Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Swedes start buying music; are anti-P2P laws working?; Ars Technica, 11/24/09

Nate Anderson, Ars Technica; Swedes start buying music; are anti-P2P laws working?:

Digital music sales in piracy-loving Sweden have soared this year. The music industry says that it's all about tough new laws and court prosecutions, but some major labels are seeing worldwide increases.

"Is Sweden, the only country to have sent a member of the Pirate Party to the European Parliament, finally giving up its swashbuckling ways?

When Sweden's IPRED anti-piracy law went into effect earlier this year, Internet traffic across the country plummeted overnight—a sign that P2P users, fearing exposure at last, were abandoning their existing copyright infringement tools. The Pirate Bay defendants were found guilty by a Swedish court earlier this year, and the site's ISP are now under assault by the music and movie industries.

The music business insists that the measure are working. Music's major labels say that sales of digital downloads are up 18 percent in the first nine months of 2009 in Sweden.

Ludvig Werner, head of the trade group IFPI Sweden, told the UK's Guardian newspaper that it didn't matter if people still wanted to pirate; the point was, they were doing less of it. "It's like speeding, put up cameras and people will start to ease off the gas pedal. Even if it doesn't change the attitudes, they find legal alternatives because they don't want to get caught," said Werner.

Dueling explanations
As with most statistics in the Copyright Wars, these are hard to evaluate. Digital music sales are up, but has copyright infringement also dropped?"


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