Odds and ends

  • Missing RIAA figures shoot down ‘piracy’ canard:
      Research by George Zieman gives the true reason for falling CD sales: the major labels have slashed production by 25 per cent in the past two years, he argues.

      After keeping the figure rather quiet for two years, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) says the industry released around 27,000 titles in 2001, down from a peak of 38,900 in 1999. Since year-on-year unit sales have dropped a mere 10.3 per cent, it’s clear that demand has held up extremely well: despite higher prices, consumers retain the CD buying habit.

  • Secret networks protect music swappers:
      Some message boards help users find each other and set up networks. Others turn to chat rooms or recruit friends on college campuses to form a network. And even when a user finally charms his way into getting an encryption key, giving him access to a network such as Waste, other members’ identities are not revealed until they also decide they trust the newcomer, Kalanick explained. “You essentially will have to ‘socialize’ your way into a network,” Kalanick said. Kalanick said the extreme focus on security is meant to keep outsiders — and copyright lawyers — out. “RIAA may be better off penetrating al Qaeda,” he said.
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