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The loss of LimeWire has P2P pirates on the run.  (Source: Walt Disney)
But are pirates turning to YouTube and elsewhere

The NPD Group, a top market analytics research firm has released a new study [press release] that might surprise some.  It claims that in 2010 the rate of users who pirate content on peer-to-peer (P2P) networks dropped to 9 percent, down drastically from 16 percent reported in 2007.  This marks a dramatic reversal of the trend of increasing piracy rates in recent years.

The report argues that piracy is not a "fundamental" problem for the media industry, given the relatively low levels.  This stands in stark contrast to statements in the Digital Media Report 2010 [PDF] by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), the parent organization of America's RIAA.  The IFPI stated in the report, "[The industry will] struggle to survive unless we address the fundamental problem of piracy."

Warner Music, a RIAA member takes a bit more conservative approach.  In a recent presentation to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, Warner suggested that only 13 percent of Americans pirate.  The Warner report also offers some disclaimers about the harmful impact of pirates, stating that most pirates do spend money on content and that they "tend to drive high discovery for others".

The numbers from the NPD Group are admittedly slanted, though, due to a significant event in the industry.  They were taken from the final quarter of 2010, when the RIAA scored a major lawsuit win that forced the U.S.'s most popular P2P client, LimeWire, to cease distribution.  Thus the dip in P2P filesharing may be only temporary, due to the loss of one of the highest profile clients.

States Russ Crupnick, entertainment industry analyst for NPD, "Limewire was so popular for music file trading, and for so long, that its closure has had a powerful and immediate effect on the number of people downloading music files from peer-to-peer services and curtailed the amount being swapped. In the past, we've noted that hard-core peer-to-peer users would quickly move to other Web sites that offered illegal music file sharing. It will be interesting to see if services like Frostwire and Bittorrent take up the slack left by Limewire, or if peer-to-peer music downloaders instead move on to other modes of acquiring or listening to music."

Today, many of the most used clients are unofficial community releases of past P2P clients that were banned by lawsuits.  Examples include Kazaa Lite and WireShare (formerly LimeWire Pirate Edition), etc.  According to the NPD Group's data, FrostWire (traditional P2P) and uTorrent (Torrent P2P) increased in use, as well, in the wake of the Limewire shutdown.

While the study did consider BitTorrent traffic (a specialized P2P protocol), it did not consider new forms of illegal content distribution, such as one-click downloads, illegally streamed content, such as unauthorized posts to video sharing sites like YouTube.  The latter seems particularly prevalent, as you can go to YouTube and find virtually any song you can imagine -- mostly from unofficial user-submitted uploads (though the major label industry does maintain an official presence on the site via channels like Vevo).

Media organizations have tried unsuccessfully to sue YouTube's owner Google over such posts.  The television industry championed the biggest such case, when Viacom sued Google, demanding $1B USD in damages for pirated content hosted on YouTube.  The media giant's case fell apart, though, after it came out that Viacom employees uploaded content under fake screennames to make it look like infringed content.

The study also only surveyed those 13 and up.



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Forget being a "fundamental" problem...
By Motoman on 3/24/2011 9:42:58 AM , Rating: 5
...piracy really isn't even a problem for content producers.

As has been stated before, correctly, a bajillion times, the VAST majority of stuff that is illegally downloaded on the internet would never have been paid for if it wasn't available in pirated form.

I'd not be surprised at all if the the true percentage of what amounted to "lost sales" came out at 1%...or less...of pirated content. While there most certainly are people out there who pirate stuff for the sheer desire to not pay for something they otherwise would, the vast majority of people get pirated content simply because it's there and they'll give it a shot. If it wasn't there, they wouldn't care...and they certainly wouldn't go to the store and buy it. They'd do without, or make do with something else.

This applies to all available content - music, movies, software, etc. When the morons in the content industries and/or in the government make declarations about "EIGHT HUNDRED GOOGOLZILLION DOLLARS LOST TO PIRASSY!!!!11!!one", it's utter bull$h1t. There's no basis for any such claims at all - the real "lost" revenue...the % of people who actually would have otherwise paid for the content - is actually a lot closer to zero.




RE: Forget being a "fundamental" problem...
By adpr02 on 3/24/11, Rating: -1
RE: Forget being a "fundamental" problem...
By snyper256 on 3/24/2011 10:11:23 AM , Rating: 5
It is correct, because people don't have infinite dollars to buy the content they're downloading.

