Survey Indicates Music Pirates Are Biggest Music Buyers

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Survey Indicates Music Pirates Are Biggest Music Buyers

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US peer-to-peer downloaders buy 30% more digital music legally than their non-downloading friends.

The American Assembly at Columbia University has been looking into music piracy, and its effect on the music market. Asking the question "where do music collections come from" led Joe Karaganis to some interesting results: among them, that people who download buy more music than people who don't.

Karaganis compared high-piracy groups, aka peer-to-peer downloaders, to low-piracy groups, who didn't indulge in peer-to-peer file sharing. Those who downloaded tended to get their music from friends, family, and free downloads; but they also were the ones buying more music. US P2P users tended to buy 30% more digital music legally than did their non-P2P counterparts, and as a rule consumed significantly more music overall.

"Our data is quite clear on this point and lines up with numerous other studies," Karaganis said. "The biggest music pirates are also the biggest spenders on recorded music." This was only one conclusion of a wide-ranging study, which can be found here.

Karaganis went on to warn that the problem posed by a "copy culture" could not be solved without ultimately declaring war on general purpose computing. "We should be careful and understand the real stakes," Karaganis said, "This isn't a debate about who pays for recorded music, but about how much they pay."

The American Assembly, which hosts Karaganis' work, is an agency dedicated to illuminating "issues of public policy by commissioning and issuing research," according to its website. Karaganis is also the author of, among other things, a research note on copyright infringement and enforcement, written in 2011 when SOPA was being debated.

Source: American Assembly

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Oh dear, a highly interpretable piece of research - this should be fun.

It might be good to consider that one might argue this proves nothing more than that the ones who care more about music are also more likely to install a P2P client, and start downloading.
Or that there generally is a budget ceiling to be spent on music, and in general people start downloading when they feel they've already spent enough on legal music.
Or that the old anecdotal evidence of "I buy stuff because I liked what I heard from the torrented version" actually holds statistical significance.

Everyone with any interest in this debate is going to assign causality to these numbers whenever they feel like it, even if they show nothing more than a correlation.

Oh dear this old argument.

For me it boils down to this. Piracy is theft, plain and simple, and any attempts to rationalize it are rationalizing criminal behavior.

Theft of entertainment, a luxury good is intrinsically different then theft of food so you don't starve, so don't pull that one out of your butts either.

I think the real news here that the German P2P pirate FOUR TIMES as much musc as Americans.

Well this comes as such a surprise, people who are into music buy the most music, people who are most into games buy the most games etc.

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By the way, he did previous research asking actual people what kind of "piracy" they think is acceptable: http://piracy.americanassembly.org/file-sharing-is-it-wrong/

The results:

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Rather than ask people to judge the morality of unauthorized downloading, we were interested in how people distinguish the different public and private contexts of copying And so we asked respondents whether different kinds of copying and 'making available' were "reasonable." Our results suggest three things.

First, that strong moral arguments against file sharing mistake the structure of public attitudes. Not surprisingly, the public engages in many of the same negotiations of context as the law. For most people, like theft and not like theft are not diametrically opposed moral judgements about copying. Rather, they operate on a continuum. They depend on the context and scale in which copying takes place. Copying, our data makes clear, is widely accepted within personal networks, reflecting a view of culture as not only shared but also constructed through sharing. Outside networks of family and friends, in contrast, a commercial and property logic tends to prevail. Support for more active forms of dissemination and 'making' available' through such networks is quite low. Support for commercial infringement-selling copied DVDs-is minimal.

Second, there is a strong generational divide in attitudes, with 18-29 year olds far more likely than older groups to view a wide range of copying practices as reasonable. This shift is strongest in relation to sharing within networks of 'friends'-a category that has become very elastic in the last few years through the rise of online social networks. Among 18-29 year olds, sharing with friends is entirely normalized and large in scale. On average, 'copying from friends/family' accounts for nearly as much of music file collections as 'downloading for free.' What are the reasonable boundaries of such a network? My siblings? My five closest friends? My 500 Facebook friends? Or the 5000 music aficionados who subscribe to a private file sharing network? This is where the rubber hits the road as people develop their own digital ethics. The law has not begun to address it, and educational efforts to convince people that sharing within communities is theft are likely doomed.

