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RIAA Loss Report Contradicts Nielsen Sales Record

CowboyNeal posted more than 10 years ago | from the cult-of-spin dept.

Music 348

DerekAtLC writes "In a not-so-surprising twist of the tables, RIAA reporting of 'losses' is a little bit off. An interesting blurb at Ars Technica referencing a Kensei News article points out that Nielsen's Soundscan (Which tracks retail point-of-sale numbers for the music industry) shows a 10% increase in sales from Q1 2003 to Q1 2004. The RIAA has recently reported drops in revenue from last year, citing online piracy as the main problem. The crux of the issue? The RIAA hasn't been talking about sales or revenue in terms of sales to consumers or money generated via those sales. The RIAA talks about losses in terms of number of units shipped to retail outlets. The article points out plenty of problems with this (and reasons why we are seeing the trend), but it is fairly obvious that the RIAA is not reporting the most 'useful' numbers to the public."

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348 comments

PEOPLESPRIMARY MUST DIE!!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

hot_Karls_bad_cavern (759797) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146787)

Peoplesprimary.com (not to be confused with peoplesprimary.org (safe)) are a bunch of fucking toolass cunts. i'm sure many of you have noticed their stupidass link showing up that open a million windows (not mine though, mozilla, motherfuckers) and play a *loudass* swf file repeating Hey everybody, i'm looking at gay porn!. The background is a really nice shot of some bitch that got shit on (your thing? not mine.).

It's nabbing shit from your clipboard (put in any uid/pass/url values lately?) too.

Here is all the info i have on those cuntfaces at this time....more to come. [earthfuckers.com]

How To Administer Rectal Suppositories (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9146828)

Here's How:

1. Gather supplies, wash hands, explain procedure, provide privacy, apply gloves. Offer patient the opportunity to use the bathroom prior to medication administration.

2. Place patient on left side with right leg flexed toward his chest.

3. Ensure suppository is firm. If melted, place in the refrigerator for a few minutes, or run under cold water.

4. Unwrap suppository, which will be bullet-shaped, with a tapered end. Lubricate tapered end with water-soluble lubricant.

5. Lift patient gown, exposing buttocks. Use left hand to lift right buttock, exposing anus.

6. Using right index finger, insert suppository, tapered end first. Gently push suppository into rectum as far as your finger will reach, placing it against the rectal wall.

7. Use toilet tissue to clean patient as necessary. Replace patient gown.

8. Instruct patient to refrain from moving bowels for at least an hour to allow medication to be absorbed (unless med is to stimulate bowel movement.)

9. Remove gloves by grasping right glove with left at wrist, pulling inside-out. Place removed glove in left hand, and use right finger to pull left glove inside-out over used right glove. Discard.

10. Wash hands. Document procedure and patient response.

Re:PEOPLESPRIMARY MUST DIE!!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9146829)

Wow, get a life you idiot. You're no better than these guys, in fact you're probably worse judging by you have on your "page". Get over it, please.

Out of business stores dont keep inventory. (5, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146792)

Another interesting thing has happened over the last few years. The growth of mega-chains such as Best Buy plus the .com's joining into the marketplace have knocked mom and pop record stores out of existance.

Less stores selling music means not only are stores keeping smaller inventories, but some store inventories fell to zero as they left the business. There's just plain less "unsold" disks sitting in the system.

Re:Out of business stores dont keep inventory. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9146849)

For fucks sake LostCluster, stop going offtopic.

Re:Out of business stores dont keep inventory. (5, Informative)

AhBeeDoi (686955) | more than 10 years ago | (#9147174)

Less stores selling music means not only are stores keeping smaller inventories, but some store inventories fell to zero as they left the business. There's just plain less "unsold" disks sitting in the system.
This seems like a highly debateable point as to causes of lower inventory levels. Traditionally, inventory levels have been an indirect measure of confidence in the economy. However, utilization of JIT methods aided by technology enables businesses to run at lower levels than previously thought acceptable. In fact, there really isn't any contradiction to the principles of economic order quantity because both ordering costs and turn around times are much lower. This is truly a new paradign.

Lies, marketing... (-1, Troll)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146795)

Thats just marketing and lies, and those are the roots of all evil.

Re:Lies, marketing... (0, Troll)

sydlexic (563791) | more than 10 years ago | (#9147067)

Thats just marketing and lies, and those are the roots of all evil.

capitalism is the root of all evil?

Re:Lies, marketing... (1)

IWannaBeAnAC (653701) | more than 10 years ago | (#9147105)

Err, how did you arrive at that implication?

Re:Lies, marketing... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9147101)

None (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9146798)

Hehe, almost got first post :S

No surprise there (3, Insightful)

jbellis (142590) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146800)

So the RIAA won't stop at bending the facts a little -- okay, a lot -- on their way to ripping fair use out of America. Nothing we didn't know.

What will be interesting will be to see how much play this gets in the mainstream media. Probably no more than any of the other facts that aren't convenient for the "hackers steal $billions on teh intarweb" headlines they like to run. :-|

Re:No surprise there (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 10 years ago | (#9147011)

We need to stop hacking the gibson and fighting Penn Jillette for control of the Main Kernel, and try to find a way to get this kind of news into the papers. Write to the editor, tell your friends.. anything to get people to understand the facts.

Re:No surprise there (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9147013)

you're right.... why would CNN (a division of time warner or whoever) go hard on warner music and its trade group?

don't worry, the only place we'll be hearing about this kind of news is in the little news outlets and blogs.