I know a LOT of people who wouldn't even bother taking a second look at stuff if it wasn't available for free.


RE: Forget being a "fundamental" problem...
By GulWestfale on 3/24/2011 11:08:24 AM , Rating: 5
limewire was still around? i thought it had died years ago...

as for piracy:
my own books are not protected by a digital protection scheme, and here's why;
- it adds cost, which my honest customers have to pay
- it is NOT crack-proof, as no form of digital protection ever will be. it is a waste of money.
- i write books... to copy one, one would merely have to open it and type the words into a word editor. or scan it, or wtv. i have no idea why amazon even gives you the option of opting for 'protection'
- piracy is not the huge problem that content makers always make it out to be. charging more for CDs than audio tapes (even though the CD is cheaper to make), giving itunes artists only 7 cents per song and keeping the rest, quickly producing and then marketing the hell out of low-quality crap to cash in on a fad, etc etc those are problems.

for the artists, be they writers, musicians, actors, piracy is not really a huge deal. it only is a huge deal for content sellers, because they are realizing that the bottomless money well is running dry. the internet allows the producers of content to sell directly to their fans, cutting out the middleman, and the industry is scared to hell about that. so they tell their content makers that they will protect them from evil piracy if only they sign another record deal with them... this is all BS, but in a few years teh smart artists will all be selling directly to fans, not through the mafia-like industry channels.


RE: Forget being a "fundamental" problem...
By GulWestfale on 3/24/2011 11:10:10 AM , Rating: 2
ah, forgot the obligatory self-promoting link:
http://www.amazon.com/Sascha-von-Bornheim/e/B003Z6...


RE: Forget being a "fundamental" problem...
By Hyperion1400 on 3/24/2011 12:25:06 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
3 Questions for Sascha von Bornheim: Q: You can take one item with you to a deserted island. What is it? SvB: A boat. Q: Why? SvB: Well, it's an island. I assume it's surrounded by water. Q: You can't get off the island. The point of the question is to find out what you'd take with you if you had to stay there permanently. SvB: A gun. Q: You would shoot yourself? SvB: Evidently. I mean, the island is deserted. Who else am I going to shoot? Rick James? Oh wait, he's already dead. Now, I didn't know him personally, but I think the cocaine might have had something to do with it. It's a hell of a drug.


OMFG, that was totally worth the shameless pandering!


By GulWestfale on 3/24/2011 1:44:57 PM , Rating: 2
thanks! :)
like me on facebook if you want updates on my stuff:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sascha-von-Bornheim/...


By Jaybus on 3/24/2011 11:41:32 AM , Rating: 3
I have a hard time finding content that I would bother to watch if they did give it away for free. Since nothing is any longer watchable on cable TV due to commercials being aired every 5 minutes, I only watch streaming video from Netflix and the occasional new movie from Blockbuster. Money is not even an issue for me. The issue is that many months go by before they have a new movie that I am willing to spend my time on, regardless of price.

So, it is not all about money. If all content were put online for free downloading, I think we would find that a small percent is heavily downloaded, while the vast majority are hardly bothered with. Yet, they price them all the same. If it is truly a free market, rather than a carefully controlled monopoly/trust, then why does it cost the same to purchase Avatar as it does to purchase Furry Vengeance?


By deathwombat on 3/25/2011 12:09:03 PM , Rating: 3
It's called common sense.

I did a lot of pirating as a teenager, before I had a job or, ya know, any money. I can absolutely guarantee that I wouldn't have purchased any of that music because I couldn't afford it. And don't tell me that my mama would have given me the money, because she had to quit her job as a college professor to become a full-time, unpaid caregiver to my grandmother as her Alzheimer's progressed. When you're the sole provider for a family of three (including a teenager) and your only income is Welfare, there's not a lot of money for overpriced CDs. Thank God the RIAA didn't send her a demand for $5000 and put us on the street!

Then I grew up, got a job, and deleted my entire pirated MP3 collection from my hard drive for moral reasons. Guess how many of those songs I've paid for in the decade since then? 0! I don't pay for music because it's not worth anything to me. I only downloaded it in the first place because it was free! If it hadn't been free, I would have lived without it and just listened to the radio, like I do now.

It's just common sense that if something is worth money to you and you can afford it, you pay for it, and if it isn't worth money to you or you can't afford it, you download it for free without guilt. In either scenario, no revenue has been lost. Shut down every P2P site in the world and sales will be virtually unaffected. If I can't download it for free, I'll live without it like I did before.


