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EU Piracy Estimates — Just How Inaccurate?

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the pirates-across-the-pond dept.

Government 124

Last week we discussed news that a US government report questioned the reliability of piracy statistics from the media industry. Reader superapecommando sends in a follow-up written by Glyn Moody that examines a similar problem in Europe. Quoting: "As far as I know, no similar analysis has been carried out for European reports. So I thought it might be interesting to look at one particular European report on the subject — not least because I've heard that its findings influenced some of the MPs voting on the Digital Economy Act. ... the net result of this 68-page report, with all of its tables and detailed methodology, is that four out of the top five markets used for calculating the overall piracy loss in Europe draw on figures supplied by the recording industry itself. Those apparently terrifying new figures detailing the supposed loss of money and jobs due to piracy in Europe turn out to be little more than a re-statement of the industry's previous claims in a slightly different form. As a result, as little credence can be placed in the report as in those criticised by the US GAO."

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I still blame Metallica (5, Interesting)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#31900916)

I still blame Metallica. When Load didn't sell jack because it was the worst album they ever put out they started screaming that the reason that Load of crap did not sell was due to piracy.

They are Janet Jackson's nipple of the piracy world.

Re:I still blame Metallica (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31900958)

Fuck you, that was our best album ever. Those pirate fucks ruined it.

Re:I still blame Metallica (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31901210)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Slashdot pastime Trolling [slashdot.org] was found dead in its Geeknet home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss it - even if you didn't enjoy browsing at -1, there's no denying its contributions to the Slashdot sub-culture. Truly an Internet icon.

Re:I still blame Metallica (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31901524)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Slashdot pastime Trolling was found dead in its Geeknet home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss it - even if you didn't enjoy browsing at -1, there's no denying its contributions to the Slashdot sub-culture. Truly an Internet icon.

Humor and good moderating are also missing and presumed dead.

Re:I still blame Metallica (4, Funny)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31900966)

Yeah, but...Jackson's nipple is still awesome, unlike Metallica.

Re:I still blame Metallica (1)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901234)

Hey, S&M was a great experiment (they actually played a "The Memory Remains" that was good), and Death Magnetic was actually as good as "...and Justice for All". Signs are that they've made a comeback. They even apologized for being douchebags with the Napster thing.

Re:I still blame Metallica (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901344)

I'll have to take your word for it. After St Anger, I don't give a shit about them anymore, Utterly worthless. I won't even bother to risk wasting 60 minutes of my life to listen to their new music.

Re:I still blame Metallica (3, Interesting)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901550)

I actually recommend giving them a listen. Death Magnetic is sort-of like the Black Album, with the more melodic elements, but it has a lot of the thrash back from the classic days. It's not their best, but it's their best in over a decade. It does have some problems: the songs go on a bit too long, and some of the tracks are a bit weak, but overall worth trying at least one song.

S&M is actually one of my favorite albums of all time. Give "No Leaf Clover" a listen. Or the S&M version of "Battery", if you like the old thrash stuff better. Then go on BitTorrent and grab the whole thing.

What? Just because I'm a fan of the music doesn't mean I have to support the corrupt, mildly-evil system that produced it.

Re:I still blame Metallica (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901878)

It's not their best, but it's their best in over a decade.

I agree Death Magnetic is their best in over a decade.
Sadly, that isn't saying much.
It's still nowhere even remotely as good as their older work.

Re:I still blame Metallica (1)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 4 years ago | (#31903068)

The official CD release of Death Magnetic was a pile of overcompressed horseshit.

Re:I still blame Metallica (1)

RockoTDF (1042780) | more than 4 years ago | (#31904592)

Official release....as opposed to an early leak version, or the trace remixes, or what?

Guitar Hero III multi-tracks (2, Informative)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#31904710)

Take a look for a version of the album that was created from the multi-tracks used in Guitar Hero III... sounds way better than the retail CD. These tracks were apparently handed over to the GH team before the moron who compressed the shit out of the album did his dirty work.

Various version available on Demonoid, The Pirate Bay, etc.

Re:I still blame Metallica (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31903296)

Yeur dern rite! I get a twinj evertime I loo at't over me mantle wer I have it framd. Cost me a mint on ebay!

