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back to article MPAA admits movie piracy study is 29% full of @$#%

A 2005 study by the Motion Picture Association of America claimed that illegal downloads from college students accounted for an enormous 44 per cent of the industry's domestic losses. Now the MPAA admits the figure was inflated just a wee bit as result of "isolated error" in the methodology. College kids are actually only …

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It's a well-known fact that...

3 out of 2 people have problems with statistics...

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Boffin

the RIAA and MPAA says:

"Wot is a edifukation eniway?"

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Oxygen

I blame El Reg. By reporting about these sheisters you are giving them the oxygen of publicity. Hang your heads in shame. SHAME, I say.

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Alert

Class Action Lawsuit Time!

Rake the MPAA though the civil courts, as no DA has the integrity to go after them for fraud.

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Tom
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If they pull all the raw data out of their ass...

Do we care that they can't add?

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300% high

If they were off by that much in one direction then one can easily suppose they could be that much off in the other and college students actually account for a 14% increase in profits. I guess accuracy isn't important where facts are concerned.

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min
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really?

is that statistically verifyable? or do you work for MPAA too? lol

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And as was so clever in high school...

...one out of every one people die.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Lies, Damn Lies, Statistics and...

...typos.

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Unhappy

loss?

If they never had it in the first place how can they call it a "Loss"?

Their is no real proof that those who download movies would ever actually pay for it anyway...... Seriously, how can you possibly state there was any loss of revenue from piracy?

I don't buy music anymore.... CD or online, I listen to the radio when i want to listen to new music, or stream it from free internet radio stations. Shrug.

I just wish these institutions would stop calling it a loss. It is not.

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Pirate

Real numbers

here's a statistic you can count on: i am 100% certain that 100% of PR, management and legal personnel at RIAA, MPAA, major studios and big record companies should be immediately promoted to other jobs, and thus put to better use.

what i had in mind for their new assignment, was that wheel from "Conan the Barbarian" (poetic justice), driving a magnetic coil to generate electricity. any of these wonderful people who happen to die while chained to the turbine wheel, can then be used as fertilizer.

you want carbon-neutral, renewable energy, here you go.

those people are not useless, they have missed their calling. i'd love to help.

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Black Helicopters

lets face it....

MPAA is full of @$#%

They bang on about the so called "losses" but infact, there are no losses....

i have been know to download the of bootleg dvdrip or two in my time, and if i feel the move was good, i got and buy it on DVD.... hey, i like the fancy covers... added features etc....

if the movie is crap... it gets deleted.... and i say, well thats another 15 quid the movie industry has not managed to rip me off for....

I better watch out for who is watching my downloads.....

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Paris Hilton

Well you know,

33% of statistics are made up. 14% of people know that.

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That's not 29%, is it?

That's not off by 29%, the way I see that maths. (Though admittedly, I haven't had my morning coffee yet.)

Claiming 44 instead of 15 is almost 3 times higher a figure, hence almost 200% off the mark. Ok, "only" 193.3% off the mark, says xcalc.

Honestly, _that_ kind of missing the mark doesn't look to me as a slight mistake, or error margin due to sample size, or anything. It looks like a number pulled out of the hat, or maybe made up to serve a purpose. I.e., a lie.

I also seem to vaguely recall that testifying to Congress is usually done under oath, and lying there counts as perjury, same as in a court of law.

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Obvious move, they just gained 29% that can be blamed on other people

Now aside that it seems plausible that people who a have free time but no money (but internet and are maybe not that stupid) make up for a larger than proportional amount of copyright infringment on music and movies ("piracy", "losses" - what?) ...

...It is also very obvious that the Ass. figured out that they needed to free up some more of that "100% pie" for other people they want to sue (or the government to take measures against).

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Shame

I'd roll my eyes and laugh at yet more RIAA lies being exposed, if it weren't for the fact that paid lobbyists are getting laws passed on the back of them...

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@b shubin

You scare me....... :)

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Joke

Another perfect use

A little while ago, The Register provided us with information, than an Ex-NASA inventor had made serious progress in developing a heat->electricity solid-state device.

With the amount of hot air these copywrong organizations are providing, we may have a solution to the worlds energy problems...

//Svein

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Paris Hilton

Hey, shouldn't Orlowski cover this?

He covered the original, IIRC. In any case, he covered RIAA vs the Mom when she lost. And did it again. But he's missed the last few RIAA stories.

Is he feeling well?

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Black Helicopters

It's another fuck up.

It's not necessarily a disproportionate amount.

Students make up 3% of the US populous.

Yet they make up 15% (allegedly) of pirates, yarr!

But what %age do they make up of MOVIE VIEWERS!!! I bet it's 15%.

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If this was used to support legislation...

...should that legislation be withdrawn or put on hold until it can be re-appraised?

