Attorney Terry Hart disputes the idea that file sharing has not hurt the music industry:
The review, The Economics of Music File Sharing – A Literature Overview, by Peter Tschmuck . . . examines 22 studies which look at the effects of filesharing on the music industry. Because some are skeptical of industry generated studies, it should be pointed out that all the studies here are independent, academic studies — working papers, academic journal articles, and dissertations. Of these 22 studies, 14 — roughly two-thirds — conclude that unauthorized downloads have a “negative or even highly negative impact” on recorded music sales.
. . . .
One notable contribution is economist Stan Liebowitz’s study The Metric is the Message: How Much of the Decline in Sound Recording Sales is Due to File-Sharing? released in November 2011. In it, Liebowitz translates the conclusions of existing studies on the effects of unauthorized downloads on recorded music sales into a common metric to answer the question posed in his title.
His conclusion is stunning: “file-sharing has caused the entire decline in sound recording sales that has occurred since the ascendance of Napster.”
. . . .
The fact that evidence backs up one of the central premises of copyright law is, however, only a precursor to the real question: what, if anything, should be done to address the harm from online copyright infringement? The role of law in answering this question attracts perhaps the most heated debate. That leads to the next question: does copyright enforcement work?
Some point to the 400+ page Media Piracy in Emerging Economies report, released in 2011 by the Social Science Research Council and funded by the Ford Foundation, as providing evidence that enforcement “doesn’t work.” But that’s not what the report concludes, as the editor of the report itself, Joe Karaganis, pointed out in a Torrentfreak article last week:
We talk about the efficacy of enforcement at some length in our Media Piracy report. Many readers have concluded that enforcement doesn’t work. But that isn’t what we say. We say, rather, that we’ve found no evidence that it has worked.
. . . .
The idea that there is no evidence showing a harm from online piracy is erroneous, as is the idea that there is no evidence that people will turn to legal alternatives with more effective enforcement.
So where does that lead us?
. . . .
The challenges faced by creators and businesses that invest in creativity in the online environment are myriad and require continuing innovation to craft sustainable business models and take advantage of emerging technologies. But they also require attention to legal protection of private rights to ensure that the public continues to benefit from the talents and creativity of authors and artists.
Link to the rest at Copyhype which has links to several cited studies.