Wednesday, 23 March 2011

When is Dr not a Dr?

... when they teach Media Studies or so it seems according to The Register's resident snark. Orlowski is normally only worth reading for a laugh, such is his snarkiness and here's a wonderful example of his snake-like charm:
Co-author Dr Camaerts - he's not a Medical Doctor - is a senior lecturer in Media Studies who lists as his areas of expertise "trans-nationalisation" and "social change and resistance".
He was writing on a piece about his favourite bête noire, namely filesharing, and how two LSE Media Studies lecturers have called for copyright reform.  I particularly like how he makes the point that Camaerts is not a medical doctor - as if that would actually help in this context. If I want advice on my kidney stones I might seek the advice of a medical doctor, but not when it comes to piracy and the creative economy, for pity's sake...

He also claims 'No attempt is made to quantify the economic costs or benefits of any of the approaches discussed' - mainly because this is nigh on impossible to do with any degree of accuracy given the illicit behaviour involved. The fact that Orlowski asks for the kind of data that the lobbyists in the BPI or the IFPI are keen to provide indicates his entrenched position fairly clearly: he's only discussing this issue to dismiss any counterpoints without really giving them any credence.

I hate that I might even be driving traffic to his dross.  So, why not read the LSE page instead?  Or alternatively, read a totally different take on the report from Ars Technica, which suggests the downward trend in global music sales may due to many other reasons such as pressure on finite resources:
"Downward pressure on leisure expenditure is likely to continue to increase due to rising costs of living and unemployment and drastic rises in the costs of (public) services"
They suggest that only about 20% of the total decline may be due to file-sharing, which makes a lot more sense.

I sometimes think that Orlowski is the character of Freddy Rat Tooth in Cory Doctorow's Makers, an odious British technology journalist...