Unsanctioned Music Sharing on Peer-to-Peer Networks

A new technology in the early 2000s, peer-to-peer (P2P) networks made massive unsanctioned music exchange possible, which had a profound effect on the recording industry. Record labels responded to the emergence of online music-sharing networks with litigation and “self-help measures.” This project adds to our understanding of the conflict within the commercial music industry. We conduct an institutional analysis of the conflict by extending pattern modeling with a formal resource-based model of a representative P2P network. To build the model, we use the system dynamics methodology. The model accounts for complex causal interactions between resources such as bandwidth and music files, private provision of common goods, free-riding, and membership dynamics. In a series of experiments that emulate the offensive against music-sharing networks, our analysis shows that due to the feedback effects, P2P systems might be quite resilient to outside attempts to disrupt them through technical or legal means. The experiments also demonstrate that policies against unsanctioned music exchanges on P2P networks rank differently in their effectiveness based on a selected yardstick.

Publications and presentations:
Pavlov, O. “Dynamic Analysis of an Institutional Conflict: Copyright Owners against Online File Sharing.” Journal of Economic Issues. v.39 (3), 2005: 633-663.

Pavlov, O. and K. Saeed, “A Resource-Based Analysis of Peer-to-Peer Technology.” System Dynamics Review. v.20 (3), 2004: 237-262.

Pavlov, O. “Dynamic analysis of an institutional conflict within the music industry.” 11th International Conference on Computing in Economics and Finance. Washington, DC. June 23-25, 2005.

Pavlov, O. “A Dynamic Analysis of an Institutional Conflict Induced by Online Music Swapping.” International System Dynamics Conference. Oxford, U.K., July 25-29, 2004.

Pavlov, O. “Analysis of an Intra-Institutional Conflict Within the Recording Industry.” Invited lecture. Sree Narayana Guru Institute of Science and Technology (SNGIST). Thekethazham, Kerala State, India. January 5, 2004.

Pavlov, O. and K. Saeed. “Growth and Development in a Virtual World of P2P.” Conference on Economic Behavior and Organization. Sponsored by the USC Center in Law, Economics and Organization, the JEBO, the USC Center for the Study of Law and Politics, and the USC Letters Arts and Sciences. April 26-27, 2003. University of Southern California Law School. Los Angeles, USA.

Pavlov, O. “A Resource-Based Assessment of the P2P Technology.” International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS 2003). Seattle, WA, December 15, 2003.