RIAA Math

01. Amount the RIAA asks for per song in damages when they file suit in the US = \$750
source

02. Price of song on iTunes = \$1
source

03. (01 / 02) Number of lost sales they implicitly claim you caused by downloading rather than buying that song (although note, they’re claiming more than that, since they can’t sue for damages sustained by Apple) = 750 lost sales

04. Number of times Nellys “Over and Over” was downloaded in the US (to Jan 2005) = 5,827,833
source (using figures from bigchampagne.com)

05. Number of simultaneous P2P users worldwide = 9,670,552
source

06. Number of US simultaneous P2P users = 6,980,000
source

07. (06 / 05) Proportion of P2P file sharing done in the US = 72%

08. (04 / 07) Probable number of times “Over and Over” was downloaded worldwide = 8,094,212

09. (08 * 03) Number of lost sales for “Over and Over” by the RIAA reckoning of 750 per song = 6,070,659,000

10. Population of the world = 6,525,170,264
source

11. (1 – (10-09) / 10) Proportion of the world who didn’t buy “Over and Over” but would have if there had been no file sharing = 93%

That’s right, 93% of the entire population of the earth, (man, woman, child and baby), wanted to pay money for “Over and Over”, and would have too, if it weren’t for those pesky file sharers. Presumably the remaining 7% were people who actually did buy “Over and Over”.

4 thoughts on “RIAA Math”

1. 7% – I’m no math wiz. Plus I haven’t even brewed the coffee yet. So how many 1\$ downloads does that come to?

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2. Psym says:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7029229.stm

Here they got \$9,250 per song, using the same maths means approx 75 billion lost sales for each of the songs she shared, assuming they were each roughly as popular as “Over and Over”. I don’t know if the songs had universal appeal and everyone in the world wanted 12 copies, or if they were more specialised interest and everyone in the UK wanted 1250 copies each.

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