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New Piracy Loss Estimate 480

Posted by samzenpus
from the avast-ye-mateys dept.
An anonymous reader writes "WSJ reports on a new MPAA estimate losses due to piracy. "The study, by LEK Consulting LLC, was completed last year, and people familiar with it say it reached a startling conclusion: U.S. movie studios are losing about $6.1 billion annually in global wholesale revenue to piracy, about 75% more than previous estimated losses of $3.5 billion in hard goods. On top of that, losses are coming not only from lost ticket sales, but from DVD sales that have been Hollywood's cash cow in recent years."
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New Piracy Loss Estimate

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  • by ackthpt (218170) * on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @07:08PM (#15258267) Homepage Journal

    Why don't they show the RIAA and MPAA giving the Big Spin, themselves?

    bzzzzzzzzz-tik-tik-tik-tik-tik-tik
    "Come on 6.1 billion! Come on 6.1 billion!"
    tikka-tikka-tikka-tik-tok-tok "Come on 6.1 billion! YAAAAAYYYYYYY!!!! We lost 6.1 billion!!! Wheeee!!! Huzzah!!"

    "Now we cut to live footage of those most responsible for the losses incurred by the RIAA and MPAA conducting a clandestine summit in a treehouse on the outskirts of Wooster, Massachusetts!"

    "Ahoy, ye bloomin' yeller scoundrel!"
    "Avast, ye bloomin' scupper-faced seadog!"
    "Arr, ye great yeller galoot!"
    "Avast, ye scurvy bilge-spewin' lubber!"
    "Ahoy, ye poxy waterlogged galoot!"
    "Avast, ye great bilge-spewin' picaroon!"
    "Arr, ye bloomin' brine-swiggin' lubber!"
    ...
    It sure beats the boring truth, doesn't it?
  • by QuietLagoon (813062) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @07:09PM (#15258275)
    that said VCRs would kill the movie industry.
    • by QuietLagoon (813062) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @07:21PM (#15258376)
      Jack Valenti, head of the MPAA, testifying before the Committee on the Judiciary, United States House of Representatives, April 12, 1982

      I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone.

      • Conspiracy! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Trinition (114758) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @08:16PM (#15258740) Homepage

        I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone.

        Do you think maybe the MPAA hired someone to go strangle women -- later known as the Boston Strangler -- just so they could have a scary phantom to use as a simile when battling the VCR in court?

        Nah, they wouldn't stoop that low... would they?

    • Hollywood Studios make a HUGE movie, say like Gigli.
      Hollywood TV Studios hype hype hype said big movie on shows like ET, Access Hollywood, or Live with regis and kelly.
      Someone pirates a screener of Gigli and posts a torrent.
      Gigli opens in theatres.
      A few people really into movies either download the torrent or see it opening day.
      Those people who are really into movies are also the people that others go to to find out if new movies are any good.
      Noone goes to the theatre by the second day.

      Clearl
  • Excellent! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Seriously, this crap is getting ridiculous. I find myself cheering for bigger losses.
    • Re:Excellent! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @07:12PM (#15258308) Journal
      Without an independent audit of their claims, is there any reason at all that anybody should be taking these numbers seriously?
      • Re:Excellent! (Score:3, Informative)

        by kfg (145172)
        is there any reason at all that anybody should be taking these numbers seriously?

        If they come stapled to a $6.1 billion check made out to cash and slipped under the back door of the Captiol Building?

        KFG
      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @08:07PM (#15258684)
        short answer: no

        long answer: nope
      • by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @10:41PM (#15259503) Journal
        Without an independent audit of their claims, is there any reason at all that anybody should be taking these numbers seriously?

        Of course not.

        They pull these numbers from their a**holes.

        So now they hired some bigger a**holes and were able to pull out bigger numbers.
  • by kwiqsilver (585008) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @07:10PM (#15258287)
    Of course the study assumes that every "pirated" copy of a movie would be replaced by a ticket or dvd sale, if there was no "piracy".

    That's logical, right?

