Ah Ha! It's Not the Downloaders, It's Those Pesky Uploaders
By: Spacelab Research Staff
Those smart Brits seem to have a much better perception of online file sharing than their American counterparts. After taking a big long look at the situation,
the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has concluded that the root of the problem is not the people who download the music that's causing the shrinking profit margins. It's the people that keep the files on their hard drive, offering them up for others to upload off of their machine.
Citing various reports, the IFPI have launched a new round of lawsuits against thousands of file-sharers based not on the fact that they are downloading music, but rather that some are offering hundreds, if not thousands of songs for others to upload off of their computer.
Enter the lynchpin theory. Take away those that offer files to share online, and there's nothing to download. That sort of gets rid of the notion of file sharing doesn't it? It's a wonder that the American music industry didn't use the word uploader in all of their PR propaganda materials over the past few years.
"This annual study quantifies the losses to the British music industry from illegal downloading at over £1 billion in three years: 2003 = £289m 2004 = £376m (+30%) 2005 = £414m (+10%)," A quote from a study cited in the IFPI fact sheet.
There's no doubt that file sharing contributes to declining profits. But to make the accusation that it's the only cause of declining profits is just plain irresponsible and has a narrow focus.
The materials on the IFPI site fail to mention alternate perceptions, like the theory that people will always try things for free with much greater frequency than they would things they have to pay for. Or that the file sharing beast got out of control in the first place because of a lack of online alternatives provided by many music labels. They provide no direct link to why file sharing is the sole cause of declining profits. Or that the price of CD's is a deterrent to buying them. But that's another story for another day...