like technologically ignorant savages that have just emerged blinking from the jungle after banging rocks together to make fire. I remember watching Halloween in 1983 on my parent's VCR, probably the fourth model we'd rented (at about 1 new model a year). And this is in the backward Old Country.

The way I see it, no matter which study provides results, it will never be conclusive, because it can't really be proven whether piracy hurts or helps sales as a whole, because either side will be biased about it.

Frankly, both sides are bad.

1. File Sharers and Pirates (selling boot-legged content) - you call the entertainment industry evil but yet you are ripping off hard work, and not having the proper wages going to the appropriate holders. You can't expect everything to be enjoyed without getting it for free/profiting off it. Just buy the content you cheapskates, and stay legal!

2. Entertainment Industry - there is a good reason why many call you guys evil, because of how you sue people who might not even be the rightful ones to be sued. You are known for suing grandmas, dead grandmas and 12-year-olds, it just shows how cold-blooded you are. Have you ever stopped to consider to first go after the real criminals, to those who sell your content via bootlegged? This way, customers wouldn't be as angry at you.

What you guys fail to understand is that these industries *have* to go after pirates. If they don't and knowingly allow people to breach their copyrights, they *lose* those copyrights.

Are their methods suspect? Yes. But the sad fact is they have to do something about it. They really have no choice.

A Clockwork Lime said,
What you guys fail to understand is that these industries *have* to go after pirates. If they don't and knowingly allow people to breach their copyrights, they *lose* those copyrights.

Are their methods suspect? Yes. But the sad fact is they have to do something about it. They really have no choice.


I've heard this one before, and the standard response is that this is FUD. You're thinking of trademark - if a new company uses a similar product name or company name, and the original company does not protect the name that they own, then they lose the right to the trademark. Copyright does not require aggressive enforcement in order to maintain validity.

the way i see it is the RIAA/MPAA might as well "give up" cause the bottom line is there will always be fairly big ammounts of piracy!

sure i think it effects CD sales to a certain extent but the fact of the matter is the RIAA/MPAA are generally rich so it aint like they "need" the money anyways.

cause if i was in there spot... sure i might not be happy about "losing money" but if i was already sitting pretty good and buying nice stuff... it aint worth suing people and ruining peoples lives over it.

Yeah, the guy's an industry puppet... he's paid directly to refute studies like the one for Industry Canada.

Just read some of his papers, "the laugh test" isn't the only inappropriate wording he uses.. and his "work" reeks of bias and propaganda.

According to the University of Texas economist, who is also a director of the Center for the Economic Analysis of Property Rights and Innovation, the study has a number of methodological problems and also fails what he refers to as "the laugh test."

Apparently the recording industry loves this guy and his groups work. If you do a Google search, you will find a bunch of legal cases where the recording industry always cites his work.
IMO this guy is a joke, especially with the little respect he shows for other people. "the laugh test"? This guy should be doing film reviews if he wants to use that sort of language.

He sounds exactly like the "scientists" the tobacco industry had used to "prove" that smoking cigarettes was not harmful.