Friday, May 14, 2004

Lying Liars

Nielsen Rating System At Odds With RIAA's Claim Of "Lost Sales

If entity A owns Something (let's say, oh, I don't know, a song) and entity B wants a copy of the Something, it is fair for A to ask for and receive compensation from B. This is a transaction and shouldn't be all that difficult.

I think the same is true if the Something is a computer program, or article, book, or .... Information may want to be free, but information creators have the right to expect compensation for their work when it is consumed.

From all of this, you would think I would support the RIAA when it hunts down children who have illegally downloaded songs. Unfortunately, they, like Josh McDowell, are willing to play with damn lies (statistics) to suit their own purpose.

Forget the confusing percentages, here's an oversimplified example: I shipped 1000 units last year and sold 700 of them. This year I sold 770 units but shipped only 930 units. I shipped 10% less units this year. And this is what the RIAA wants the public to accept as "a loss."

While I appreciate numbers and statistics, using them to support a lie should be punishable. Maybe not a criminal offense, but at the least it should be a civil offense and one for which I can extract a change in behavior and a public apology, broadcast large.

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