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Most File Sharers Would Pay For Legal Downloads

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the enthusiastic-fans-by-another-name dept.

The Almighty Buck 370

An anonymous reader writes "Two separate studies from Australia and Holland give the lie to corporate entertainment industry claims that file sharers are unprincipled thieves out to rob the honest but harshly treated movie and music studios. Over in Oz, reports, 'Most people who illegally download movies, music and TV shows would pay for them if there was a cheap and legal service as convenient as file-sharing tools like BitTorrent.' And from the EU, 'Turnover in the recorded music industry is in decline, but only part of this decline can be attributed to file sharing,' says Legal, Economic and Cultural Aspects of File Sharing, an academic study, which also states, 'Conversely, only a small fraction of the content exchanged through file sharing networks comes at the expense of industry turnover. This renders the overall welfare effects of file sharing robustly positive.'"

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People will even pay for first post (4, Funny)

2.7182 (819680) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129388)

This one cost me in karma probably.

Re:People will even pay for first post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32130022)

How could that be remotely insightful, he gained karma.

Oh Em Gee (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32129400)

Frist proust!111

Is Australia half a decade behind? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32129422)

We DO pay for legal downloads. What the fuck?

How Cheap? (5, Interesting)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129426)

Paying $2/epsiode is not cheap. I would pay $1 for an hour long show (42 minutes in reality) as long as it is commercial free. IF you try to sell me commercials, forget it! 30 minute shows I would pay $.50-$.75, but again, only for a commercial free version.

The purchased copy would also have to be DRM free.

Re:How Cheap? (2, Insightful)

muppetman462 (867367) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129460)

That would be ok, if the item would be posted right after it aired (like bit torrent)....

LOL - Your a perfect example (2, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129588)


Because there is no fixed target. For many your numbers may be too expensive, values set by greedy corporate types who eat babies.

That is why I think this survey is bunk. First off, they can feel good answering in the positive. It does not obligate them to give the feel good reply. Second, not only do you set a small dollar value on an episode you ladle it with conditions. Really, your numbers are ridiculous. I can imagine the grief you would feel if someone valued your output at such low numbers. By your logic why should software cost more than a few dollars?

Setting unrealistic requirements then complaining when they are not met does not make the other guy wrong.

Re:LOL - Your a perfect example (5, Insightful)

Xphile101361 (1017774) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129832)

Actually I'm pretty sure that companies like Microsoft would enjoy his price scheme. A dollar an hour for commercial free use of their software? To his point, I agree with the price. I only watch TV on DVD. Generally I only pay 15 to 20 USD for a season. This turns out to be about a dollar an episode. I'm not sure why you would pay more for a digital copy than what you could buy in the store.

Re:LOL - Your a perfect example (1)

Animaether (411575) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129872)

that - and let me say that $2/episode is nowhere near expensive (a beer at a bar is easily $2 and all you get from it is the need to take a piss).. not sure what GP would pay for a 3.5 minute song, if anything - and...

'Most people who illegally download movies, music and TV shows would pay for them if there was a cheap and legal service as convenient as file-sharing tools like BitTorrent.'

...that's an unrealistic demand right there; It will never be as convenient, given that you will have to register, set up payment options, etc... not to mention that having a large selection can also be seen as convenience.. it's 'inconvenient' that the legal U.S. online movie download sites do not have the crappy Iron Man 2 cam edition shot in a European theater.

And then there's people like one of the posters below who would gladly pay a subscription fee for unlimited access. Sure, who wouldn't. 2 months subscription at some measly $30/month + downloading 24/7 = set for years. New releases? Well just 'pirate' those, as $30 for 1, maybe 2 movies per month is far too expensive, of course.

See.. I don't doubt that there's people who would pay 'if'. It's just that the 'ifs' proposed are completely out of touch with reality. If only the two sides could reach a compromise.. but neither side appears to be willing to let go of any of their demands.

( Just recently a dutch online film store started offering their films in DiVX format. Hurray - right? No.. you can only play it back on DiVX-certified machines which have to be 'registered' with the store as being authorized to play back the film. Nope - not interested in a scheme that would make my films null and void if the device were to die. )

Re:LOL - Your a perfect example (1)

silverglade00 (1751552) | more than 4 years ago | (#32130100)

(a beer at a bar is easily $2 and all you get from it is the need to take a piss)

O'doul's isn't beer..

Re:LOL - Your a perfect example (3, Insightful)

flitty (981864) | more than 4 years ago | (#32130048)

Really, your numbers are ridiculous. I can imagine the grief you would feel if someone valued your output at such low numbers.

If 5 million viewers were watching each episode of my tv show, I'd be pleased as punch to get $.25 for each person. You've got to have a top notch piece of entertainment to make it worth a dollar or more an hour, and frankly, most television does not meet this standard. The studios need to recognize that only their top billed shows should be $1 (at most, even for HD), and everything else should either be dirt cheap or subscription based.