Re:I still blame Metallica (5, Insightful)

jornak (1377831) | more than 4 years ago | (#31900988)

I don't know about you, but I pirate games as a demo. If I download one or two songs from a new album, and I like them, I'll go out and buy the CD.

I played half an hour of Just Cause 2 and decided to go out and buy the game within an hour of playing with the pirated version.

It's reasonable nowadays seeing as these companies are developing too many shitty games to release a goddamn demo, so more people will buy their shit because of the media hype, and not the actual gameplay.

Re:I still blame Metallica (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901156)

If I download one or two songs from a new album, and I like them, I'll go out and buy the CD.

Fairly unnecessary now, iTunes lets you listen to 30 second samples of all songs in the album so you can decide if the style is something for you. Sure, samples aren't perfect but neither is grabbing two random songs out of an album.

Re:I still blame Metallica (4, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901324)

I still blame the RIAA/MPAA/MafiAA... and add in Clear Channel to the mix.

The death of radio DJ's who actually spun an album now and again was the death of my music-buying habit; it let to me getting burned by a couple groups who had a decent radio single, and the other 12 songs on the album turned out to be pure crap.

I bought Aerosmith's "Get a Grip" album on the strength of a radio DJ playing it; I left "Just Push Play" on the shelf after listening to a friend's copy and realizing it wasn't worth it.

Ever since Bill Clinton signed on to radio consolidation, radio's basically been fucked. Small wonder "talk radio" got so big, their only competition has been precanned shit-music format stations. We used to have a 2 great alt-rock stations in town, then Clear Channel bought them out and turned one into yet another mexicrap station, the other into a "shit-rap that morons without two brain cells to rub together blast from their ghetto cruisers" station ... as if we didn't already have 12 of those damn things crapping up the airwaves locally as it stood.

Re:I still blame Metallica (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31901616)

You must be from the bay area - I miss KSJO too..

Re:I still blame Metallica (2, Insightful)

del_diablo (1747634) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901444)

iTunes lacks a proper platform, and does not give a physical hugable media nor does it deliver full quality flaq.

Re:I still blame Metallica (2, Funny)

ryantmer (1748734) | more than 4 years ago | (#31902152)

iTunes lacks a proper platform, and does not give a physical hugable media nor does it deliver full quality flaq.

FLAQ - Free Lossless Audio Quoi?

Re:I still blame Metallica (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31901598)

Instead of doing that, I just use Grooveshark. It's like an online iTunes/Pandora mix, and it has almost everything. Free, legal, and high quality.

Re:I still blame Metallica (4, Funny)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901932)

Wow!
I've heard stories about your existence, but I thought them myths.
I must say it is truely an honor to speak to the one person in the world that actually does what millions of downloaders merely claim to do.
Are you also the guy that downloads only Linux CD's using bittorrent?

Re:I still blame Metallica (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 4 years ago | (#31902496)

And I am the other guy, who doesn't download any songs illegally and thus never buys music.

Re:I still blame Metallica (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31905942)

I must say it is truely an honor to speak to the one person in the world that actually does what millions of downloaders merely claim to do.

No, those millions of downloaders actually do that.

Re:I still blame Metallica (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31901184)

When Load didn't sell jack because it was the worst album they ever put out

No way, St. Anger makes Load look like a masterpiece.

Re:I still blame Metallica (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901238)

I still blame Metallica. When Load didn't sell jack because it was the worst album they ever put out they started screaming that the reason that Load of crap did not sell was due to piracy.

I blame shitty bus drivers.

Re:I still blame Metallica (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31901492)

R.I.P Cliff... You are still missed.

Re:I still blame Metallica (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31901972)

Who is Metallica?

Re:I still blame Metallica (2, Informative)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31902870)

They are Janet Jackson's nipple of the piracy America.

There, fixed that for you. “Nipplegate” is a purely American phenomenon.

Very Inaccurate (4, Interesting)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901050)

No estimates are going to be accurate. There are many more sources for files than these people will ever find ... and the **AA take every source they can make up and then pass it through a magic multiplication filter (the same one they use to calculate the value of their 'losses').

That's no excuse (4, Insightful)

Entropius (188861) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901274)

In the sciences you put a huge effort into quantifying error. A result might be quoted as:

60
+- 2 due to limited sampling in a Monte Carlo experiment (statistical error)
+- 0.5 due to uncertainties in a previous result that this one relies on
+- 0.2 due to using an approximation in our math
+- 0.8 due to uncertainties in how we corrected for a bias (systematic error)

The presidential pollsters do this: they'd quote some number as "58% for Obama, with a 2 percent statistical margin of error, and an additional 1 percent error coming from the fact that we're not quite sure if we're over- or under-sampling cellphone-only voters."

