Sunday, 16 September 2012

Filesharing: the size of the problem

The Financial Times has an interesting piece (not behind the paywall, at least not yet) on the extent of the filesharing problem in the UK. It quotes a report by Musicmetric, and comes up with a (literally) headline figure of £500 million for the loss to the record industry in this country. I suspect this falls into the trap of assuming that all, or a sizeable proportion of, the downloads from illegal sharing sites represent lost sales, which was never the case back in the old days before I knew what copyright was when I used to tape schoolmates' LPs and let them do the same to mine. Given that this was pre-Dark Side of the Moon and Tubular Bells, I'm fairly confident that I won't be pursued. And I will also argue in mitigation that the result of taping from an LP was in no way whatsoever an acceptable substitute: it was usually pretty difficult to make out what you were listening to.

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