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Old 01-05-2008, 09:29 AM   #361
Trenien
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan View Post
Fact is, music sales have been going down dramatically. We have reached the lowest numbers since 1993. But since 1993 music consumption has skyrocketed because of the Internet and cheap mp3 players. If more is being consumed but less is being sold, than piracy and other illegal activities account for the difference.

Free music has been available for years (illegal though). Did it help to boost the sales of legal music? No, not a bit, but the contrary.

Alan
Sales of CDs have dropped, that's true. But the fun fact is that most papers and articles stating this fail to state that at the same time the overall numbers for the entertainment industry (movie, concert, books... Everything)
have increased.

People's budget isn't infinite, so they prefer to spend money on concert tickets (which is actually much more interesting for the artists) than for CDs.

And this is without talking of the changes in business practices which now include much more unsold CDs than before.
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Old 01-05-2008, 09:33 AM   #362
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan View Post
Fact is, music sales have been going down dramatically. We have reached the lowest numbers since 1993. But since 1993 music consumption has skyrocketed because of the Internet and cheap mp3 players. If more is being consumed but less is being sold, than piracy and other illegal activities account for the difference.
Right. Lower sales has nothing to do with the trash they've been increasingly putting out.

Downloads do not hurt sales. What they do is polarize sales.

Bad albums don't sell nearly as well because people download them, try them out and delete them - instead of wasting their money buying them only to find out that they are bad.

Good albums sell more - because people download them, try them out and see how good they are.
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Old 01-05-2008, 11:45 AM   #363
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I believe the point is moot. Piracy exists on a large scale. DRM did not stop it. Lawsuits have not stopped it. Not making the product available in digital form has not stopped it. Appeal to moral standards works only at a low level, and cannot work at all when there is not a legal alternative. To argue otherwise is to ignore measured reality.

Nor is this piracy centralized. You can't just go after a few kingpins and organisations and shut it down. The mass populace are doing it individually. This implies that the mass populace are now and will continue to vote with their wallets (over the short term) and ignore the long term consequences.
(And putting all your potential customers in jail certainly won't cause an increase in sales.)

<shrug>

As I pointed out earlier, this is an effect of technological change. The only way to get rid of it is to get rid of the technology. And that's <not> going to happen. I.P. producers effectively have two choices -

1. The 100% of 0 method, i.e. don't put it on the market legally, and get no revenue. People who want to will get it illegally anyway.

Or 2. Take a few percent of a large pie, and get a small amount of revenue, acknowledging that most of the people aren't going to pay. This is how all publishing businesses worked pre-copyright.

This comment is not about legal realities, or moral concepts. I'm just measuring the world as it is.

DRM is based on the assumption that there is another way. It is useless in the #1 (no product), and an unwanted annoyance in #2 (which will cause people to not buy the legal product to get away from the DRM, shrinking the few percent even smaller.) The only products where the DRM has held up have been product that failed in the marketplace. (and arguments can be made that the sucessful DRM is <why> the products failed in the first place). Otherwise, the illegal world cracks it and and passes around the cracking software. And you end up back at #2. (Who sells more DRM books .lit or .prx?).
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Old 01-05-2008, 05:29 PM   #364
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Quote:
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But DRM in ebooks is, except for the possibility of a company going out of business, transparent, easy and virtually unnoticeable. The same did Apple to DRM and guess what, it suddenly works. People are buying DRM music because they don't notice it anymore.
I cannot comment on how much the Apple DRM gets in the way of customer enjoyment, because I don't buy music that way. But my experience of DRM in books certainly doesn't match yours. You can claim that for you, DRM in books is "transparent, easy and virtually unnoticeable." Many other people don't feel that way about it, and no matter how often you repeat your claim, those other opinions still count.

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Originally Posted by Alan View Post
Fact is, music sales have been going down dramatically. We have reached the lowest numbers since 1993. But since 1993 music consumption has skyrocketed because of the Internet and cheap mp3 players. If more is being consumed but less is being sold, than piracy and other illegal activities account for the difference.
I think you are confusing correlation with causation. Just because two things happen at the same time does not mean one causes the other. Attempts to find a causal link between these two events by reliable researchers have failed. Unless you can reference a peer-reviewed study that establishes the causation you are claiming, whether via advanced statistical methods, an air-tight chain of reasoning, or both, your claim simply won't be believed here, no matter how often you repeat it.

