Study Says File Swapping Has Little Affect On CD Sales

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) says that rampant file swapping has caused the sale of CDs to decline. The trade group even posted stats to support their claims, and it has these stats as a rallying point to get artists in their corner, and government officials to look lightly on the RIAA tactics to curb illegal file swapping.

Now thereis a report posted by CNet News that says that the weight of the file swapping claims by the RIAA may not be as heavy as once thought. The article points to a study done by researchers at Harvard University and by the University of North Carolina that indicates that file swapping had virtually no affect on CD sales.

From the CNet News article, Music sharing doesnit kill CD sales, study says:

For the study, released Monday, researchers at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina tracked music downloads over 17 weeks in 2002, matching data on file transfers with actual market performance of the songs and albums being downloaded. Even high levels of file-swapping seemed to translate into an effect on album sales that was "statistically indistinguishable from zero," they wrote.

"We find that file sharing has only had a limited effect on record sales," the studyis authors wrote. "While downloads occur on a vast scale, most users are likely individuals who would not have bought the album even in the absence of file sharing."

The study, the most detailed economic modeling survey to use data obtained directly from file-sharing networks, is sure to rekindle debates over the effects of widely used software such as Kazaa or Morpheus on an ailing record business.

The full article goes on to give more details from the study and the RIAAis reaction to the study.