What now? Online music swapping is up again

What now? Online music swapping is up again
A new study by the NPD Group and reported in Technology-AFP shows file swapping went up in October and stayed up in November. Prior to that, such traffic was down for each of the previous six months, likely due to Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) lawsuits against its customers.

“The music industry was heartened to see that their campaign to reduce or eliminate file sharing on P2P networks appeared to be working,” said Russ Crupnick, vice president of NPD Group.

“Recent information from complementary data services at NPD, however, noted an increase in the number of households and individual consumers using P2P services to download digital music files.”

NPD’s data showed the number of households downloading digital music files was up 14 percent in November 2003 compared with September.

“It’s important to keep in mind that file sharing is occurring less frequently than before the RIAA began its legal efforts to stem the tide of P2P file sharing,” Crupnick said.

“We’re just seeing the first increase in these numbers. NPD will continue to monitor whether it’s a temporary seasonal blip, or a trend that suggests that the industry should be more aggressive in capping the use of illegal methods to acquire digital music.”

So what happens now? The Internet is the communications conduit of the new Postmodern culture, and Pomos will simply resist institutionalism and the status quo. As long as the Internet remains free, the RIAA is screwed.

But it’s long been my contention that file-swapping isn’t the issue in the drop in sales of CDs. That has more to do with the price-gouging greed of an institution that thinks it can get away with pumping out homogenized garbage at ridiculous prices in perpetuity. While these executives and lawyers are looking over the trees at invisible enemies — to quote Christopher Locke — “the foundation beneath their feet is crumbling.”

It’s a new world, baby.

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