The question of whether filesharing is a good thing for musicians and the music industry provokes a range of reactions from rightsholders, although we’d say more eye-rolling than real anger. The latest study pushing these buttons comes from Glynn S. Lunney Jr. at the Tulane University School of Law in New Orleans, with a paper titled ‘Empirical Copyright: A Case Study of File Sharing and Music Output’. “To explore the relationship between copyright protection, revenue, and creative output, I treat the rise of file sharing and the parallel fall in music industry revenue as a natural experiment in radically reduced copyright protection,” explains Lunney in his abstract. The gist: as filesharing grew and industry revenues fell, fewer new artists entered the market, but those already in the market had more hit songs. “Thus, for the music industry, the rise of file sharing and the parallel decline in revenue has meant the creation of more new music.” Even the pro-filesharing TorrentFreak site spots the downside of this: “One has to doubt whether it’s a good thing to have ‘more of the same’ as a result…”

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