RE: Forget being a "fundamental" problem...
By wordsworm on 3/24/11, Rating: -1
RE: Forget being a "fundamental" problem...
By Sivar on 3/24/2011 10:49:14 AM , Rating: 5
The standard response to a car/piracy analogy is that the owner of the hypothetical stereo loses his stereo. No one loses a song because it is copied any more than you lose your voice when someone repeats something you've said.


RE: Forget being a "fundamental" problem...
By Motoman on 3/24/2011 11:04:40 AM , Rating: 5
Exactly. That guy up there is a classic example of the stupidity spewed by people who buy into this BS.

Getting an illicit download of a song, for example, is a copy/paste function. Nothing was "taken" from anywhere, or anyone. Which is to say, the original person who owned it still owns it...it's no more a material transaction than me standing on a park bench and reciting the Gettysburg Address. The original address is still in a museum somewhere...neither the writer nor the owner of the address has suffered anything at all.

To compare it to the theft of a physical object is utter idiocy, and is truly indicative of the wild disconnect from reality suffered by all those who put the slightest bit of trust in the $ figures claimed by the industry/government for piracy "losses."


RE: Forget being a "fundamental" problem...
By Dorkyman on 3/24/2011 11:16:48 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. The car analogy is baloney, because one object is tangible and the other intangible.

You steal a car, and the car's rightful owner loses the use of that car. You clone a song and the owner still has use of the song. The only "loss" is the revenue the owner would have gained had the thief purchased the song.

My own personal impression is that some songs would have been purchased, but not very many. My guestimate would put the number at 5% of the thief's personal collection. More than zero, agreed, but not by much.


By Hieyeck on 3/24/2011 11:47:54 AM , Rating: 5
Let them use their stolen car analogy.

If the car is stolen, the prior owner needs a new car. Prior owner buys a new car.

So to turn the analogy back, every time a song is stolen, a sale is generated! STEAL MORE SONGS, IT'LL HELP THE APPARENTLY FALTERING MUSIC INDUSTRY.


By StevoLincolnite on 3/24/2011 10:54:42 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
I'm sure that a stolen car doesn't translate into a lost sale either.


If you wish to use a car analogy, so be it.

The difference between a pirated movie and a stolen car is simple... Nothing was stolen, just copied.
It would be more attune to me stealing a copy of the cars design plans, and building the exact same vehicle for myself.

Whoever owns the car does NOT physically loose anything.


RE: Forget being a "fundamental" problem...
By marvdmartian on 3/24/11, Rating: -1
RE: Forget being a "fundamental" problem...
By Iaiken on 3/24/2011 12:05:50 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
But that's not what's happening here. The theft is from the dealer (or manufacturer) of the car, which means that car is then not available for sale to someone willing to spend the money.


But that is not what's happening here. Nothing is being taken, a stream of 1's and 0's is being exactly duplicated so that it is now in the hands of two people instead of just one.

It is also highly unlikely that this would be a quantifiable loss that can be "felt" since it is highly unlikely that the second person would have purchased the song in the first place, they would have simply gone without.

The other thing that I find interesting is that it is illegal for you to sell digital content that you have purchased. Selling a used CD is perfectly legal. Copying a CD for your own personal use is perfectly legal too. But if you destroy the original CD and sell the copy, you're suddenly a criminal. That's the magic of the RIAA.


RE: Forget being a "fundamental" problem...
By mcnabney on 3/24/2011 12:51:51 PM , Rating: 2
It isn't just music.

Take games purchased from Steam online. You cannot sell/transfer a game from user to user (resale) and you cannot transfer your entire account. You never actually 'buy' games on Steam. You buy a license to play that game through an account that may or may function tomorrow.


By Taft12 on 3/24/2011 1:52:04 PM , Rating: 2
This is true, but the deeply discounted prices reflect the resale value that is taken away from you.


RE: Forget being a "fundamental" problem...
By wordsworm on 3/24/2011 10:25:02 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sure that a stolen car doesn't translate into a lost sale either.

I think if you check your imaginary research, you will also find that while people are willing to pay hundreds of dollars for a stereo would rather not have anything to listen to than pay for it. People who buy thousand dollar computers don't have $50 for the game they bought it for, either.

In other news, stereos in record numbers have been stolen. The thieves declare that no one was going to pay for them anyways.


