Internet, record labels
A new report from the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School and research firm Gartner Inc. suggests that file swapping actually encourages music sales. The study surveyed 475 so-called ‘early adopters’ who are among the first wave of frequent music downloaders. The findings suggest the opportunity to give and receive recommendations could become an important force in the online music business. Nearly one-quarter of frequent online music users said that the ability to share music with others is a key factor when selecting an online music service; and a third were interested in technology that helps them discover and recommend music, such as tools that allow Internet users to publish and rank lists of their favorite songs. Perhaps most important for the recording industry, a tenth of those surveyed said they used others recommendations when buying music. The Chairman of the BPI wrote a number of open letters to national press in the UK pointing out that they would never encourage piracy.