We should kick it like the Nike-haters. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9147025)

Sue them when they lie. Commercial speech isn't free. And if they're lying to make money maybe they can be held liable. But most importantly, they're on the defensive instead of the consumer. They have to defend not only the actions in a court of law, but in the court of public opinion as well.

Re:We should kick it like the Nike-haters. (1)

Joey7F (307495) | more than 10 years ago | (#9147164)

No. If I am a business I can say things are bleak if they are great or things are great if they are bleak. They aren't misreporting the numbers they are merely not giving the full picture.

--Joey

Dont forget (5, Informative)

Datasage (214357) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146801)

They also tend to count every single pirated copy as a loss. Even though, if forced to buy, most of it would not be purchased.

In related news... (5, Funny)

k4_pacific (736911) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146865)

The US census is now counting every possible sperm-egg combination as a "potential" citizen.

Re:In related news... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9147032)

This just in!

Slater-Nazi Enterprises announces it is seeking expressions of investor interest for first-round funding of its new venture, a bad-poster death camp to be built in King of Prussia, PA. The expected completion date is Q3 2006.

Eugene von Schutzstaffel, Executive Commandant, was quoted as saying "these fuckwits that use the words 'In related news...' as an excuse to vent their vomitous undergraduate non-humor just shit me to tears."

"Well we're not sitting still any longer - Internet, we salute you! - and we don't do it just by clicking our heels and waving our right hands in the air. No, we do it by rounding up these filth and executing them."

"What cheaper comedic device is there? The cream pie, I grant you - but for decades now we have been able to track the downfall of a television sketch comedy show by the appearance of a fake news desk These Slashdot clowns are just beyond help. Well, we have the final solution, and the opportunity to get in on the ground floor is now. Decadent posting humor WILL be stamped out."

Eugene went on to say that the new venture would leverage the corporation's Zyklon-B plant, situated nearby in the town of Intercourse.

Re:In related news... (5, Funny)

ThatsNotFunny (775189) | more than 10 years ago | (#9147141)

In that case, my left hand is guilty of mass murder...

Re:In related news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9147157)

Every sperm is sacred....

just ask $ObFilm, Catholics, Republicans,....

using that to condemn phony accounting is fine (2, Offtopic)

jbellis (142590) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146879)

just don't use it to justify theft... if the RIAA charges more than you want to pay, that doesn't mean you get to take it anyway. Check out emusic or other sources of indie music instead.

Re:using that to condemn phony accounting is fine (4, Insightful)

dsanfte (443781) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146942)

if the RIAA charges more than you want to pay, that doesn't mean you get to take it anyway.


First, it's not theft, it's copyright infringement.

Second, if a person can't afford to buy something, they're not morally obligated to thrash themselves with the spiked whip of capitalist ethics. They hurt no one by doing so.

Strict adherance to law is simply strict adherance to politicians. They're the ones who make it.

Re:using that to condemn phony accounting is fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9147062)

All equivocation aside, the word is theft. Those that argue merely show that they have a conscience to salve.

If a person can't afford to buy something - tough shit. They could make efforts to get the law changed you know, which would be the positive, useful action. Taking something anyway is just laziness.

Re:using that to condemn phony accounting is fine (1)

jx100 (453615) | more than 10 years ago | (#9147143)

..because some singer actually loses somethnig every time someone copies a song...

Re:using that to condemn phony accounting is fine (3, Informative)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 10 years ago | (#9147114)

Once again.

Copyright infringement is not theft.

If you believe it is, fine. However, you disagree with the American justice system, and a long tradition of anglo-saxon jurisprudence. Theft is depriving someone of something. If you copy someone's song when you have no right to do so, they still have their song. What you've done is infringe on their rights to copies of that song.

Re:Dont forget (0, Interesting)

dirk (87083) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146982)

What is the alternative to doing this? Ask every person who pirates a copy if they would have bought it and take them at their word? There are 2 ways to get music, buy and and steal it (and please no diatribe on whether steal is the right word). Obviously either way you want the music. So if you stole it, it should be considered a lost sale, as you obviously wanted the music but chose to steal it instead of buying it. Yes, people will steal more than they would buy, but that doesn't change the fact they wanted the music to begin with, which certainly points toward a possible sale.

Re:Dont forget (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 10 years ago | (#9147051)

"What is the alternative to doing this? Ask every person who pirates a copy if they would have bought it and take them at their word?"

Ask a representative sample and extrapolate? Maybe increase the numbers a bit to compensate for lying.

When Harry met Sally... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9147082)

Stealing and infringement are different things.

One is a real cost, the other is an opportunity cost which has some real value. But that can be negligable when compared to the real cost, and is at best difficult to quantify.

They *are* different. Potatoes are not tomatoes, yet both are plats and foodstuffs. You may like to use the terms interchangibly, but that just means you don't know any better. If you refuse to know any better, then you are stupid by choice. Again, it's a free internet, so organize your priorities however you wish.

Re:Dont forget (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9147090)

> There are 2 ways to get music, buy and and steal it

No, there are 3 ways: Buy it, Steal It or Copy It

Copyright Infringement is not theft. It is kinda "like" theft, except nobody is left without the stolen item.

Until online music stores allowed you to buy music on demand for a single track, the only way to get music on demand for a single track was to commit copyright infringement.

Many students download music. They don't have music to spend on the music. How this can be termed a "lost sale" is beyond me. More like "free music for students might lead to future purchases when they have money" ... this works for Microsoft and software. Let's not get onto percieved value of music either - I buy most of my music at between 3 and 7 a CD from a store called FOPP in the UK, or online at play.com. This is what I consider a reasonable price for a CD. Not 14 to 18 that most new music comes out at - especially if I've only heard one or two tracks from the CD. Singles are overpriced as well ... 1.99 including video would be acceptable ... not the 3.99 or more that many of them are.