    • by daknapp (156051) * on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @07:13PM (#15258311)

      Actually, no it doesn't make the assumption that every pirated copy of a movie would be a sale. If you RTFA, you would see:

      Critics have faulted some piracy estimates for equating each pirated DVD with a lost sale, when many consumers would have skipped the movie altogether if they hadn't gotten a cheap or free unauthorized version. This time, the survey specifically asked consumers how many of their pirated movies they would have purchased in stores or seen in theaters if they didn't have an unauthorized copy, giving studios a different picture of their true losses.

      The results are likely still completely bogus, but at least they pretended to be correcting for that factor.


      • It sounds to me like they were actually trying to fudge the numbers DOWN rather than up, in this case. They are starting to get worried about their share prices.

        Movies are one of the few good international businesses the US has left. I think it's important for us to preserve our dominance in this industry, and therefore to figure out ways to stop piracy.

        Pirates are killing the goose that laid the golden eggs. If this continues, eventually they'll just be sharing stupid home movies of people swinging ligh
        • First, there's a really damn good lightsaber fight on Google video (or Youtube? probably both). Second, there's a reason people are shifting to semi-commercial content (like podcasts - they're free but the bigger ones at least tend to have ads in some form or another) - it doesn't suck. I've bought only two movies in the last year or so for one reason: bad content. About 2/3 of my movies are copies of rentals (free rentals, mind you), and of those, I've watched about a third of them. Why's this? I had
    • Sure, I've downloaded shows when I couldn't wait for them to come out on DVD, but then when they do come out I always buy them. I like to have the cases, bonus material, etc. The RIAA/music studios pissed me off with the copy protection crap, so I don't buy music cds at all. The MPAA/movie studios are getting close to pissing me off too. I don't like putting in a DVD I just bought and then have to watch a damn video telling me not to steal it. People downloading it off the Internet aren't going to see their
    • by vagabond_gr (762469) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @08:12PM (#15258715)
      Of course the study assumes that every "pirated" copy of a movie would be replaced by a ticket or dvd sale, if there was no "piracy".

      Not only that, but also assumes that the sales coming as a direct result of the publicity gained by "piracy" would still be there, if there was no "piracy".

      Yesterday I went to a concert of Arctic Monkeys in Paris, I paid 25 euros for the ticket. I also bought an Arctic Monkeys t-shirt for 20 euros. Their CD, which I downloaded from the net, costs 15 euros. I leave the conclusion to the RIAA.
      • by d34thm0nk3y (653414) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @08:31PM (#15258822)
        Yesterday I went to a concert of Arctic Monkeys in Paris, I paid 25 euros for the ticket. I also bought an Arctic Monkeys t-shirt for 20 euros. Their CD, which I downloaded from the net, costs 15 euros. I leave the conclusion to the RIAA.

        Considering they don't really get a cut of tickets or merch. I am pretty sure I know what their opinion is.
    • There IS no piracy (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CarpetShark (865376)
      Please don't fall into their game of using the word "piracy" for sharing data with other people in your society. We can debate all we like about whether that sharing is right, and we may even argue that it morally amounts to theft, but the *act* is sharing, and that's what it should be called. Regardless of the origins of the word piracy, it has a negative and unhelpful connotation.
  • by 9mm Censor (705379) * on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @07:11PM (#15258295) Homepage
    In other news I had a friend do a study for me (I paid him a pizza, a bag of dorritos and a case of coke) and he conculded, that I paid too much for Internet, my Internet was not fast enough, I was overcharged for movies and music, and I paid too much taxes.
  • by Epistax (544591) <epistax AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @07:11PM (#15258296) Journal
    Pay $20+ for an ad infused FBI warning with regioning, or virtually nothing for no ads or FBI warnings or regioning.

    Remove the warning, remove the ads, charge $10 max. I can live without movies if you force me to.
    • by ackthpt (218170) * on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @07:23PM (#15258387) Homepage Journal
      Pay $20+ for an ad infused FBI warning with regioning, or virtually nothing for no ads or FBI warnings or regioning.

      Remove the warning, remove the ads, charge $10 max. I can live without movies if you force me to.