If your estimates aren't *precise*, that's okay. You can still give an honest estimate with a large error bar. Do it, and honestly quantify your uncertainty.

Re:That's no excuse (1, Informative)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901448)

Pirates have stolen 35 bajillion* songs, movies and games from us!!




* ± 14 bajillion %

Re:That's no excuse (3, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901590)

In the sciences you put a huge effort into quantifying error. A result might be quoted as:

60 +- 2 due to limited sampling in a Monte Carlo experiment (statistical error) +- 0.5 due to uncertainties in a previous result that this one relies on +- 0.2 due to using an approximation in our math +- 0.8 due to uncertainties in how we corrected for a bias (systematic error)

The presidential pollsters do this: they'd quote some number as "58% for Obama, with a 2 percent statistical margin of error, and an additional 1 percent error coming from the fact that we're not quite sure if we're over- or under-sampling cellphone-only voters."

If your estimates aren't *precise*, that's okay. You can still give an honest estimate with a large error bar. Do it, and honestly quantify your uncertainty.

Indeed, but since when was the average person educated enough about science and statistics to understand the importance of what you are saying, or to competently criticize the methods used and claims made by the copyright interests?

Re:That's no excuse (2, Insightful)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 4 years ago | (#31904840)

Indeed, but since when was the average person educated enough about science and statistics to understand the importance of what you are saying, or to competently criticize the methods used and claims made by the copyright interests?

Since before "No Child Left Behind"?

Re:That's no excuse (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 4 years ago | (#31902880)

Do it, and honestly quantify your uncertainty.

The reason they will never do that is because there's actually a potential net gain in profit due to piracy, via its function as free advertising.

Re: Potential Gain (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 4 years ago | (#31903228)

Susan Boyle.

Sweet old Lady, got some bad breaks earlier.
She became a crystal clear YouTube phenom, and then this happened:

From Wiki:
Global interest in Boyle was triggered by the contrast between her powerful voice and her plain appearance on stage. The juxtaposition of the audience's first impression of her with the standing ovation she received during and after her performance led to an international media and Internet response. Within nine days of the audition, videos of Boyle -- from the show, various interviews and her 1999 rendition of "Cry Me a River" -- had been watched over 100 million times.[7] To date, her audition video has been viewed on the internet over 347 million times.[8]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_Boyle [wikipedia.org]

And of course that episode was not bought 347 million times.

So that's the absolute end of the line of the RIAA hardliner tactics.

Re:That's no excuse (-1, Offtopic)

cbeaudry (706335) | more than 4 years ago | (#31904078)

You know, I wish Climate Scientists would understand this.

Because to them, AGW science is settled.

If they actually took them time to quantify there error margins it would look like:

95% Certainty
+- 25 for computer modeling
+- 20 for temperature stations 1000km away.
+- 50 because tree ring data diverged form actual readings about 30 years ago
+- 30 because thermometers 100 years ago are far from being accurate to .1 degree celcius
+- 25 for pretending to take into effect the UHI effect
+- 25 for not being able to predict el nino and el nina effects into the future

etc... etc...

Re:That's no excuse (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 4 years ago | (#31906928)

In the sciences you put a huge effort into quantifying error.

Which can be a good metric for spotting psudoscience, which dosn't tend to do thia...

Re:Very Inaccurate (1)

Znork (31774) | more than 4 years ago | (#31902022)

Further, such numbers, whatever they are, don't even support their derived claims about jobs or taxes; copyright is fundamentally a taxation form, and as such it does not create jobs but merely redistributes resources. Jobs gained from IPR are lost elsewhere in the economy.

Arguing about the numbers is merely a smokescreen and by even playing that game one supports the even more flawed premise. More taxes don't necessarily lead to more jobs. Neither does more copyright levies and revenue.

Invalidate (4, Interesting)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901052)

So when the supporting numbers are well and truly shown to be bogus can we invalidate all the legislation that they inspired as well? Hahah, yeah joking.

Re:Invalidate (2, Insightful)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901592)

That should be law.