I'm sorry, but steal is the wrong word.

Re:Dont forget (5, Insightful)

SlimFastForYou (578183) | more than 10 years ago | (#9147100)

I am somewhat reminded of a post regarding the appraisal of the Asian software market, and some of the ways the BSA calculates losses. From what I remember, it went something like this:

If Autocad Super Deluxe Enterprise Edition costs $10,000, and 100 Chinese children install it on their home PC, it obviously cost the industry One Million Dollars!

Same difference. If the RIAA stopped being a bunch of whiners and offered a P2P service for $10/mo, they would make SO much money. $120/year is MUCH MUCH more than I spend on CDs in a year. Unfortunately, some organizations are too set in their ways such that they wouldn't know opportunity if it threw a suitcase of money at them.

Re:Dont forget (5, Interesting)

Asetilean (540060) | more than 10 years ago | (#9147109)

Obviously either way you want the music. So if you stole it, it should be considered a lost sale, as you obviously wanted the music but chose to steal it instead of buying it.

Not true. Hypothetical example: I'll grab a copy of the latest Creed album (insert favorite over-hyped band here) if it's free and yeah, maybe I'll listen to it once or twice, but it's not worth it to me to pay $17.99, $15.99 or even $12.99 to be able to listen to it. So no, not every download is a lost sale. It's just basic economics:
  • 10 people will buy it at $20
  • 15 will buy it at $17
  • 30 will buy it at $12
  • 90 people will buy it at $1
  • and millions will "buy" it for free.

Re:Dont forget (4, Funny)

Joey7F (307495) | more than 10 years ago | (#9147188)

Wait hold the phone, you are saying there are ten people that listen to creed?

--Joey

Never would have guessed (-1, Offtopic)

Hi_2k (567317) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146804)

but it is fairly obvious that the RIAA is not reporting the most 'useful' numbers to the public

Next you'll tell me that windows is less secure than linux [wired.com] !

It's not something we can ever get hard numbers on (5, Interesting)

stev3 (640425) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146813)

I'm sure you know ever really getting hard numbers on piracy is impossible just because the nature of the industry and who would really buy something if they couldn't get it for free.

Honestly the responce to it? I think they should embrace and encourage, maybe give a biz model similar to what Napster was pushing for. A distributed model (sign the music so you know it isn't tampered with) that will is a premium up and above the free realm stuff like kazaa. That way people still get their free stuff, the music companies get a shit load of revenue without much effort on their part and everyone is a little happy.

Of course they want to have absolute power over their product, think of the profit that could be made if they could control it no matter what. Or if they could do a pay to play model(pay per view), or if they could figure out a way to pull a microsoft in that they have a limited seat license that only one or 2, etc people could watch that copy of the movie at one time. That is a gold mine in their eyes and will be what they go for. Is it right...? No, but do they want it? Yes.

Piracy, P2P, and etc are just the latest buzz words for them to try and get what they can. Remember a couple of years ago how piracy was akin to supporting terroism, it is just getting more attention from you and I because it is now in a field that is affecting us more as techies.

Re:It's not something we can ever get hard numbers (2, Funny)

miu (626917) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146946)

That way people still get their free stuff, the music companies get a shit load of revenue without much effort on their part and everyone is a little happy.

Oh I get it, they take a loss with every sale, but then make it up on volume.

RIAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9146815)

If they included more DVDs with albums I might not mind buying them. It's a shame really as they realize that no one wants to pay for what they can easily get for free. People pay for content and they give us crap!

1900s called, they want your business model back.. (4, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146817)

Sales are down for the RIAA... they're considering a CD sold at the point when they get paid for it, the point that it lands in the warehouse of a store chain, not the point at which it lands in a consumer's hands which is where Soundscan sets up its counting points.

The fact that store shelves are holding less in inventory is bad for them, but isn't exactly a sign of piracy, just a sign that the RIAA's business model is becoming dated.

I'm pretty sure that the major chains such as Wal-Mart and Best Buy would love to have a small CD factory in the back of each store in which they could print the discs and surrounding paperwork on a just-in-time basis. Afterall, both the music and liner notes could be available to the store over a digital network. Why ship physical packages that might not sell when you can just ship blank disks and figure out what to put on them later?

Bottom line, it's going to get worse for the RIAA. They profit from the wastes in the system, and the system just keeps getting better at not buying things that can't be sold to consumers...

seinfeld comeback (0, Offtopic)

jonastullus (530101) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146907)

Jerry: "The ocean called, they're running out of shrimp"?? [He said that to you??]

George: Yeah, yeah, but then I said to him: "The jerk store called and they are running out of YOU!"

Jerry: You SAID that to him?

George: Well, *hmm* actually I thought it up on the way over here.

Jerry: *Ohh*, THAT's not quite the same

Re:1900s called, they want your business model bac (1)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146919)

Why ship physical packages that might not sell when you can just ship blank disks and figure out what to put on them later?

Because that's not how real CDs are manufactured.

See here [oasiscd.com] for example.

Re:1900s called, they want your business model bac (3, Insightful)

ThogScully (589935) | more than 10 years ago | (#9147002)

Things change. Typically, no, commercial CDs aren't burned by a Plextor drive at the factory, but the market is changing and that's directing the industry to change too.

