MBrichacek writes "A new study in the has found that illegal music downloads have had no noticeable effects on the sale of music, contrary to the claims of the recording industry. Analyzing data from the final four months of 2002, the researchers estimated that P2P affected no more than 0.7% of sales in that timeframe. The study reports that 803 million CDs were sold in 2002, which was a decrease of about 80 million from the previous year. The RIAA has blamed the majority of the decrease on piracy, and has maintained that argument in recent years as music sales have faltered. Yet according to the study, the impact from file sharing could not have been more than 6 million albums total in 2002, leaving 74 million unsold CDs without an excuse for sitting on shelves."