Researchers conclude piracy not stifling content creation

18 06 2009

File-sharing, to the (very large) extent that it involves copyright infringement, has affected the music business. But, as a pair of academic researchers happily point out in a working paper they’ve posted online, copyright law was never meant to protect the music business in the first place—instead, it is intended to foster creative production in the arts, which happen to include music. As such, they argue it’s worth analyzing the deeper question of whether file sharing is putting a damper on music creation. Their conclusion is that this is a much more complicated question, but the answer seems to be “probably not.”

Some academic fields rely on the use of working papers—complete drafts of potential publications—to solicit feedback on the basic arguments and analyses used in the work-in-progress. These days, that simply involves posting it on the Internet for all to see; you can have a look at the document yourself. There are clearly a few places where the authors could polish up their arguments, but the paper makes a compelling case that the relationship between file-sharing and copyright law is a complex one.

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