If burned discs aren't a solution, then they have to come up with a different solution. If they find a way to press one-off CDs because of the prodding, great for everybody. But maybe, just maybe, that's the hint that CDs themselves aren't the solution.

Don't consider it a problem that it can't be done now - it's an opportunity for a new product to be invented, a new mechanism to be introduced. Could be a digital distribution medium that will actually be researched rather than the crap they've been hacking together lately.
-N

I don't think it matters (4, Insightful)

Frizzle Fry (149026) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146821)

If they have the moral and legal right to seek action against people who pirate music in the case where piracy is costing them lots of sales, then they have that same right in the case where it doesn't hurt them much or at all (or even helps them). Whether you have the right to copy music should not be decided based on how it affects the profits of the companies who make it. Either it belongs to them and these restrictions are permissible, or they are not.

Re:I don't think it matters (2, Interesting)

gravyfaucet (759255) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146913)

You're correct. But, the RIAA and MPAA are trying to sway the minds of legislatures, judges, etc towards their way of thinking. By showing these "big" revenue losses, they hope to convince officials that the problem is real, and worth the effort/cost of enforcement.

Re:I don't think it matters (5, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146950)

That's true. The problem is that using their numbers, they are lobbying congress to take consumers rights away and make the penalties for "casual piracy" (a few songs, as opposed to running a pirating ring where you copy and sell 1000s of discs) rediculous. They are also trying to do things like extend copyrights and such, which can easily negativly effect consumers.

They have the right to fight piracy. They DON'T have the right to use wildly missleading numbers to convince the government to help them prop up their failing business model.

Re:I don't think it matters (1)

dasdrewid (653176) | more than 10 years ago | (#9147185)

They do have the moral right to protect their property, intellectual or not.

They do NOT have the right to lie and/or give misleading information to support their claims of piracy. That's called "fraud." It's illegal.

This article has nothing to do with them protecting their property. They can go after pirates all they want. But what about dealing with the iTunes Music Store? The RIAA was hesitant going in because they didn't think iTMS had enough "protection" on their files. They still bitch and moan about it all the time, saying that things like downloadable music and non-protected cds (read: cds that don't break my computer if it doesn't have Palladium or whatever) create piracy and that that hurts their sales.

They can't prove that iTMS etc. promote piracy (though, maybe they can prove it for Napster et al), so instead, they try to prove this:

Step 1: Downloadable Music
Step 2: ???
Step 3: (Loss of) Profit!

Well, problem is, they've always said "loss of sales," not loss of "profit." We just *assumed* that when they said loss of sales, they meant loss of profit. However, they misled us. They misled business leaders. And they misled the government when they tried getting stricter laws for prosecuting copyright infringers (some old /. article, I'm to lazy to find it now).

It would be like Microsoft telling us that because of piracy on the internet, they've sold a few less products, so therefore the government should nationalize all internet traffic, and let Microsoft regulate it. However, they failed to mention that by "selling less products," they mean, they sold less cardboard boxes containing a Windows cd and some papers from a store, meanwhile, sales by buying it online from the Microsoft website and downloading straight to the computer have doubled.

This is not about protecting property rights. We have the right to protect property rights, that's why they're called property *rights*. We, and especially not companies, corporations, conglomerates, organizations, and associations, do NOT have the right to lie, cheat, and scam the people around us to get what we want. I would have modded your comment "Offtopic," but it irked me just a wee-bit too much to let it slide.

Funny numbers?!?! (4, Funny)

magarity (164372) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146825)

the RIAA is not reporting the most 'useful' numbers to the public."

OMG! Someone is using statistics to slant an issue their way! OMG!

Re:Funny numbers?!?! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9146854)

All statistics are made up anyways, 3 out of 4 people know that.

Brownie points to the person who can identify that quote.

Re:Funny numbers?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9147005)

I know it's Homer, I think he was talking to Kent Brockman.

Re:Funny numbers?!?! (1)

dickiedoodles (728410) | more than 10 years ago | (#9147042)

All statistics are made up anyways, 3 out of 4 people know that.

Brownie points to the person who can identify that quote.


You said it, ten years from now

Re:Funny numbers?!?! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9147146)

Homer Simpson, and you mis-quoted him.

Well it makes since if you factor in.... (3, Informative)

3seas (184403) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146835)

... they have to hide the money they are keeping (stealing) from the artists somehow...

What else is new? (0, Troll)

chrispyman (710460) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146839)

It's a very common practice in many industries to "tilt" the facts to their favor. Look at the hard drive industry and tell me why my 80GB drive ends up being a 74.5GB drive when I format it.

Re:What else is new? (2, Informative)

stev3 (640425) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146934)

The short answer to there's two different measurement formats used. Decimal (GB) and binary (GiB) formats. Binary is used by Windows and decimal is used by the manufacturers. Both the manufacturer and Windows are giving you the "correct" number.

Binary numbers are numbers that are a power of 2. Decimal numbers are numbers that are a power of 10.

2^10 is 1,024 the closest Decimal number is 10^3 or 1,000 2^20 is 1,048,576 The closest Decimal number is 10^6 or 1,000,000 2^30 is 1,073,741,824 The closest Decimal number is 10^9 or 1,000,000,000

Now lets look at common terms: Kilo means 1 thousand Mega means 1 million Giga means 1 billion Tera means 1 Trillion

1000/1024 = .9765625 1,000,000/1,048,576 = .9536743 1,000,000,000/1,073,741,824 = .93132257

Noticing a trend yet?