Third, there is plenty of evidence that these ethical issues sit lightly with most file sharers. Sharing and downloading operate in a notionally contested ethical space, but rarely rise to the level of a major ethical dilemma. I take this to be the meaning (and real scandal) of NPR-Interngate: the fact that the intern, Emily White, admitted to understanding the ethical arguments against file sharing and... didn't care. One sign of this in our work (and in numerous other surveys) is that large numbers of file sharers can be shown to agree with versions of the claim that online file sharing is wrong. The profile of P2P users in our study closely tracks our under-30 group in general-including the relative lack of tolerance for uploading.

Data from the Australian film and TV industry association, IPAF, makes this more explicit. In a 2012 survey, they found that 49% of "persistent illegal downloaders" agreed with the statement that "movie/TV piracy" is "stealing/theft." But when asked whether they contribute to "the problem of TV/movie piracy," 74% of chose "It's not something I give a lot of thought to."

It's certainly possible to see this as selfish behavior-of just rationalizing getting stuff for free. And no doubt that enters into it. But this explanation seems inadequate to explaining the demographic shift in attitudes underway. Rather, it seems better to talk about growth of a different kind of audiovisual culture, marked by expectations of universal access and by sharing within increasingly Internet-mediated communities. The older ethical framework is still present and can be triggered by the right questions, but the underlying practices are completely normalized in those community contexts. The dilemma for both industry and the law is that the situation is unstable: the labor of copying continues to fall toward zero and the community is no longer limited to a small group of friends. It has shifted outward.

This is also a short talk he held on the matter:

I wonder how subscription services such as Spotify are factored into this. I don't download music illegally, don't spend a lot on music but what I listen to is a large amount.

Yet more proof that you can submit a survey, compile your results, and find a way to present them that supports your agenda.

So the 18-29 age bracket, who acquire the most music of any age bracket by a healthy margin, are also the biggest pirates. And who may or may not be truthful if you ask them how much music they buy. It also doesn't address who they're buying the music from, of course; a second-hand sale, while the right of every consumer, doesn't exactly fill the coffers of the people who worked to create the record in the first place.

So what are we left with? A study with a very small sample size, conducted by survey (an unreliable method to begin with), and then massaged to support an agenda, while apparently forgetting that even at the best of times, correlation does not imply causation.

And yet, I wager there will be people in this thread pointing to it as proof that piracy is a good thing.

JPArbiter:
Oh dear this old argument.

For me it boils down to this. Piracy is theft, plain and simple, and any attempts to rationalize it are rationalizing criminal behavior.

Theft of entertainment, a luxury good is intrinsically different then theft of food so you don't starve, so don't pull that one out of your butts either.

And you are wrong, plain and simple.

Piracy is not theft because the original is not lost, it is copied. Hence why piracy is copyright infringement, not theft.

JPArbiter:
Oh dear this old argument.

For me it boils down to this. Piracy is theft, plain and simple, and any attempts to rationalize it are rationalizing criminal behavior.

Theft of entertainment, a luxury good is intrinsically different then theft of food so you don't starve, so don't pull that one out of your butts either.

What about when I pirate stuff because I am unable to find a way to acquire the music legally?

It actually happened to me a few weeks back. I picked up a free to play game and loved the soundtrack to death. I tried to find a place I could purchase it, but there was nothing to be had so I ended up just downloading the soundtrack off some file upload site because there was no way for me to purchase the product.

Please, tell me how I'm a terrible person for trying to throw money at a product I enjoyed.

Kargathia:
Everyone with any interest in this debate is going to assign causality to these numbers whenever they feel like it, even if they show nothing more than a correlation.

Dexter111:
Well this comes as such a surprise, people who are into music buy the most music, people who are most into games buy the most games etc.

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Raesvelg:
even at the best of times, correlation does not imply causation.

Well, there's only one word to describe the conclusion here, and that word is...

/thread

JPArbiter:

For me it boils down to this. Piracy is theft, plain and simple, and any attempts to rationalize it are rationalizing criminal behavior.

Theft of entertainment, a luxury good is intrinsically different then theft of food so you don't starve, so don't pull that one out of your butts either.

You seem to feel rather strongly on this, but you have some fundamental misunderstandings of how this works.

It is neither a criminal offense nor theft.

Even the massive cases of copyright infringement where people downloaded thousands of pieces of works are not criminal in nature. They are not considered crimes by the courts or government, but are handled in civic court.

And theft (or stealing), which is indeed a crime, is defined as:

Theft - (criminal law) the dishonest taking of property belonging to another person with the intention of depriving the owner permanently of its possession

Don't let me dissuade you from arguing that it's immoral or wrong, but be aware it's neither of the things you accused it of being. It's more than just semantics, it's a majour and very real difference.

