Michael Geist is the copyfightin' prof who posted an incendiary analysis of a poll conducted on behalf of the Canadian Record Industry Association. Michael found that a close examination of the poll revealed that downloaders buy more music than non-downloaders and many other points that invalidate the hysterical rhetoric of Big Music.
Pollara, who conducted the survey is a "single-issue pollster" who conducts polls on behalf of industry groups who need stats to back up their talking points. They responded to Michael's post with an 11-page memo that purported to rebut Michael, and went on to call him "impertinent and presumptuous" and that they hoped he wouldn't "distract us from the serious business at hand."
Michael's posted a great rebuttal of their memo:
* I noted the Pollara data found that P2P sources constituted only one-third of the music on people's computers. Pollara argues that this only reflects the music on their hard drives, not their downloading activity. I frankly don't understand their complaint here. They didn't ask about downloading activity, they asked about the source of music on their computers. If they were to ask about all their music (online and offline), I suspect the number would be even lower as many users might well have more CDs that they have not digitized.Michael's giving a talk at Toronto's Hart House on Mar 30, too. Link (Thanks, Michael and Derek!)
* Pollara seems to step out of the role of pollster in their memo by regularly offering what amount to legal opinions on music copying. At page three of the response, they lump together P2P downloading, sharing with friends, and copying CDs that might not be their own. Perhaps Pollara is unaware of the private copying user right that exists under current Canadian law that has generated more than $140 million for artists and the industry which specifically covers much of this copying. This is not, as Pollara suggests, "unpaid-for-music" but rather copying that is well compensated.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.