      Yeah, tell me about it. I popped in a DVD a couple months back and it was crammed with plugs for upcoming movies, which came out some time back when the DVD was issued, and I couldn't fast-forward, skip to menu or anything. What a bunch of low-life ****ers.

      I did eventually figure out I could hold down the menu button and start the DVD and it would actually skip to the menu, but some disks don't allow that.

    • by rolfwind (528248) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @08:37PM (#15258863)
      I second your call on "remove the regioning". Entertainment companies shot themselves in the foot here, at least as far as I'm concerned. I'd love to see a study on how much this feature "saved" lost them over time.

      Traveling between Europe and America, I was appalled my Mac notebook was only allowed to switch regions 5-6 times before being locked into 1. Whoever thought of the regioning scheme is a class 1 idiot (especially for seperating europe, USA, Japan, etc as if the price difference was major). And the companies that still keep implementing it on their DVDs instead of region 0 are even dumber.

      What I never understood is anime dvds with regions. No one is going to buy anime from another country where it's cheaper just for the reduced price, since they don't understand language - if they're that desperate, they'll just download it anyway.
      • Actually Europe and Japan are both R2 - the only difference there is PAL vs NTSC (though I am told that UMD has a Japanese and European sub-region...) As for Anime DVDs, when US DVDs come with a Japanese language track and are about 1/4 the price of those sold in Japan, well yes the Japanese companies are worried about reverse importing.
  • by vex24 (126288) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @07:12PM (#15258297) Homepage
    ...if they were actually making movies worth watching!
  • ...until I read this:
    An additional $529 million in losses came from consumers making copies of legitimate films they bought on DVD or VHS.

    Losses? You have to buy another one when you want to make a copy? Pay-per-disc?

    They're counting every time any kind of copy is made as a loss of sale. They're not even trying to be realistic here.
    • by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @07:16PM (#15258335) Journal
      Let's try to remember here that the movie industry's definition of a loss bears little or no resemblance to the commonly accepted accounting definition. The creative accounting involved can turn blockbusters into net loss situations, particularly when some guy due royalties starts asking "hey, this movie made 100 million bucks, so why didn't I get a check?"

      This is the pathetic thing about the MPAA (and RIAA as well). These guys represent some of the worst financial pirates out there. They rip off artists, investors and, most importantly, consumers, and then run around crying when some amoral sonofabitch does in miniature what they've been doing in large for decades.

      • by Sark666 (756464) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @10:23PM (#15259415)
        To expand on this, a famous example of this is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forrest_gump/ [wikipedia.org]

        They promised the writer, Winston Groom, a percentage of the profits, but a little cooking of the books and the top grossing film of that year becomes a commerical failure a la hollywood accounting http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_accounting [wikipedia.org]

        Another example is eddie murphy's 'coming to america'. It grossed 350 mil worldwide but yet failed to produce a profit.

        Art Buchwald received a settlement after his lawsuit Buchwald v. Paramount over Paramount's use of Hollywood accounting. The court found Paramount's actions "unconscionable," noting that it was impossible to believe that a movie (1988's Eddie Murphy comedy Coming to America) which grossed US$350 million failed to make a profit, especially since the actual production costs were less than a tenth of that. Paramount settled for an undisclosed sum, rather than have its accounting methods closely scrutinized.

        Even Stan Lee had to sue marvel over spiderman profits.

        What I'm curious about is if Art Buchwald didn't settle with Paramount, and these practices were exposed in court, would the studio not be guilty of tax evasion if the movie made way more than reported?

    • by dgatwood (11270) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @07:46PM (#15258547) Journal

      I noticed that, too. This "study" constitutes fraud on the part of the MPAA and the company they hired. Consumers making copies of legitimate films that they bought is legally protected fair use. To count one PENNY of that as so-called "piracy" is fraud of the highest order.

      This time, the survey specifically asked consumers how many of their pirated movies they would have purchased in stores or seen in theaters if they didn't have an unauthorized copy, giving studios a different picture of their true losses.

      That's about the least useful thing they could have done. Why? Because:

      • If they pirated a copy by online download, they won't admit it, so you can bet that this category isn't factored in at all. Even in the best case, the numbers are dubious.
      • The majority of people buying a bootleg DVD probably don't know that it isn't legit when they buy it. Thus, one would expect that nearly 100% of those folks would have bought it legitimately.