RE: Forget being a "fundamental" problem...
By wordsworm on 3/24/2011 10:37:05 AM , Rating: 2
sorry about the double post... don't know how that happened.


By Taft12 on 3/24/2011 11:36:04 AM , Rating: 3
Not to worry, just gives us twice the opportunity to point out the flaws with comparing illegal copying to stealing physical objects!


By icanhascpu on 3/24/2011 4:45:13 PM , Rating: 2
http://cdn.imgfave.com/image_cache/128655052428118...

Piracy vs. Theft
Imagine your car gets stolen, but its still there in the morning.

In other news, get a freak'n dictionary.


RE: Forget being a "fundamental" problem...
By kmmatney on 3/24/2011 11:11:43 AM , Rating: 2
I'm really wondering how old you are. In the 80's and 90's (before downloading of music, and ripping CDs) we actually bought music. It was expensive too. I often had to decide between buying an album, or eating. And I'd usually buy the album and then have to borrow spaghetti from a room mate. It sucked to get burned on an album with only a few good songs, but you had to live with that.

Now, I don't pay for a lot of music that I probably would have. Its as simple as that. Good for me, but not good for the music industry.

Just look at music sales before and after piracy. Top selling albums routinely hit 20 million sales in the 80's and 90's. Now they never even come close to that.

I'm not a fan of the music industry, and they killed themselves but raising prices on CDs when sales started to fall. But there is no doubt Napster, and everything that came after really killed them.


RE: Forget being a "fundamental" problem...
By Motoman on 3/24/2011 11:27:35 AM , Rating: 4
Close to 40, for the record.

I have a CD collection of a few hundred albums.

Of those, maybe 10 were bought in the last 10 years.

I don't get pirated music, and I don't buy downloads - if I want something, I'll buy the physical CD. I don't really have much interest in having much of the music that's been produced recently. And I'm really put-off by the fact that some recent CDs I did buy had such crappy DRM on them that I couldn't easily rip them to .mp3. The solution is simple - the industry doesn't get my money.

You can pretend that the downfall of CD sales is piracy all you want. But the real reason is a combination the success of online music sales, in which CDs don't move out of the stores, and a general disinterest by the buying public, high CD prices, and a distaste for DRM.


By wordsworm on 3/25/2011 10:43:26 AM , Rating: 2
That's the right way to protest something. Don't steal it. Don't buy it. I think your method of protest is commendable.

I'm 35. That makes me just young enough to have caught the vinyl dump craze: so many great albums for 25 cents... it's kind of sad that that will never happen again. I'm not a big fan of what's hip and haven't been for a long time. I really enjoy modern music: Sia, Zero 7, Emelie Simon, and even some commercially successful groups like The White Stripes, are really quite good.


By Iaiken on 3/24/2011 1:56:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Top selling albums routinely hit 20 million sales in the 80's and 90's. Now they never even come close to that.


This was a bogus comparison before you even got to the second sentence.

On a per year basis, there were between 0-4 albums that would sell over 20 million copies. These albums made up for around 0.005% of the total number of albums each year, but accounted for anywhere up to 20% of the total album sales.

What's more, the sales were of entire albums for ~$20 usually to get 1-3 good songs. Today you can get those three songs for $1-2 each and save yourself the other $14-17. In reality, sales of entire albums have suffered more because discerning buyers will purchase only those songs they want and pan the rest of the album.

This is no longer the case and the chances that an individual artist seizes as much of the market as artists in the past are slim. This is largely because consumers are now faced with a greater and more varied selection to choose from. In the past, people would mostly buy what they heard on the radio and the record companies where the gatekeepers of what ultimately made it on the radio. Today, the gate is gone and people are swamped with choices.

I still budget around $200 a year for music and that's about what I've spent every year since 1995 when I entered high school. Back then, that would get me 8-9 albums with 16-36 songs that I actually wanted to listen to. These days, I get anywhere from 100-200 songs for the same price. None of these are counted towards albums sales despite representing 60-100 different albums.

I'm sorry, but just because consumers have been given greater choice doesn't mean we will make greater sales. Instead, those sales will be made in a more discerning fashion and dispersed across a greater number of albums, artists and ages.