Kargathia:
Or that the old anecdotal evidence of "I buy stuff because I liked what I heard from the torrented version" actually holds statistical significance.

Hm, the point of this study is how it shows that this *isn't* anecdotal. So yes, according to this study it does hold statistical significance.

But you're going to tell me how that's not the case, right?

Raesvelg:
So what are we left with? A study with a very small sample size, conducted by survey (an unreliable method to begin with), and then massaged to support an agenda, while apparently forgetting that even at the best of times, correlation does not imply causation.

Most surveys are done with even fewer persons, but anyway a survey is still better than "I just know it's wrong". However I agree it doesn't prove illegal downloads to be good, though it does show with a decent certainty how downloading does not make you a worse consumer.

incal11:

Kargathia:
Or that the old anecdotal evidence of "I buy stuff because I liked what I heard from the torrented version" actually holds statistical significance.

Hm, the point of this study is how it shows that this *isn't* anecdotal. So yes, according to this study it does hold statistical significance.

But you're going to tell me how that's not the case, right?

That's exactly what I'm going to tell you, as nothing in that study tells us there is anything more than correlation. "Buying things because you liked the downloaded version" undoubtedly will be part of the reason, but nothing in here gives us any hint as to how big a slice of the pie that particular reason has.

Raesvelg:
So what are we left with? A study with a very small sample size, conducted by survey (an unreliable method to begin with), and then massaged to support an agenda, while apparently forgetting that even at the best of times, correlation does not imply causation.

Most surveys are done with even fewer persons, but anyway a survey is still better than "I just know it's wrong". However I agree it doesn't prove illegal downloads to be good, though it does show with a decent certainty how downloading does not make you a worse consumer.

We've got more data to put towards us understanding how it all works out. Which is a good thing, even if this particular set of data is nowhere near enough to give us the full answer.

Well that makes two separate studies that show that people who download copies of things also buy more than people who dont download copies.

Wonder when people will get smarter and start listening to these studies, other than the swiss govt of course.

Kargathia:
Oh dear, a highly interpretable piece of research - this should be fun.

It might be good to consider that one might argue this proves nothing more than that the ones who care more about music are also more likely to install a P2P client, and start downloading.
Or that there generally is a budget ceiling to be spent on music, and in general people start downloading when they feel they've already spent enough on legal music.
Or that the old anecdotal evidence of "I buy stuff because I liked what I heard from the torrented version" actually holds statistical significance.

Everyone with any interest in this debate is going to assign causality to these numbers whenever they feel like it, even if they show nothing more than a correlation.

I am still going to call bullshit on the I bought it cause I liked what I heard on the torrented version cause if there is a torrent of it then it's highly likely to be on youtube so why wouldn't you just listen to it there.

JPArbiter:
Oh dear this old argument.

For me it boils down to this. Piracy is theft, plain and simple, and any attempts to rationalize it are rationalizing criminal behavior.

Theft of entertainment, a luxury good is intrinsically different then theft of food so you don't starve, so don't pull that one out of your butts either.

Wow we have someone with the good old black and white thinking here. No need to discuss the topic in a rational sense or you are just supporting terror....I mean condoning illegal activities (couldn't help make that joke).

No offense to you sir but I find that most people who live the black and white thinking culture usually have factually wrong evidence about said topics (as another poster above me has pointed out about copyright infringement).

So it boils down to people who buy the most music, are also the same age to be tech savvy enough to use a torrent, and also be the people who like to have legitimate copies of what ever they have pirated? Sound like me and my gaming habit, i might download a game and complete it but im not happy till its some where in my library be it steam or on my shelf.

getoffmycloud:

Kargathia:
Oh dear, a highly interpretable piece of research - this should be fun.

It might be good to consider that one might argue this proves nothing more than that the ones who care more about music are also more likely to install a P2P client, and start downloading.
Or that there generally is a budget ceiling to be spent on music, and in general people start downloading when they feel they've already spent enough on legal music.
Or that the old anecdotal evidence of "I buy stuff because I liked what I heard from the torrented version" actually holds statistical significance.

Everyone with any interest in this debate is going to assign causality to these numbers whenever they feel like it, even if they show nothing more than a correlation.

I am still going to call bullshit on the I bought it cause I liked what I heard on the torrented version cause if there is a torrent of it then it's highly likely to be on youtube so why wouldn't you just listen to it there.

