Preliminary results from a study by Jupiter Research suggests that music file sharing has remained static over the past 12 months.
This led Jupiter analyst Mark Mulligan to question whether such an investment in legal action was worthwhile. Album sales in the UK have seen undented growth throughout the rise of illegal downloading. They are 35 per cent higher now than in 1998, suggesting that file sharing is not as dire a threat as the BPI says it is. The assumption has often been made that because people share music by copying tapes, burning CDs or logging on to file-sharing network, they also stop buying. A study by research company The Leading Question showed that regular file-sharers spend £5.52 a month on music, compared with other fans who spend £1.27. 'You could be prosecuting your best customers,' says Simon Dyson at Informa.