We have all heard both of your arguments before (DRM is painless, piracy is ruining the music industry/will ruin the book publishing industry), made by you and by many others before you, and so far, many of us find the evidence for both to be completely lacking. Please provide new evidence to support your claims, or stop repeating them.
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Old 01-05-2008, 06:03 PM   #365
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Originally Posted by nekokami View Post
Unless you can reference a peer-reviewed study that establishes the causation you are claiming, whether via advanced statistical methods, an air-tight chain of reasoning, or both, your claim simply won't be believed here, no matter how often you repeat it.... Please provide new evidence to support your claims, or stop repeating them.
Those are difficult criteria to meet, whatever side you're on.

An example supporting the "piracy causes loss of music sales" is:
http://economics.uchicago.edu/downlo...ustryoct12.pdf

I haven't analysed it closely, since it's not an issue I particularly care about.
I do feel though, that the minority here who argue that case, are in danger of being shouted down.
They have as much right to repeat themselves as anyone else, imho .
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Old 01-05-2008, 06:25 PM   #366
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I've read that music cd sales are down but digital song sales are going up. I don't download much music because there are so many great streaming music sites I don't need to buy music. So in a way my consumption is up but my buying is down.
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Old 01-05-2008, 06:26 PM   #367
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nekokami View Post
Just because two things happen at the same time does not mean one causes the other.
That is correct. But the correlation is in the case itself. Fact is, music sales dropped dramatically in the last years. Fact is also, music consumption has gone up. Both facts are backed by research.

If less music is bought but more is consumed, where do you think the gap is being filled at? It's not the legal sources since music sales has dropped. The gap is being filled at Emule and co. Or does really anybody think music falls out of the blue sky and suddenly appears on hard drives and mp3 players?

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Old 01-05-2008, 06:31 PM   #368
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Originally Posted by Ervserver View Post
I don't download much music because there are so many great streaming music sites I don't need to buy music. So in a way my consumption is up but my buying is down.
OK, but YOUR consumption does not leave a permanent copy on your hard drive or mp3 player. You listen to a modern form of radio. And please don't tell me people grab the analog signal of their line out and re-code it to mp3. That would be the legal way to do - just like in old days as we put an audio cassette into a radio player and recorded music from our favorite radio station.

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Old 01-05-2008, 06:54 PM   #369
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No, no permanent copy. With sites like Pandora and AOL Music I can tweak my "stations" to perfection and listen to most any music I like. I have no need to buy nor steal music. More money to buy ebooks
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Old 01-05-2008, 07:07 PM   #370
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Those are difficult criteria to meet, whatever side you're on.
It is not a question of sides. If you claim someting to be true you should have support for this claim. If you do not have it you say "I do not know" or you say "this article (reference) seems to indicate that ..." or some other formulation that is not so categorical as the ones you have used.

Quote:
An example supporting the "piracy causes loss of music sales" is:
http://economics.uchicago.edu/downlo...ustryoct12.pdf

I haven't analysed it closely, since it's not an issue I particularly care about.
It did not seem to be peer reviewed.
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Old 01-05-2008, 07:22 PM   #371
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Originally Posted by Trenien View Post
Sales of CDs have dropped,
That's because the RIAA raised the prices way too much. In fact, they raised prices higher then the cost of living. So how the heck do they expect a lot of people to be able to buy CDs like they used to?
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Old 01-05-2008, 10:38 PM   #372
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That is correct. But the correlation is in the case itself. Fact is, music sales dropped dramatically in the last years. Fact is also, music consumption has gone up. Both facts are backed by research.
Let's start with looking at the two sets of research that support what you are calling "facts." Is the music that is being consumed in greater quantities the same music that is selling less? Or is it independent music? How is the consumption being measured? Estimates of downloads don't count, because a) they're estimates and b) people actually download content for other reasons than to use it themselves -- there's a large "hoarding" mentality out there.

