Why the LSE’s Piracy Arguments Just Don’t Hold Water

Check the rather hysterical comment from the LSE authors that includes this choice quotation: “[W]e would argue that in this debate we only really hear the self-interested arguments and skewed figures of the lobby organisations calling for repression. We rarely hear the many counter-arguments to their positions. Hence, one of the main aims of our policy briefs is to rebalance this and list, document, outline the counter-arguments to this repressive logic and to the same old tune that the internet is killing the video stars.”
Calling for “repression”??? Let me tell you what “repression” is–the demarcation line between East and West Germany is a good example. Let’s not trivialize the concept of repression by equating it to people fighting to protect their rights. That remark betrays the LSE paper for what it is–results oriented pseudoscience parading like a red herring around the stage.

Music Industry Blog

The renowned LSE this week published a paper arguing against implementation of the UK’s Digital Economy Act and calling for policy makers to recognize that piracy is not hurting the music industry but is in fact helping parts of it grow.  To these academic researchers the findings probably feel like some dazzling new insight but to anyone with more than a passing understanding of the music industry they are as if somebody just time travelled back to 1999.  The piracy-helps-grow-the-pie / help-makes-the-sky-not-fall / actually-helps-the-industry arguments were common currency throughout most of the first decade of the digital music market.  In more recent years though, following perpetual revenue decline and the growing plight of struggling ‘middle-class’ artists and songwriters, most neutral observers recognize that the piracy=prosperity argument just doesn’t hold water anymore.  Though of course that won’t stop the pro-piracy lobby fawning over this ‘research’ as more ‘evidence’ for their case.

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