Thursday, April 1, 2004

An Empirical Analysis
Everyone wants to talk about the file sharing report from the Harvard Business School and UNC Chapel Hill profs. But for all the talk, how many of us have actually read it. Show of hands please...

The infinitely wise Coolfer is smart to caution, er, caution. Sure the report gives us the answer we pro-downloaders have longed to hear - that file-sharing has little to no detrimental effect on record sales - but is the study sound? In fact, can any of us make any sense of it?

Download the report here. Give it a read (I have a copy of my desk and have attempted to wade through it several times only to be distracted variously by shiny bits of metal and the new Graham Coxon album). Take a few days. Work your way through the algebra.

Had the record industry offered a Harvard-authored report that claimed to prove downloading was robbing Britney Spears of much-needed lunch money, we'd be combing over the damn thing and raging at every inaccuracy - accusing the media of simply going along with the latest corporate propaganda. No reason to be any less suspect with this latest study.

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