If a law is built on incorrect information it should be automatically repealed. After it is repealed it can have another go at becoming law with the correct information.

Re:Invalidate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31901716)

Take it a step further:

If a war is started based on inaccurate information, troops should be removed automatically once it the info is proven inaccurate.

Re:Invalidate (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901842)

You can't just say, oh oops, we are no longer at war with you. Well you can, but that doesn't mean they won't continue the war you just started.

Troops should only be removed if that is the best course of action to take based on the well being of those the troops are protecting.

If the US had pulled out of Iraq after the invasion then its possible that Iraq could have fallen into a Somali type situation without a central government.

You break it, you fix it.

I would say that the only reason we are still in Iraq is because we are obliged to see them get back on their feet before we pull out because we were wrong.

Re:Invalidate (3, Insightful)

KahabutDieDrake (1515139) | more than 4 years ago | (#31902100)

Or because building infrastructure at a huge mark up through a no bid contract to your buddies at your previous job takes time.

Re:Invalidate (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 4 years ago | (#31902174)

There is no requirement to fix it.

You can break it and leave.

Happens throughout recorded history.

Rome did not fix Carthage.

Re:Invalidate (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#31902290)

Thank god that the US is not as bad as Rome then.

Re:Invalidate (1)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901734)

You know, that would also probably make Congress/Parliament/what-have-you too busy looking at old laws to pass pork/raise taxes/etc. That way you kill two birds with one stone.

Re:Invalidate (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31902062)

Every statistical information is incorrect to some degree.
How incorrect can it before it is too incorrect?

Re:Invalidate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31905156)

Oh, you mean like how Cannabis is listed as Schedule I in the US despite the fact that it matches NONE of the criteria for Schedule I?
Schedule I - (copy pasta)
  (1) Schedule I. -

(A) The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse. // sorry, Cannabis is not very -physically- addicting.

(B) The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. // tell that to California.

(C) There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision. // look at (B)

guess what? laws RARELY make logical sense.

Completely inaccurate (5, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901088)

There's no way to make any kind of meaningful estimate as to how much piracy there is, let alone how much or if any of that results in lost sales or gained sales. No data == no meaningful guesses.

Re:Completely inaccurate (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901186)

No data == no meaningful guesses.

Unfortunately that won't stop the MPAA/RIAA from making up numbers and meaningless guesses.

Re:Completely inaccurate (2, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901372)

fraud: deceit, trickery, sharp practice, or breach of confidence, perpetrated for profit or to gain some unfair or dishonest advantage.

perjury: the willful giving of false testimony under oath or affirmation, before a competent tribunal, upon a point material to a legal inquiry.

When are these people going to face the music? Why is there one law for the individual, and a different application of the law when a multi-million dollar company does it?

Re:Completely inaccurate (3, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901478)

When are these people going to face the music?

They claim they can't because someone pirated it.

Re:Completely inaccurate (1)

xOneca (1271886) | more than 4 years ago | (#31902046)

Why is there one law for the individual, and a different application of the law when a multi-million dollar company does it?

God is in between. And by "God" I mean "money".

Re:Completely inaccurate (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901200)

No data == no meaningful guesses.

Almost correct. No data = no constraint on wild exaggeration. They'd claim infinite losses if they thought it might be believed.

Re:Completely inaccurate (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#31902696)

Good point. You can't prove their numbers are wrong!

Any time you come up with any other number, they'll claim your methodology is flawed. And then cry a lot about their children starving in the rain. Or driving last year's Benz instead of buying a new one like they deserve.

Re:Completely inaccurate (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#31902856)

Any time you come up with any other number, they'll claim your methodology is flawed.

How do they argue against their revenues going up every year?

Re:Completely inaccurate (1)

skine (1524819) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901652)

There's a relevant Simpsons quote.

Everybody already knows what it is, so there's not much point in saying it.

Re:Completely inaccurate (1)

t0p (1154575) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901956)

Of course there's a way to make meaningful estimates of losses. Just ask the copyright holder how much he thinks he deserves.

This method has been used very successfully by courts all round the world. Why mess with a thing of beauty?