Re:How Cheap? (2, Interesting)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129620)

Heck I don't mind paying a subscription fee for unlimited. I just wish the selection was larger. Currently I'm using netflix on my xbox 360. If their movie and tv show catalog was larger that would be all I'd need. The only thing I watch live is College Football (and dancing with the stars).

Re:How Cheap? (5, Insightful)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129662)

Paying $2/epsiode is not cheap. I would pay $1 for an hour long show (42 minutes in reality) as long as it is commercial free..

Universal Iron rule of the Internet: Everyone would be happy to pay for X, but they're only willing to pay half of what's being asked. Songs are a buck? 50c please. Netflix is $10 a month? I'll only pay $5 a month, and only if there's a bigger selection. An iPad will be $999? Well I'd happily pay $500, and only if it isn't crippled with Apple's retard-o-platform!

It repeats itself over and over in just about all of these conversations... for just about anything people have a choice to buy, there are those that pay it, and those that don't and rationalize their decision with the concept that the price is too high and everything would be unicorns if only the price were 0.5x. And since it isn't, this establishes a platform for griping about collateral issues (usually DRM and license terms),

Re:How Cheap? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32129884)


That's why I don't use Linux. Yeah it's free, but if it cost half that amount, I'd gladly pay it.

Re:How Cheap? (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129714)

What is the episode producer's net advertising revenue per viewer? Shouldn't the commercial-free video be priced about the same?

Re:How Cheap? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32129916)

That sounds reasonable.

Re:How Cheap? (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32130150)

On reflection, that should be gross per viewer, not net. You supposedly can buy TV advertising for 0.5 cents per impression, or less than 10 cents per hour of programming. Multiply that by the number of times the purchaser is really going to watch that episode, and you are still at under $1 per episode. I guess what I'm saying is that iTunes pricing is actually reasonable.

Re:How Cheap? (2, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129824)

I'm for even the price of the show on the DVD. If you sell the Seasons's DVD set for $39.95 and it has 20 episodes on it, I'll give you $1.99that for one episode in full pristine resolution and no commercials.

but they want 3X-4X for it, at low res, and full of commercials.

There is no reality in the heads of the executives. They are all a bunch of morons.

Re:How Cheap? (0, Troll)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129886)

How about you sell your ass for $.50-$.75 DRM free? You know how much it costs to make an hour long show? What makes you think that a studio would be willing to sell you something at your arbitrarily set prices even if it means they make a loss. If your answer is then I'll do without watching their show, fine. If your answer is, then I'll download it for free, then you are, as the summary says, an unprincipled thief.

Re:How Cheap? (2, Insightful)

ericrost (1049312) | more than 4 years ago | (#32130000)

Yet somehow they can afford to stuff that same show onto DVD's and nice fancy printed packaging for the same price. I can usually find a season of whatever show I want to buy for around $20 for a 22 episode season. Not too far off... seems like they can afford it, especially when the marginal price they're getting for the product now is $0. People always want to take the reverse view of reality. I say you should pay $$ for it so you should. Wrong, learn about the free market, supply and demand applies even if the supply is simply convenience and risk/reward.

Re:How Cheap? (2, Insightful)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 4 years ago | (#32130012)

They give it away for free when you view it over the airwaves. If it's subsidized by commercials or even online ads I'd argue that $1 - $2 per episode is entirely reasonable. Am I an unprincipled thief because I download a copy of Mythbusters that I was unable to watch because I had a late night at work? What's the difference between downloading and saving a show to DVR? I pay my monthly cable extortion, I shall download what I please.

Re:How Cheap? (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129904)

Paying $2/epsiode is not cheap. I would pay $1 for an hour long show (42 minutes in reality) as long as it is commercial free. IF you try to sell me commercials, forget it! 30 minute shows I would pay $.50-$.75, but again, only for a commercial free version.

What about shows that just plain aren't available? I've been following HBO's mini-series The Pacific for the last few weeks. The first episode was a freebie on their webpage. Decent quality stream and no commercials. None of the subsequent episodes were made available though.

I would happily pay for the privilege of watching this show but that isn't an option. The only way I can get it is to sign up for an insane cable package that will cost me $60-$70/mo. Fat chance of that happening. So I've turned to other avenues to see the show....

Re:How Cheap? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129936)

Why pay $1 per episode?

Why bother even to pirate?

Just stream it from Netflix.

As far as $1 per show goes: a lot of DVD sets already meet that pricepoint or better.

Oh, so true (5, Insightful)

raddan (519638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129438)

I am not a downloader. Despite all of the content-producing industry's failings, I believe that I should pay for what other people spend their long hours producing, even if that means, in the end, what the artist gets is minuscule. I didn't invent bad contracts.

