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Piracy Your Rights Online

Suppressed Report Shows Pirates Are Good Customers 291

Posted by samzenpus
from the biting-the-hand-that-steals-from-you dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The movie and music industry think pirates are criminals and parasites who cost both industries billions of dollars in lost sales. In order to prove this fact a number of studies have been commissioned to help demonstrate the effect a pirate has on sales of entertainment. GfK Group is one of the largest market research companies in the world and is often used by the movie industry to carry out research and studies into piracy. Talking to a source within GfK who wished to remain anonymous, Telepolis found that a recent study looking at pirates and their purchasing activities found them to be almost the complete opposite of the criminal parasites the entertainment industry want them to be. The study states that it is much more typical for a pirate to download an illegal copy of a movie to try it before purchasing. They are also found to purchase more DVDs than the average consumer, and they visit the movie theater more, especially for opening weekend releases which typically cost more to attend."
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Suppressed Report Shows Pirates Are Good Customers

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  • First to say (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @06:20PM (#36829164)

    The MPAA/RIAA lying about stats to justify unjust laws? Never.

    • To play devil's advocate, they didn't exactly lie here. This "GfK" just didn't publish a report that came to the opposite conclusions they were paid to reach. That's not quite "lying" and it's not quite the MPAA/RIAA. It's scummy, yeah, but at this point that much is a given when the RIAA/MPAA is involved.

      They probably justified burying this report as "It doesn't prove that piracy is good. Think of how much MORE they'd pay back into the economy if they didn't pirate ANYTHING!!!" If they justified
      • Re:First to say (Score:5, Interesting)

        by kj_kabaje (1241696) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @06:38PM (#36829342)
        I believe that's called a lie of omission... still perjury in a court of law.
      • Re:First to say (Score:5, Informative)

        by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @07:00PM (#36829560) Homepage

        It's a lie. "Not publishing a report" is still a lie. When you testify before congress that you are presenting facts revealed by studies and you omit anything that you want to conceal, it's perjury. "... to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth..." I'd say that's a violation of the oath they take prior to giving testimony to not at least make available ALL information collected as that fits within the "...the whole truth..." part of the swearing in.

        I'd like to see a congressional investigation into the matter -- not that I expect one to happen -- just that I'd like to see one. And who knows, perhaps if some government scandal comes up, they will need "some distraction" to draw the public's attention away from themselves. This might be a good one though it might result in lower campaign contributions.

      • Re:First to say (Score:5, Informative)

        by jc42 (318812) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @08:56PM (#36830526) Homepage Journal

        To play devil's advocate, they didn't exactly lie here. This "GfK" just didn't publish a report that came to the opposite conclusions they were paid to reach.

        This has been widely discussed in scientific circles, too, including here on /.. Organizations that fund research often let the researchers know what results are expected, and if the science shows otherwise, the reports are very often suppressed. This is considered a major problem in a number of scientific fields.

        It's especially problematic that "no significance" reports are often suppressed. It can be useful to know that X and Y have no relation. But, for example, drug manufacturers don't usually like to hear that their profitable "miracle drug" actually has no effect on the conditions that they claim it will cure. Admitting this publicly means they'll no longer get income from the suckers who have been buying the "drug" to cure their condition.

        In general, it may be true that not telling everything you know isn't exactly a lie. But that's not exactly what's going on here. Continuing to say something is true when you've done studies showing that it's false is definitely a lie. This is what companies do when they suppress "no significant effect of X on Y" results, and it's what the **AAs do when they claim something they don't like is hurting sales when their study shows that it doesn't. It's a lie regardless of whether the claimed "piracy" actually helps or has no effect on sales.

      • "To play devil's advocate, they didn't exactly lie here. This "GfK" just didn't publish a report that came to the opposite conclusions they were paid to reach. That's not quite "lying" and it's not quite the MPAA/RIAA."

