Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Personality as a predictor of music piracy engagement?

In this new article co-written by myself and Professor Raymond MacDonald, an original measurement is used to unobtrusively measure participants' attitudes towards music piracy; an indicator of likely engagement. The study concludes that individuals varying on different personality traits are more/less likely to favour music piracy.

Notably, the study finds that individuals who demonstrate a pro-piracy stance are likely to score lower on a measurement of fairness. In other words, the sample of pirates were observed as being unfair.

It also sheds light on other areas of research by concluding that individuals who prefer digital music, and are 24 or younger, are more likely to hold pro-piracy attitudes.

It is one of the few (if not first) research articles to explore personality as a predictor of music piracy engagement.

Have a p-p-p-peek and see if it synchronises with you and your friends' personalities and piracy preferences.


Brown, S.C. and MacDonald, R.A.R. (2014). Predictive factors of music piracy: An exploration of personality using the HEXACO PI-R. Musicae Scientae, 18(1), 53-64.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

2014 IFPI Digital Music Report: An overview

It's that time of year again. It's like a mini-Christmas for me.

Yup, The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) have published their Digital Music Report today which you can download here.

It builds on the optimism of the 2013 report, boasting of the general state of the digital music sector where IFPI claims 39% of industry revenues now come from digital sources. It's not all digital however. IFPI note that physical formats account for over 50% of all global revenues.

It also includes a spotlight on particular artists including Daft Punk, covering much of the ground outlined in my contribution to IFPI's now seemingly DA FUNKED 'Views' section which you can access here. There's a good breakdown on different regions globally which is well put together and perhaps the highlight of the report.

More specific to music piracy, the report builds on the conclusions of last year that Google must do more (received over 100 million takedown notices to date) and cite streaming services as converting pirates to legitimate services (with a particular emphasis on Sweden). The report also concludes that blocking is an effective measure to tackle piracy.

The report ends, traditionally, with a comprehensive list of digital music services globally. Now with a list of around 450, there's plenty to choose from.

Get stuck into the report for yourself and see what tickles your fancy.

Tweets between treats @musicpiracyblog 

Monday, 17 March 2014

2001 PhD thesis predicts the future (of music subscription services)

Now, I haven't read it cover to cover, but I got a lot out of this PhD thesis by Ian Michael Dobie.

The title caught my attention, curious to see what work (similar to mine) looked like in a perhaps even more turbulent era. To my surprise, as far back as 2001, he discusses concepts like 'added value' and how a service-based music industry could operate; essentially mapping out how things would work 10 years later.

It got me thinking about how the decisions made in the 'real world' seldom mirror the views of experts in the academic world. Very inefficient. So rarely do conferences on the topic pull together individuals from different walks of life in a way as to really encourage informed debate. Believe me, I have been to plenty.

It's rare to find a thesis that is as easily accessible as this one (the first hit on Google, for me) so I encourage you to seek it out for it's rich historical significance and easy to read presentation. While you are at it, why not dig out other theses using the relevant online search portals for your country of residence. In UK for example, it's Ethos which you can access here.

I can't help but hope someone will stumble upon my (forthcoming) PhD thesis ten years from now, and find it useful and relevant.

Tweets between sweets @musicpiracyblog


Dobie, I.M. (2001). The Impact of New Technologies and the Internet on the Music Industry, 1997-2001 [Doctoral thesis].

Friday, 7 March 2014

What about book piracy?

Written by Dan Brown, 2010's 'The Lost Symbol' sold more digital copies for the Kindle in its first few days than traditional hardback editions. It was hailed as a major new turn for the publishing industry at the time.

Frisch (2010) reports that pirated copies appeared online within 24 hours, and had been downloaded over 100,000 times within a few days. Does this make the Kindle the literary equivalent of the i-Pod?

Actual research into book piracy is scarce. Perhaps the most revealing insight to date comes from author Lloyd Shepherd's (2012a) account of having his first novel, 'The English Monster' (2012b) pirated.

He explains that responses to his request for 'understanding' (on the website where the pirated version of his book appeared) included that pirated books create great publicity for authors and that where a physical copy is already owned, downloading a digital copy is justified.

Sound familiar?

Tweets between eats @musicpiracyblog


Frisch, M. (2010). Digital piracy hits the e-book industry [online]. Available from: http://edition.cnn.com/2010/TECH/01/01/ebook.piracy/index.html?_s=PM:TECH

Shepherd, L. (2012a). Lloyd Shepherd: My parley with ebook pirates [online]. Available from: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/mar/16/lloyd-shepherd-ebook-pirates-mobilism

Shepherd, L. (2012b). The English Monster. Simon and Schuster UK Ltd: London.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Post-Oscars boom in movie piracy

As reported over on discretely pro-piracy news resource Torrent Freak, the big hitters at the 2014 Academy Awards have been in high demand on illegal file-sharing services since the event on Sunday night.

I personally find it difficult to imagine who can derive enjoyment from a poor quality 2D version of Gravity in their homes. Given that Avatar is the most pirated film ever, I guess that sort of thing isn't important.

This new observation is a further reminder that what is popular in legal means, is popular in illegal channels also.