The Pirates Can't Be Stopped

Auf nehmen sie die Geschichte des Hackers auseinander, der ein E-Mail-Backup von Media Defender in die P2P-Netze brachte und rollen nebenher gleich noch die Geschichte des Filesharing mit auf. Lesebefehl!

Between 2002 and 2006, the file-trading audience nearly doubled, with an average of more than 9 million people sharing files at any given time, according to BigChampagne, a company that monitors P2P traffic. The firm estimates that more than 1 billion songs are traded each month, a number that has more or less remained constant as the trading of feature films and TV shows has exploded.

Yet it has been difficult to quantify the damage supposedly wreaked by downloading. In mid-2007, economists Felix Oberholzer-Gee, from Harvard, and Koleman Strumpf, from the University of Kansas, published the results of their study analyzing the effect of file sharing on retail music sales in the U.S. They found no correlation between the two. "While downloads occur on a vast scale," they wrote, "most users are likely individuals who in the absence of file sharing would not have bought the music they downloaded." Another study published around the same time, however, found there was, in fact, a positive impact on retail sales, at least in Canada: University of London researchers Birgitte Andersen and Marion Frenz reported that the more people downloaded songs from P2P networks, the more CDs they bought. "Roughly half of all P2P tracks were downloaded because individuals wanted to hear songs before buying them or because they wanted to avoid purchasing the whole bundle of songs on the associated CDs, and roughly one-quarter were downloaded because they were not available for purchase."

Still, the entertainment industry believes it knows a bad guy when it sees one and has reacted to file sharing exactly as a character in one of its thrillers or shoot-'em-up games would: with a full-frontal, guns-a-blazing assault.