The Pirate Bay “Spectrial” Day #9 – Prof Argues No Link Between File-Sharing and Music Losses

“There are so many other factors which can affect album sales and the research shows that many downloaders actually consume more culture than others,” Roger Wallis, a composer and emeritus professor of media at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), told the court.

The ongoing trial against the founders of The Pirate Bay BitTorrent tracker site heated up Thursday as Roger Wallis, a composer and emeritus professor of media at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) took the stand and quickly found his credentials questioned by music industry lawyers. Wallis has sharply criticized the music and film industries’ claims that they lose money because of illegal downloading.

He told the court that there’s no connection between downloading and decreased record sales, saying that research shows that many downloaders buy more cultural products than others.

“There are so many other factors which can affect album sales and the research shows that many downloaders actually consume more culture than others,” he told the court.

The entertainment industry is seeking more than 13 million dollars in damages from those behind the Pirate Bay. Rejecting that claim, Roger Wallis told the court that downloading has in fact led to the greatest transfer of resources ever to entertainers, through increased interest in musicians and concert ticket sales.

“There’s nothing to indicate that people who download music would run out and buy records if file sharing disappeared, that’s ridiculous,” he said.

When asked who has been negatively impacted the most by illegal file-sharing argued it was CD manufacturers, just as was for tape and LP manufacturers before them.

After Wallis had given his testimony he was upset over questions posed by the prosecution, which he felt were questioning his credibility as a both a scientist and academic.

At one point, Peter Danowsky, a music industry lawyer for the IFPI, asked whether Wallis was a full professor an adjunct in order to try and discredit his research.

Too bad it can’t so easily discredit the study done a few years ago by Industry Canada, a ministry of the Canadian federal government, which found that "…P2P file-sharing tends to increase rather than decrease music purchasing."