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Saturday, 5 October 2013

LSE report on filesharing concludes that it really isn't killing the music industry

The London School of Economics has whole load of research into digital media.

They've just issued a new report on the effects of filesharing called Copyright and Creation: A Case For Promoting Inclusive Online Sharing. It shows that the music industry really isn't dying and that filesharing isn't killing it.

Obviously, the music industry likes to point out that orange line showing the decline in recorded music sales. That blue line at the top, however, shows that overall revenue is increasing. The LSE's argument is that the mid-2000s slump was due to the music industry sticking their heads in the sand about digital distribution and that the uptick at the end shows they're getting their head around the idea.

And here's the bit showing how much digital has increase:-

And here's a few key lines from the report:-

"The music industry may be stagnating, but the drastic decline in revenues warned of by the lobby associations of record labels is not in evidence. "

The music industry has experienced overall revenue growth in recent times. In 2013, for the first time, UK revenues from online music were higher than revenues from CDs and vinyl combined (55% for online and 45% for CDs and vinyl of total revenues from sales of recorded music)

Revenue from online sources including recorded music sales, streaming, online radio, subscriptions and other is increasing, both absolutely and as a percentage of overall revenue.

Insisting that people will only produce creative works when they can claim exclusive ownership rights ignores the spread of practices that depend on sharing and co-creation and easy access to creative works; this insistence privileges copyright owners over these creators.

Targeting individual internet users is not likely to reverse the trend toward an online sharing culture, and there is an urgent need for independent verification of claims of harm to the creative industries as a result of individual copyright.

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