At the Kilobyte size the difference is about 2.34% While at the Gigabyte stage the difference is 6.86% Since we're living in the day where it's relatively easy to put a full terrabyte of storage in your computer that "close enough" is becoming further and further from "close enough" At the Terrabyte level the difference is getting very close to 10%

Would you want to buy a hard drive that is labeled as 2^35 byte hard drive? Or would you rather see a 500Gb drive? I don't want anybody ever having to pull out a calculator to figure out how big their hard drive is!

Windows is the one reporting things wrong! Not your manufacturer. Windows does the binary calculations and then displays GB next to it. When GB is technically wrong due to it's definition. What it is actually displaying is the GiB size.

Since the GB number will always be so much higher than the GiB number it's a safe bet to assume that the hard drive manufacturers won't convert to using the GiB format. Memory manufacturers on the other hand are doing things right. You don't see then selling 1Gb of RAM as 1,073Mb do ya? It gets VERY confusing in the hardware world due to some people using 1 standard while they other group using the other one.

Re:What else is new? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9147072)

The short answer to there's two different measurement formats used.

Way to miss the point, dipshit.

Re:What else is new? (1, Informative)

phalse phace (454635) | more than 10 years ago | (#9147017)

"Look at the hard drive industry and tell me why my 80GB drive ends up being a 74.5GB drive when I format it."

That's because whenever a HDD is listed in GB's, it is using the calculation of 1,000MB = 1GB. The reality is that 1024MB = 1GB. That's why your 80GB HDD is 74.5GB when formatted.

In other words, 1,024KB = 1,048,576MB = 1,073,741,824GB. But the hard drive manufacturers use a simplified calculation and assume that 1,000KB = 1,000,000MB = 1,000,000,000GB which is completely wrong.

Re:What else is new? (4, Informative)

jonastullus (530101) | more than 10 years ago | (#9147038)

It's a very common practice in many industries to "tilt" the facts to their favor. Look at the hard drive industry and tell me why my 80GB drive ends up being a 74.5GB drive when I format it.

i do actually hope that the above was a rhetoric question... but just for the heck of it:

Giga is defined (in almost all of science) as 10^9; therefore 80GB = 80 * 10^9 Byte.
Computer Scientists have calculated most data sizes in exponents of "2"; therefore it is common to write KB as 2^10 Byte, MB as 2^20 Byte and GB as 2^30 Byte; this is also how your operating system will output your HDD capacity.

Recently it has been tried to introduce the units Mebibyte (MiB) and Gibibyte (GiB) for the exponents of "2", but it might still take quite a while (or may never happen) that the majority of computer scientists and the industry will switch to the new notation.

thus it is (due to ill-defined units) more or less correct to write:
80GB = 80 * 2^30 Byte = 8.59 * 10^10 Byte = 86GB

obviously it should really be written as 80GiB = 86GB, but such is our beloved computer science ;-))

yet, most likely you already knew that... well, next time better put the <irony> tags *gg*

How Exactly is That Different (2, Interesting)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146843)

From all those companies lying about their revenue during the height of the stock market bubble/scam? Are the numbers the RIAA is reporting to us any better than the numbers Enron or Tyco reported to us?

Re:How Exactly is That Different (4, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146876)

From all those companies lying about their revenue during the height of the stock market bubble/scam? Are the numbers the RIAA is reporting to us any better than the numbers Enron or Tyco reported to us?

The RIAA's numbers are at least correct counts of what they're supposed to be representing. However, consumers are paying less for music doesn't ring too when it's the wholesale transactions going down but not the number of retail transations. That just says there's less CDs sitting unsold on shelves these days...

We don't care about your stat... (5, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146845)

Soundscan would also count an "unsigned artist's" CD just the same as any other because it went through the cash register... but the RIAA's stat doesn't include CDs sold by companies that aren't members of their group.

The RIAA represents most of the recording industry, but not all of it. Sales going down for the RIAA members does not always equate to sales going down for the industry...

You've got to make sure you know what a stat was really counting before you make conclusions based on it.

Re:We don't care about your stat... (4, Interesting)

phalse phace (454635) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146931)

"The RIAA represents most of the recording industry, but not all of it. Sales going down for the RIAA members does not always equate to sales going down for the industry..."

I agree. The way the RIAA calculates sales, by the "number of units shipped to retail outlets," is very flawed. I'm sure all those purchases I've made through emusic [emusic.com] , the iTunes Music Store [apple.com] , DMusic [dmusic.com] , and CD Baby [cdbaby.com] haven't been included into their [RIAA] numbers.

This leads me to believe that music sales are actually up worldwide. Until *all* music sales are calculated (from digital downloads and independent/non-RIAA CDs to RIAA member CDs), I don't think we'll really know for sure what the sales numbers are like.

Re:We don't care about your stat... (5, Interesting)

Tired and Emotional (750842) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146971)

That's the crux of the matter.

The fact is that the RIAA members had a near monopoly on the means of distribution until the last few (perhaps as few as 2) years. What is really going on is musicians are taking back control of distribution. Just about every established band in my town has a cd. You can buy them at shows, or from web sites like CD BABY, or even from independent record stores run by people who care about music and musicians rather than just shoveling product.

This is good for musicians but more importantly its important for listeners because as a result a lot of styles, both historical and regional, can once again be heard.

But the RIAA is in trouble because their business model is no longer valid - that business model was to extract monopoly rents (to use the economists jargon) from the distribution system.

Given that their technology based initiatives will be useless against organized piracy who already operate outside the law one can only assume their real objective is to regain monopoly control of the distribution channel. To do that they would have to mandate equipment that could only play media licensed by their members, and I don't think anything passed so far is that draconian.

