Majority of musicians file share illegally

A majority of Swedish musicians have engaged in illegal file sharing. 38 percent favour legalizing the practise, according to a new survey by Sydsvenskan.

Majority of musicians file share illegally

The music industry has suffered economically as a result of file sharing and one of the musicians interviewed claimed that sales of his band’s music has fallen by 80 percent since 2000. The music industry has struggled to respond to new habits.

“Every time a new musical format has been developed the music industry has hit the rocks. It has always been so, from the 1930s until now. This is the most dramatic fall,” said a Swedish artist with an international career to the newspaper.

Sydsvenskan’s survey shows that file sharing is not simply a generation issue. Several older, more established musicians are in favour of de-criminalizing the practise.

“One can see file sharing as a form of promotion, a means of releasing new music.”

Several artists responded that they never made much money from the sale of their music anyway and now earn most of their revenues from radio, TV and film.

“Now file sharing is positive and good PR. If we were to become a bit bigger then it would have a negative impact,” said one pop musician in the survey.

The emergence of Napster in 1999 marked the start of a new challenge to the music industry. Since the turn of the millennium file sharing has become more popular and widespread while the music industry has struggled to respond to the challenge as it did with the emergence of radio and cassettes.

According to Sydsvenskan’s survey 59 percent of artists have themselves engaged in illegal file sharing.

The newspaper interviewed 100 Swedish musicians and asked each of them five questions.