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Flame

How many times does this need to be posted?

"Loss of alleged future revenue is not theft of actual property."

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Pirate

Don't trust any statistics...

...that you haven't faked yourself (German saying)

stats can be useful, but in the context of the RIAA or the MPAA only used to create FUD!!!

The amazing thing is, the Laws have been created under the pretext of totally hyper inflated (dare I say deliberately falsified) figures.

By rights, the laws should be revised and the RIAA and the MPAA should pay the costs for this (they lobbied for them, so they should pay for teh costs of the amendments)

I bet you, a lot of the terrorism laws where created through similiarly retrieved figures..

Regards from Krautland!!!!

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Anonymous Coward

College students

I bet they also make up a "disproportionate" number of those who buy movies.

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Stop

But...

So 15% of illegal downloads are done by students. But not all students live on campus. I couldn't begin to guess what the percentage is who do, but let's say for the sake of argument it's 33%. So if that's correct, then only 5% of illegal downloads are in fact the problem of college campuses. Hardly a large enough of a percentage to justify the draconian targeting of campuses throughout America and the force majeur of federal legislation.

Even if campus downloading were wiped out tomorrow, it still would hardly make a dent. What's 5%? A year's growth in file-sharing?

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Black Helicopters

What a T.W.A.T.

Goodness me what is all this terrible insinuation? How can anyone possibly suggest that there was a deliberate effort to mould this ficticious, or at least wildly erroneous, data in order to bring about a significant change of policy by inciting outrage at what is declared to be an atrocious act of wanton barbary. Ooops, sorry - wrong cover-up.

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Paris Hilton

lies, damned lies, and statistics

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. ', 'Benjamin Disraeli

Disraeli was pretty close: actually, there are Lies, Damn lies, Statistics, Benchmarks, and Delivery dates.

(insert own number here)% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

Statistics are like a bikini. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital. Aaron Levenstein

Smoking is one of the leading causes of statistics. Fletcher Knebel

I gather, young man, that you wish to be a Member of Parliament. The first lesson that you must learn is, when I call for statistics about the rate of infant mortality, what I want is proof that fewer babies died when I was Prime Minister than when anyone else was Prime Minister. That is a political statistic. Winston Churchill

Paris Hilton as she has some interesting statistics

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Paris Hilton

Its been said before...

but I feel the need to state it again.

Randall up above argues piracy is not a loss since it is not bought anyway. I would like to futhur that point.

My wage is X. (X is a depressingly low number). Part of my wage, Y, goes on the standard living costs - mortgage, car, food, electricity and all those other things I really just can't do without. This leaves part of my wage Z to spend on entertainment.

Given that my mortgage is fixed, my wage is fixed and most of my other bills are fixed Z is pretty much fixed bar a few £ variation for...not having a shower one day etc.

If I spend Z entirely on DVDs I now have no money. After that, it doesn't matter if you EXECUTE internet pirates, I can NOT POSSIBLY SPEND ANOTHER PENNY ON DVDs. Therefore, if I happen to pirate a few, it can't possibly be a lost sale.

RIAA - if you want me to buy more DVDs and CDs etc, write me a nice big cheque so that I have more money to spend on said items.

</lecture suitable for the average 8 year old mode>

Anyone in the business of making bats, I would like the above engraved on a batch of a few thousand and distributed to anyone willing to go pay a visit to the RIAAsses.

Sorry for boring you all with something you already knew. In preparation I am already wearing my coat. (Paris Hilton because she seems smarter than the RIAA)

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They are the new mob.

They must be really pleased with it: "See, we are corrupt and we're proud of it. And whatcha gonna do 'bout it?". Perverts.

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(Written by Reg staff) Bronze badge

@Mark Hackett

"Hey, shouldn't Orlowski cover this? But he's missed the last few RIAA stories."

Rebranding the RIAA: Lobby group gets the Strategy Boutique treatment

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/01/15/riaa_competition_results/

Pay attention Mark - points will be deducted for inattentiveness. You can find stories very easily using our fabulous search facility, for example:

http://search.theregister.co.uk/?q=riaa

It's even easier than posting a comment. If you're having trouble with that, ask a grown-up for help.

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Happy

Or, even simpler ...

"RIAA - if you want me to buy more DVDs and CDs etc, write me a nice big cheque"

Better still, why not get them to charge more sensible prices in the first place?

A CD or DVD costs the recording company maybe 25p to copy and maybe another £1 goes to the people who created the recording (like the RIAA, I too can invent statitistics if it suits me)... but between £5 and £10 goes into profits to companies that didn't contribute in any way to the actual material that the buyer is buying.

Sell all CDs at £2.50 and all DVDs at £3.50 and there would still be plenty of money to pay the artists and composers, just not so much over for the big businesses that don't deserve the money.