        From the article it doesn't appear that the company actually withheld the study.
        "Unfortunately, we will never get to read the official version of the study as the unnamed client who paid for it to be created has decided it should not see a release. The reason given for shelving it was that th
    • They are after all, above the law. [youtube.com]

    • by wiedzmin (1269816)
      Funny thing is that they're shooting themselves in the foot here...
    • Re:First to say (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Richard_at_work (517087) <<richardprice> <at> <gmail.com>> on Thursday July 21, 2011 @03:42AM (#36832338)

      How are the laws unjust? The piracy is still happening, the fact that the pirates also buy stuff shouldn't be a mitigating factor.

      Its up to the rights holder to decide if the piracy is something they can live with or not, not you or I - although its great fun watching people try to justify it on Slashdot...

      Also, the entire basis for this story is "an anonymous person says..." - thats great, a fantastic headline with no way to corroborate it at all.

      • How are the laws unjust?

        They were written for the publicly stated purpose of protecting copyright holders. If this story is true, then those copyright holders know that they actually benefit from piracy, as common sense would expect. In that situation, it's apparent that the media industries would have ulterior motives for such legislation. The most obvious such motive would be to concentrate all distribution control with themselves and killing of pesky indie distributors by cutting off their only competitive advantage.

        Wouldn't it

      • How are the laws unjust?

        How are copyright laws just? Why can I plagiarise from the Grim Brothers or William Shakespeare but I can't release a dubbed parody of Star Wars? Or post night driving videos of Montreal to the music of Richard Clayderman or fucking sing Happy Birthday on TV?

        Which of these works of art are cultural heritage and which private property?

        The law is: "the ones which someone is paying the government for protection are private, the ones which aren't are public domain".

        So I refuse to discuss copyrights in terms how

  • And... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @06:20PM (#36829166)

    They also lie on surveys about pirating and purchasing.

    • Re:And... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by icebraining (1313345) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @07:22PM (#36829792) Homepage

      Lying is irrelevant if the study is decent and asks for proof of purchase, like this did [guardian.co.uk].

      • Almost makes you wish for a stockholder lawsuit claiming a dereliction of fiduciary duty by management. It can't be in any companies' best interest to continually and very publicly sue their best customers.

      • I'm a little skeptical. How was this survey conducted? I don't exactly walk around with the proof of purchase of my CDs/DVDs in my pocket. Hell, I don't even keep the receipts after I see that the disc is free of defects (playing/watching it). How did these people prove that they had proof of purchase?
        • by protektor (63514)

          How about just show them the original DVDs that they/you have purchased? I have probably about 400+ DVDs I have bought that I could show a survey person without any problem. I could take pictures and attach it to a survey if they wanted. It's isn't all that hard to prove that you actually own a crap load of DVDs.

      • Re:And... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Thursday July 21, 2011 @02:32AM (#36832052) Homepage

        I know one person doesn't make a majority, but I would not be running a label and partering with two others if not for all the a.b.mp3 floods and multi-gigabyte "best of $genre" torrents. There is simply no way the mainstream media could have turned me onto 99% of what I listen to. Fifteen years ago I got all my music news from radio and TV, so you can imagine how awful my selection was. My only reprieve back then was the university radio stations that prided themselves on playing the weirdest niches of electronic and experimental music. Then one day, I downloaded a Slayer album. I didn't really know who they were, but the dumb thing grew on me. Now I'm a huge metalhead, I even have Slayer on vinyl, plus about 550 other artists of all genres, including a big chunk of Scandinavian metal. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe they play any Katatonia, Pagan's Mind or even Ayreon on MTV.

        Had it not been for some altruistic soul on Usenet, posting his personal toplist for everyone to sample, I would never have heard of any of those acts, and if it weren't for online music stores, I would never have found copies to buy. Perhaps most importantly, I would never have attended any of those bands' concerts, and I sure as shit would not have nurtured the passion to launch a not-really-profitable business promoting indie bands beyond the local scene. Having access to that variety of music is what turned an idle hobby into an obsession.

        My music spending before piracy: $10/month for one odd techno CD.
        My music spending after piracy: $500/month for an artist's back catalogue, a concert ticket + travel, and a dozen open mic nights at the local bars. I'm not even counting all the hours I invest into my protégés.

