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Pew Internet Music Survey

Glenn Otis Brown, December 6th, 2004

The NY Times and WIRED News both have stories today on a recent survey by the Pew Internet and American Life Project about music and the Internet — specifically, musicians’ attitudes about the Internet and its effects on the business. Says the study’s author, Mary Madden:

The first large-scale surveys of the internet’s impact on artists and musicians reveal that they are embracing the Web as a tool to improve how they make, market, and sell their creative works. They eagerly welcome new opportunities that are provided by digital technology and the internet.

At the same time, they believe that unauthorized online file sharing is wrong and that current copyright laws are appropriate, though there are some major divisions among them about what constitutes appropriate copying and sharing of digital files. Their overall judgment is that unauthorized online file-sharing does not pose a major threat to creative industries: Two-thirds of artists say peer-to-peer file sharing poses a minor threat or no threat at all to them.

Hmm: (1) Technology can be used for good and bad. (2) Not all musicians think the exact same way about how copyright should be enforced. In other words, there’s a big, unmet demand for a “some rights reserved” option.

Our board of directors had a hunch about this three years ago . . .

(Read the Future of Music Coalition‘s (FMC) press release on the survey. FMC helped Pew bring together a broad coalition of musician’s groups, who encouraged their members to volunteer for the survey.)

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