Survey: Dutch Artists Say P2P Doesn't Hurt Them Financially

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You may have heard that the Dutch Government now plans to outlaw music and movie (and whatever else) downloading. That seems pretty prosaic: since when was it legal to infringe on someone’s copyright? Isn’t that the whole point of copyright? No matter, for in the lead up to the Dutch announcement’s announcement a survey was taken. “What about the survey?” you may ask. Well, said survey reveals that a good number of artists believe that they’re not hurt financially by piracy, and that it’s about time to re-think the artist-fan relationship with respect to DRM.

The survey asked 4,000 artists (musicians, authors, photographers, etc.) for their views on all sorts of piracy-related subjects.

For example, only 12 percent of respondents said they believed file-sharing hurts them financially. Artists with more schooling’ under their belt tend to be among those who don’t believe file-sharing hurts them financially. So much for the claims by certain organizations that artists are being put in the poor house because of BitTorrent.

What else? Oh, that file-sharing helps spread the word about their work. So says just north of 50 percent of respondents, though this number may change as more and more streaming options break into the mainstream. A sort of, “Online music services help spread the word about my work.”

All of this being said, the Dutch artists aren’t a bunch of hippies who think everything should be free forever. Nope, with a majority saying that the penalties from illegal file-sharing should be more serious that the current penalties on the books.