But what really ticks me off is when people actually prevent me from willingly parting with my own money due to geography. There was a show on the SciFi channel recently, Defying Gravity [] . It wasn't exactly the greatest bit of science fiction out there, but I like Ron Livingston, the acting was generally decent, the story was compelling, and on the whole, the show was entertaining. About halfway through the season, ABC cancelled the show. But Canadian and Australian networks continued to show it. You could buy the episodes online via Amazon's video page, but after the ABC cancellation, you could only buy the first half of the show. WTF? I fired up BitTorrent for the first time.

While I'm at it, let me say: region coding for DVDs is a gigantic anti-competitive crock of shit. Fortunately, I have me a region 2 DVD-R, a Linux machine, and Handbrake, so that I can actually pay for and watch good television from another English-speaking country.

Re:Oh, so true (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129682)

I'd hardly consider that rubbish a language even if those aussie shielas know how to make me crack a fat.

Re:Oh, so true (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129770)

"I am not a downloader. Despite all of the content-producing industry's failings, I believe that I should pay for what other people spend their long hours producing, even if that means, in the end, what the artist gets is minuscule. I didn't invent bad contracts"

what does that have to do with downloading? How is it different from getting content over the air?

AFAIAC, they could put it online with commercials and I would watch it just the same as over the air.

Re:Oh, so true (1)

raddan (519638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129924)

Oh, but you are paying for content over the air. Commercials. You're paying with your time, even if you aren't watching those commercials.

By "downloader", I meant "illegal downloader". You know, what TFA is about.

Re:Oh, so true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32130002)

TV has ads? Hah! Next thing you'll be telling me there's ads on the Internet, too!

Re:Oh, so true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32130076)

No, you're not paying your time to anyone (assuming you don't watch the commercials). You're throwing your time into the garbage can. The content creators and providers don't get the benefit of your scrupulous desire to avoid getting something for free.

Re:Oh, so true (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129808)

ABC did the exact same thing, with a show on the same timeslot the year before, named Kings [] . I liked both of them, and both of them got stopped partway through the season, then eventually bounced to another time, unanounced months later, and finished out.

BitTorrent is convenient? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32129452)

How can you make a claim that BitTorrent is more convenient than a legal service?

Re:BitTorrent is convenient? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32129670)

easily, it has...

NO service to sign up for or special app/format to run it
NO restrictions on where it can go
AND if you loose it you can get a replacement easily because you already bought the 'rights' to listen to the white album 20 times already, why do you need to do it again for your iPhone?

It's not stealing, it's having a tool to show these D-bags what consumers actually want.

SO basically, no when you buy something at a walk out the door and you can do whatever the hell you want with, the way things should be.

Because it is? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32129706)

Search. Click. Files show up on your computer. No login. No credit card authorization. No geographic limitations. Never any DRM.

Re:BitTorrent is convenient? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32129974)

How can you make a claim that BitTorrent is more convenient than a legal service?

It's all the free malware you get along with your BitTorrent downloads that swings it.

3.. 2.. 1.. Cue a legion of angry flame warriors complaining about DRM riddled legal download services.

Re:BitTorrent is convenient? (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#32130114)

At least partly because this. []

When I say “convenient”, I mean convenient.

It's beyond convenience (4, Insightful)

swm (171547) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129486)

I periodically try to buy media from some service that is trying to sell it to me. Invariably, their DRM doesn't run on my platform, and I give up.

Re:It's beyond convenience (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#32130058)

What's even worse is when you legally are gifted a CD that won't play, at all, except with only ONE tool that has virtually no interface on one platform (for example, cdcontrol on FreeBSD), but works like normal on a different, crappier, platform (Windows).

Reeks of DRM. Not happy.

DRM (3, Informative)

thepike (1781582) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129494)

Part of my problem has always been DRM. I know it's a lot better now than it used to be, but if I pay for it, I want to get to keep using it forever, not just until a given music store shuts down or something like that. Granted, itunes won't be going anywhere anytime soon, but when all this was starting that was a serious concern.

Even xkcd [] knows it's true.

I would pay for movies and shows... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32129502)

...that don't have product placement. As soon as there is a "CONVERSE SHOES VINTAGE 2004" moment, I feel like I have wasted my money.

Didn't Apple demonstrate this already? (4, Insightful)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129512)

With all the people forking over $.99 for iTunes and software, I was under the impression that the thesis of this paper has been proven in real life.

So they say... (4, Insightful)

jwietelmann (1220240) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129518)

Should be titled:

Most File Sharers Hypothetically Say They Would Pay For Legal Downloads

What people say in surveys and what they do when there is actual money in play are two different things. What is "cheap"? And what pay service could possibly be as convenient as BitTorrent? If you have to log in and provide payment information, it's already not as convenient.

