EXPERTS at the London School of Economics (LSE) have completed a study of the impact of digital sharing, and found that it does not have a bad effect on company finances.
The LSE's MPP Policy Brief report had the sort of headline that runs counter to the claims of rightsholder organisations. It said that a digital marketplace and copyright infringement have not combined at the cost of the music industry, but have actually helped it along.
"Contrary to the industry claims, the music industry is not in terminal decline, but still holding ground and showing healthy profits," said Bart Cammaerts, senior lecturer at the LSE Department of Media and Communications and one of the report's authors.
"Revenues from digital sales, subscription services, streaming and live performances compensate for the decline in revenues from the sale of CDs or records."
The LSE found that while the music industry has stagnated over the last four years, it has "experienced overall growth" since 1998. Internet based revenues are described as being a significant part of this. The study said that online sales in the UK exceed CDs or vinyl as a percentage of total recorded music revenues. It's first "key message" in the report is that "evidence does not support claims about overall revenue reduction due to individual copyright infringement".
The authors cautioned the music industry that its pursuit of hardline legislation could end up hurting it.
"Neither the creative industry nor governments can put a stop to cultural change that is global and in many cases welcomed, including by other segments of industry," added professor Robin Mansell.
"There is a need to foster recognition and economic reward for creators and there is a need for copyright legislation to underpin economic growth. But such legislation needs to be consistent with 21st century values and practices."
Usually the word from rightsholder organisations and content producers is that digital sharing, or downloading, takes food from the mouths and shoes from the feet of the industry on a daily basis.
In some areas it is not considered to be all that bad though, and the people that produce Game of Thrones have spoken rather warmly about that show's 'piracy' buzz as indicating a positive reception. µ
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