DRM Technology

Swapping music files in Canada allowed, judge rules

Is this a set back for the RIAA or what? This ruling sets a major precedent for the P2P file sharing wars that the recording industries in both US and Canada have been waging. My opinion is that it is a major plus for the Internet community that believes in the merits of P2P. Why can’t the music industry accept that technology isn’t the cause of their lower profit margins. They need to embrace and use technology as an advertising venue. In fact, an independent study done by researchers Felix Oberholzer-Gee (Harvard Business School) and Koleman Strumpf (University of N. Carolina) have concluded that the illegal downloading of music does not have a major effect on reducing CD sales. They correlated the sales of 680 albums in a 17 week time period in 2002 with downloads from the OpenNap file-sharing network. They found that sales of CDs increased by one copy for every 150 downloads. Niche artists do see a small effect in sales. The RIAA says that piracy has caused CD sales to drop from $13.2 billion in 2000 to $11.2 billion in 2003. The RIAA disputes this study and says that “countless well-respected groups and analysts” have proven that piracy hurts sales.