        The problem is the RIAA probably doesn't see much of that $500, because it's often going to indie bands, small online stores, or foreign dealers for the hard-to-find stuff. The RIAA simply does not sell a product I wish to buy, not even consume for free. I swear, if I hear that stupid J.Lo Lambada rip-off one more time !@^&#!@

      • by master_p (608214)

        It may be that pirates who don't purchase the material they pirate are not willing to participate in the study or declare not being interested in that material.

        On the other hand, people that pirate stuff and then buy it may be more than willing to participate in the study, thinking they did the right thing and wanting to show it to the world.

    • Consumers don't want to be suckered into buying a lemon. MAFIAA much rather that they do.

      This should be evident when film industry sued to suppress negative film reviews on opening weekend, knowing that the suit will never hold water. They just wanted the negative reviews off line long enough to sucker a few more people into paying 12 bucks a head to waste a few hours of their lives in a theater.

  • No big deal (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sponge Bath (413667) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @06:22PM (#36829178)
    When you can't deny the information any longer, you switch to discrediting it. Fighting truth is just a cost of business for the entertainment industry.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by commisaro (1007549)
      Forgive me, but I don't really understand the business model, though. If it's true that their own studies have shown that pirates are better customers, this would presumably indicate that allowing piracy would increase revenue. So if their goal is to maximize profit, why wouldn't they want to take this on board?
      • by lattyware (934246)
        Remember they are trying to maximise profit. Yes, they could simply try and provide the best product and get people to buy them, what they'd much rather do is keep a system where people can't try before they buy, ensuring them large profits from mediocre products, and ensuring their prices can remain higher than the should be.
      • Their revenue is already on the rise. It's just that they want more control over all the channels, in order to maximize profit even more in the future. Plus, people trying something before buying it is not necessarily something they like.
      • this would presumably indicate that allowing piracy would increase revenue.

        Not necessarily, they could still be better costumers even without the possibility of piracy, and hence killing piracy could still raise profits.

        But personally I bet that those organizations are afraid of losing control of the advertisement and distribution channels, which currently lets them force bands to sign with them. They don't want to have to compete with independent distribution systems that give a greater piece of the pie to the artist.

        • by protektor (63514)

          You are making way too many assumptions there with absolutely no foundation of facts. You have not proven that if you remove "piracy" that sales would increase. Why you even think that would be true I have no idea. DRMed e-books have not increased book sales. In fact if you look at Baen Books the opposite is true. If you release e-books without DRM your book sales for those authors will increase dramatically across their entire current and back catalog. So in fact this is one clear example that completely d

        • by billcopc (196330)

          I, for one, would not be a "better consumer" without piracy. I would simply not consume at all. I do not like the stuff they play on the radio or on MTV. I really can't stand what they dare call hip-hop these days, this top-40 one-note tone-deaf-droning garbage with no message. I don't fit the mold because I have triple-digit IQ and damn critical hearing.

          It used to be, you could go to a record store where people didn't wear stupid blue uniforms, and they could spell their own name without a tutor whispe

      • Re:No big deal (Score:4, Insightful)

        by another_twilight (585366) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @07:31PM (#36829886)
        Control.

        While I think a lot of the anti-piracy stance of the media groups is still driven by the assumption that piracy hurts sales, demonising pirates has turned into a great way to justify a kind of balkanisation of the market.

        Regional restrictions allow them to sell the same product at the price that the local market will bear without diluting the higher markets with product sold in the lower.

        Encryption and laws against circumventing it that are supposed to stop piracy also act to stop you buying one copy of something and then transcoding it to the form most useful to you.

        Ultimately, the cost of distribution for purely digital material is drastically smaller than for physical items, but media companies are still claiming costs for breakages associated with LPs in the CD age. If they can blame 'pirates' then they don't have to let competition drive the price of a digital copy down to reflect the reduced cost of distribution.

