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New Yorker Fire Fact Checkers

John Seabrook says in the New Yorker this week that “…according to some surveys 95% of all downloads are illegal”. Let’s do the math. Itunes reached the billion sales last year and let’s say they represent all 5% of legal downloads (which they don’t of course). That would mean there has been 19 billion illegal downloads. Which surveyer surveyed that?

Seabrook’s story is fine if a bit self-evident (anybody with any interest in the subject found nothing new) but his surveys are simply wrong and shouldn’t be quoted.




The problem with the record companies is they can’t force Itunes to sell albums instead of singles, theft of MP3s is an effect of the companies failure to capitalize on the new forms of distribution and not the cause of their failures.

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