Is piracy really hurting the RIAA?

Is the RIAA really suffering from a decline in CD sales? Maybe not. Mac Wizards Music has tested a number of the RIAA's claimed hardships, and their conclusions suggest that the RIAA isn't doing too badly after all.
So the record industry cut their inventory (and artist investment) by 25 percent and sales only dropped 4.1 percent, even though the economy is at rock bottom. There were almost 12,000 fewer new releases for the consumer to choose from in 2001 than 1999. The record companies are making more money per release than ever.
If the RIAA is fudging the numbers, they stand to lose even more credibility with CD-buying consumers. Downloading and burning music you don't own is still stealing, but if it's not hurting the industry, the RIAA will have to do a better job making its case to the masses.

Thanks to TR reader Kristian Larsson for the tip.

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