from Share the Music
By KEMBREW McLEOD:
The association argues that file sharing is directly responsible for the widely reported slump in CD sales from 2000 to 2003. This, however, ignores the fact that the economy was in a post-Sept. 11 recession and that many other industries suffered even greater declines in their sales at the time. Still, it is reasonable to assume that downloading was a cause of some drop in CD sales.
But this simple narrative is a bit more complicated. The two primary direct competitors for young music buyers' dollars — video games and DVD's, both also widely and freely traded on the Internet — continued to do quite well. And during the first quarter of 2004, CD sales in the United States rose 10.6 percent over the previous year, an upturn that the recording industry association confidently attributed to its lawsuits. But a report issued in April by the Pew Internet and American Life Project stated that the number of people who said they had downloaded music files during the same first quarter had increased by 5 million, to a total of 23 million, from the project's previous survey in late 2003.
In other words, at the exact moment file-sharing activity rose, so did CD sales.
from Don't Beat Them, Join Them
By WILLIAM FISHER:
(writing on copyright holder's abilities to establish new business models when new technology appears)
It is noteworthy that the story with the happiest ending — both for the public and for the copyright owners — was the one in which the owners were denied any share in the revenues earned by the developers of the new technology but instead had to develop a new business model to take advantage of it (VCR's). The next best outcome occurred when the copyright owners first allowed the new technology to take root and then worked out an arrangement in which they obtained modest license fees (radio). The least satisfactory outcome occurred when copyright owners demanded fees that were so high they hurt the growth of the new technology (Webcasting).