By bigboxes on 3/24/2011 8:00:12 PM , Rating: 2
In reality, we often shared our music with others. Instead of downloading off of the internet we would tape a record or copy a tape for a friend. Remember mixed tapes? Yeah, no sharing went on before Napster. :eyeroll: And it was all legal! As long as your weren't selling for profit. A friend of mine told me when he was younger that he and his buddies pooled their money to purchase an import album at their local record shop and then made copies on to tape for everyone. I don't support scum that sell others people's work. To me that is theft. But if you copy and give it away for free it should be legal.

As for the "Would you steal a car?" analogy, of course I would steal a car... if I could get away with it! Duh! But I'm not a criminal and don't like prison.


RE: Forget being a "fundamental" problem...
By Ben6821 on 3/24/2011 2:18:10 PM , Rating: 1
If it is your aim to say that content producers overestimate the amount of revenue lost, I would agree. If someone pirates 1 million songs, they would not have paid for them all (as another poster noted).

That said, you have a few major errors in your other comments. If we assume the "pirates" are rational people, then a few simple conclusions arise.

1) They do it because it yields a benefit as compared to the alternatives. In a world with Grooveshark, Rhapsody, Napster (legal version), Youtube, etc., it is possible to try out almost any song in existence without paying anything. These services are probably easier and more reliable to use as well. Why pirate then? Well, besides profound ignorance of the alternatives, it would allow one to try out the song out anywhere (car, mp3 player, etc.) before buying, for example. How many of these vaguely conscientious people do you think there are? (pirate to try, but ultimately buy)

2) If trying music out is not a legitimate or common reason, then they do it because they obtain something that has value to them. How can something so simple be so often overlooked? I am tired of this nonsense that people pirate stuff cuz its free. If it was truly worthless, they would not take it. They spend a lot of time searching out sources of content and then enjoying that content, and then complain that there is nothing of value to be found. Again, if people are rational, they will pirate because they recognize the value of it for them. (otherwise it is a waste of time)

3) So what would people actually buy? They take it cuz its free, but they wouldn't buy it otherwise argument... So clearly pirated content has some value or you wouldn't take it at all. However, some would claim the content is not worth the current selling price. When something is free, it is impossible to judge the actual value, since any value greater than zero will motivate piracy. Of course there is some lost revenue, and of course the "pirates" will tell you otherwise. How much, probably more than you think and less than RIAA says. Yes, some people would do without any of it if it wasn't there. But this type of person is more likely to not pirate in the first place since they are capable of being honest with themselves.

4) It just bits, not physical property. While this is technically true, the conclusions are naive, misleading, and ignorant. Music may be represented as bits, but someone who has music has something ultimately tangible. In other words, they can hear it. True, if taken, it is not like the loss of physical property. However, the revenue loss argument is valid. The only reason people can pirate at all is because most people do pay for music. If everyone believed this silly argument that taking bits is not wrong, there would be not be much music available at all. If you think most income is from concerts, then the small minority of concert goers would effectively subsidize everyone else. You think that is fair?

5) Once someone has obtained content freely, they have no incentive to buy it unless there is even more value to be obtained. If someone wants a CD because of the insert or the sound quality, then they might still buy one (a small percentage of pirates do this I would argue). On the other hand, if the pirated content has everything you want, you won't go buy the same thing, cuz that is just dumb.

6) When someone creates content like music, a book, a film, or even a news article, they are entitled to reap the benefits of that effort. This right is balanced with the benefit society obtains through "fair use." Money is not the only driving factor, in truth. If you pirate and share music, then you clearly should not have a problem reproducing on your website free content from another website. Lets suppose I published opinion articles on a blog. I made no effort to make money (i.e. no ads etc.). If you copy my article verbatim (as opposed to sending people to my blog), you can claim that you are not causing loss of revenue for me, which is true. However, you thought there was some value in the article, and that is why you copied it. Whatever it might be (even if it isn't money), I should have that benefit because I did the work of writing the original article. Artists and their representatives are entitled to reap the benefits of their efforts, and we are not allowed to take it from them because they have "enough benefit" already.

Sorry for the long post...


By Solandri on 3/24/2011 4:31:31 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
3) So what would people actually buy? They take it cuz its free, but they wouldn't buy it otherwise argument... So clearly pirated content has some value or you wouldn't take it at all.

