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You’re listening to the Streets, original pirate material

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home_taping_is_killing_musicBad Science’s Ben Goldacre has taken on pirate downloading statistics in, “Home taping didn’t kill music.”

He reads through newspaper stories on a report by the government’s Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property (SABIP) and notes that the estimated amount of illegal downloads music in his native United Kingdom is 4.73 billion items a year worth about £120 billion. Goldacre does the math and notes that equals about a tenth of the country’s GDP and means each illegal download is worth about £25.

Goldacre further calculates that these numbers work out to £175 a week per person. Since this is about a third of the average UK wage, he wonders: “Is this really lost revenue for the economy, as reported in the press?”

Adding to his skeptism, Goldacre researches the original documents and learns that the original executive summary and press release were incorrect by an entire decimal point. His subsequent conversation with SABIP makes for entertaining reading.

(Title lyric by Mike Skinner, The Streets.)


Written by chris

June 13, 2009 at 7:52 pm

Posted in copyright, Internet, music

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