        It's oddly long-sighted of them. They have a monopoly and are fighting to keep it that way. This isn't about short term profit. It's about keeping control of the entire profit-making industry.
        • by protektor (63514)

          The problem with trying to show "piracy" hurts sales, "piracy" by the individual rather than commercial piracy, does not effect sales. There are many many examples of this and many many reports that prove this is in fact false. It is an attempt at a straw horse by the entertainment companies (games, movie, music, books, etc) that is completely false. They spend far more money on trying to stop "piracy" than they will ever recover in sales if there was absolutely no "piracy". It is a stalking horse that has

      • Re:No big deal (Score:5, Informative)

        by next_ghost (1868792) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @07:32PM (#36829900)
        Because if they can't keep their tight grip on our culture, they're done for. This group of middlemen stopped being useful over a decade ago. It's not piracy they're fighting, it's the market which is trying to get rid of unnecessary transaction costs. Piracy is just a ruse.
        • by protektor (63514)

          This is so very true. RIAA and MPPA and book publishers have become the buggy makers and whip makers of the modern era and they are being phased out and it scares them to death. They add absolutely no value to the created product other than controlling who get promoted and at what level and then that is charged back to the creator of the work. You could hire an advertising company to do that yourself. Media corporations are no longer needed in the age of the Internet and they know this and it scares the cra

      • by Genda (560240)

        Have you ever heard of the Malay Monkey Trap. You put a piece of fruit in a hollow log the bore a small hole where the fruit is. The hole is just large enough for the monkey to reach in and grab the fruit, but too small to get the fist full of fruit out. Logic would dictate the monkey would drop the fruit and leave. Instead, the greedy little monkey will hang onto the fruit even in the face of mortal threat.

        It would appear that the corporate controllers of our music and motion picture entertainment have des

        • by pwizard2 (920421)
          Based on what I've heard, the same thing works on racoons. Just swap out the fruit for something shiny.
      • by protektor (63514)

        Because it has absolutely nothing to do with profits in reality. Instead it is about whining to congress that they aren't making enough money because of the "pirates". So they get copyright length extentions. They get laws passed that try and force everyone to buy through them. MPAA and RIAA don't even like used products to be sold and have several times tried to talk congress into limiting used sales. The gaming industry is doing the exact same thing. They are just greedy and want to kill used sales becaus

      • by shish (588640)
        I find that current pirates are generally aware of the situation and the effects of their actions, and they buy to support the creators; if piracy were allowed, the normal people who don't know and don't care would see it as a valid option and download without thinking~
      • by nyri (132206)

        You are correct. All the blathering about 'control' and stuff are borderline conspiracy theories. The study is being suppressed because MPAA/RIAA and movie studios, believe or not, are different entities. This requires just basic understanding of bureaucracy. MPAA/RIAA do not want to release the study. They are afraid that movie studios and record labels execs would read it; afraid that they conclude that MPAA/RIAA are a waste of time and good money.

        Believe me, this report is read with great interest in hea

  • by ccguy (1116865) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @06:22PM (#36829182) Homepage
    I often download the first season of TV shows, and then buy the blu-ray of the rest - which I have to ship from a different continent because they won't sell them in my country. Well, they often don't air the TV shows here (in any channel), and of course web access is country restricted.

    So I go out of my way to pay. If you still think I'm a pirate, fuck off.
    • by Master Moose (1243274) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @06:33PM (#36829284) Homepage

      Likewise, many times when I have missed an episode of a TV show, I will download it.
      I always forego the tv companies online "Catch Up" service as the quality of the streams are crap. Yet this is seen as me being an evil pirate by those in the industry.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The industry needs to wake up and license these movies and televisions shows to anybody who wants to show them online and make it available in a non-hostile format. Wack a mole doesn't work terribly well and mostly just costs them money. It justifies the actions of pirates and let me be the one who says. I don't respect the copyright although I do respect peoples demand for money when they provide a service. That is to say I'll pay for the movies. I'll pay for the ridiculously expensive pop corn and soda. S

      • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@NOspaM.gmail.com> on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @08:10PM (#36830212) Journal

        They didn't have the WB when Buffy was on and frankly hearing the description (a comedy horror based on a bad movie with a soap star and the Taster's Choice guy?) I would have NEVER bough so much as a single DVD but there was enough good word of mouth I said WTF and downloaded the first two episodes. I ended up hooked and now have the entire Joss Whedon collection, Angel, Buffy and Firefly with a couple of BtVS collectibles my late sister got me for bookends.