I'm afraid your counter-argument is as valid as the one you're countering: not at all. Both statements are probably true, but there isn't a scrap of evidence that either of them is statistically significant, or even relevant.

JPArbiter:
Oh dear this old argument.

For me it boils down to this. Piracy is theft, plain and simple, and any attempts to rationalize it are rationalizing criminal behavior.

Theft of entertainment, a luxury good is intrinsically different then theft of food so you don't starve, so don't pull that one out of your butts either.

It doesn't have much relevance to MUSIC piracy, but I am curious to hear what you think of piracy of things that aren't attainable in such a way that the creators can get money from your purchase? Like out-of-print books, or movies that haven't been released on DVD?

uncanny474:

JPArbiter:
Oh dear this old argument.

For me it boils down to this. Piracy is theft, plain and simple, and any attempts to rationalize it are rationalizing criminal behavior.

Theft of entertainment, a luxury good is intrinsically different then theft of food so you don't starve, so don't pull that one out of your butts either.

It doesn't have much relevance to MUSIC piracy, but I am curious to hear what you think of piracy of things that aren't attainable in such a way that the creators can get money from your purchase? Like out-of-print books, or movies that haven't been released on DVD?

the one (well someone else asked this too but I can cover it in one post) person with an intelligent counter.

That is perhaps the only way to rationalize Piracy, is when something you want can not be obtained legally by any other means, I call it the Extra Credits defense. we can still mention that show here right?

Kargathia:
That's exactly what I'm going to tell you, as nothing in that study tells us there is anything more than correlation. "Buying things because you liked the downloaded version" undoubtedly will be part of the reason, but nothing in here gives us any hint as to how big a slice of the pie that particular reason has.

I won't buy that some points are absolutely unprovable here, we're not talking religion. When it cannot be direct observation even the best science and theories rests "only" on a sufficiently high likelihood.

It doesn't matter how big of a slice it is. What really matters is that it exists and with a decent probability of being a positive influence and also...

We've got more data to put towards us understanding how it all works out. Which is a good thing, even if this particular set of data is nowhere near enough to give us the full answer.

...that this is to be judged according to the many other independent studies with which this is said to be aligned:
http://www.laquadrature.net/wiki/Studies_on_file_sharing#The_.22pirates.22_are_better_consumers_of_.22legal.22_culture

I have not been able to find one study with opposite conclusions that was not directly backed by the entertainment industry, with ridiculously huge provably made up numbers. If you could provide me a link to such a study you would be the first one.
In the meantime here is your full answer.

JPArbiter:
Oh dear this old argument.

For me it boils down to this. Piracy is theft, plain and simple, and any attempts to rationalize it are rationalizing criminal behavior.

Theft of entertainment, a luxury good is intrinsically different then theft of food so you don't starve, so don't pull that one out of your butts either.

Reasoning that sounds perfectly viable, until you realise that things are slightly more complicated.
The problem is not pirates having the material, the problem is the owners missing out on sales - economic damage the pirates inflicted on them.

Generally, as it turns out, there's a lost sale for every 1000 downloads. So what are you going to do? Charge people for theft of 1/1000 song? Charge one in every 1000? -or most retarded of all: sue people for 5-figure sums per downloaded song?

Hell, you might as well rejoice, because reaching 1000 people for the price of a single piece of software is a lot cheaper than whatever you're paying your advertising guru.

The current situation is eight flavours of stupid, as content producers are clinging to old habits, and fail to realise p2p sharing downright broke the principle of economic scarcity when it comes to digital content.

You can stubbornly declare piracy to be "wrong", "illegal", "selfish", or whatever else you feel like, but that only accomplishes you having an up close view of a deeper layer of sand.
P2P sharing is here to stay, and we'd definitely be better off looking at the vast range of opportunities it allows both producers and consumers.

This makes sense to me. I might download something, find that I quite like it, to end up buying the bits of it I like for the next release, or even the thing as a whole. I don't download willy-nilly, though, and more often than not, if I don't like it, I delete it. Kind of poses a question, doesn't it?

If I pirate something, then delete both the .torrent file and the file itself that was pirated, has a crime been committed? Nothing taken, nothing lost, nothing gained...It's not like I stole something, then put it back. I made a copy of something that never left, then deleted the copy. Exactly where is the crime in that instance?