This is only partially right. It's not just the demand side which is driving piracy, it's also the supply side. The RIAA and MPAA by being paranoid about piracy and refusing to implement a digital distribution system, have actually contributed to piracy. The success of the iTunes store, the Amazon MP3 store, and Netflix show that if the song/movie is reasonably priced, people will still buy it even if they could pirate it. If the RIAA and MPAA had embraced digital distribution when Internet use first exploded back in the 1990s, there would be less piracy than there is today. Often times, people began pirating because it was the simplest way to rip their CD or DVD collection into a portable digital format, not because they wanted stuff for free.

quote:
4) It just bits, not physical property. While this is technically true, the conclusions are naive, misleading, and ignorant.

This too is a problem of the RIAA and MPAA's own making. There are two conceptual models for paying for a product - a purchase, and a license.

In a purchase, you pay for something and it becomes yours. You can do whatever you want with it. You can sell it, you can loan it to friends, you can give it away if you want. A car is a purchase. So is a blender.

In a license, you pay for the rights to use something but it is not yours. There are certain things you can't do with it, like loan it out or sometimes even resell it after you're done using it. Computer software is typically a license. But since you're not buying the product itself, just the right to use it, there are a couple other logical extensions. If a new, updated version of the software comes out, most software companies let you upgrade at a discount. They recognize that you've already paid to license most of the features in the new version, and so let you pay a reduced amount to license only the new features. If the media the software is distributed on becomes damaged, lost, or destroyed, they will send you a new copy for the cost of the CD/DVD. You bought the rights to use the software, not the arrangement of bits on the physical CD/DVD itself.

But here again, the RIAA and MPAA have screwed themselves in their quest to extract more money from their customers. The software (music, movies) they sell isn't a purchase, and it isn't a license. It's some weird hybrid which has all the disadvantages of both for the customer, and all the advantages of both for the *AA. If a blu-ray version of a movie you have on DVD comes out, they won't give you a discount. They expect you to pay full price as if you're buying a completely new license as if you were buying a product. If you damage/destroy/lose the disc, they expect you to pay for a completely new license as if you were buying a product (except Disney - they will replace damaged discs). So it seems they think you're purchasing to own when you buy music/movies. But if you try to use the product as if you owned it - at a public performance or sometimes if you try to resell the product - they will tell you no, it's a license, so you're not allowed to do that.

So there's really no ambiguity between buying bits (a license) and buying a material goods (a purchase). The ambiguity in music and movies is entirely one of the RIAA and MPAA's own making.

quote:
5) Once someone has obtained content freely, they have no incentive to buy it unless there is even more value to be obtained.

You're assuming that price is the only factor here. It is not. There's also convenience and reliability. Downloading stuff is often inconvenient (downloads can take days), and unreliable (the source you're downloading it from can disappear before you finish). iTunes and Netflix make billions of dollars in sales despite the availability of the very same music and movies for free. They do so because their paid service is more convenient and reliable than downloading. And the price they charge for the music/movie, convenience, and reliability is worth it for most people.

quote:
6) When someone creates content like music, a book, a film, or even a news article, they are entitled to reap the benefits of that effort.

This argument is ineffective in most people's minds because of the way the RIAA and MPAA have abused content creators - contracts with demonic terms, and creative "Hollywood accounting" whose only purpose is to deprive content creators of the money they rightfully deserve.

Right now, if you're a budding musician and sign a record contract with a major label, you'll be lucky to see more than a few percent of the money from each CD sale. The *AA companies have gamed the system so that they are the beneficiaries of nearly all the revenue from sales and licensing, not the artist. In fact many musicians find themselves stuck in contracts where they produce songs which make millions of dollars for the studios, but by the studios' accounting the musician still owes money to the studio for recording expenses.

So quite often, piracy actually works in the musician's favor. People who normally wouldn't hear their music listen to it, become fans, and go to their concerts. A significant amount of the revenue from merchandise sales at concerts actually does go to the musician. And so they end up making more money from piracy, than if there were no piracy and more revenue was directed towards CD/MP3 sales.

See, the overall problem is that the music studios (and to a lesser extent the movie studios) aren't the creative force behind their industry. They're merely the distributor, yet they've gamed the system so that they get the lion's share of the revenue. Along comes the Internet which is a perfectly neutral and almost free distribution medium, and suddenly there's no need for a distributor anymore. The studios are no longer necessary, but they're fighting tooth and nail to hold on to their position of power by making progress and the natural evolution of content distribution illegal.


By bill4 on 3/24/2011 11:44:58 PM , Rating: 1
Motoman, you are, quite simply, full of shit.

Because you say it, does not make it so.

The simple question is, if people can get something free, why would they pay for it?

