Friday, June 19, 2009

Economists List File Sharing's Benefits; Information Week, 6/17/09

Thomas Claburn via Information Week; Economists List File Sharing's Benefits:

"In a newly published Harvard Business School paper, economists Felix Oberholzer-Gee and Koleman Strumpf argue that while file sharing has weakened copyright protection, weak copyright protection benefits society.

File sharing, the paper states, has not discouraged creative artists from producing new works...

The paper, however, acknowledges that content quality has not been considered. Its argument would be less compelling were it discovered that the increase in albums since 2000 consisted mainly of music cobbled together from Apple GarageBand loops.

Entertainment industry complaints about falling revenue, the paper suggests, don't tell the full story...

"While it is difficult to say how representative this sample is, there is no doubt that trade groups such as the Business Software Alliance vastly exaggerate the impact of file sharing on industry profitability when they treat every pirated copy as a lost sale," the paper states."

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