Wednesday, April 28, 2004

RIAA - HELPING SMALL PEER TO PEER NETWORKS GROW: The latest bunch of findings from Pew into the online habits of Americans will make grim reading for the RIAA (although we're sure they'll be busily spinning some sort of positive out of them.) Of course, most of these surveys are way too selective to be much use for getting the whole picture, but the music industry is fond of stats gathered by clipboard so it's worth keeping an eye on them. Pew reports that the main effect of the RIAA legal action against its customers has been people shifting from the well-known services to smaller peer to peer networks, and using the fare-less-traceable IM and email technologies to share around samples of music amongst their friends. In effect, the RIAA has been helping iMesh, BitTorrent and eMule build their market share, rather than putting people off filesharing.

Worse from the Big Music Industry's point of view, the number of Americans filesharing is on the rise again. Bainwol and his buddies might take some comfort from sixty percent of people who have never shared a file saying that it's the fear of the RIAA lawyers which stops them, but to be honest, people who'd not got round to downloading music for free before the RIAA had started going to court were probably not likely to have been ever joining the download free-for-all anyway; it might be the thought of explaining themselves to a judge which puts them off now, but we guess hitherto they'd have stuck to proper CDs for fear of viruses or child porn or whatever the scare before last was. If the RIAA plan had been to pour millions into scaring off the most timid, we guess it's working. If they wanted to change the habits of the more serious downloaders, they've fucked up. If we had shares in a major record company, we'd be asking why our money keeps being pumped into such an inept industry body.

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