This proves that piracy costs content companies huge sales. It's only simple, irrefutable logic.

It's true I'm sure that many people pirate stuff they wouldn't buy, after all when it's free why not get all you can? But that obviously doesnt mean people dont also pirate stuff they otherwise would have paid for!

You should go take basic logic and reasoning classes.

Also all you have to is look at the death of PC game sales, the decline of the CD market, and the decline even of DVD/Blu Ray for more proof. Digital downloads have replaced some of the gap, but not nearly all of it.


By RivuxGamma on 3/27/2011 6:04:45 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, piracy is down because I've not been on a decent internet connection for a while.


By TheEinstein on 3/29/2011 9:07:39 AM , Rating: 1
Credentials online are like monopoly money from an atm sometimes, but I shall try to validate my claims.

I am both a security expert and a statistics scientist.

In 2000 to 2001 I studied first hand piracy at levels most would not. I went about different networks and websites and the whole shabang. What I found back then is that the estimates were off significantly from what I could find.

While a modern torrent might have so many seeds, and so many downloading at a given time, the total number of different objects being 'seeded' is actually off acknowledged scales. While in no way did I track individuals to determine numbers of persons involved (useless with some basic efforts to mask an IP, especially with dialup being the majority back then), the scale of different items and their total numbers on a given day were astonishing.

I would say that any industry estimate is significantly off kilter. I would easily say there is 100 times (or much more) traffic than even the RIAA estimates account for. While this may increase the total 'offenders' to a small percentage, the total losses become much more staggering than original estimates would conclude.

And I am sad to say that I know I did not find all 'systems' in place as I do not speak Mandarin, Russian, or any of the European languages. The scope is much larger when you account for the piracy levels know for those nations being higher than what is commonly accepted for the United States.

Just a small survey of players who at one time used a private server instead of a game companies pay servers would indicate the levels that truly happen.

Oh and as one poster stated that he had ripped music as a child, then later as an adult threw it away and purchased the music.

Please account for those who do not have moral issues later in life, please also account for inflation, interest, and on-going investments. You may have stolen only $1000 (guess) in music, and later paid that $1000, but even by normal margins, compounding interest over (guessing) 10 years means you actually cost them quite a bit. Finally inflation must be accounted for as well, but I digress with this.

The point is, for the TL;DR crowd:

There is much more piracy than estimates by most groups show. Perhaps they are handicapped by needing to prove at a minimal level of what is going on, or by their own market type (music, video, tv, games, office software, etc). There is much more piracy than RIAA estimates, and the cost is staggering.


Increase in legal channels
By Lonyo on 3/24/2011 10:01:12 AM , Rating: 3
A decrease in piracy may also be due to companies finally starting to offer content online by various means and at close to reasonable prices.

If you look at what was available legally online in 2007, and then compare it to 2010, there was probably a lot more legit content made available, making it easier to buy instead of pirating if you want to source your stuff online.




By ZachDontScare on 3/24/2011 3:00:58 PM , Rating: 2
I think you hit the nail right on the head. With iTunes, Hulu, Netflix, and Kindles, its simply easier to legally obtain a copy of something.


RE: Increase in legal channels
By Lazarus Dark on 3/24/2011 9:22:51 PM , Rating: 2
Yep. I never bought an MP3 until Amazon started providing cheap, drm free music. And having the 30 second sample helps a bit too. Also its far more likely I can find a new song on youtube now than it was a couple years ago. And services like Pandora and such let me try tons of new music I'm likely to like and possibly buy.

And though I rarely ever torrented a show or movie, thanks to the ever increasing Netflix streaming catalog, I'm not likely to need to torrent ever again, unless it's something really rare, in which case there is likely no place to purchase it anyway.

It took ten years to get it through their thick heads, but some of them are finally learning, reasonably priced, convenient, legal methods of media consumption actually increase revenue and decrease piracy. Gee, who'da thunk it?


What a joke
By Beenthere on 3/24/11, Rating: 0
RE: What a joke
By Solandri on 3/24/2011 3:37:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If people are dumb enough to pirate they are dumb enough to go to prison in addition to a $10,000 fine per copy.

Actually, that was increased to up to $250,000 fine per copy.