Anyway, I wouldn't extrapolate too much from that survey.

Re:So they say... (4, Insightful)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129694)

Although what you say is true, the fact is that a combination of ingrained moral principle and slight fear of being caught do help push people towards the legit options, if all else is approximately equal.

Torrented shows are always going to be the superior option overall because of the price, but as iTunes and Hulu have demonstrated, people are willing to 'do the right thing' if they get a similar product. People are much less willing to pay a significant amount of money for a far inferior product.

Re:So they say... (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129784)

Not mention that fact that, when getting torrent'ed files, there's always a risk of malware and whatnot. Of course, there is a marginally risk with legit purchases too, but corporation can be (and have been) successfully censured or sued for doing so. Despite my best efforts I have not been able to serve papers to warexluvrr69 who recent gave me digital herpes.

Re:So they say... (1)

Ironhandx (1762146) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129854)

Cheap means that it should be approximately divided up as a figure based on how much the average person pays for cable right now. If the average cable subscriber pays $90/month for cable and watches we'll say... 100 hours of TV per month, which is perfectly reasonable given that thats $90 per household and I wouldn't be surprised to know that it was actually much higher... that means an episode of House should cost me $1 MAX. They can even throw a minute of ads into it at the beginning as long as they charge me $1. When pricing becomes realistic and makes it to that level, then I'll stop bit torrenting. While legal services are charging me $5-6 PLUS per episode, hells no.

Of course, they aren't going to do that, because in reality they're looking at this as a way to make more money(and not a little more money no, a LOT more money), not simply keep existing market share. In the end they're losing market share to bit torrent et al and gaining a whole lot of bad press.

With a minute of ads on something like House(which gets over 2 million viewers average, on first showing, which means at the very least those 2 million are watching it). They'll be sitting at 2 million an episode at $1 plus the few ads which for something as popular as house would probably hit another million easy even on a minute(less air time for commercials makes that air time more valuable too). These are very conservative estimates since I know that NTV alone(a station local to myself) used to get between 500,000 and 1 million viewers for house on average, and thats totally outside of the ratings lists for the show. Theres another 500k-1m right there. Add up CTV which also carries it and has a much larger market... and all the other networks that carry it and suddenly theres a LOT of cash flowing in, are you telling me that this isn't going to make about the same as what they're making off of it now? As it stands they would also get some revenue from me, as currently they get none. I only watch maybe 3 shows, house is one of them. I'm not paying $60+ per month for whats probably 6 episodes on average of the 3 shows I actually watch.

Re:So they say... (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129896)

I bet if you came up with a system that remembered your payment information where you remained logged in, enabling you to go from viewing an item to having purchased it in one click, it would be such a clever system that you'd be issued a patent for it.

Re:So they say... (4, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129956)

over and over again it has been shown that giver a convenient method and a cheap price people will pay for the goods.

Apple has sold billions of songs, all of which could be gotten for free.

There is no correlation between the advent of bit torrent, and a decline in music sales.

If the industry put up a easy to use feed and embed advertising, they would be fine.

AS it stand right now, I'll grab a series online, watch soem episodes. If it's good, I'll get the DVD, if not I dfelete it and move on.

Just like when would listen to a tape of songs before going and purchase an album.

I had tons of 8 tracks I down^H^H^H^H copied front the air waves to listen to.

The same shit has been said since the introduction of the printing press. Seriously the exact same argument. Yet the entertainment industry is still a multi billion dollar industry, and the easiest thing to copy in the world, software, is a multi-billion dollar industry as well.

Re:So they say... (1)

Stevecrox (962208) | more than 4 years ago | (#32130090)

I would suggest the BBC iPlayer shows people will use legal means if such means are available. BBC iPlayer with a few controls allowing you to buy media forever would be perfect. Especially if I couldn't download them onto my PS3.

I gave up on music downloads because buying an MP3 album was usually more expensive than buying the CD. I've not bothered with TV downloads for the same reason.

Whatever your definition of cheap is, they are trying to sell digital media in a marketplace. I would think given the lower production costs, generally lower quality (e.g. 128kbps MP3's) digital media should cost less than physical media. It usually costs more if you don't believe me go to and look at their £4-7 cd range the MP3 version is always more expensive.

Uh-huh. I believe them. (2, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129526)

That's why people illegally download things that they CAN legally download.

Seriously, how many people are going to say "No, I wouldn't do it legally even if it was cheap enough!"

Re:Uh-huh. I believe them. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32129602)

Most of the legal downloads are region restricted, they are practically none available in Australia.

Re:Uh-huh. I believe them. (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129676)

Good point. I'm thinking US.

Re:Uh-huh. I believe them. (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129650)

That's why people illegally download things that they CAN legally download.

Like what?