        I probably spent a good $500 on that and I wouldn't have spent a dime if it weren't for piracy. Also after getting burned by several games where the damned things wouldn't run even when I was waaaay over the specs and finding the demo is usually the ONLY level they do real serious QA on (I'm looking at you Max Payne) I will always download the game first to make sure it will actually play before plunking the cash. If it doesn't? Bye bye. I want all the features like MP so I buy the ones that run that aren't shit (and I don't play shit so they don't even last as long as the demo on my drive).

        So these figures really don't surprise me. It really doesn't take getting burned too many times before you want to try before you buy. No way to have a real trial? No sale for me. Sadly though I would argue that no matter what you do they'll claim piracy as their little PPTs say if they made X last year then they should make X*Y simply because they are just wonderful and geniuses.

        Mark my words as piracy goes down thanks to plenty of online choices like Netflix when they see their sales don't suddenly spike and give them ever increasing profits? First they'll blame the darknets, it is a scary sounding word and they don't have to prove shit and it will let them ram more draconian BS laws through, then if they keep slipping they'll just have themselves declared "too big to fail" and take the money directly out of your pockets though bribery of congress critters.

    • Fair point, and one I've been a part of many times.
      But to some extent we also should attempt to understand the nature of regional business, and why we have to find these workarounds, and justify to ourselves that it's "not bad". Despite our globalized 21st century world, the 19th-20th century nature of licensing (be it patents, copyright, or contract law) makes it very apparent that companies simply are not permitted to sell their product everywhere and to everyone. That's not our fault as consumers, and it

      • by protektor (63514)

        You do know why there are region locks on movies right? I has nothing at all to do with export and import restrictions or anything like that. It is because movie studios only make X number of prints of the film. They claim it is due to expense of the film stock because of the amount of silver actually used in film stock. I can kind of believe this but not 100%. So a movie company will make say 200-300 copies and ship them around the US to theaters. Once it has it run in the US, they get all 200-300 film cop

  • Pirate? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pookemon (909195) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @06:28PM (#36829234) Homepage
    I guess it depends on which part of the piracy chain they are speaking too. Are they talking to the people who buy/borrow DVD/Blurays to rip and distribute them? The people that go to the latest release movies to video tape them? Sure, they are "good customers". Or are they talking to the people that download them from the forementioned "pirates" because they're sick of going to the movies to see something that costs a fortune, in an uncomfortable chair with no surround sound, half the picture off the screen and some annoying little shit kicking the back of their seat? Or perhaps they're talking about the kind of people that download them because they can't afford to buy the DVD, and rather than recording it off the TV they get a version off the net that is only different from the TV version because it doesn't have ads in it, though if they got the cable version it wouldn't have ads in it, so in reality there is actually no difference.
  • Correction (Score:5, Interesting)

    by igreaterthanu (1942456) * on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @06:30PM (#36829244)
    Did they correct for the amount of media consumed for each person? Of course someone who pirates 50% of all media they consume, yet consumes a large amount of media is going to purchase more than someone who consumes far less.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      And this matters... why?

      Someone who goes to see 1 movie/year, and purchases 1 DVD/year vs. someone who pirates 50 movies/year and goes to see 25/year and buys 25 DVDs/year. No matter how you correct for the person who consumes less, the "pirate" who downloads 50% illegally is 25 times more gross revenue for them.

