Number of file sharing households drops by 10%

— 3:14 AM on December 16, 2005

According to the NPD Group, the number of households downloading music from peer-to-peer networks dropped by over 10% between June and October of this year. This is apparently the first significant drop that's ever been recorded by the research group, suggesting that seasonal trends aren't to blame. Grokster lost its legal battle with the RIAA back in June, but the network didn't officially shut down until last month, so it's unclear whether its demise had a major impact on the number of song swapping households. It's possible that the RIAA's seemingly endless barrage of lawsuits could be discouraging users from downloading music illegally. Some users have likely moved to private peer-to-peer networks that are harder to track, and others may have found legitimate online music services that meet their needs and budget.

Despite the drop in song swapping households, the number of files being traded over peer-to-peer networks rose slightly over the same period. So, while the RIAA may have been successful in scaring some users straight, others are clearly determined to continue sharing illegal content.

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