Re:Uh-huh. I believe them. (2, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129684)

Let's go with the big one: music. You can even download, legally, for a small price, DRM free MP3s from iTunes, Amazon... etc...

Re:Uh-huh. I believe them. (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 4 years ago | (#32130028)

Yes, and iTunes sells literally millions of tracks every day. Sure, piracy hasn't been wiped out, but low price music without ads or DRM seems to sell pretty successfully, even though the option not to pay is just a couple of clicks away. Spotify, which uses a free but ad supported streaming model for music, is also extremely popular here in the UK.

I'm unaware of a comparable service for video, though. Hulu and its ilk seem like a great idea - moving the standard ad-supported broadcast model onto the web seems very sensible and, as I mentioned, it seems to be working for Spotify. Unfortunately, though, they're still encumbered by archaic distribution agreements which mean they're only available in certain geographic regions.

Re:Uh-huh. I believe them. (1)

rtaylor (70602) | more than 4 years ago | (#32130032)

Gave up on iTunes. About 1 in 5 items I purchased were either incorrectly labelled so I didn't get what I wanted, or very poor quality but with a high quality sample.

The pricing was fine but getting these things fixed via their customer service is pretty painful, particularly when it was a very similar item (show 5 from season 2 instead of show 2 from season 5).

Sample set was well over 100 items. I haven't tried the alternatives yet, but iTunes is out.

So a counter-example... (2, Insightful)

Animaether (411575) | more than 4 years ago | (#32130064)

So let's go with a counter-example from recent experience...

"Only You" (re-recorded version) by The Flying Pickets, at Amazon UK: []

This is geographically right next to where I live.. save for the north sea.

But I can't buy it.

We're sorry. We could not process your order because of geographical restrictions on the product which you were attempting to purchase. Please refer to the terms of use for this product to determine the geographical restrictions. We apologize for the inconvenience.

There's no Dutch Amazon, so that's out.
The Dutch 7digital doesn't have it (fwiw, neither does the American Amazon).
Granted - I haven't checked iTunes yet.. too bad I have to go through a specific piece of software to even find out.

But clearly it's not as simple as "music. You can even download, legally, for a small price, DRM free MP3s from iTunes, Amazon", as that only applies to those items actually for sale.

It -is- that simple with illegal downloads, on the other hand. No geographic restrictions, no having to set up any account, nothing.

I purchase my music, movies, etc wherever I can or typically just do without. But every once in a while, if a company decides to be boneheaded to the core, I have no qualms with downloading (heck, downloading (music/movies) is legal in NL anyway, so I shouldn't have any qualms regardless).

Re:Uh-huh. I believe them. (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#32130068)

Let's go with the big one: music. You can even download, legally, for a small price, DRM free MP3s from iTunes, Amazon... etc...

Okay, I get you now. I see it from a different perspective, though. Music trading has been super easy for over 10 years. iTunes has been enormously successful and Amazon isn't doing too bad itself. iTunes even dumped its DRM and is still doing fine. I don't think the number of people 'illegally' downloading MP3s when they could get them otherwise is anything remarkable. For all we know, they're just downloading songs because it's easier to do that than to rip all their CDs sitting in the back of their closet.

Re:Uh-huh. I believe them. (3, Informative)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 4 years ago | (#32130072)

I don't see your point. Those services are hugely popular and lucrative.

Re:Uh-huh. I believe them. (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#32130096)

> Let's go with the big one: music. You can even download, legally, for a small price, DRM free MP3s from iTunes, Amazon... etc...

That's fine so long as the download services carry what you're interested in.

Much like Netflix, the idea that they have whatever you want or even anything that's available on physical media is something you can't assume.

There are a number of things that iTunes doesn't carry.

Some things aren't even available at all. Perhaps they never have been or didn't sell well enough when they were and are now discontinued.

Re:Uh-huh. I believe them. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32130130)

Better quality FLAC files are easier to find from non-commercial sources.

Re:Uh-huh. I believe them. (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129834)

That's why people illegally download things that they CAN legally download.

Like what?

As far as I understand, in Netherlands - like in the rest of Europe - HTTP downloads of media files (not software) are actually legal (as they involve no redistribution on your side, and provided that you don't intend to spread the files further - i.e. sole personal use). Therefore, many people here actually download stuff legally already.

Re:Uh-huh. I believe them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32129804)

Maybe I'm just too lazy to look too in-depth at the article, but it seems like it's based off survey. Self-reporting is notoriously untrustworthy. Human behavior does not perfectly match up with our own expectations for our behavior. You can't ask people what they will do and expect the answer to be reliable. If you want reliable results, actually make the change, observe the new behavior, and report on that.

Re:Uh-huh. I believe them. (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129876)

I do. Why not? There will always be 'that guy' who gets a boner by accumulated 30 years worth of music for free. There will always be people who will spend time actively seeking out the illicit downloads, even though a legit one of the same thing is $1.50 and they could get it in less time. These people have massive amounts of disposable time.

