The names Birgitte Andersen, Chris Castle, Bob Tarantino are unfamilar to me until this morning when I read ”Falling off the edge of a flat world? – Internet gossip on P2P filesharing research – a response from Professor Birgitte Andersen“, I can say the article is more intriguing than some fictions. It is also painful to see when someone, her professional credibility, and her peer-reviewed research for Industry Canada (Andersen-Frenz report (2007): The Impact of Music Downloads and P2P File-Sharing on the Purchase of Music: A Study for Industry Canada, PDF version) are attacked in the manner described.
Here is an excerpt from Professor Andersen’s “Falling off the edge of a flat world? ” (comments and emphasis added),
“Campaign to discredit
You have got to ask yourself, – who will spend time going through years (across 2005,06,07) of internal and informal emails (obtained under the under the Access to Information Act) between myself and one of my consultancy contractors (Industry Canada), a past reviewer’s report of an early draft, selectively reading my publications since 2001, and producing about 20 printed pages (in two parts) of menacing rant appearing to try to undermine my (Andersen’s) research credibility and the Andersen-Frenz (2007) study for Industry Canada on “The Impact of Music Downloads and P2P File-Sharing on the Purchase of Music”. [comment: Wow!]
Amazingly, this two-part diatribe (published in May and June 2010) attacking me and my research is published as an apparently ‘independent’ analysis representing facts and not taking sides in the ongoing international debate on how policy should respond to unauthorized filesharing on the Internet and the digital economy of the future.
The blogger is in fact Chris Castle from ‘Christian L Castle Attorneys’ based in Los Angeles and San Francisco USA, and the firm’s web site lists that they represent the record labels, film studios, among others. Thus, one could consider they have a clear financial interest in the debate on intellectual property (IP) policy in the digital economy. Another blogger spreading this unsubstantiated gossip on the Internet is Bob Tatantino [sp? Tarantino] from Heenan Blaikie’s Entertainment Law Group in Toronto.
Is this type of work commissioned? Peer- reviewed? (not likely!), and what interests surround the making and publication of it? [comment: Good questions.]
Is it hypocritical, or even dishonest, that firms so closely linked to the interests on the one side of the copyright debate on digital economy policy present themselves as neutral carriers of ‘truth’ while accusing a neutral academic study of taking sides? Do these firms have a conflict of interest? [comment: Interesting questions again.]
Interestingly, I was not informed of the publication of this work (but realized its existence as I received a number of unusual emails over the summer), which explains my late response.“