Today’s New York Times has a great story by John Schwartz on last week’s filesharing study and the reaction to it. There’s a nice summary of the study itself, and some discussion and criticism of it.
The criticism seems to fall into two categories. One category is the appropriate scholarly caution toward a new result that hasn’t been peer-reviewed yet. Although economists who have seen the study say its methodology looks reasonable, there may be other unknown factors yet to be discovered that will cast doubt on the study. The other category of criticism comes from people who don’t criticize the study’s methdology but just point to other types of studies that give different results.
The article notes that these other studies haven’t been peer-reviewed either, and that some of their sponsors have agendas. Anybody who has been around for a while knows to be very skeptical of certain kinds of studies done by certain kinds of consulting firms.