The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has released a study on digital music. The study, which features a detailed review of online music services, concludes that "it is very difficult to establish a basis to prove a causal relationship between the size of the drop in music sales and the rise of file sharing." The report notes that sales of CDs, as well as the success of licensed on-line music services are likely to have been affected to some degree by a variety of other factors, for example physical piracy and CD burning, competition from other, newer entertainment products and faltering consumer spending in some markets.
I'm surprised at the conclusions drawn in the study. I realize that there are a number of factors that may contribute to the drop in music sales, but when you consider that somewhere between 50 - 60% of all broadband traffic is the result of peer to peer file sharing, it's hard to make a convincing case that file sharing, and more specifically, music downloading, is not a significant factor in the recent deterioration of music sales.
OK, OK, I know this is a blog about Internet law, but I just finished reading this book and I wanted to pass it along. It caught my eye in a New York Times review and, since my knowledge of eastern-European affairs is lacking, I couldn't pass it up. The author effectively weaves his personal story of love into the experiences shaping his decisions during a war that is very misunderstood. The book makes you think about love, tragedy, personal motivations and emotions. It's well written and provides a perspective on U2 that I wasn't aware of. I highly recommend it.