For the digital realm, that's practically the same as seeing something on youtube, then leaving the page.

JPArbiter:
Oh dear this old argument.

For me it boils down to this. Piracy is theft, plain and simple, and any attempts to rationalize it are rationalizing criminal behavior.

Theft of entertainment, a luxury good is intrinsically different then theft of food so you don't starve, so don't pull that one out of your butts either.

Interesting that we have an entire part of a criminal trial concerned with motive, you know, the part that rationalizes the criminal activity in question, and is often the part of the trial that most often sways a jury...

I wonder if you think a lawyer emailing a copy of his documents to his colleagues is theft too. The client isn't paying for the extra copies, but extra copies have been made! Oh no! People who are not the intended recipient of the material have access to the material!

incal11:

Kargathia:
That's exactly what I'm going to tell you, as nothing in that study tells us there is anything more than correlation. "Buying things because you liked the downloaded version" undoubtedly will be part of the reason, but nothing in here gives us any hint as to how big a slice of the pie that particular reason has.

I won't buy that some points are absolutely unprovable here, we're not talking religion. When it cannot be direct observation even the best science and theories rests "only" on a sufficiently high likelihood.

It doesn't matter how big of a slice it is. What really matters is that it exists and with a decent probability of being a positive influence and also...

I'm definitely not stating that both statements can't be factually proven - merely that so far those particular statements have no direct evidence quantifying them. We know they are in play, but we don't know how important they are.
This particular study tells us that the group "P2P users" also is buying significantly more music than the group "non-P2P users". Why they are doing so is not part of the study, and any attempt at explaning these numbers will be no more than guesswork until there is evidence to back it up.

We've got more data to put towards us understanding how it all works out. Which is a good thing, even if this particular set of data is nowhere near enough to give us the full answer.

...that this is to be judged according to the many other independent studies with which this is said to be aligned:
http://www.laquadrature.net/wiki/Studies_on_file_sharing#The_.22pirates.22_are_better_consumers_of_.22legal.22_culture

I have not been able to find one study with opposite conclusions that was not directly backed by the entertainment industry, with ridiculously huge provably made up numbers. If you could provide me a link to such a study you would be the first one.
In the meantime here is your full answer.

I am not providing you with a link to a reliable study with completely different results, as there simply isn't one. So far the evidence points towards piracy being advantageous to sales, but that is a long cry from having a full answer to the question of how piracy affects the entertainment industry.

"Having a full answer in the meantime" is a ridiculous contradiction. In the meantime we can only make assumptions, based on the evidence we do have. Consider it a scientific theory, if you will - we're not entirely sure, but we've got enough to work with.

I told you so.

The argument as to whether or not piracy hurts profits has already been won, by the side that says "no".

Pirates don't spend less money on entertainment than anybody else does. They spend the same amount of money on entertainment, but they just supplement that entertainment cost with piracy. They pay the same, but end up with a little more. Ultimately, nobody loses money because digital files are unlike retail products, in that you can magically copy them with no extra materials. I'm not saying it's a justification for piracy, but it is a good reason why the punishments and fines are objectively excessive and unfair.

Ultimately, pirates will still pay for things because the version you paid for is often of better quality and usually easier to play. The paid version allows you to play online. The paid version lets you rip at lossless format. The paid version plays in 1080p with no block artifacts. Pirates do care about quality. The paid version is a better service, so pirates will generally get the paid version whenever they can. Heck, sometimes they pirate things and then they buy them later.

Kargathia:
I'm definitely not stating that both statements can't be factually proven - merely that so far those particular statements have no direct evidence quantifying them. We know they are in play, but we don't know how important they are.
This particular study tells us that the group "P2P users" also is buying significantly more music than the group "non-P2P users". Why they are doing so is not part of the study, and any attempt at explaning these numbers will be no more than guesswork until there is evidence to back it up.

and I was saying that no direct evidence is needed because this was not the point of this study. However it does provide more correlation, which is always needed on a subject that is very hard to factually prove. Put it with the other studies that were already done, the link I gave you, and what we have is sufficient correlation. Sufficient meaning that the chances of the two variables (people downloading, and people buying more) being unrelated are becoming very slim. So slim that continuing to doubt becomes less serious an option.

That is until some breakthrough is made that suddenly gives more chances for the anti-piracy camp to be right, and with each study the chances of such a breakthrough happening has been consistently going down. But that is why I used the word "meanwhile", perhaps a bit too generously.