      The study also shows that home video, not theatrical distribution, is the market that piracy hits hardest, accounting for two-thirds of the studio's lost revenue.

      Duh. Most movies aren't available in a pirated form until long after they have left the theater, low-quality camera versions notwithstanding. I would have thought that this conclusion would have been obvious. You mean the studios were surprised?

      So let's see the whole paragraph you quoted part of....

      Last year, according to a person familiar with the matter, copies of movies downloaded or received from people who had downloaded them cost the studios $447 million in the U.S., whereas copies stemming from professional bootleggers cost the studios $335 million. An additional $529 million in losses came from consumers making copies of legitimate films they bought on DVD or VHS.

      So what they're saying is that their figures are inflated by $529 million, or almost 60%. More than 40% of their claimed losses due to "piracy" are actually due to legal copying. Okay. So even if we naively believe that this is the only flaw in their methodology and that their estimates of how many downloaders would have otherwise bought the movie are correct (big stretch), we're really only talking about the equivalent of one blockbuster's gross per year, at least in the U.S. Cry me a river....

    • I think you're reading too much into that. The article used "making copies" for brevity. You are assuming that this includes "backup copies," but I believe it was intended to be read as "making copies to give to friends, or making copies so that they can have a permanent copy for the price of a rental."

      Saying things like (in effect), "ha ha, they are so stupid they think me making a backup copy of something I bought is a loss!" is funny and all, but it's not very intellectually honest. We're all pretty

  • Bullshit. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kunwon1 (795332) *
    This study can't be trusted any farther than it can be thrown, to mangle an age-old aphorism.

    To put it simply, the MPAA sponsored this study, therefore it will be slanted as they desire. I'm sure there's some element of truth to these estimates, but the MPAA has as a goal the elimination of piracy, so the more inflated they can make the losses seem, the closer they get to their goal.
  • by Silent sound (960334) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @07:13PM (#15258310)
    I don't even understand why they bother using real numbers in these studies. Why not just move ahead to the logical conclusion, and have the study say that the MPAA loses a zillion bajillion dollars per year to piracy? It would be about as meaningful.

    Incidentally, do you ever notice how you never see any studies calculating the exact amount of money the MPAA loses each year from making crappy, unoriginal, cookie-cutter movies; showing the movies in a medium where you have to spend gas money to get to the theater and then more than half the cost of a DVD to get in the theater door; and then once they have your money putting more effort into showing you more ads than they do the movie? That's a study I'd be curious to read.
    • by brian0918 (638904) <brian0918@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @07:22PM (#15258380)
      "I don't even understand why they bother using real numbers in these studies."

      I can see it now...

      The MPAA reports on a startling new study indicating that over 63 trillion gigawatts of elephants are being harvested anually as a result of DVD piracy. The study corrected for factors such as yellow, and the tootsie roll center of a Tootsie Pop, providing the first clear evidence of a connection between movie downlaods and the number 7.
      • by Zordak (123132) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @09:14PM (#15259052) Homepage Journal
        Man, you totally missed the point. He's complaining about them using REAL numbers for this study.

        The actual report--The MPAA reports on a startling new study indicating that over 63e12 + 42j gigawatts of elephants are being harvested annually as a result of DVD piracy . . . providing the first clear evidence of a connection between movie downloads and the number -7 * exp(j*pi).

    • Incidentally, do you ever notice how you never see any studies calculating the exact amount of money the MPAA loses each year from making crappy, unoriginal, cookie-cutter movies; showing the movies in a medium where you have to spend gas money to get to the theater and then more than half the cost of a DVD to get in the theater door; and then once they have your money putting more effort into showing you more ads than they do the movie? That's a study I'd be curious to read.

