Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Is piracy 'good' or 'bad'? Guest blog entry on Music Business Research website

Hop on over to the Music Business Research website where you will find a new guest blog entry from myself posing the rather ridiculous question: "Is piracy 'good' or 'bad'?".

Rather than aiming to address that question literally (that would certainly require an economist), I approach the question from the point of view of a psychologist by explaining how different parties can make converging claims, even when drawing from the same information - it's all about beliefs.

In doing so, the short article introduces a few key concepts and ultimately exposes how challenging it is for different stakeholders to agree on anything. 

A key point raised which I would like to reiterate here is that it is only the controversial research articles which claim that piracy has no negative impact on the creative industries which reach popular media. Why? Because news that confirms something obvious is not news, it's just 'facts', and no-one cares about them, do they? And, more importantly, because newspapers like to feed their readers what they want to hear so they remain loyal to them (for obvious financial gain).

Once more, it's all about beliefs. As psychologist Shermer (2011) succinctly explains: "Beliefs come first, explanations for beliefs follow" (p. 5)

There's nothing wrong with being wrong, the last time I checked. It's time we were more open minded about things like this and developed better critical skills for evaluating who reports on what, and how they report it. Everyone can't be right, can they?

Tweets between meats @musicpiracyblog


Brown, S.C. (2014, July). Is piracy 'good' or 'bad'? - guest post by Steven Brown. Guest appearance on Music Business Research website. 

Shermer, M. (2011). The Believing Brain. Times Books: New York.

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