Here's something I always thought was very funny. Way back in the Napster v1.0 days, the music industry was having record sales. But those fun guys in the RIAA just didn't feel like there was enough gravy to grease the train and that all these people sharing music for free (for Free Damnit!) were just all harshing their mellow. So they decided, like Weird Al in "Amish Paradise" to get all medieval on everybody's arses.
Right after that, as they killed Napster and forced those people who were peer-to-peering all over the intertubes to go to less elegant and more geek and professional pirate routes, the economy slowed down, and music sales plummeted.
Yes, after they killed Napster, as the pirate peer-to-peer went to geeks and kids, was less a populous movement, music sales tanked. Titles went up, sharing went up, but the actual user base was less. The real fans were less. This is because of the pirate mentality. Pirates are proud people, and they like to not only share what they think is cool, they like to collect what other people think is cool. And like most collectors, they don't use what they collect, they just count it and look at the pretties.
But the RIAA has this notion that every pirated copy of music that gets shared is money out of their pocket. A sale they won't ever get and should have gotten. Would have gotten it if it were for those dang kids. Note to RIAA, this is bad logic based on a fallacy. You're own research proves it. If what you are saying is correct, according to the studies you've commissioned (and then squashed), you all wouldn't be making a cent. Not one. But to publish those results would destroy your arguments and you'd have to deal with reality.
Somebody else isn't getting it either. Fortunately he's switched to actual persuasion than the bull in the china shop function he was performing before. He's just trying to direct the conversation into ways that people will end up agreeing with him. He's determining the questions and giving the answers. Logic, he's using it for evil. This post is the rhetorical equivalent of asking, "Have you stopped beating your wife?" (which is why I'm not posting this there)
Legitimate markets can't exist without black markets. Sure, you can't allow the black market to swallow the legit market (and they will try to do that), but if you try to kill the black market, the legitimate market will die along with it. The best you can do (and the best you can do for the legitimate market) is to push the black market to the fringe and monitor it. This is what iTunes successfully did. There is a legitimate outlet, reasonably priced, for the market need. Rhapsody also performs some other market needs. There is still piracy, but it's been kept to the fringes.
If the legitimate market doesn't provide a service that the consumers want or need, the black market will. That's what you're seeing in those numbers. However, is the actual market for such product, need that could be filled by the legit market, really there? There's a lot more "online reading" going on that I thought there was a year ago. I still have my own sneaky suspicions about what is really happening. And many market numbers I've heard for online reading are still less than readership in the hay-day of magazines, although it's now larger than the current hard copy subscription rate.
Just saying that "here's this file, and it's being traded," doesn't mean, "here's a lost sale, here's a fan that would have bought the legitimate copy, here's money on the table." Other market forces to look at is how a black market feeds back into the legitimate market, how pirate markets and mentality works, that what you may be looking at may not be the real case.
The concept of sharing in violation of copyright being "true fandom" is also bullshit, just in case you maybe wondering. Black markets and their activities are banned for a reason. Black markets also draw other criminality. They are not safe and are unregulated.
However, have you ever shared a book, CD, file, DVD, etc with a friend? Those that view black markets as evil and stealing money from the legit markets would also halt such sharing. That sharing is, after all, a violation, however it is a legally protected violation, for now.