      That is a fuggin' great idea

  • Increasing Numbers (Score:4, Insightful)

    by alvinrod (889928) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @07:15PM (#15258318)
    I'm sure it's quite obvious to most people that they're just inflating numbers. They can't really even begin to estimate how much revenue is lost to piracy on a yearly basis. I'll wager a substantial sum of money that in a few years this number will grow by another 2 or 3 billion dollars, not because people are pirating any more or any less music, movies, books, or other forms of media, but because the corporations want to make it seem as though they're in danger of falling apart. The truth of the matter is that they've been ripping consumers off for so many years that they have more than enough money to withstand the effects of piracy. Their hesitation to change and adapt by switching to new business models and solutions only reaffirms my belief that these corporate dinosaurs are actually in need of extinction.

    If you can't be creative and adapt to the modern world market and find new methods of selling your product, please get the hell out of the way of the companies and people that are trying to make a difference. The stagnation and lack of creative thinking is inflicting more harm on the consumers and economy than any amount of piracy could ever do. Sink, swim, or get the hell out of the water.
  • by yagu (721525) * <yayagu@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @07:15PM (#15258322) Journal

    I don't know why I bother:

    • fta:
      The MPAA froze plans to release the survey..., Other studios said the figures were so bad that releasing them would hurt their stock prices and make a laughingstock of their enforcement efforts. The result: Piracy, an issue that normally brings Hollywood studios together, was driving them apart. Although the studios eventually agreed to release parts of the information, it was only after months of infighting
      I interpret this (IMO) that the MPAA had gotten so absurd in their claims of piracy and their methodology for studying and proving it they crossed a bright line that even insiders could see and were embarrassed to allow public scrutiny. The numbers they claim are staggering, but beyond believability.
    • fta:
      In one market, it was calculated that for every bootleg DVD that turned up in raids, seven more existed.
      This is a non sequitur. First, it's a questionable assumption a disconvered pirated dvd is a lost sale. Second, it's their SWAG that seven more exist, and to my first point, it's not clear that represents loss of revenue.
    • fta:
      While new data are potentially helpful in negotiating with foreign governments because they also estimate losses to local film industries, the information is also bad news for the MPAA's antipiracy efforts.
      Another non sequitur. What impact can fuzzy-math numbers truly have?

    This is funny, it almost sounds from the article that they changed their methodology to increase their claimed "losses", and had to rein them back in when they discovered their losses exceeded global Gross (International) Product.

    I'm surprised to see such an MPAA friendly article from WSJ. Or maybe I'm not.


    • It's not a non-sequitur at all, if they only raided 1/7 of the establishments they were targeting. They are making estimates based on a limited sample size.
    • by fermion (181285)
      What doesn't surprise me is that the WSJ once again published an article that is so out of touch with the laws of reality, physics, and logic. One pervasive problem in bussiness, the thing that allowed the dot com bubble and Enron, is that bussiness people seem to have never learned or have choosen to ignore the basic law of conservation. They believe that as long as an account has, following good accounting practices, shown something to be true, then it is. Even the consumer belives that if a reputable
  • How about I get a bunch of people together and sue the **AA for all the "lost entertainment value" I have experienced from thier respective industries high priced albums and shitty movies.

    How about this deal: You allow after-viewing refunds on tickets so I can get my money back after you waste my two hours in a theater, and I'll start letting you have my money when you make something decent.
  • I once had a meeting with the head of the MPAA and his head lawyer to discuss a technology my cousin and i had created. He full blank told us that the numbers they give are made up and that there is a chance they acutally make money from p2p (as the technology of choice was at the time). I was shocked by that statement. He said that they will probably just add another billion the next year.
  • Are they REALLY losing anything when people such as me download a movie or game that I never would have bought in the first place? I would easily not pirate the game and not pay $50 for it, or I could borrow it from a friend, or anything. I buy stuff worth buying, end of story.
  • by mattjb0010 (724744) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @07:18PM (#15258348) Homepage
    By toothpaste for dinner [toothpastefordinner.com]
  • by mysidia (191772) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @07:18PM (#15258349)

    They are guessing, and they are being overoptimistic about market prospects with no piracy.

    The problem is, there is no evidence that the drop in sales from their expectations was due to piracy.

    Drop in sales can be due to the market; DVDs and ticket sales may no longer be attractive -- drop in sales figures may reflect people seeking alternative, cheaper entertainment options.