Re:Completely inaccurate (1)

arkenian (1560563) | more than 4 years ago | (#31905794)

This sort of attitude is, based on most feedback we have, BAD FOR US. Its not at all clear that one couldn't perform a rigorous study. Its much less clear that industry wants anyone to DO SO. Fundamentally speaking, if its really impossible to make a meaningful guess, then industry can continue to make up numbers. I just don't believe that. EFF or someone should try to fund their own, serious, in-depth study of the issue. And if that means that phase 1 is a study on how to perform the study, so be it. But do you really believe that if I get a statistician, a computer scientist, and a bunch of their grad students in a room for several months, and give them money to try some methods, they won't be able to come up with something??

No corroborating evidence. (4, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901102)

Those apparently terrifying new figures detailing the supposed loss of money and jobs due to piracy in Europe turn out to be little more than a re-statement of the industry's previous claims in a slightly different form.

Apparently, the report writers noted that the sale of eye-patches and peg-legs didn't correlate with industry claims of piracy...

Re:No corroborating evidence. (1)

xOneca (1271886) | more than 4 years ago | (#31902084)

And what has piracy to do with eye-patches and peg-legs? ... Oh! Wait!

Re:No corroborating evidence. (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#31902750)

That just demonstrates that pirates are using their new-found wealth to buy better prostheses. Maybe laser eyes and bionic legs. They'll certainly need it when the zombie apocalypse descends on the measured and honor-bound contest of pirates v. ninjas.

Re:No corroborating evidence. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31903032)

stats or didn't happen.

just how accurate is any inf. we get these daze? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31901106)

not very, as evidenced by the compilations of our small band of infomaniacs. what's even more evident is that most of us would rather not know the truth & prefer either flat out lies, watered down 1/2 truths, or just 'good news', true or not. fear prevails again.

never a better time to consult with/trust in your creators, who are not making the headlines right now. stand by.

I blame entitlement systems (0, Offtopic)

Orga (1720130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901142)

Just like government services, half the people expect everything for free, the other half foot the bill. Pirates are just following the example their society has laid out for them.

Re:I blame entitlement systems (5, Insightful)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901240)

Copyright is an entitlement system...

Re:I blame entitlement systems (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31901496)

"Since I have made something (or have been explicitly granted the specific rights to something), I feel I am entitled to request that it be treated the way I want it to be treated."

Compare that to the following:

"Since I exist and disagree with you, I feel I am entitled to do whatever I want with what you have made (or have been explicitly granted the specific rights to)."

There's a bit of a key difference there. If you don't agree with how a copyright holder wants you to treat their stuff, ignore it. The stuff, not their wishes. Don't download it, don't play it for friends, don't talk about it, don't start hate blogs against it. Go give your patronage to copyright holders you DO agree with. They're out there. Think Jonathan Coulton. Sure, he sells his music. But he's not too concerned about people trading MP3s. He gets it.

Just because other people don't get it isn't any excuse to walk over their wishes. That's called being a dick. No, "they started it!" isn't an excuse, either. Just ignore 'em. Don't give them your money and don't advertise them to your friends. Take away the scant shreds of truth the MPAA/RIAA are desperately clinging to, and they'll collapse. Keep giving them legal cause to go after people, and they will. It's as simple as that.

But "I really really REALLY want that" is no reason to be a dick about it.

They sold it, tough shit. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31901546)

They sold it, tough shit. If you want to control your ideas, don't sell them. Or contract out an NDA. But after all this time of stealing every single item out there, DO NOT come crying to us about theft of copyrighted works. YOU STOLE FROM THE PUBLIC.

So fuck off with your "I feel I am entitled" shit.

You don't feel I should do what I want with what I know of your stuff? Then don't sell it.

Re:I blame entitlement systems (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31902218)

"Since I have made something (or have been explicitly granted the specific rights to something), I feel I am entitled to use lobbyists and excessive laws to force you to pay more than you are willing to pay. I will also product lower quality, unoriginal remakes and make minimal changes just to artificially extend the time I can charge these crazy amounts."

That is what the MPAA/RIAA is actually saying.

Just because other people don't get it isn't any excuse to walk over their wishes

How about the fact that they have many times in the past used their combined power to raise prices, rip off customers and force out the little independent competition.
People wish to have culture at a fair price. In a free market we wouldn't have to pay as much but they have repeatedly changed laws and destroyed any hope of it changing back.

No, "they started it!" isn't an excuse, either.

It is an excuse, its just one you dont agree with.