    • As someone who consumes very little media, and I mean VERY LITTLE. I wonder if by having a large quantity of media readily available for pirating doesn't actually encourage the habit of consumption. I know that often my media purchases (almost exclusively CDs and books) almost always follow an influx of new media loaned or given to me by a friend. I'll listen to some new music and think "this is good stuff" and frequently go out and purchase a few cd's or a couple books as a result, usually tangentially

  • Hardly Surprising (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sinthet (2081954) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @06:30PM (#36829248)

    People who torrent lots of media tend to enjoy being consumers of media. Many want to support artists but love the convenience P2P gives them, so they utilize it to try products and then support the artists they think deserve funds by purchasing DVDs/CDs/Games, or they simply want a physical copy as a result of wanting to collect things.

    I'm not discounting that some pirates are purely leeches however. There's no reason to believe that all pirates are so generous, just that it makes pretty good sense that a majority are willing to pay for quality entertainment. Hell, I've purchased each volume of MegaTokyo religiously since picking up the first one randomly in a bookstore, regardless of the fact that the comics are all available for free online (And not illegally either).

    • Re:Hardly Surprising (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Ironhandx (1762146) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @06:36PM (#36829314)

      I consume shitloads of media.

      If things were more reasonably priced, I'd probably buy everything I wanted. As it is I need to guarantee its not crap before I buy it.

      At $10 per DVD, I'd buy everything. At the $25+ per DVD that I have to pay for most things I end up downloading the stuff then buying copies when they go down into my price range.

      I have probably in excess of 1,000 movies and maybe 20 full tv series downloaded. Of those I own about 600 movies and 18 of the 20 tv series.

      So yes, I pirate, a lot. However at the same time I'm one of the best customers the media industry has.

      • Hear, hear. I don't pirate games, but this is exactly my experience with Steam. Anything that costs $30+, goes on my wishlist, and I think long and hard before buying it, I read reviews, play the free demo etc. For $15-$30, I'll still play the demo and maybe read a review or two. For $15 or less? Check out the trailer and if it looks like something I'll enjoy, I'll get it. Everyone has a price at which they say, "what the hell" and just grab it on the off-chance, like an impulse buy at the supermarket*. And
    • I pirate videos that I want to try before I buy (my 400+ movie collection that I've purchased will be great support of my try before I buy philosophy if I ever end up in court). The only time I torrent video games is if 1) it's a really old game you can't find anywhere else or 2) the company wants to dick me with absurd DRM - sorry, but that last one is a principled stand. I was happy just boycotting DRM until I had a discussion with a rep from a game developer who flat out lied to me about the DRM in a g
  • by LearnToSpell (694184) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @06:34PM (#36829288) Homepage
    I download a ton of stuff (the full-evaluation copy, my friend called it), but if I like it, I buy the CD. I'm pushing 4,000 right now, and I can't imagine I'd have a fifth that if I had to buy before listening. Digital distribution's made it so easy to try 20 different bands in one listening session, so expecting people to just shell out money in the faith that the product will be to their liking seems so... antiquated.
  • half agree (Score:3, Insightful)

    by v1 (525388) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @06:35PM (#36829302) Homepage Journal

    "The movie and music industry think pirates are criminals and parasites who cost both industries billions of dollars in lost sales.

    No, and yes.

    They aren't the idiots that they play themselves to be, that are blindly trying to sue everyone and don't understand how things should work. They are completely aware of the situation, and understand that they are playing the game in the most profitable way possible, and have absolutely no reason to change their ways.

    But yes they do recognize pirates (and customers, and little green men, and everyone else on and off the planet) as a threat to their bottom line, and will take any action they can find that will further to maximize their profit. Be it legal or illegal, moral or immoral, sensible or nonsense. They'll run the numbers and follow the compass to the $outh, past whatever it leads them through.

    Can't blame them really. They're experts at their job, and I'm sure their shareholders would agree, they're doing quite well at their job. (otherwise they'd have been fired long ago)

    • Re:half agree (Score:5, Insightful)

      by BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @06:52PM (#36829488) Homepage Journal

      Can't blame them really. They're experts at their job, and I'm sure their shareholders would agree, they're doing quite well at their job.

      They hell I can't! If they were robotic automatons that were preprogrammed with the single goal of generating a metric fuckton of profit for their shareholders and that were lacking the free will to reevaluate their values, then you would be correct, I couldn't blame them.