Re:Uh-huh. I believe them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32129978)

Bit torrent aggregate sites offer:
  • Most shows found in one search box
  • No DRM is the norm
  • Fairly honest reviews of video/sound quality from user base
  • Can pick format and quality of most new shows (HD or lower)
  • With a quick connection, usually faster downloading than from a commercial site
  • More control over video than from a streaming site
  • No viewing restrictions when in different countries
  • etc, etc...

I'm sorry but the AU thing looks to be BS... (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129530)

They asked filesharers whether they would be "nice" if given the chance? Well duh, people tend to paint themselves in better light when presented with such questions.

The Dutch thing is actually a study, with nice numbers.


Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32129538)

But they don't how fucking convenient you ninnies

    Enjoy da change into poverty and take up a trade fast, its the only fucking thing you cant download

Two anecdotes (2, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129570)

Two anecdotes that are related to this:

I remember back in the 90s before filesharing became popular, I read an article by an expert predicting the demise of the recording industry within the next decade. It was so full of corruption (ie everyone trying to get their 'share', even at the abuse of the artists or the company, much like, say, Bear Sterns) that it was going to implode within a few years. Remember at that time they were still flying high off their boost from the switch to CD format and were spending profligately.

Second anecdote, I had a friend who was working for a major recording studio at the time iTunes first came out. He said iTunes completely saved the industry. People were all terrified because they could see the collapse going on, and were thinking of changing careers (have to when there's nothing else). They didn't know what they were going to do. Then iTunes music store came out and everyone started coming back.

In other words, it is true file sharers are leeches on society who take without giving back, but they aren't the ones who caused the problems in the recording industry. The industry brought it on themselves.

Stating the obvious (1)

your_neighbor (1193249) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129578)

People don't like to have "special" devices to do what can be done without it.
If I buy some stuff and suddently it stops working, I will be pissed and look for something which will work. I dont give a shit to DRM. Behaviourism can explain why piracy is something usual: It is easy and you will not have frustations.
Too bad I can't pay the authors... I want, but the middle men ppl won't let me.

Basic economics at work here... (1)

d34dluk3 (1659991) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129586)

Torrent has costs too: risk of legal action, risk of corrupted files, inability to get the content you want, etc. It's evident that there is some cost that would be palatable as an alternative. The problem is that studios want to price at $5+ and the 'acceptable price' is imo around $1-3.

iTunes (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129614)

The music industry insisted that computers are only for piracy and that no one would ever pay for music online.

iTunes is now the single largest retailer of music.

Now Hollywood and TV studios are being dragged into this, and most are slow to catch on to the fact that if you provide a good service for a good price, people will pay for it.

Why watch a low-quality pirated copy of a movie on a streaming site if I can subscribe to Netflix on the cheap?

Re:iTunes (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129910)

I would gladly pay a buck (or maybe 2) for an hour long episode with no comercials.

Yet the industry say's that its not enough.

My cable company pays a few dollars per subscriber month to the biggest media companies. (thats a holdover from the early days, when cable TV wasn't supposed to have commercials, cause WE were paying for it) If I pay for a few episodes (like say, a buck a week for 30 Rock) then they should end up making even more money off of me, than they would with the local cable company. Granted they would have some overhead in data and storage costs, but that just gets cheaper.

Re:iTunes (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129970)

I think Hulu will eventually move to a model like this.

It amazes me that it was someone at NBC who was willing to do something like Hulu before anyone else.

Lies! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32129642)

I'll never pay for anything.

True to a point (1)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129644)

I would gladly pay a subscription to download programs for a flat fee, but would I pay $1900US for CS5? Hell. No. Not when I can "liberate" it from Usenet. But TV shows and movies for around the same that it costs to rent a disc from the RedBox? Sure, I'd do that. Especially if it means I don't have to get my fat ass out of the car whilst in line at the McDonald's drive thru-getting fat-burgers fat-nuggets for me and the fat-family.

Re:True to a point (1)

hercubus (755805) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129790)

... I don't have to get my fat ass out of the car whilst in line at the McDonald's drive thru...

Dude! T.M.I!

Re:True to a point (1)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129842)

Too Much Indigestion? Nah, you get used to it...

I Would and Do Pay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32129666)

Netflix streaming gets me some of what i want legally...however I still Torrent some other stuff because I don't want to wait. If I could get this week's Lost, Glee, Doctor Who (as its released in the UK), Deadliest Catch, Mythbusters, and a few other things for my 10 bucks a month then I wouldn't need torrenting. However I want the stuff aired yesterday I want to watch it today...I Don't want to wait a week, a month a year, or for the DVD release. The pacing of my life work, wife, child...makes the actual time that the show is on inconvenient to watch it. Also I hate commercials, but really I see not having to deal with them as I side benefit, not the mail goal.