They extend copyright and make attempts to slowly erode rights like fair use and then claim idiotic rubbish like "you license the music not own it" to stop you listening to something you've bought in the way you want.

I consider culture a basic human right. Granted it might not be as important as some others but my morals allow me to fight an unjust system in any way I decide no matter how many politicians they bribe into passing laws.

Re:I blame entitlement systems (2, Insightful)

bit01 (644603) | more than 4 years ago | (#31904946)

... I feel I am entitled to do whatever I want with my copy of what you have made ...

FTFY

---

Ownership, by definition, is the right to control something. Any ethical (not legal) argument based on "because they own it" is bogus.

Re:I blame entitlement systems (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31906330)

I just realized...Your statement is equally correct from both opposing viewpoints. Genius!

What the? (5, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901154)

calculating the overall piracy loss in Europe draw on figures supplied by the recording industry itself

Seriously? You know, there was a time when we believed the cigarette companies that smoking was fine based on the stats they gave us - and look how well that turned out.

This kind of self policing industry crap has got to stop.

Re:What the? (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901398)

It's true, studies have shown that listening to Justin Bieber songs will give you cancer.

Re:What the? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31903782)

This kind of self policing industry crap has got to stop.

Now if only we could apply that same logic to politicians...

I find one flaw in all these arguments (5, Insightful)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901174)

The "substitution rate" is probably the worst figure in all these papers, mainly because it is far from constant. Perhaps, with enough study, you could find the substitution rate for one specific product in one region, but trying to get a national average by product category is ludicrous.

Since people like blaming Metallica, I'll use them as an example. Note that all these numbers were pulled out of my ass, same as all numbers.

You may get a substitution rate of 50% for Master of Puppets in Southwestern US. You may get a 2% substitution rate for St. Anger in Finland. You may get a 20% substitution rate for "S&M", and you'd be lucky to get a 1% rate for "Acoustic Metal". That's a massive change just for one band. How would you compare the rates between The Black Mages and Justin Bieber? Trying to lump target audiences like that will give you numbers about as meaningful as the ones I just made up.

Listen up, MAFIAA. We care about three things: quality, price, and usability. We will pay for the good stuff, and tell you where to shove your crap. We don't want to pay 30$ for a music album, $20 for movie tickets, or $70 for a game. Finally, we want to get stuff easily, that works with everything, and doesn't come with legal crap that shouldn't have a chance of standing up in court.

And if you can't give us those three things, you need a new economic model. How many bands are giving out the music for free and making money from concerts and merchandise? It's nearly impossible to pirate a t-shirt or an experience. How much money are "free-to-play" games making?

Stop trying to legislate a profit, and start spending as much on those three things as you do on legal fees. Maybe you'll actually make money by, *gasp*, making a desirable product.

Re:I find one flaw in all these arguments (1)

aj50 (789101) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901544)

The $70 for a game is down to consumer stupidity.

If people see a game for $60 and a similar game for $70 they assume the $70 one is better. (and they're only going to buy one and it's only a $10 difference, I mean really they'd be stupid not to buy the $70 game, right?)

A free market does not serve consumers if consumers do not make an informed choice.

Re:I find one flaw in all these arguments (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31902170)

Well, atleast hose people aren't so stupid as to wait a few months for the $70 game to cost $20 in the bargain bin. Surely at $20 the game has to have become far less enjoyable.

Re:I find one flaw in all these arguments (1)

aj50 (789101) | more than 4 years ago | (#31902580)

The bargain bin? Are you crazy?

Only really terrible games end up in there!

What do you take me for, some kind of trash monkey who is happy to take games out of bins? Pff.

Ahem.

Back in the real world, there are some people who will only buy from the bargain bin because they play a lot of games and don't have a lot of money and are happy enough to wait or seek out a bargain.

I'd argue though that there's still a large proportion of people buying games who have no idea how to tell the good stuff from the crap. Kids will buy anything that has their favourite cartoon character on it, parents will either ask the store assistant, buy what their kids have asked for or just pick something at random they think looks nice. I strongly suspect there's a reasonably large pool of irregular gamers who enjoy playing once in a while and who mostly buy yearly sports titles or big budget games which are very popular and never drop in price anyway (Halo, Gears, Modern Warfare, Mario, Zelda, etc.).

