Back at the beginning of March, we wrote about a study that noted that since the French Hadopi (three strikes) law had technically gone into effect, it appeared that unauthorized file trading had increased -- though it had shifted to other means (ones not covered by Hadopi). As we noted in that post, while Hadopi was technically in effect, no enforcement had begun due to data privacy questions. Still, it seemed telling to see the shift in how people were trading files to get around the law. A few days ago, some news sites re-discovered that study and so it got some more attention -- leading The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry to start trying to play a neat game of misdirection.
Ars Technica points us to a statement from the IFPI mocking anyone who takes such a report seriously:
"It is nonsense to suggest that a study conducted before the HADOPI authority has sent a letter to a single infringing user is somehow a definitive judgment on the success or otherwise of France's digital piracy laws.... We believe the approach will prove successful, but the impact of the law will only be known some time after it goes into effect. In the meantime, surveys like this are pure speculation."
Now, this is the IFPI we're talking about, and if ever there were an organization that knows something about studies that are "pure speculation," it would be the IFPI. Every year the IFPI comes out with one of the more laughable reports on the "impact" of file sharing. The 2010 report is particularly full of baseless speculation, such as claiming that file sharing "harmed" some of the best selling music and movies in the last couple of years.
So, forgive us for asking why we should ignore the baseless speculation from one side, while we're expect to assume that the IFPI's own baseless speculation is pure gold?
I posted the original article so I thought you might like to see the sequel.