With how liberal a place Sweden is I am surprised that this is happening there but on April 1st Sweden put into effect as part of the Swedish Antipiracy Agency’s Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive or IPRED. This law orders internet service providers to give up the IP address of those that are illegally sharing files. Three Swedish ISP’s have stated that they will just start immediately erasing the IP address of those that use their site, which they are lawfully supposed to be doing any way to protect privacy according to a pre-existing law.
Visitor traffic is essential for a ISP to stay online but since the passing of this law Sweden has seen a drastic drop in internet use by 30-50% and has stayed low ever since.
In file sharer’s defense there was also a recent study by BI Norwegian School of Management which studied the downloading habits of 2000 young adults and found that those who illegally download music via a P2P network are 10x likely to purchase music legally then those who don’t download music illegally. The study also found that those between the ages of 15-20 were more likely to purchase music through a pay download service but had still purchased at least one CD within the last 6 months. These findings also agree with a similar study done by the Canadian division of the RIAA in 2006. 73% of people surveyed in that study said that they purchased the music after they illegally downloaded it.
Record label EMI doesn’t quite buy into BI’s stats, though. EMI’s Bjørn Rogstad told Aftenposten that the results make it seem like free downloads stimulate pay downloads, but there’s no way to know for sure. “There is one thing we are not going away, and it is the consumption of music increases, while revenue declines. It can not be explained in any way other than that the illegal downloading is over the legal sale of music,” Rogstad said.
Some are speculating that the rise of illegal downloading and the fall of CD sales will cause the rise of the vinyl industry once again, which has been on the rise as of late. The reason being that the physical music format will return to a novelty. Spending $18 on a CD and then turning around to buy the record is financially unsustainable, and that’s been a big contributor to vinyl’s decline in the past twenty years. But when everyone’s tuned entirely into the digital, perhaps the sanctity of vinyl can return.