      However, the record companies are not run by robotic automatons. They are run by humans and, quite frankly, as human beings, they should have the cognitive capacity to understand complex mental abstractions such as morality, healthy social balance, empathy, and temperance. Trying to earn a profit is not a morally corrupt quest. Trying to earn a profit at the expense and livlihood of your fellow human beings, and at the disruption of the society that you, yourself, are part of is downright stupid, if not flagrantly evil.

      So you bet your ass I can and will blame these lying, piss-poor pieces of shit that were raised with such a moral apathy that they hardly even resemble a shell of what a thinking, intelligent, contributing member of this species is.

      You may think it is okay to be an apologist for sociopaths, but I, personally, hold my fellow human beings to higher standards than that if they are going to continue calling themselves human.

      • as human beings, they should have the cognitive capacity to understand complex mental abstractions such as morality, healthy social balance, empathy, and temperance.

        Perhaps they do understand morality but don't have the same morals as others.

  • Some Notes (Score:4, Interesting)

    by brit74 (831798) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @06:43PM (#36829402)
    We know from other data that music sales (http://www.businessinsider.com/these-charts-explain-the-real-death-of-the-music-industry-2011-2) and DVD/BlueRay sales (*see below) are down. When adjusted for inflation and population growth, Box office revenues are down around 15% compared to 10 years ago.

    It's also worth pointing out that saying, "pirates buy more than the average consumer" is not actually an argument for piracy, since pirates tend to be disproportionately from a class of people who were originally big fans. Thus, it's possible that "big fans" who start using piracy end up buying 1/2 as much as they used to, but still out-buy the "average consumer" who was never all that interested. (For example, I don't pirate and I own zero DVDs or BluRay disks, which makes it easy for pirates to buy more than me.)

    * "Total revenue from DVD, Blu-ray and digital sales and rentals of movies and television shows in the U.S. declined 3% to $18.8 billion in 2010, according to new data from industry trade organization Digital Entertainment Group. Although the drops, particularly of DVD sales, are worrisome for the entertainment industry, studio executives can at least take some comfort in the fact that the picture isn't worsening as quickly as it did in 2009, when total home entertainment revenue plunged 7.6%."
    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2011/01/home-entertainment-market-shrinking-slower-as-blu-ray-and-digital-make-up-for-more-of-dvd-decline.html [latimes.com]
    • Re:Some Notes (Score:5, Insightful)

      by h4rr4r (612664) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @06:56PM (#36829530)

      Maybe the economy has more to do with that then piracy. Also legal methods of watching movies as well. I don't buy movies now that I have netflix unless I really love them. In the past I did not buy many movies, certainly less than I spend on netflix. This means while I might be spending less on DVDs I am spending more on entertainment.

      • by CCarrot (1562079)

        Maybe the economy has more to do with that then piracy.

        I think you hit the nail on the head there.

        I don't get it. It's like the MAFIAA thinks that an economic downturn is not allowed to affect them or something. Wake up, people! You provide entertainment services. That is a frill, not a necessity. If people have to choose between gas for the car or clothes for their kids and buying the newest (or even pre-owned) movie you're trying to milk for moar profitz, guess which one they'll choose?

        Overall, it seems to me that the entertainment industry has been hit

      • Yeah, I know there were a couple of movies lately I'd have loved to go see, but the shekels just aren't there any more.

    • by Cederic (9623)

      To add to h4rr4r's insightful comment, people have spent a few years building a DVD collection. Many of my purchases have been films from the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. I now own those films, so no, I'm not going to buy them again. I'm only going to buy more recent films. I imagine many people are in this situation.

      The other factor is the quality of the output. Hollywood really does create a very large volume of very low quality work. Not only do people prefer to avoid paying for shit, but it's discouragin

    • The MAFIAA are seeing their revenue drop because they are no longer the gate keepers to popular entertainment. Instead of buying CD's of artists signed to members of the RIAA, people can buy songs from tens of thousands of other artists who would never get signed by the big studios. Instead of watching a movie people are watching YouTube videos, chatting via social media, or playing games.