Reminds me.. (2, Insightful)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146848)

..of the people who are complaining to Congress about the cost of 'frivolous' lawsuits whilst buttering up their shareholders in their annual reports about how the cost of litigation 'will not have a significant impact on the bottom line.'

The bottom line is that anything big businessmen have to say should be taken with a pinch of salt.

It's called "Just in Time" Inventory (5, Insightful)

Newer Guy (520108) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146856)

in the past, the RIAA always shipped considerably more units than were sold. Why the change? Retails stores simply want less inventory, so they order less, even though they are selling more.

This trend is commonplace everywhere. Retail outlets don't want things sitting on their shelves for two reasons: First, because they have to PAY for them and second if they don't sell, they have to PAY to ship them back.

What the record stores are doing has been done for years in most other retail outlets. It's called "Just in Time" inventory. For example, a grocery store tries to predict how much lettuce they'll sell and only buys that much, lest they get stuck with rotting produce. McDonald's made a science of this back in the '90's.

Now, the RIAA wants to use this new inventory trend to SPREAD THEIR LIES! It shows just how dirty rotten to the core they are! They KNOW what's going on; they're cherry picking stastics to LIE!!

Re:It's called "Just in Time" Inventory (0)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146903)

In the 90s, Wal-Mart passed K-Mart in part because Wal-Mart had a much smarter way of allocating inventory.

Wal-Mart came up with advanced ways of predicting what would sell, and shiping that to stores without anybody at the store having to make a request. K-Mart, stuck with the old fashioned way of having managers estimate what their stores needed and ordering that.

Clearly, a prediction formula will beat a single human's estimates over long term trials... and that's exactly what happened. K-Mart kept getting stuck with the wrong products in stores.

Afterall, a Blue Light Special was a short-term clearance declared by a manager when they had far more inventory on an item than they wanted to have...

Magic... (1)

softspokenrevolution (644206) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146859)

Apparently, people who deny that magic is real haven't looked at statistics. After all with statistics and polls you can take information that you want to see and conjure up some arcane formulation that will make it look as if that information is in fact the truth.

If we follow this vein, there are many other forms of magic, such as economics. Following this even further, we can point out the evil warlocks of the world, those who practice their economics and statistics steeped in their own lies.

I'm sorry, it's Thursday night.

Yes... (1)

Newer Guy (520108) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146890)

There was a book out in the '60's called: "How to Lie With Statistics" Basically, you can find (or create) a statistic to say anything you want.

Re:Magic... (1)

chaos421 (531619) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146906)

i'm with this guy. this story reminds me of the first day of statistics 101. my professor used to bring in a different statistic each day and explain how it could be fudged/misconstrued/etc to prove either side.

Court of public opinion (5, Insightful)

Deitheres (98368) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146880)

Of course the RIAA is going to fudge the numbers. If word got out that they were *GASP* not losing money, or at least not as much as they lead people to believe, it would make it oh-so-harder to justify their legal pursuit of grannies and pre-teens to the general public. As it is, it's a game of "oh look at us, we're the poor RIAA, we are making so much more money in a week than you poor consumers will ever make in our lives, but it's not as much as it used to be... we used to make more in a DAY than you would make in your entire life! Take pity on us, and understand why we are fucking the artists, and giving them pennies for every CD sold, so that we can afford limousines and caviar for our poor underfed kitties!". And the consumers eat it up, as evidenced by the ill-informed dolts saying things like "duh, anybody who downloads music off the internet is a thief". The RIAA makes it so that even if you download music that you're ALLOWED to (like Indy) it has a stigma associated with it. It's not about protecting "the artists", or the IP, it's about ensuring their lifestyle. They're thieves too, but in a way that is so much worse than average Joe Public who jumps on Kazaa or SoulSeek to download the new Creed/Eminem/[insert shitty pop band here] song-- Joe Public downloads the song because he likes or loves music, the RIAA and MPAA'ers of the world do what they do because they are money hungry fucks who will do anything they can to maintain their dominance.

I'm not a religious person, and I normally don't resort to Biblical citations, but I think this one applies:

"The love of money is the root of all evil." (also one of the most misquoted passages in the Bible just for the record).

On the reverse side, piracy is not the ideal situation either. I am a musician, and I hope someday to make a living off my music, but I know it won't be with a record deal-- and I sure as hell know it probably won't be from selling records. Hopefully by the time I am ready to try my music as a full time career we'll have something a bit more established that will allow truly independent music distribution, with a vehicle that guarantees the artist will at least see some money for their hard work.

Dan

Re:Court of public opinion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9147033)

"The love of money is the root of all evil." (also one of the most misquoted passages in the Bible just for the record).

Though technically "money is the root of all evil" is an accurate quote. There are the words, right there, in exactly that order. Just some interesting editing going on. :)

context (2, Insightful)

Deitheres (98368) | more than 10 years ago | (#9147231)

Just like I could say:

"and the bible says 'In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth ... The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God's people. Amen'" (that is Genesis 1:1 and Revelation 22:21)

gotta love taking things out of context :-)

Misquoted again (1)

chickenrob (696532) | more than 10 years ago | (#9147065)

Yeah, I'm not sure if you know you yourself just misquoted the passage. It's 1 Timothy 6:10a "For the love of money is _a_ root of all kinds of evil." There is plenty of evil that doesn't involve money. The passage goes on to say people eager for money have "peirced themselves with many greifs" a.k.a. Mo Money Mo Problems!

