Limewire lawsuit presents data with no basis in reality

Posted on Monday, April 18th 2011 at 3:53 p.m.

The recording industry is suing Limewire for copyright infringement, and briefs have been submitted to the court in advance of the trial beginning May 2.

An interesting item in the briefs is the chart above, which attempts to make the point of how much the industry has allegedly lost due to piracy.

If you’re a little weak on your data theory, the chart creator basically took the increase in sales from 1973 to 1999 and just created a positive trendline forward to two years ago.  This data does not take into account two economic downturns and re-purchasing of albums in the 1990’s due to the emergence of CD’s.  As well, the chart doesn’t explain how the number of Album Sales Per Person is being calculated - are we talking about physical albums?  In the era of mp3’s, aren’t most people just buying tracks?  What are the revenue numbers looking like?  More importantly, in the era of digital sales where record companies don’t have to create as many physical profiels, what are the profit numbers looking like?

While we don’t condone piracy , we are frustrated by the music industry’s refusal to innovate and instead deal with piracy through punishing lawsuits, ridiculous DRM, and profligate lobbying efforts.

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