A report released in the United Kingdom yesterday by the Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property Policy states that data available from the music industry is “insufficient in order to make a case for copyright”.
The Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property Policy is an independent public agency sponsored by the UK Intellectual Property Office.
The report mentions that the Music industry’s claims of enormous monetary damages caused by file sharing is contentious. Or in other words, highly disputable.
“Even the most fundamental questions (for example, the effects of unathorised digital copying) have not yet been documented exhaustively. Those issues that have attracted considerable attention – e.g. the effect of file sharing on record industry revenues – remain contentious and further research seems desirable.” – said the report’s author, Christian Handke.
“It makes most sense to discuss the details of a copyright system if there is a well-supported case for copyright to begin with. According to economic literature, it is not entirely certain that unauthorised use is welfare decreasing, or that an adequate copyright system would solve the problem without excessive unintended consequences” Handke stated.
The report not only calls into question the supposed negative effects of piracy, it also questions the entire copyright system as a whole and whether or not it is beneficial whatsoever. After all, if there were no intellectual property laws, piracy would not exist.
Would everyone be better off without a copyright system in place? Information wants to be free, right?