My Music

With all the issues about DRM (digital rights management) and music, the BBC have published a story referring to research which blows the pro-DRM arguments for music out of the water.

the report into the habits of iPod users reveals that 83% of iPod owners do not buy digital music regularly. The minority, 17%, buy and download music, usually single tracks, at least once per month.

On average, the study reports, only 5% of the music on an iPod will be bought from online music stores. The rest will be from CDs the owner of an MP3 player already has or tracks they have downloaded from file-sharing sites.


Perhaps the only salient characteristic shared by all owners of portable music players was that they were more likely to buy more music - especially CDs.

In essence, yes, there is illegal filesharing - but this leads to more CDs being sold, which is after all, the point for the music industry. Could it be, perhaps, that people are discovering new music through filesharing that they would never have discovered by regular means, and then going out to buy more of it?

It's quite a seductive argument to simply say 'filesharing is theft', and seems hard to refute, but it's much more complex than that - filesharing can lead to increased sales for the music industry as people discover new music.

In any event, a 'solution' which prevents a user transferring music from their own CD to their own MP3 player is a step too far from the music industry.