The end of the world as we know it

Head on over to Murderati, where I blogged about where I think publishing may be headed in the decades to come.

And for those who doubt that anyone who downloads for free would actually pay for the books, here’s an interesting news bit, which I first mentioned over on Murderati yesterday:

“Within just one week of implementing Europe’s Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive (IPRED), Sweden has already seen legal digital music downloads double, according to one digital media distributor.

One report last week said Sweden’s overall internet traffic was down by 30 percent a day after the law’s introduction. A 100 percent hike in pay-for music downloads seems unlikely – but that’s what digital white-label distributor InProdicon tells Sweden’s English-language site, which says the company supplies half of all Sweden’s legal music downloads.”

So free downloads were indeed sucking up profits — and once free downloads were made illegal, music profits from LEGAL downloads increased by 100% in Sweden.

More here.

7 replies
  1. lstintranslashun
    lstintranslashun says:

    That’s definitely an interesting article. Without numbers, though, it’s hard to know exactly what a 100% increase means. It makes me wonder if my own research holds up and maybe one in ten, perhaps one in five, illegal downloaders would actually pay for those downloads if forced to do so.

    The article does, for me at least, reinforce my idea that most people will take what they can get for free, regardless of what it is that they are getting(or stealing in these cases).

    Personally, I’d really like to be able to claim losses to e-theft on my taxes, like any other business in the US. In that way, I would be at least partially compensated for the losses because I’m of a mind that whatever steps our gov’t goes to in trying to stop illegal file sharing will inevitably hurt those who are NOT illegally sharing files more than those who are intent on doing so.

    I mean, really, LOL, we don’t exactly have a great record on ‘wars on’ fill-in-the-blank.

  2. Rikkesoft
    Rikkesoft says:

    The government in Belgium is currently working on a proposition for a new law, starting of from a totally different point of view. They state that it is impossible to ban illegal downloads completely. So make it legal, by forcing the internetproviders to hand over a part of the internet subscription fee to the different organizations that manage the artists copyrights.
    The amount will vary depending on the amount of data a user is allowed to download in a month according to his internet subscription.

  3. Tess
    Tess says:

    Rikkesoft, the Belgian approach makes a lot of sense! I agree, there’s no way to ban illegal downloads completely. It’ll be interesting to see how well their proposition works.

  4. Rose-Marie
    Rose-Marie says:


    Great stuff! Interesting post, links and threads. I’m not convinced that the music industry is the proper comparison for book publishing. I think looking at newspapers and magazines might give us a better idea of where book publishing will be in a few years.

    People care enormously about news, they just don’t want to pony up for it in print now that it’s available online. However, the direction with newspapers and magazines is to start charging for what now is free. So far they haven’t been successful with subscriptions, as we know, but there is a possiblity that e-readers will change that. I don’t think e-readers will save buggywhips, er, newspapers–I think TV is the future of daily news, exclusively. But they might save magazines. I think we’ll find out rather sooner than later.


  5. Rose-Marie
    Rose-Marie says:

    Let me add slightly to the above comment–to make e-books mostly safe from piracy, I think we’re going to have to change the very format of them. In other words, I think our salvation, culturally speaking, may lie in our sins.


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