I am not providing you with a link to a reliable study with completely different results, as there simply isn't one. So far the evidence points towards piracy being advantageous to sales, but that is a long cry from having a full answer to the question of how piracy affects the entertainment industry.

What you're asking then is so vast that it is out of topic. The social/philosophical/psychological consequences of "piracy" were not included when I used "full". Constantly broadening the definition of what you'd consider a "full answer" is just a way to avoid saying "here we have enough evidence to make a reasonable conclusion". It should not matter that the conclusion is maybe not to your liking, or seems counter intuitive.

"Having a full answer in the meantime" is a ridiculous contradiction. In the meantime we can only make assumptions, based on the evidence we do have. Consider it a scientific theory, if you will - we're not entirely sure, but we've got enough to work with.

As I said we apparently have two different understandings of what a "full answer" is, yours is out of topic, mine is not a contradiction.

Belated:
I told you so.

The argument as to whether or not piracy hurts profits has already been won, by the side that says "no".

Actually, neither that study, nor this study prove a damned thing. Largely because the people who conducted the surveys in question did so with the idea of proving your point, rather than doing a proper job of analyzing data.

For example:

In this study, they use the data from 18-29 year old US citizens who own music files as a way of saying "Look, this group has a high prevalence of P2P usage, and they buy the most music!"

Which doesn't mean a damned thing if we're not looking at the music acquisition methods of individuals, rather than just lumping everyone within a given decade into a single pool.

My music collection, for example, is mostly in the bought/ripped/borrowed category. Relatively little of it comes from P2P usage. My ex's music collection, on the other hand, was almost entirely P2P downloads.

And yet, if you lump us into the same category as "P2P users", it averages out. Worse, my higher level of music purchases is attributed to her piracy.

It's a terrible way to present your data. And yet it's pretty much the exact method I've seen in every so-called study that purports to prove that piracy is a "good" thing.

All they've managed to "prove", really, is that younger people spend more on media than older people, which is something that most folks have known pretty much since the dawn of time.

Without more of their raw data and a chance to analyze it ourselves, we really can't trust their conclusions. Small sample sizes, biased reporting, inaccurate data collection... Even with their data, it'd be difficult to draw any definitive conclusions.

Raesvelg:
In this study, they use the data from 18-29 year old US citizens who own music files as a way of saying "Look, this group has a high prevalence of P2P usage, and they buy the most music!"

Which doesn't mean a damned thing if we're not looking at the music acquisition methods of individuals, rather than just lumping everyone within a given decade into a single pool.

Lumping together the whole decade is exactly the point. It SHOULDN'T matter that maybe some individuals are mostly pirates and others are mostly buyers. If in the end, as long as official music consumption continues to be a strong counterpart to piracy, it doesn't have to matter that some people are more predisposed towards freeloading.

Like when you are analyzing demographics, it doesn't matter that some people never have kids, while others have a dozen. As long as the global average is around 2.33 per couple, it shouldn't matter that some people WOULD swarm earth like locust, while others would make mankind extinct, if you would only look solely at them.

If the system itself is stable, that's good enough.

I have spent an excess of around 150 on albums this year, and I still have around 5 albums left to buy, I always buy new releases from bands I like that have been well received and this year has had some big releases.

The thing is, I would not have bought that many CD's this year if it wasn't through discovering bands online.

Take for example my friend who obtains all his music through CD, without finding bands online, he buys about 4 CD's a year on bands he has been listening to since he was 13, his music taste has not developed because he is sticking to safe bands he knows about already and not discovering new music because he does not want to waste money.

In contrast to me who will happily find music that is obscure and contributing to that band by buying there newest album if I like it, going out of my comfort zone if you will, thus I buy way more music than someone who does exactly what the music industry wants them to do.

Entitled:

Lumping together the whole decade is exactly the point. It SHOULDN'T matter that maybe some individuals are mostly pirates and others are mostly buyers. If in the end, as long as official music consumption continues to be a strong counterpart to piracy, it doesn't have to matter that some people are more predisposed towards freeloading.

The argument that people who pirate also buy more, however, is the question at hand, and that's where group demographics fall flat.

Besides, the industry in general has been down substantially. Sales are around half what they were a decade ago, and it's been a year-on-year decline; obviously, while the industry can continue to exist, it's not necessarily healthy.

xplosive59:

In contrast to me who will happily find music that is obscure and contributing to that band by buying there newest album if I like it, going out of my comfort zone if you will, thus I buy way more music than someone who does exactly what the music industry wants them to do.