Re:I find one flaw in all these arguments (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901560)

Note that all these numbers were pulled out of my ass, same as all numbers.

You must have a pretty large ass to fit every number in there.

On a slightly serious note I wouldn't point to "free-to-play" games as a great strategy either. Several are hooked up with scams for points (like Zynga) They should look at games that are fun but not flashy (like World of Goo).

Re:I find one flaw in all these arguments (1)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901648)

I'm not saying free-to-play is right for everything, but it's currently a "next big thing" to many game devs. A lot of them are wary, but they see profit margins that are simply obscene by regular standards. I read an article (can't find it ATM) that compared costs for World of Warcraft and Farmville. The dinky little Facebook game made more money, with an order of magnitude more users, an order of magnitude less dev time, and minuscule hardware overhead.

The artists, musicians and game designers may not like it, but the producers and shareholders do, so a lot of people are "looking into it".

Re:I find one flaw in all these arguments (2, Funny)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31902222)

Note that all these numbers were pulled out of my ass, same as all numbers.

Just for saying something like that, I'm going to have to punish you
1273, 18, 9762381, 44.2
Ha! Take that.
8, -273, 4, 91827364E23
And now for one that'll really hurt:
Pi

As inaccurate as desired (3, Interesting)

gweihir (88907) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901298)

It seems nobody requires those making piracy loss claims to prove anything they say. Consequantially, estimates keep going up, and have reached a ridiculously high level. Typical dishonest tricks used include billing the price of a full retail version for each suspected download (1. the full retail price is unrealistic 2. people would not have gotten the thing if they would have to pay 3. a lot of downloads never get installed/used/listened to 4. filenames lie and not everything is what is claims to be).

There is a really urgent need to either have serious negative consequences for those making claims that are inflated or to stof listening to those with high self-interest and get hard numbers. Just remember that somebody downloading a song, litening to it once and then deleting it is the equivalent to have listened to it on the radio and then deciding to not buy it. Content providers have a far to high opinion of the quality of the things they offer. Many people would just go without if pirating was harder.

Re:As inaccurate as desired (2, Insightful)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 4 years ago | (#31902280)

How is it even relevant? Do retailers complain that they lose billions from shoplifting, and demand that soldiers be stationed in stores? Do employers complain that they lose billions from employees reading slashdot, and ask that they be allowed to revoke employee's driver's licenses and put a lien on their houses?

Re:As inaccurate as desired (1, Interesting)

gweihir (88907) | more than 4 years ago | (#31902404)

It is relevant because politicians listen to these people and then pass insane laws.

My take is that if the business model does not work anymore, the onlythink to do is to change it. If we find out that actually nobody produces music, movies or software anymore, something needs to be done, bit that is very unlikely to happen. Don;t forget that in the arts the talented ones are not after getting rich, and being able to life off their art is a bonus. With global cheap distribution, funding the creatives should not be an issue at all, and there are by now a number of exaples of artists that understand this and have sucessfully adapted. For examples look at Jeanis Ian and Baen Books. For software that is produced by those that want it and use it themselves, look at Gnu, Linux, Apache, OpenOffice, etc.. What there sem to be no space for anymore is people that get rich off other peoples works. Hardly a loss.

Methodology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31901328)

You don't understand, some of these people have 20 or even 50Mbit connections, that's almost 915 times more than the 56k modem on which we base our figures...

dilemma (4, Interesting)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901330)

The media industry has a nice dilemma here:

If the piracy figures are too small, then nobody will care about them.
On the other hand, if the piracy figures are too large, then the whole European population is criminalized, and nobody will care either...

Re:dilemma (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31901710)

If the piracy figures are too small, then nobody will care about them.
On the other hand, if the piracy figures are too large, then the whole European population is criminalized, and nobody will care either...

Oh, what a tangled world-wide-web we weave ...