I agree (5, Interesting)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129674)

This seems pretty logical to me. Speaking to my own experience, the things the I "pirate" lately have been because of convenience.

I "pirated" Avatar off of Bittorrent because I'd seen it 3 times in the theater already, but it wasn't out on video yet (I then bought it on Blu-Ray the day after it came out).

I "pirated" Survival of the Dead off of Bittorrent because it's not been released on DVD yet in the US.

I "pirated" nearly 200 individual songs off of Bittorrent recently, because I switched to Rythmbox and it couldn't import those songs with DRM'd content from my iTunes library (and though I technically can pay to "upgrade" to DRM-free music- FUCK paying twice just so that I can use my media on another player).

I truly don't mind paying for stuff, and I buy a lot of media. It's a matter of pricing and convenience. Don't DRM it - I don't buy DRM'd movies online because I don't know if I'll be playing it via XBMC (on either my AppleTV or my hacked Xbox), my Linux machine, or any other device that hasn't been dreamed up. They also better price it fairly. The $0.99 price point for a song I don't mind. It works, and I buy most of my music now with that (previously from Amazon because I'm trying to not support Apple, but now from the Ubuntu One store if they have the track). TV show episodes also shouldn't go higher than $0.99 each, and movies in digital download form shouldn't cost more than $4-5 each. That's about what the physical copies fall off to in a few years anyways. Why should I pay MORE for them not having to manufacture, ship, and stock a disc?

The studios are going to have to come to grips with the fact that they've lost a ton of control over a market that they once called every shot in. Consumers have been presented with a way to get what they want for free, but more importantly WHEN and HOW they want it. The latter part is what's important to me. I'm willing to pay if only to make sure that I'm getting a quality standard that a studio can provide as compared to some guy who ripped a copy of a movie with Handbrake and forgot to deinterlace it. When the "pirated" stuff just plain works better though, then they're just being naive if they think people will pay for an inferior product out of some sense of loyalty.

Re:I agree (1)

Seth Kriticos (1227934) | more than 4 years ago | (#32130066)

Best comment I read in a while!

Laughable (3, Insightful)

theArtificial (613980) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129680)

Since we're naming the prices that we would be comfortable paying, I think I would be happy buying a Lamborghini for not a penny more than $1400. The Pirate Bay wanted to fill this gap with a single monthly fee for access to the shared content but the industry didn't bite. I mean if you are Adobe and sell software such as CS4 receiving a fraction of a users $14/month sounds like a fantastic deal compared to retail prices.

correction: Most users would.... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129716)

Pay a REASONABLE price for downloads.

Honestly, I'd love to be able to buy access to my TV shows via RSS feeds instead of pulling them from and then torrenting them all. But I cant.

No Hulu is not an option. I want it in 720p on my playback device of choice. not their blessed device or at a horribly crappy resolution plus disabling skipping of commercials.

So I simply have a mythbox to grab what I can locally, and I torrent the stuff I cant get in the country.

Make it so I can pick 25 tv shows for $50.00 per month and I get all the video files at HD to play on my hardware and I'm all for it. not channels... TV SHOWS. Less for shows that pull the 5 episode = a season crap.

Repeatedly (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129732)

I dont have the links, but dont articles mentioning this same thing keep appearing every few months?

Three words (0)

westlake (615356) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129766)

Talk is cheap.

Most != ALL (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129780)

Which means, according to *IAA, trillions of dollars of lost revenue.

Reasonable cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32129794)

I was thinking about this issue last night as I was making backup copies for my girlfriend. She loves her Netflix subscription. She mainly uses it for television serieses. We copy everything that shows up and tuck it away into a binder. Before we started dating, she had purchased a number of boxed sets of television programs (Friends, Sex in the City, etc.)

She is obviously inclined to spend some money on television programs. She is willing to pay Netflix to deliver them. She is willing to buy blank media to make her own copies of them. If Netflix is costing her ~$15 a month, and blank DVDs are about 50 cents a piece and she copies about two DVDs per week that works out to about $2.38 cents per disc. That is what the content is worth to her.

I bet that a lot of other people are in the same situation. They want the content, but they aren't going to spend what the production companies want them to spend.

Sure, I would. (2, Insightful)

pathological liar (659969) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129820)

I'd love to pay for legal downloads. It'll never happen though. It's great that the iTunes store is offering generic MP3s (although lossless would be nice) ... but for $1/track? Forget it. I can buy it used for $6 and get the case, liner notes, and have it in whatever format I want. Downloadable TV? It had better be high def and MPEG4, and no commercials, and cheaper than they would ever dream of offering it. When I can buy a DVD box set for cheaper than buying a download of each individual episode, you're doing it wrong.

