Why are you still fighting for Torrents, If Piracy is Collapsing Due to Legal Alternatives?

Oh, like the drunk who insists they don’t have a drinking problem, perhaps “the lady doth protest too much.”

In the latest offer of highly selective reasoning of what may be a dubious study (er uhm, sorry, make that survey) our favorite (ok, maybe second favorite) site for tech lobby disinformation lets loose with another gem, “Piracy Collapses As Legal Alternatives Do Their Job.” Which, you know, may or may not be true, based on the methodology of the “survey” and the bias of the subjects questioned.

It seems once a year we get one of these “no really, piracy isn’t really happening” survey’s passed off as science. First it was pirates buy 10xs more music than non-pirates, despite there being no factual sales data to support that claim. This is categorically different than say the actual traffic studies that show how BitTorrent is 99% infringing.

And why is it that “illegal” is positioned as a necessary alternative to “legal” in the first place? Why the false binary? There should be no excuse for allowing illegally operating businesses making billions of dollars a year in advertising revenue from the illegal exploitation of artists work to even exist. This has nothing to do with copyright but everything to do with common sense.

Also Norway may not exactly be the best model for the rest of the world. The same people that like to tell us that when they ask college students about piracy, we’re told that “Norwegian students think piracy is OK.” So the outcome of this latest survey should not come as a surprise and it’s always the spin that is most amusing,

So what is responsible for these significant drops in piracy? First of all this effect cannot be put down to anti-piracy campaigns. Only a tiny number of Norwegian file-sharers have been prosecuted in the past five years and only since July 1st has the law been loosened to allow that position to change.

Really now? Not to put to fine a point on it but this is the same tech lobby and freehadi talking points we’ve been hearing for over a decade and not much unlike Kim Dotcom’s “End Of Piracy” hubub. Over and over for more than a decade the same tech lobby and anti-artist talking points are repeated, “piracy isn’t hurting you, it’s helping, get over it.” Not so fast…

All of this despite what the source article states here:

In a report by IFPI, an organization for the international record companies, it also appears that in countries where it is introduced legislation that will block sites like Pirate Bay, the number of users of Pirate Bay has more than halved in 2012. This includes countries such as Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Perhaps it’s just common sense that a “study of studies” not surprisingly reported that “Yes, Piracy Does Cause Economic Harm.

if dozens of researchers have tried, all using different methodologies, then their conclusions in the aggregate are the best we’re going to do. Put another way, it will henceforth be very difficult to dislodge Smith and Telang’s conclusion that piracy does economic harm to content creators.

But the proof is really that despite all of these claims, there are 45% fewer professional musicians since 2002. Even the best spin to put on the numbers (by the IFPI no less) at the end of 2012 was a net gain of three tenths of one percent… Even being an optimist and giving the benefit of the doubt that sales may have actually increased by less than a third of one percent is that really any evidence that ad sponsored piracy isn’t continuing to destroy the careers of artists?

And there’s this, courtesy of the New York Times (hint, graph going wrong direction despite decade plus of dubious “survey’s”)…

So the question remains if piracy is collapsing due to legal alternatives why is there such a need to keep defending the ripping off musicians and creators without their consent, and without paying them?

If piracy is irrelevant, it makes little sense to keep fighting for something that has outlived it’s usefulness now that “legal alternatives” are providing the better user experience. Except for just one thing… that little bit about money… who makes it, how, who actually get’s paid (the illegally operating businesses) and of course, who doesn’t get paid (the creators).

Could it be this is the last stand of Free Culture’s Epic Fail? We think so.

[UPDATE] The “collapse” of piracy seems to have been short lived…

Half of surveyed Britons listened to pirated music last month says Bloom.fm

Almost half of a sample of Britons listened to illegally downloaded music last month, according to new survey by music streaming service Bloom.fm.

When asked whether they had listened to music acquired from an illegal online service, from the 976 respondents, 49 per cent admitted that they had, reports Music Ally.