18.10.11

The "Music Industry" does it again

It never ends, the tactics are old but they keep using them - oddly enough they keep working next to politicians.

The sales of music in Portugal fell 40% in the first semester of 2011, comparing to the same period of 2010, according to the Portuguese Phonographic Association (AFP).[1]

They attribute this fall to so-called "piracy" (the unauthorized copy of copyrighted material), failing to explain how to they infer the correlation, and ignoring the studies that suggest exactly the opposite. Worse: still according to them, "this is the hugest fall in a total of 50 different markets in the world", and those include countries with both a bigger and a smaller piracy rate, suggesting that actually there's no relation at all.

But why do they want to suggest such a relationship? Well, AFP requested a meeting with the Culture State Secretary, where they intend to ask the Government to introduce a gradual response law[2] in order to "stop piracy". Such a law would make people considered guilt without the right to a fair trial, take the right to privacy to every citizen, make people pay for a (private) service they can't use, and take off Internet access to an whole family because one of its members was simply accused of doing "piracy" (all together ignoring the fact that Europe is opposed to such kind of laws[3]).

Also interesting to see is that AFP doesn't really care that much into actually doing what they can - without any law changes - to reduce piracy: take for instance into consideration the research[4] that concludes that dumping DRM has both the effect of increasing sales and of reducing piracy, and compare it with the pro-DRM stance they have.

All in all, and to sum up, the answer politicians must give to this kinds of tactics of requests is really simple. AFP's Eduardo Simões stated that piracy destroys the income of musicians, authors, artists and record producers. The answer to such an allegation can only be: "Where's proof?"

[1] http://blitz.aeiou.pt/=f77109

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graduated_response

[3] http://www.edri.org/edrigram/number6.17/3strikes-opposed-isoc-europe

[4] http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/10/a-game-we-all-win-dumping-drm-can-increase-sales-while-reducing-piracy.ars