This week, filesharing increases CD sales.

Jupiter MMXI, the media survey organisation that two weeks ago released a report claiming that “the European record industry must act now to curb the illegal free downloading of music”, on Friday released a report stating that Internet file sharing boosts music sales.

The IFPI says this report contradicts a survey that found Internet downloads did eat into music sales – but that report is the previous Jupiter report. “The main blight on the industry is ‘CD burning’, where an individual buys a CD and then makes several copies for friends,” Mark Mulligan from Jupiter MMXI told Reuters at the time.

This week’s further random links on the subject for your entertainment:

  • Science fiction author Eric Flint talks of the beneficial effects of making his books available for free – and includes royalty statements to back up his arguments, and a mention of the same effect as observed for music swapping. “Does anyone have any real evidence that having material available for free online – whether legitimately or through piracy – has actually caused any financial harm to any author? The entire argument for encryption rests precisely upon this presumption. A presumption which has never once been documented or demonstrated – and which, to the contrary, has been cast into question any number of times.” See also discussion on Slashdot.
  • A short history of the music industry from, creators of the sexy, luscious, DRM- and patent-unencumbered Ogg Vorbis compression standard. (Supported by default in the latest standard or full download of Winamp. And I am currently reripping my CDs as Oggs instead of MP3s, and saving bucketloads of hard disk space.) “The current position and function of the music industry is an invented one.” See also old article from CNet.
  • Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Pirated MP3s – an instructive entertainment for children.
  • Slashdot discussion of the above report.
  • Wilco prereleased their entire Yankee Hotel Foxtrot album online six months ahead, and it’s their best seller ever – 55,000 copies in the first week, debuting at No. 13 on the main Billboard album chart. Short report from Yahoo! (“Reprise Records let Wilco walk away from its record deal because executives said Foxtrot, an experimental pop album, lacked an obvious hit single and therefore wouldn’t sell”); full story from New Republic (“Wilco offered the album for free on the Web six months ago, and it has since been vigorously traded on peer-to-peer networks, making it the best test to date of the Internet’s culpability in the current record-industry slump”).

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