The CRIA (Canadian Record Industry Association) did a study on the effects of downloading on record sales. Interestingly enough, they found that downloaders buy more music that non-downloaders.
Michael Geist went through the complete study report and concluded:
In summary, CRIA’s own research now concludes that P2P downloading constitutes less than one-third of the music on downloaders’ computers, that P2P users frequently try music on P2P services before they buy, that the largest P2P downloader demographic is also the largest music buying demographic, and that reduced purchasing has little to do with the availability of music on P2P services. I’ve argued many of these same things, but now you don’t have to take my word for it; you can take it from the record labels themselves.
Pollera, the company that conducted the story called Michael Geist’s interpretation “misleading, incorrect, and inconsistent” and wrote a 11page! response.
Michal Geist, who’s the Canada Research Chair of Internet and E-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa posted a great rebuttal to Pollera’s response. Here’s a snippet:
Pollara misleadingly recharacterizes some its own questions. For example, it points at page six to a question on whether the person had ever acquired a CD with songs downloaded from a file sharing service such as Kazaa. This is then inaccurately presented as “Ever Purchased or Received a CD That Contained Illegally Downloaded Tracks”. One might say that Pollara should stick to polling for its paying clients like CRIA rather than offering up its opinion on the legality of P2P in Canada.