I'm sure it's everywhere (4, Insightful)

ShadyG (197269) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901350)

Yes, piracy is rampant. I don't need some government study quantifying just how much it's happening. The reality is that content creators have to enter the market with their eyes open and accept reality. I happen to be a musician myself, and I can really relate, but we got by before recordings of any kind existed, and we will continue to survive and practice our art now that recordings are essentially free: Live performances. Works for hire. Voluntary donations. Value added (physical copy, cover art, printed lyrics, etc.). Ad revenue. All this (except the works for hire) can be done with Creative Commons music. Most of all, I don't delude myself into thinking I can give up my day job and be a rock star. I make a good, reliable living doing something that other people need. At night, I create things that I personally need to create. And I don't bitch about it when I don't get paid. I feel happy that anyone other than myself cares to hear any of it.

stuff that (really) matters no longer relevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31901386)

being replaced (as we fail to communicate) with 1/2 baked 'celebrity' gossip, or the 'trials' (more phony scriptdead fiction) & tribulations of our self-decreed 'betters'. that must be the way we like it, 'cause that's what we settle for.

m9od 0p (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31901456)

in jocks or chaps Ab0ut half of the and distraction wasn't on Steve's

Science by the Pound (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901526)

as little credence can be placed in the report as in those criticised by the US GAO

That's not the point. The point of these studies is not to find out anything, and it's not really even to convince anyone of anything, it's to show that the problem has been exhaustively studied, and that "our" research is more exhaustive than the other side. When I was in government, we used to call this "science by the pound," and it could literally devolve into "my study is thicker than yours" type of arguments.

As a simple rule of thumb, if the body funding the study has a interest in obtaining a particular result, and the study supports that result, it should just be ignored.

 

Re:Science by the Pound (2, Funny)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901730)

Hell, I ignore any study of the Internet that involves humans. Half of the researchers don't understand it, half already wrote their conclusion, and half are so out-of-date that they're still bracing for Y2K.

hmmm... (2, Funny)

charliemopps11 (1606697) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901604)

I wonder if they considered repeat downloads? As is, I download all my favorite movies and songs, then get a virus from all the downloads, have to format my harddrive... AGAIN... and then redownload them all over again. I think all of piracy might just be a couple of hundred people like me stuck in a nightmarish Download-Virus-Format loop.

Re:hmmm... (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901754)

Avast Anti-virus = free

Spybot Search & Destroy = Free

I'm sure you were making a joke, but on the off chance, those two things should save you from having to re-format as often.

Re:hmmm... (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 4 years ago | (#31901910)

Linux = free. What's a re-format?

Re:hmmm... (1)

KahabutDieDrake (1515139) | more than 4 years ago | (#31902198)

It's like recompiling your kernel and having to spend 3 days rewriting conf files to get X back up.

Re:hmmm... (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#31902814)

Are you still using Red Hat 4?

Five Things To Consider (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31902596)

1. When stating how much software "costs" they always use the list - or highest price, which is usually a multiple of the actual end-user site license cost.

2. They don't allow for typical disk-to-disk archival backups. Most modern sites use archival backup strategies, and copy data from disks to allow for recovery when a primary disk fails. This gives you two or three "software" copies, when in fact only one is used, the other two being archival - one on the same computer, the other on another (backup) computer. Only one license and one copy is actually in use.

3. They don't count educational site licensing. We've run into this where we purchase a three copy site license to use the software for students, and the terms state we can have three copies running at the same time, but the licensing was a via a purchase certificate online. At no time were more than three copies running.

4. The more they present a "problem" the more they can justify the audit and any fees. There is no incentive to correctly count licenses, only to ignore valid and different licenses, as this increases the total count and thus the punitive aspects.

5. I just like the number five.

Irish "piracy" (3, Interesting)

DrXym (126579) | more than 4 years ago | (#31902934)

I was listening to TodayFM in Ireland and some music spokes drone claimed there were 650,000 active pirates in Ireland. Out of a population of 6 million. This figure in itself is laughably high but on top of that the industry claimed they were losing 69 million annually due to piracy. This implies that these 650,000 pirates were responsible for over 100 lost revenue each just in music sales.

These figures are so implausible that it is a wonder that any government takes them seriously at all. It's clear that piracy does result in lost sales, but the music / movie industry is doing itself no favours by lying. Pirates almost by definition place less value on an item than a music industry. The industry might think a CD is worth 15 but the pirate clearly begs to differ. It therefore makes no sense to say a pirated copy = one lost sale since the pirate would be unlikely to have paid full price in any event.

How inaccurate? 100% (1)

Nyder (754090) | more than 4 years ago | (#31904836)

I'd say they are 100% inaccurate.

Seeing as it's IMPOSSIBLE to get a correct number, or even an close estimate of the number of pirated copies.

They can though, give you a total cost of how much they are wasting on DRM.

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