Re:Misquoted again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9147210)

actually I think he was quoting the NIV version. I'm sure we could go on all day posting different versions of what is essentially the same damn thing.

Re:Court of public opinion (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 10 years ago | (#9147158)

it would make it oh-so-harder to justify their legal pursuit of grannies and pre-teens to the general public

The RIAA doesn't exist for the sole purpose of going after people - obviously they must feel economically threatened by file-swapping, or why would they engage in something which results in so much bad press? The RIAA is acting in its own self-interest, not out of a desire to be cruel.

We're the poor RIAA, we are making so much more money in a week than you poor consumers

Of course the CEO's of the RIAA companies are rich, I don't really see that as relevant.

understand why we are fucking the artists, and giving them pennies for every CD sold

As an indie music fan, I must repeat: there are legitimate alternatives to the RIAA. It's widely understoon that signing to a major label is a Faustian deal, but musicians also know that only record labels have the promotional machine to take marginal & genuine talents and make them into stars. These artists signed contracts, they knew what they were getting into, and why...to claim they shouldn't be held to these contracts after hitting it big is odd logic.

Most music out there isn't RIAA, and is often very good. The way I see it, if you don't support the RIAA system, why not stop listening to the RIAA's music?

honesty, not usefulness (5, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146885)

but it is fairly obvious that the RIAA is not reporting the most 'useful' numbers to the public

I believe the word you were searching for was "honest", not "useful".

Then again, this is peanuts compared to Hollywood which manages to make it look like every single movie looses (or makes very little) money so they don't have to pay taxes or pay people who are supposed to get a cut of the profits.

Of course, most of corporate america does exactly the same thing, which is why they've gone from a 52% tax share (versus individuals) to under 5% in 50 years.

Power Hungry (1)

OneArmedMan (606657) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146893)

Heh...

Massive power hungry, money grubbing corporations telling lies ..