The content industry will simply never offer it in formats or at a price I find acceptable.

Sorry, but this is bunk (1, Troll)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129838)

In the example of music, we already have mulitple, cheap means of buying songs, most of them legal, most of them DRM-free. Amazon MP3 sells songs for 99 cents and most albums for under 10 bucks, with a huge selection of albums even cheaper that that. They regularly hold sales with popular albums in the 5 dollar range. All of it in standard MP3 formats without DRM.

There are several East European sites that sell MP3's for as little as 15 cents apiece.

And still, the torrents flow. Because if you make something available for free, with no consequences... even if legally you have no right to... eventually, people are going to give in to their baser instincts and take it.

We have a generation that think music is free because it's on the Internet, and everyone knows that the Internet is free. In the 60's, the mantra was "if it feels good, do it". In the Internet age, it's "If it can be ripped, take it".

Re:Sorry, but this is bunk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32130142)

I am glad you told me that, now I don't have to read a paper written using "research" and "facts."

Statistics (3, Funny)

kaoshin (110328) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129840)

Most people might, if they had the money left over from so many others competing for their entertainment dollar. I don't mean to sound stupid, but I conversely and robustly positively don't understand what that from the second study means. On the other hand, proactively quantifying the synergy facilitated by that paradigm is a win-win situation for future-proof vertical markets, and I find that quite empowering.

Re:Statistics (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129958)

Please decrypt everything after ". I don't mean to sound stupid,"

As lon as they are not defective by design (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32129862)

I don't mind paying for content but I want the content to be easy to use. Having a limited lifetime or other impediments would be a deal breaker. NOTE: This is true for all content including computer games. I can afford the content and would like an easy method of getting AND USING the content. Take a look at the irony, bittorrent is not easy to use but it is much easier than actually buying the content because the content is usually defective by design.

Make it easy (1)

MpVpRb (1423381) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129902)

The key to making money from paid content is to make it Easy, Cheap, Safe and Reliable.

Easy - The site must be fast, easy to navigate and have a good search function.

Cheap - I don't know exactly how cheap it would have to be, but the general philosophy would be, cheap enough that the buyer does not have to think about the purchase for too long, and the penalty for making a mistake is minimal.

Safe - No viruses or malware.

Reliable - The site is always up, downloads always complete successfully.

And...of course NO DRM, NO COMMERCIALS.

Do all of these things, and I believe that most people would pay instead of pirate.

banned stuff (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129930)

Is downloading banned stuff , games like manhunt2 outside USA piracy in its criminal form, as it did not result in a lost sale for the publisher, just that the publisher did not want to sell it to me

Subscription media (1)

Dice (109560) | more than 4 years ago | (#32129946)

I want a service that provides me with live streaming access to all media ever created. I would be willing to pay a monthly subscription fee for this service, probably up to the $100 USD/mo range. This is *almost* what we have with the vibrant torrent community already.

Of course they will (1)

allo (1728082) | more than 4 years ago | (#32130020)

because if they do not, its not legal. So its an always true statement ...

Would I pay to have a "download subscription"? (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#32130042)

Yeah, probably I would. How much? Another good question. I might pay $30/mo but that depends on the terms. If I stop paying would I lose rights to everything I downloaded up until that point? If no, then yeah... if yes, then hell no.

Seeing as how I already pay to pirate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32130062)

Given that I pay $11/month for a usenet account to pirate whatever I want, I'd definitely be willing to pay some amount, but it sure as well wouldn't be per song. I'd probably pay $15/mo to be able to download whatever I wanted whenever, but that's never going to happen. Plus when I pay to pirate it, I get insanely fast download speeds, good availability, and absolutely no DRM on anything, it's great! (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 4 years ago | (#32130080)

Before they were shut down had reasonable prices and an extensive library; they charged by bit-rate (hence bandwidth) at very reasonable prices.

Zune Pass got me to stop pirating music.. (1)

cybrthng (22291) | more than 4 years ago | (#32130146)

Its cheap enough, its selection is big enough and the keep 10 incentive/deal makes it very affordable. Not only that but the software is pretty cool, integrates with zune hardware, xbox 360 and remote windows media players easily.

I could say the same for netlix.. i quit using torrent for tv since instant watch has plenty of things for me to watch and quite franky i enjoy waiting a few months until all episodes are available on disk or on demand instead of waiting a week between each episode and planning my life around tv.

WHY (1)

Rydia (556444) | more than 4 years ago | (#32130152)

'Most people who illegally download movies, music and TV shows would pay for them if there was a cheap and legal service as convenient as file-sharing tools like BitTorrent.'

If only someone would create an online service which allowed you to buy music! What kind of twisted mockery of a universe do we live in that has kept this from happening?

Why must the universe mock us so?! WHY?!

(For reference, it is raining behind me, and I am wet. The two are not related.)

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