    Yes, piracy exists, yes it has an impact, but no, that impact cannot be reliably measured with any precision -- there are too many factors influencing the sales numbers you get; primarily, the market - to presume sales always go up unless piracy drives them down is just plain arrogant and a head-up-in-the-clouds assumption.

    The amount of piracy occuring is by its very nature a relatively unknown factor, especially when they refer to casual copying, or other things which DRM and other measures are purported to prevent ---- the best that can be made is an educated guess.

    These from the people who consider lending an original copy of a CD to a friend to be piracy ---- they cannot reasonably measure the total of such things with anything close to an accurate reading, it's just not practical to get statistically relevant information from a population that is being told what many of them do is bad.

    Of COURSE reporters and researchers paid by a company with a certain agenda are likely to drastically exagerate the extent and certainty about the loss being due to piracy or not due to piracy.

  • This really isn't news. It must be that time of the year when a new bill is being introduced. As a shocking rebuttle I could come out and say they're loosing 10 billion a year from puting out crap like pluto nash and some other films i've never seen and can't remember.
  • I lost about 600 BILLION Euro by not selling all that used toilet paper for an estimated 1.2 billion/sheet I set its price at.

    It's so tremendously hypocritical talking all that bullshit about globalization, a free market and how everyone's gonna save oh-so-much by having goods produced in low-wage-countries of the third world and eastern europe, and at the very same time not wanting to adjust to the demands the consumer - which is not the most unimportant in that market-thing in the end, you know, c
  • Good news? Ever? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PasteEater (590893) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @07:19PM (#15258355)
    Is there *ever* going to be a point when the xxAA reports good news again? For instance, "Ticket sales are down, but we've increased profits by not releasing so many terrible movies this year." Or, "We increased sales of DVDs this year by reducing the price by $3 across the board."

    Not likely.

    As long as they keep complaining, they have a way to justify restricting access to digital (and analog) content.

    Not that it really matters, because they have the money to pay lobbyists to influnece Congress anyway. But the public may be able to stomach some sort of compromise with regards to fair use restrictions if the xxAAs keep bitching and complaining.
     
  • I heard that there are three types of reports from the MPAA: lies, damn lies, and statistics.
  • theatre in 2 years, haven't bought any recent films on DVD in at least as long and dropped my NetFlix rental plan to the "cheapo" plan as well. They aren't losing money due to piracy, they haven't released anything I would waste my bandwidth on. They are losing money because they release trash; bad "popcorn" flicks, weak remakes that bear little resemblance to their predecessors, bubble gum movies with pop stars who act worse than they lip synch,etc.. You can blame piracy for a while longer, but eventually
  • Oh, irony! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by porneL (674499) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @07:22PM (#15258378) Homepage

    I don't like being forced to watch copyright warnings, stupid "don't steal" commercials and having trouble with archiving movies, so I prefer watching 'stolen' copies, which don't have any added crap.

  • by Gideon Fubar (833343) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @07:24PM (#15258395) Journal
    Seems like the MPAA & the RIAA are having a competition..

    they're standing on a rotating platform, trying to see who can spin the fastest.
  • If the pirates keep this up, the MPAA will be losing so much potential sales that they'll end up in the potential red and be forced to shut down operations due to the massive potential loss!
  • *yawn* (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @07:30PM (#15258429) Homepage Journal
    Too bad the 'media' will rebroadcast this, and the average joe will believe it. Causing more legislature members to jump for joy, knowing they can pass more stupid restrictive legislation to restrict our rights some more.

    If they hadnt all be bought, id say write your congressperson.. But they have, so why bother.
  • that it is not even wrong. Its just in the wrong ballpark.

    +5,Bull$hit
  • After they spend $100 million to make movies like Stealth [boxofficeprophets.com] or $130 million to make The Island [imdb.com], I'm a little surprised. Oh? Their study didn't take those kind of "costs" into account? Well no wonder it's only 6 billion.
  • by E8086 (698978) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @07:35PM (#15258470)
    Sure, another guestimate of what they think their losses are based on what they would like to think they're really making.
    The real reason I don't belive a word of it is they think they're only losing 244mill in China.

