Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Recommended books #1

For those of you interested in reading some books on music piracy, please see the reference list below to inform Google searches.

Craig, Honick and Burnett's (2005) book can be found on Google Books here and contains a good history of software piracy section, with a focus on the technical side of things.

Wikstrom's (2009) book contains an illuminating section on 'the social and creative music fan' along with informed speculation on the future of the music industry.

David's (2010) book provides a comprehensive timeline on Napster, and the subsequent fallout. The author also presents six case studies, citing different optimal strategies to promote and distribute music depending an artists 'stage in the game'.

Oh, and a novel about music piracy and aliens.. by Reid (2010) which has received positive reviews as a humorous social commentary on piracy and novel in its own right.

Recommended articles infrequently on the official Twitter feed @musicpiracyblog.

Twitter feed now live @musicpiracyblog with daily updates.


Craig, P., Honick, R. and Burnett, M. (2005). Software Piracy Exposed. Rockland, MA: Syngress Publishing.

David, M. (2010). Peer to Peer and the Music Industry. London: Sage.

Reid, R. (2012). Year Zero: A novel. New York: Ballantine Books.

Wikstrom, P. (2009). The Music Industry: Music in the Cloud. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Spotlight on deterrents: Good cop VS. Bad cop

A recent news article highlighted 'the Streisand effect', which explains how censorship can backfire.

Coined in 2005 by Michael Masnick (President and CEO of Floor64 and CEO and founder of Techdirt), Masnick coined the phrase in a blog entry as a response to the singer's attempts to censor images of her house appearing on the Internet. This inadvertently attracted infinitely more attention to the images than if she took no legal action.

The article linked above (and referenced below), explains how The Pirate Bay received a record amount of traffic after 5 UK ISP's were ordered to block access to the copyright-infringing website.


Traditional anti-piracy campaigns focus on the punitive measures which will be set in motion, if caught illegally downloading. d'Astous, Colbert and Montpetit (2005) observed that anti-piracy arguments had no significant impact on the behavioural dynamics underlying on-line music piracy, where a recent addition to the literature is Nandedkar and Midha's (2012) paper, suggesting that individuals holding an optimism bias engage in piracy as they believe to be of lower risk than other populations.

Elsewhere, Djekic and Loebbecke (2007) observed that technical protections fail in protecting application software from being illegally copied with none of the measures studied significantly reducing piracy. Indeed, Marshall (2004) remarks that technical solutions are 'not the answer' (p.8).

The focal point of this blog entry however, is the paper 'Preventing Digital Music Piracy: The Carrot or the Stick?' by Sinha and Mandel (2008). Their findings from three studies demonstrated that negative incentives are only a strong deterrent for certain consumers but can actually increase the propensity to pirate for others. Conversely, positive incentives, such as improved functionality, were observed to significantly reduce the tendency to pirate among all the consumer segments studied; with 56% of Swedish file-sharers citing Spotify as the reason they had curbed their habit (Jones, 2011).

Bad Cop 0.. Good Cop 1?

What do you think?

Twitter feed now live @musicpiracyblog with daily updates.


Cacciottolo, M. (2012). The Streisand Effect: When censorship backfires [online]. Available from: [Accessed June 16, 2012].

d’Astous, A., Colbert, F. and Montpetit, D. (2005). Music Piracy on the Web - How Effective Are Anti-Piracy Arguments? Evidence From the Theory of Planned Behaviour. Journal of Consumer Policy, 28, 289-310.

Jones, S. (2011, January). The Swede taste of success. Music Week. Retrieved from

Masnick, M. (2005). Re: Since When is Is It Illegal To Just Mention A Trademark Online? [Web log message]. Retrieved from:

Marshall, L. (2004). Metallica and Morality: The Rhetorical Battleground of the Napster Wars. Entertainment and Sports Law Journal, 1, 1-3.

Nandedkar, A. and Midha, V. (2012). It won't happen to me: An assessment of optimism bias in music piracy. Computers in Human Behavior, 28(1),41-48.

Sinha, R.K. and Mandel, N. (2008). Preventing Digital Music Piracy: The Carrot or the Stick? Journal of Marketing, 72(1), 1-15.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Guest blog post on Live Music Exchange: Anatomy of a gig

Hop on over to the excellent Live Music Exchange website to read my recent article as part of their 'Anatomy of a gig' series.

Going beyond the conventions of a normal concert review, the entry discusses a performance of The Wall, as performed by Roger Waters last summer (with David Gilmour appearing for Comfortably Numb).

Nostalgia, issues of value, the business of live music, motivations on live music attendance, the role technology plays in live music.. it's all there. In detail.

A recommended website, Live Music Exchange is a great resource which is worthy of your attention in general.


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