A new study from economists Koleman Strumpf (University of Kansas) and Felix Oberholzer-Gee (Harvard) says that file sharing does not negatively impact on the production of music, film and book, reports Read Write Web.
The study claims that creativity has not been affected by the growth of file sharing and illegally downloaded content. The resear5ch stays away from the tricky-to-prove question of how much money the music industry ‘loses’ through illegal downloads, but rather, questions if the level of content created subdues or increases.
The report says:
The publication of new books rose by 66% over the 2002-2007 period. Since 2000, the annual release of new music albums has more than doubled, and worldwide feature film production is up by more than 30% since 2003
And goes on to say, in relation to music specifically:
The decline in music sales – they fell by 15% from 1997 to 2007 – is the focus of much discussion. However, adding in concerts alone shows the industry has grown by 5% over this period.
The fact that music is freely available does more to encourage new artists, in whichever medium, to create because it removes the barrier of communication between them and their audience, or even community. Would you buy a car without driving it, or buy a toaster wihtout seeing how many pieces of bread it’ll hold?
No. So why should you pay for a song you’ve never heard, a film you’ve never seen or a book you’ve never read?
This is what prevents consumers from purchasing works – they don’t necessarily know what they are buying. For an artists this can be very inhibiting – ‘what if i write this song and nobody listens to it because it costs 99p to download’.
To be able to share content freely is a lifting of the burden of making money from content creation.
This study goes somewhat close to demonstrating exactly this point, and I urge you to read it closely.