    And they claim $529mill in losses in the US because consumers are using their fair use rights to make a backup copy so they don't have to go out and rebuy movies every time a disk gets scratched because the MPAA is too cheap to use scratch resistant disks.

    How long until they blame Netflix and Blockbuster because people are renting movies at a prepaid monthly rate instead of buying them.
  • It is not surprising to me that theatre attendence is down. Admission prices are sky high, like they were set by oil company executives.

    In return for my money, I get to watch commercials before the movies and public service announcements about piracy (by the way, assholes, it's not "stealing", it's copyright infringement). Then, I get to watch trailers, which a really commercials too. Finally, the movies starts, which I might enjoy if I can hear it over the sounds of people's babies crying in an R rated mov
  • From the article:

    Critics have faulted some piracy estimates for equating each pirated DVD with a lost sale, when many consumers would have skipped the movie altogether if they hadn't gotten a cheap or free unauthorized version. This time, the survey specifically asked consumers how many of their pirated movies they would have purchased in stores or seen in theaters if they didn't have an unauthorized copy, giving studios a different picture of their true losses.

    Asking whether or not a consumer would buy the
  • They are way off! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Un pobre guey (593801) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @07:42PM (#15258510) Homepage
    Let's assume every man, woman, and child on earth consumes the equivalent of 10 pirated DVDs per year. Let's further assume that there are currently about 10 billion people on earth, and that each DVD's list price is US$20. Then, the lost sales are really:

    10 x 10,000,000,000 x US$20 = US$2,000,000,000,000 = 2 Trillion US Dollars

    This clearly dwarfs the cost of invading Iraq and giving Baby Boomers their Social Security benefits put together, therefore it is much more important. It is in fact, as shown by the objective calculations above, by far the most important issue on earth today. More than global warming, AIDS, tuberculosis, environmental pollution, shortages of potable water, collapse of fisheries, ozone layer depletion, overpopulation, lack of medical care, famine, poverty, slavery, wars in the Third World, tyrannical dictatorships, nuclear weapons proliferation, exploitation of the many by the few, rampant governmental corruption, compromised information and news media, organized crime, in short more important than anything.

    Someone should tell the RIAA.

    • 2 Trillion US Dollars... [is] in short more important than anything.

      Not quite, it's second to someone's phone bill [google.com].

    • No no no, you've got it all wrong! You have to use MPAA math! That's 10 movies x 10 billion people x 100 000$ (maximum fine per copyright infringement) = 10 000 000 000 000 000 $, or ten thousand trillion dollars of loss per year! Clearly those evil pirates must be stopped at *any* cost, we're on the edge of a global economic catastrophe!
  • I cant see spending 20+ bux for a dvd, when most of it is on cable on-demand and in HD.

    Sounds like the MPAA is out of touch with consumers. Pay for crap quality? I wont even steal that crap quality.
  • Everybody copies my program, nobody pays me!

    I lost $2.7 billion last year. Oh on Thursday, I have a loss of $5.4 billion. On Saturdays and Sunday I have a discount.

    I am the owner of 'Hello World'!
  • A real study (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Statecraftsman (718862) * on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @07:48PM (#15258572) Homepage
    I'd like to see this study done in the real world by a movie studio: Take two similarly popular movies that are projected to perform similarly in revenues over the next few months. Then release both in DVD with all the appropriate promo deals and merchandising. Finally, offer one for free download from their official website via bittorrent or even an easier http download. After a few months they can measure the revenues of each movie. Now, do you think they'd actually do that study? What do you think would be the result?
    • Re:A real study (Score:3, Insightful)

      by crossmr (957846)
      They wouldn't, and its not terribly accurate either.

      Its almost impossible to set up two movies that would give identical results and know it ahead of time. Its going to depend on the type of movie, the actors involved, etc.
      Almost ANYTHING could taint this study, a stiff wind could make it null and void. Not to mention the one they didn't set up for download, would be set up for download like it always is anyway, regular pirates would get ahold of it anyway. The only difference would be the average joes who
    • Harry Potter (Score:3, Interesting)

      The first (at least) Harry Potter movie DVD was released with the Macrovision flag tuned off.

