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Science of TRON

Listen to audio from the "Science of TRON" panel, featuring director Joe Kosinski, producer Sean Bailey, and science consultants Sean Carroll & John Dick. Learn More

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Applying Science to the Study of File Sharing Leads to a Startling Conclusion

Sometimes something happens in the entertainment industry that becomes the subject of scientific inquiry. Social scientists occasionally seek answers to questions important either to the entertainment industry, society at large, or both.
Take, for example, research being done in the field of economics. At least a dozen economists at several North American universities have been studying the impact file sharing has had on the music industry, in particular, sales of prerecorded music. Everyone is pretty much in agreement that file sharing, made possible and easy by advancements in computer and communications technology, adversely affected recording industry revenue during the 1990s and early 2000s. But how big a problem has it been? At least one economist thinks he has the answer, and it is rather startling.