File Sharing, Market Search, and Open Culture

Vuze, a leading HD video P2P file sharing network, yesterday released the highlights of a market research report.  The report compared the media and technology consumption/usage habits of file sharers (specifically Vuze users) versus those of the general internet population.  Vuze commissioned Frank N. Magid Associates to do the research.Digital Media Wire reported the story with the headline “Report: P2P Users Are Hollywood’s ‘Best Customers’.” In all the years of market research and claims from both sides of this file sharing debate, when I have been able to see the raw data itself I have not seen a study that did not have built-in biases. Questions have been worded in a leading fashion. Multiple choice questions did not include the option of an obvious answer that would provide data counter to the bias of the study’s sponsor. The group surveyed for the study had a built-in bias. Contrarian data was buried in ‘none of the above’ and ‘other.’In the material that they have made available, Vuze has listed all of the questions, but not all of the possible responses. They have posted selected results, but not all of the findings.Vuze may have conducted a valuable study, or they may have produced more advocacy results. It would be incredibly useful for Vuze to post the raw data, so that those of us who care about these issues can draw our own conclusions about both the methodology and the findings.


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