Further proof that the recording industry’s oft-repeated claims of the downfall of the entire music industry hold no water: a new report finding that filesharing has led directly to "reduced costs of bringing works to market and a growing role of independent labels." In other words, in the past decade, we have seen more music from independent outlets and at lower prices – something that consumers and music fans should all be happy about.
The study, by University of Minnesota economist Joel Waldfogel, proves just what we’ve been saying as recently as last week – that filesharing (unauthorized or not) has led more artists to create more music, and – just as importantly – more different music. U.S. copyright law is based on a compromise recognized in the Constitution that grants authors (or artists, or musicians) a limited monopoly designed to give those authors an incentive to make their creative works. As we’ve long known and as this study makes clear yet again, even in the face of filesharing, those incentives still exist.