To give you an idea how ridiculous that is, Limewire was recently sued for $75 trillion (yes, with a t) for the infringement it enabled. I agree piracy is wrong, but when the legal fine for piracy exceeds the GDP of the world, the fine is way, way, way beyond excessive. That's the effect of the RIAA and MPAA's lobbying dollars - it's bought them laws which are so skewed in their favor that they strain all bounds of credibility and common sense.

quote:
If I had a dollar for every illegal download or distribution I'd be a billionaire.

That's just it. The *AA companies assume each download is a lost dollar. But the vast majority of those downloads are from people who never would have paid to buy the product if they couldn't download it. I myself download stuff to find out if I like it. If I do, I go out and buy it. If I don't, I delete it. So the *AA companies are in fact getting all the money they would get from me if piracy were impossible (more in fact since if I'm unsure whether I'll like a movie or CD, I simply don't buy it). But my downloads are still counting towards their mythical inflated piracy figure.


RE: What a joke
By Beenthere on 3/24/2011 3:57:03 PM , Rating: 2
You belief is unfounded. People steal what they want. If they want it most would pay for it if they had too or they wouldn't steal it in the first place.

Technically their motivation however is unimportant as the law provides for a $10,000 fine per copy and that should be accessed to all. The payment isn't just for lost revenue, it's meant to be punishment for criminal activity. Now that prison time will also be mandatory, we're gonna see a lot of whinning from pirates too stupid to buy their music, video or software.


RE: What a joke
By Noliving on 3/25/2011 12:14:46 AM , Rating: 2
No its not unfounded at all, even the US judicial system agrees with that sentiment:

quote:
Record companies cannot collect restitution for every time a song has been illegally downloaded, a US District judge has decided. Judge James P. Jones gave his opinion on United States of America v. Dove, a criminal copyright case, ruling that each illegal download does not necessarily equate to a lost sale, and that the companies affected by P2P piracy cannot make their restitution claims based on this assumption.


http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/01/ju...

The reason why some people download copyrighted material that they don't want is for the simple reason because they can and or because of the fact that it is "free" and if it is free you might as well, right? People will still take/accept stuff that is free/"free" even if they don't want it or need it.

Here is what Russell Carroll had to say about piracy of his company's product:

quote:
As we believe that we are decreasing the number of pirates downloading the game with our DRM fixes, combining the increased sales number together with the decreased downloads, we find 1 additional sale for every 1,000 less pirated downloads. Put another way, for every 1,000 pirated copies we eliminated, we created 1 additional sale. Though many of the pirates may be simply shifting to another source of games for their illegal activities, the number is nonetheless striking and poignant. The sales to download ratio found on Reflexive implies that a pirated copy is more similar to the loss of a download (a poorly converting one!) than the loss of a sale. Though that doesn’t make a 92% piracy rate of one of our banner products any less distressing, knowing that eliminating 50,000 pirated copies might only produce 50 additional legal copies does help put things in perspective.


http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?st...

Another thing to consider is that just because someone wants something doesn't mean they believe it has any monetary value.


Image caption
By BernardP on 3/24/2011 10:18:30 AM , Rating: 2
Image caption "The loss of LimeWire has P2P pirates on the run".

---- Can't ----- Stop ---- ---- Laughing ----- Hic ----

In other news, rumor has it that Microsoft's next operating system will ne named "Windows XP"




Statistics
By Breakfast Susej on 3/24/2011 10:51:42 AM , Rating: 2
The statistic I would like to see is how the loss of Limewire effects the amount of machines continually reinfected with ridiculous trojans on a revolving door schedule, by teenage girls, and other various imbeciles.




People still use Limewire?
By zero2dash on 3/24/2011 1:42:16 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously?




Youtube
By bill4 on 3/24/2011 11:36:56 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, I think most kids today probably just get their music from youtube. The idea of "downloading" an MP3 already seems almost unnecessary.

There's also sites that will easily convert any youtube vid URL you paste in, into an audio MP3. Personally I'm not huge on that because the quality may be lower than a 128k MP3, but I'm sure the masses dont care at all.




..............
By BruceLeet on 3/25/2011 9:29:27 AM , Rating: 2
http://www.tomsguide.com/us/P2P-LimeWire-75-trilli...

GG. RIAA should be dissolved they are the ones hurting the industry these days. The Internet evolved but their business structure didn't. It's as simple as that.

They couldn't keep up in the footrace they got left behind, they could've made deals with ISPs that charged an persons ISP account accordingly per download from a legitimate record companies library.

Of course that wouldn't halt torrents or file sharing but it would indeed have been a step in the right direction.




"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates














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