It may well be that less music is being sold through the larger commercial recording labels but more is being sold through independents, for example. This would account for your first "fact" but would not provide for causation by your second "fact."

Honestly, it's possible to convince me of something, but it takes actual evidence, cited from reputable sources. I prefer peer-reviewed journals, but at this point I'd be interested in seeing anything beyond industry flack claims. I'm not trying to "shout down" anyone, I just want to see some actual studies to back up these claims. There's a fairly well-known Harvard study supporting the claim that the darknet/"piracy" has not impacted the health of the music industry. There are studies convincingly supporting the claim that those who are the heaviest downloaders of darknet music are also the biggest purchasers of legal music. This is even acknowledged in the Chicago University study cited by Sparrow. However, that study also includes statements like "Based on my estimates, back of the envelope calculations indicate that online music piracy may explain a drop in music sales of 7.8% to 14.5%." I have to say, I don't find that wording particularly compelling. But to be fair, I read through the rest of the article. I have the statistics to appreciate what the author is doing in his analysis, and I'm not convinced. He seems to me to be struggling to find an interpretation of his data that will support his hypotheses.

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OK, but YOUR consumption does not leave a permanent copy on your hard drive or mp3 player. You listen to a modern form of radio. And please don't tell me people grab the analog signal of their line out and re-code it to mp3. That would be the legal way to do - just like in old days as we put an audio cassette into a radio player and recorded music from our favorite radio station.
I think you're arguing against yourself here. 1) Not all streaming sites are any more legal than eMule and its ilk, and 2) recording off the radio was never especially legal (at least in the US), but it was tolerated, probably in part due to the difficulty of enforcement, and possibly in part because most people wouldn't bother to filter out the advertisements from off-radio recordings, so the advertisers probably didn't care that much. And most of all because analog copies tended to be fairly poor qualities and copies of copies would degrade rapidly, limiting black market distribution.
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Old 01-06-2008, 04:04 AM   #373
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That's because the RIAA raised the prices way too much. In fact, they raised prices higher then the cost of living. So how the heck do they expect a lot of people to be able to buy CDs like they used to?
I believe that CDs today are cheaper in real terms than they were 15 or 20 years ago, Jon.
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Old 01-06-2008, 07:06 AM   #374
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It is not a question of sides. If you claim someting to be true you should have support for this claim. If you do not have it you say "I do not know" or you say "this article (reference) seems to indicate that ..." or some other formulation that is not so categorical as the ones you have used.
I can't recall making any such 'categorical' statements.
Did you have any in particular in mind?
If you 'have support for this claim' - it'd help jog my memory .
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Old 01-06-2008, 07:19 AM   #375
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I think you're arguing against yourself here. 1) Not all streaming sites are any more legal than eMule and its ilk,
But there also an abundance of legal sites out there. Here in Germany you can listen to almost every radio station online - legally of course. In the U.S. the situation is not much different.

Quote:
and 2) recording off the radio was never especially legal (at least in the US),
I work for an American radio station and had a discussion about that topic with someone from our station some time ago. He told me that it has of course be legal to record music from radio on cassette tapes and still is. Back in 80s the music industry tried to convince Congress that they needed tougher laws against music "piracy" (read: recording on tapes). They weren't successful. It remained legal.

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And most of all because analog copies tended to be fairly poor qualities and copies of copies would degrade rapidly, limiting black market distribution.
This is exactly the point. Paper books as well as analog tapes have a built in copy protection. You can copy them only with a lot of efforts or just a few times. Digital media can be copied an unlimited amount of times. Thus it needs some type of "artificial" copy protection to have the same level of protection as paper books and analog media have.

BTW: There is a school directly in front of my office window. During breaks there are hundreds of students outside the building. I guess about 75 % of them are using an mp3 player or at least have one with them. If we would ask them how many of the songs on their players are legally obtained, what to you think would be the result? I think 10 % for iPod user and 2 % for all other would be a good number. But maybe I'm a little bit too optimistic here.

Alan

Last edited by Alan; 01-06-2008 at 07:21 AM.
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