Words by c.z.robertson

Cary Sherman on file-sharing

2002-08-14 22:05:00 UTC

Cary Sherman on file-sharing:

I hate that term, by the way. To me, "sharing" means we each get a little less. If I share my pie, I only get to eat half. If I share my car, I can't use it when the other person has it. "Filesharing" however means we each get the whole thing, and noboby gives up anything! That's not sharing, it's publishing!

I find it amusing (and, I suspect, rather telling) that Cary Sherman has given a serious amount of thought to the negative aspects of sharing. Imagine the difficulties his parents must have faced when they tried to get him to share his toys with his friends.

But onto matters of more substance... On the subject of copy prevention technology, he states:

Each company decides on its own whether to use such technology, and so far, only one major has done so for commercial releases in the U.S., and then only on four albums. (ALL releases with copy protection on them have been labeled, by the way. Don't believe rumors that companies are secretly putting copy-protected CDs into the market.)

This really doesn't fit with anything else I've heard about this subject. Fat Chuck certainly disagrees. If it were true, it would be very surprising. Independents have certainly adopted the technology (including my beloved Cold Meat Industry) and it would be strange if the people working on these technologies were doing so with expectation that their market would be limited to the independents.

And now some statistics:

[T]hose who say they are downloading more say they are purchasing less. To be fair, some said they were purchasing more. But only 19% said they purchased more, while 41% said they purchased less.

In order for this data to be of any value whatsoever we'd need to know how this compares with people who don't download music. It may well be the case that people who don't download music have exactly the same spending habits.