      I didn't notice anything about the sales being poor.

      (They did save a nickle a disk in Macrovision licensing, though.)
  • U.S. movie studios are losing about $6.1 billion annually in global wholesale revenue to piracy, about 75% more than previous estimated losses of $3.5 billion in hard goods.

    Shit, those numbers really made me think people. I really feel bad about MPAA and it's about time we start to take this seriously, and no more inane jokes.

    I suggest we organize some kind of charity or something where we can donate and help MPAA recover at least a small part of the losses they endure due to the plague that piracy is. It's
  • Ah fuck 'em.

    I don't pirate movies or music, but I lost any sympathy for the RIAA or the MPAA when they decided to buy laws forcing me to buy hardware with pointless DRM to prevent the piracy I'm not doing.

    I'm not pirating, but I have to bear the cost of the MPAA's unworkable "solution", a so-called solution that puts industry spyware in my computers and TVs, and that makes my current hardware obsolete?

    Fuck those fat cats.
  • When they make a movie, they have dozens of marketing experts analyze the movie's plotline, product placements, advertising broken down by demographic and geographic market.

    would it be too much effort to break into categories this piracy market instead of just lumping it all together as "bad"?

    i'm not very good at marketing, but even I can see that pirates fall into some categories...

    * the duplicator factories that get the artwork and labelling to match exactly so they can inject it into the distribution cha
  • From the article "An additional $529 million in losses came from consumers making copies of legitimate films they bought on DVD or VHS".

    Isn't that fair use?

  • Someone at the *IAA needs to go and do economics 101 and learn about Boom/bust cycles.
  • by OpenSourced (323149) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @09:39PM (#15259197) Journal
    I live in a world of people with fast internet connections and software skills, and where copying interesting data is in the blood, be it software, music, films. But just a week ago I realized how deep this P2P thing is getting into the "real world". I was doing some install in a manufacturing plant, in the production back office. It was a small office with about ten people working. Then the secretary raised the topic of a new CD of a popular band that was to be released that day. Se asked about how long she had to wait till the CD was shared. Somebody answers that he had downloaded already. The conversation involves more people. The talked about the band, asked if the new CD was any good. All was very natural, no hushing, no self-conciousness. NOBODY even thought about buying the CD. The one that had downloaded it offered for copy, the local net of the company was used to make copies of the thing, while mixing talk of music with production problems. It was all very natural, very cool, like sending copies of a joke e-mail or something like that.

    Those where lower-income-bracket people, lower-computer-literacy people, that is, the backbone of the country. And they see nothing even remotely wrong in copying music. I fear the content producers are against too much of a slope now.

  • by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @11:11PM (#15259619)
    U.S. movie studios are losing about $6.1 billion annually in global wholesale revenue to piracy,

    Or, put another way, US movie studios saved $2.5B annually in income taxes from the losses claimed due to the global wholesale revenue loss to piracy.

  • bah (Score:3, Funny)

    by smash (1351) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @05:40AM (#15260801) Homepage Journal
    They're assuming people would pay money for the stuff they copy if it was unavailable as warez.

    Shit, i can't be arsed *copying* most of the crap out there, let along watching it or heaven forbid, having to pay for it.

    I have no trouble paying for media, however when the average new release is about as enjoyable as prison rape, I doubt their financial problems are soley due to freely available copies...

    smash.

  • by hattig (47930) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @07:27AM (#15261032) Journal
    Given ever increasing taxation and general cost of living, there's only so much money to go into the 'home entertainment' pot each month.

    That pot is shared between DVDs, CDs, games and books.

    There's only so much money, so I'll buy the best of each category and leave the 'good, but not great' until it is on sale, or just download it if I have the time to watch it.

    So they wouldn't get any extra money in total if I didn't pirate it (how long until they count going around to a friend's house and watching a film with them as piracy?), and any loss isn't at full retail price, but at bargain sale price.

    On the other hand I have bought CDs based upon downloading the music and liking the band. That music sale could have been a DVD sale, game sale or wine sale, the total money spent isn't increasing because I don't have that extra money to spend, but at least I could spend it better.

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