And this is what we call "anecdotal evidence".

Did I mention that all of my friends keep albino gorillas as pets? So obviously, the albino gorilla is the most common pet in the world!

The above is just my way of saying that anecdotal evidence is functionally worthless. I can contrast your experience with my own; my friend who doesn't even have internet access seeks out new films to buy on a weekly basis, whereas my friend who does hasn't bought a film legally in years. Does your experience override my experience? Or do we simply have to accept that what happens in our own tiny slice of the overall market is not representative of the whole?

Or do you have to go out and buy an albino gorilla?

On a more serious note, there are a lot of options for people who want to discover new music that don't entail actually going out and downloading that music illegally. The notion that piracy boosts sales in specific individuals by means of increasing their range of exposure is... difficult to prove at the best of times, particularly since people with broad musical tastes long predate the rise of the internet.

JPArbiter:

uncanny474:

JPArbiter:
Oh dear this old argument.

For me it boils down to this. Piracy is theft, plain and simple, and any attempts to rationalize it are rationalizing criminal behavior.

Theft of entertainment, a luxury good is intrinsically different then theft of food so you don't starve, so don't pull that one out of your butts either.

It doesn't have much relevance to MUSIC piracy, but I am curious to hear what you think of piracy of things that aren't attainable in such a way that the creators can get money from your purchase? Like out-of-print books, or movies that haven't been released on DVD?

the one (well someone else asked this too but I can cover it in one post) person with an intelligent counter.

That is perhaps the only way to rationalize Piracy, is when something you want can not be obtained legally by any other means, I call it the Extra Credits defense. we can still mention that show here right?

"If you want something that cannot be legally obtained in your area made by a company long dead, to you I say: Go nuts! Pirate away!"

Yeah, piracy is no longer nearly as big a deal as it was. Since software companies are stubbornly refusing to release demos of $60+ software we use these methods as a "Try before you buy" thing. $60+ is a LOT of money for something you know nothing about!

incal11:

It seems like I should've been a bit clearer, as there appears to have been a misunderstanding. "The effect of piracy on the entertainment industry" is meant in a purely financial way.
Also, the larger part of the argument concerned that this study, along with its peers, should not be taken as proof of anything more than what they specifically research. It means we are reasonably sure piracy is not the death knell, and possibly even beneficial to the entertainment industry's bottom line, but we can't fully explain how - only speculate.

JPArbiter:
the one (well someone else asked this too but I can cover it in one post) person with an intelligent counter.

That is perhaps the only way to rationalize Piracy, is when something you want can not be obtained legally by any other means, I call it the Extra Credits defense. we can still mention that show here right?

Well, if you can't, nobody reported you yet!

On-topic: So, what about something that is out-of-date, and thus out-of-print? Is it wrong to pirate the original versions of the Star Wars trilogy, since you can buy George Lucas' butchered versions? What about stuff with multiple editions, like Dungeons and Dragons--is it wrong to pirate 3.5 when there's a perfectly ruined 4.0 to get?

Oh deary me, you've broken the cardinal rule. Please repeat after me: "correlation does not equal causation."

Not only that, but your source appears to have an agenda and used a non-scientific polling method ( "Please respond truthfully, because if you don't, well, we can't do anything to you, but it would be awfully mean of you." ). Furthermore, because they didn't discuss their methodology, we can't even be sure the survey was conducted properly.

This article doesn't tell us pirates are better consumers, this article simply tells us people with a lot of music tend to have a lot of music. From more sources, with greater frequency. Probably because they like music a lot. Probably more than people who have much smaller collections.

If there is anything you should really take from this article, it is:

Karaganis:
If absolute spending is the metric, then P2P users value music more highly than their non-P2P using, digital-collecting peers, not less.

and

Karaganis:
In the US, according to our survey, 29% of those under 30 listen to 'most or all' of their music via streaming services.

Or in layman's terms, people who like music like music and that traditional economic models are outdated.

But I guess warping results to suit an agenda is much more fun. There's a sucker born every minute, right? Right.

cidbahamut:
It actually happened to me a few weeks back. I picked up a free to play game and loved the soundtrack to death. I tried to find a place I could purchase it, but there was nothing to be had so I ended up just downloading the soundtrack off some file upload site because there was no way for me to purchase the product.

Sorry, one anecdote does not prove a trend. It doesn't even prove you're telling the truth.

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