      The reason the MAFIAA want to lock down the Internet and PC's isn't to stop piracy, it is to get back their position as

  • This is nothing new (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rudy_wayne (414635) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @06:46PM (#36829440)

    A while back I came across a copy of Modern Recording magazine (this was a trade magazine aimed at people who worked in recording studios) from 1981 and there was an article about "piracy" of music. In those days there were no personal computers or internet. The villain, according to the record companies, was the cassette tape recorder. People were borrowing albums from their friends and making a copy on cassette tape. So the RIAA commissioned a study that they hoped to take to the government and get some sort of law passed to halt this terrible crime (much like the MPAA tried to stop the VCR).

    According ot the article, the RIAA study was shelved and never widely distributed because it revealed -- surprise -- that people who owned cassette tape decks bought an average of 75% more albums that people who didn't own any recording equipment.

    • So the RIAA commissioned a study that they hoped to take to the government and get some sort of law passed to halt this terrible crime (much like the MPAA tried to stop the VCR).

      Sadly AFAIK no quotables came out of the RIAA's work to match Valenti's over-the-top offensive "Boston Strangler" line.

  • I live these studies (Score:3, Interesting)

    by slash-doubter (1093233) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @07:17PM (#36829738)
    I never went to concerts or bought records until I started pirating music. I never bought textbooks for pleasure reading until I pirated textbooks. I never bought art creation programs, before pirating them all and finding the ones that suited me. I also never went sailing before I started pirating, but I don't think there is a correlation there. I wouldn't have to pirate if there was some sane trial and advertising didn't lie. As is, pirating is the only thing that allows me to make an informed use of my very limited financial resources. A disproportionate amount of which goes to the people I "stole" from.
  • Yes, the argument that pirates buy a lot as well as downloading makes them 'good' customers is inherently flawed.

    If we presume good customer to mean one who spends the most possible, then we have to ask this question: Are pirates buying more than they would have, or less? The kneejerk reaction the studios have is 'they are buying less than they would have, as they would have bought the items they are pirating' - the response from the other camp is 'more, because the pirates are trying new stuff they then go

  • pirate, they are motivated enough to buy. I know I can get tons of free stuff off the internet but I don't care enough to bother. Almost all mainstream music, video, movies, novels, etc, are completely worthless. If I had to spend time trying to find it, I'm literally wasting my time.

  • I always try to make sure that none of my money goes to the MAFIAA!

  • I find this surprising because I know about 20 or so people who regularly pirate videos and they rarely if ever go back and buy the DVD. Why would they when they already have the illegal copy on their media center. What this study says is that most of the people who pirate do not match the profile of the vast majority of people who pirate that I happen to know.
    The pirates i know are in the 30 to 50 age range, and make enough money to buy lots of fancy audio video equipment and media centers, but for some r
  • Pirates (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Trogre (513942) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @10:24PM (#36831074) Homepage

    Can we please stop calling people who engage in copyright infringement pirates?

    Real pirates are scum who need to be wiped off the planet.
    Copyright infringers are breaking one or more laws in certain jurisdictions, and their moral status is more of a gray area.

  • The content industry after decades is still in a childish state. Take Nintendo and Sony, both of them just reversed their region encoding. The 3DS uses region blocking, the new PSP won't. WTF! Surely by now you expect a standard approach to have been proven the most viable and to be used? But no, content companies keep flip-flopping around on whether a piece of content should simply be available at the same time around the globe or not.

    Yakuza is a good game series from Japan, you might compare it to GTA but

  • I don't understand this from the labels' perspective... if they find that "piracy" actually helps their sales, then why do they insist on paying huge amounts to fight it?

    I suppose I can see two options:

    1. Political momentum / Saving face. "We've sunk so much into this for so long, that we'd look stupid and open ourselves up to counter claims if we admitted that we've been wrong all this time."

    2. There are different types of distribution. For example: BitTorrent is not the same thing as selling $2 copies i

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