Who would have thunk it .. ???

``` ~~~
O_o

Re:Power Hungry (1)

Deitheres (98368) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146974)

I know! And the RIAA of all companies, what with their previous track record of honesty and piety!

Easy.. (3, Interesting)

CashCarSTAR (548853) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146915)

Like other people have mentioned, record stores have been getting out of the business left and right. Either they've been closing, or switching over to more mixed media stores. The big boxes don't order huge inventories, especially of back catalog items, and smaller stores have been switching to other media types (DVDs and games mostly, very lucrative and growing markets)

So is this due to piracy?

Err..no.

Sales of the hit new music has remained pretty constant (which is expectable in a mostly stable marketplace), which are often the most easy to download, so it makes it obvious that something else is at play here...

Maybe it could be the MASSIVE growth of used media stores that have been popping up all over the place?

So what can be done about that? It's obviously legal, and easy to say that it's ethical to do, after all, we do have the right to sell what we have paid for...

My suggestion for the RIAA is to actually lay off the worrying about piracy, and instead, run an information and advertising campaign informing consumers about how when they buy a used CD, they are in fact ripping off their favorite artist. By changing the focus, and acting through education and not litigation they can regain some respectability, especially if they make a good argument for it.

Re:Easy.. (1)

angle_slam (623817) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146966)

WTF? Since when is there a MASSIVE growth in used media stores. In the Phoenix area, there is basically one chain of 5 stores that sells used music. None that opened since 1996. In the Bay Area, there are two separate chains with 5 stores total that sell used music. (There are a few other stores, but they are tiny and I doubt they sell much).

If what you said is true, there would be many used stores all over the place. If there are, I can't find them. Unless you mean Ebay, there isn't a MASSIVE growth of used music stores.

Re:Easy.. (2, Informative)

corrosive_nf (744601) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146976)

uhh you are really wrong, Amoeba record store sells ALOT in the bay area, anytime you go in, tons of people are buying cd's and yes even records.

ahhh statistics (4, Funny)

jonnystiph (192687) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146918)

You know what they say 97.89% statistics are made up on the spot....

This was obviously a farce from the get go. Mp3's open people up to music they would have never bought, same can be said with libraries and books.

Statistics (5, Insightful)

darkitecture (627408) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146941)


Ahh, statistics are wonderful things, aren't they?

Reminds me of a couple of classic quotes about statistics:

Aaron Levenstein once said "Statistics are like bikinis; What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital."

and Thomas Carlyle once said, "A witty statesman said, you might prove anything by figures."

The thing is, I dislike the RIAA quite vocally, but I'd still probably believe them if they said their revenue is down. But the first thing they teach you about statistics in math is that "Correlation does not equal causation."

RIAA (-1, Troll)

NIK282000 (737852) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146949)

Given the stuff i have read of the RIAA, I find it amasing that they can even keep a website on the net. They spew out falce info to try to use th eignorant masses. They're losing money because they are tryign to change the public insted of changing to make money off of what we want. and thats my lil rant

Re:RIAA (1)

smoondog (85133) | more than 10 years ago | (#9147035)

Hmm, have you been watching Rumsfeld lately?

The Coalition of Independent Music Stores (2, Insightful)

corrosive_nf (744601) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146964)

This is why I support The Coalition of Independent Music Stores.

Re:The Coalition of Independent Music Stores (1)

jonastullus (530101) | more than 10 years ago | (#9147110)

this is why I have switched to free (amateur) music from such places as garageband [garageband.com] .

the recording quality is for obvious reasons inferior and some of the bands actually sound like amateurs, but for the most part I find the music better to listen to than the current charts. additionally I can promote a good band by downloading their music and don't have to worry whether the newest chart wonder, who claims to have come from the gutter through a life of hardship, is actually a casted middle class nerd.

not that I cared so much about the background of performers, but I DO hate to be lied to and especially when it is done to get my sympathies!

support free music - don't prolong the rip-off-music-industry tyranny - support the artists!

Boycott the RIAA the Week of July 4th (3, Troll)

rben (542324) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146967)

This is another example of the kind of deceptive practices that the RIAA is using to convince congress to pass laws that turn our kids into criminals. The RIAA will continue to pursue this path until they learn that consumers will actually take a stand against it.

I would like to urge people to declare their independence from the RIAA on the week of July 4th, 2004. Boycott them. Do not purchase music or listen to the radio during that time. Instead, why not check out the independent artists that distribute their music for free? Show the RIAA that you know how to hit them back where it hurts... in the wallet.

Re:Boycott the RIAA the Week of July 4th (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 10 years ago | (#9147083)

who the fuck buys a new CD more than once a week?

Re:Boycott the RIAA the Week of July 4th (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9147113)

Yay, another call to boycott! As if Slashdotters currently buy enough RIAA CDs for anybody to notice when they stop... A 0.2% drop in sales in a usually slow month isn't going to even get noticed, much less serve as a warning that people are pissed off at the RIAA's actions. Try getting the word out to one of the RIAA's more significant market segments.

FWIW, I've been boycotting the RIAA for over three years now. Not that going from two CDs a year to zero makes any difference to them...

In other words (3, Interesting)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 10 years ago | (#9146993)

In other words, the geek boycott of RIAA labels is failing. I don't really see this as good news.

lets setup a shell to 'stuff the channel' (2, Informative)

sPaKr (116314) | more than 10 years ago | (#9147029)

This shipping product to your retailer/resailers just to have it round trip and come back to you later is called 'stuffing the channel' its an old trick. Sales Scum (tm) use it all the time to inflate numbers at the end of a quarter. If they (RIAA) is going to count numbers by the overly simple math then lets beat them at their own game. I say we setup a "Retailer" that never sells anything but just orders shipments like crazy. This "Retailer" Hoovers up as many units as they can ship. Then it just turns around and ships them back as unsold stock. We might even be able to work out a deal with the delivery companies to not even deliver the units just move them from the shipping dock to the recieveing dock at the distribution points.

Profit Model of the New Millenium (3, Interesting)

SlimFastForYou (578183) | more than 10 years ago | (#9147034)

1.) Announce a wholesale price hike, causing retailers to stock up on inventory, and purchase less the following year
2.) Attribute "fewer sales" to P2P
3.) Sue the butts off of "pirates"
4.) Appeal to the public as being truly hurt by these individuals, while extorting money from defenseless individuals who couldn't afford music in the first place
5.) ???
6.) Profit!!!

Note: By "pirates", I am referring to individuals who share music they MAY indeed own yet are "breaking the law" by doing so.

I don't say piracy is right or wrong. For those who can afford licensed media yet pirate, shame on them! For those who are concerned with the cost of living - I can't blame them. The RIAA isn't any better than the "pirates" they sue, as long as they employ dubious tactics.

RIAA is Dying (2, Funny)

Lost Penguin (636359) | more than 10 years ago | (#9147037)

Netcraft reports, .., RIAA,..., Red ink, ;)

It would make a great troll!

Hardly Surprising! (4, Interesting)

rspress (623984) | more than 10 years ago | (#9147058)

Since most of the "losses" come not from file traders but from those who copy the full disc, including the liner notes and sells those on the street and even to music stores.

The RIAA once reported one in six discs that you buy is a pirate disc. This is where they are truly losing money. However if all this contrary information were to make it to the courts that are granting the search warrants for ISP's then it would be that much hard for the RIAA to get those warrants....and that would prevent them from getting the easy money from going after file traders.

Speaking of this easy money, has anyone seen the figures of how much the RIAA has brought in from these Nazi tactics and how much of that total was reimbursed to the artists who lost sales? Also how does the RIAA determine who has been pirated and how are the reimbursed? If someone were to bring these point up to the judge who is issuing warrants then the RIAA might really have to do something more than whine to get a warrant.

Re:Hardly Surprising! (1)

thePMG (760995) | more than 10 years ago | (#9147191)

I doubt that, I'm sure the RIAA owns quite a few judges...

Another shocking fact (-1, Offtopic)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#9147117)

Most slashdot readers use Windows and Internet Explorer to post their rants about Free software.

So what? People are full of shit.

Re:Another shocking fact (-1, Offtopic)

Ziviyr (95582) | more than 10 years ago | (#9147126)

From my Gentoo/Mozilla browser, I say cram it.

let's ignore the existing music industry! (1)

nicodietrich (723545) | more than 10 years ago | (#9147136)

why not create an alternative music business together with unknown artists? i just had an idea of a new promotion method - the permanent listening test... i posted it here [slashdot.org]

nico

Is this really a surprise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9147147)

While I'm quite sure they do possess the chutzpah to try such a thing, it would be kind of hard for the RIAA to persuade the gummint to pass laws like the DMCA if they didn't have statistics to whine about, claiming RIAA members are bleeding money from every orifice due to piracy.

It makes sense with their way of thinking... (3, Informative)

DroopyStonx (683090) | more than 10 years ago | (#9147154)

They believe that every single pirated song was a guaranteed sale, which is not the case.

Just because a person has 4,000 songs doesn't mean that they would've purchased ALL of those CDs had they not had the means to download them... but the RIAA stands firm in their belief that this is possible.
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