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@ Simon Neill

Paris Hilton IS smarter than the RIAA.

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Pirate

disproportionate amount

"Although college students make up three per cent of the population, they are responsible for a disproportionate amount of stolen movie products in this country."

I think you will also find that a disproportionate amount of filthy students go to the cinema as well, what else are the meant to do with there time, study?

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Alien

Lost revenue

Given that college kids don't have money to buy videos how did they account for 15 per cent of lost revenue?

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Anonymous Coward

@Mark

Don't encourage him. At least this way we get to comment on the articles...

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Coat

Shurely

That should read Motion Picture Ass. of America

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Andrew Orlowski

Could we please have an Andrew Orlowski icon for "God, you're all so stupid" posts.

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The RIAA have nothing to fear from me.

The only way I would spend time watching the industry's pretentious rubbish is if they paid me. Lots. In cash.

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Stealing?

As much as I sympathise with the views stated above it is utter bollocks to say that it is OK to steal something because you couldn't afford to buy it.

With logic like that we would all be driving Ferraris.

Let us be honest if you obtain a copy of someone else's copyright material that hasn't been paid for either you are stealing it or the person who gave it to you is stealing it.

Must go now, I couldn't afford to buy lunch today so I'm just going to Tesco and shoplift some sandwiches. If anyone from Tesco is reading this don't worry it is not stealing because I wouldn't have paid money for them and they probably wouldn't have sold them to anyone else anyway.

To quote a song that I recently downloaded (it's OK because I wouldn't have bought it):

"If it looks like a duck. it walks like a duck and there's duck do on your pick up truck, you can bet your bottom buck it ain't no armadillo!"

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Ooooh, Andrew!

"It's even easier than posting a comment. If you're having trouble with that, ask a grown-up for help."

Well, I can't ask you, then!

Sometimes you DO see that there are two sides and they can either be good reasons or bad reasons but mostly you just see it as bad if it isn't the "Authorised version" of copyright.

E.g. Radiohead, Creative Commons, copyleft and so on are all bad. You seem to think the artist should have the right to money from their works but shouldn't have the right NOT to make money off their works.

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Bronze badge

When I was a student...

There were no DVDs to pirate. No VHS tapes either. We had to go to the cinema or club together to hire a 16mm print.

So I'd sometimes go to the cinema. And there were some crap movies in those days.

The last movie I saw in a cinema was Kill Bill. Now we have DVD rental, and 30 miles round trip, plus parking and cinema ticket, isn't so appealing. There's still a lot of crap out there.

And my tastes are not your tastes.

Anyway, ever since VHS came out the media companies have been screaming about piracy. Maybe they should pay their scriptwriters?

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Pirate

@Donkey

Repeat after me, "Copyright infringement does not equal stealing!" I'm not saying it isn't illegal or immoral, just pointing out that ripping a mate's cd is not the same as shoplifting the cd from HMV. It isn't treated the same in English law, this is just FUD from the pigopolists.

Now repeat after me, "An illegal copy does not equal a lost sale!" As a previous poster pointed out, people only have so much disposable income to spend. If they can't obtain an illegal copy, they won't magically have the money to buy a legal one. The industry has not made one penny more.

Finally, we may not all be driving Ferraris, but that's because they are so difficult to copy. On the other hand, there is a thriving black market for knocked off "designer" clothes, watches, etc.

Now off you go to Tesco and copy one of their sandwiches. Bon appetit :-)

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Re: Stealing?

So am I stealing if I decide I don't want to buy? They are still out of pocket and I'll probably have heard it at least once (otherwise I wouldn't know whether I wanted it or not).

Oh, and when I copy, I use my own machine, my own CD, my own resources (time, energy, money, etc). So when you get to Tescos, have a look at a sandwich you want, then go home and use your own ingredients to make the EXACT SAME SANDWICH. That'd be a copy.

Oddly enough, though Tesco's lost a sale and you still got the same sandwich they were selling, they don't call the bizzies down on you.

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Coat

Real loss and costs

Whilst I agree in principal with the "No loss - no theft" stand, I cannot totally agree with the arguments. If you have a limited amount of disposable income, and have a choice of buying the DVD, or downloading the film and buying some beer to consume while you are watching it, many people would choose the latter. Gain to the brewery, loss to the DVD producer. There is an obvious loss.

I choose to buy most of my DVDs from the 'previously viewed' bins of Blockbuster. OK, I have to wait a bit, but you should see my collection!

Also, I have to take issue with the people who say that DVDs should retail for £3.50. Have they looked into the production-duplication-distribution-distribution-retail (yes I know distribution is in twice, because often there is more than one distribution step) costs. Each will add a 50-100% mark up, so it costs £2.50 when it leaves the duplication phase (including the media production costs), it optimistically will cost around £8.50 minimum in the shops. Still not £15, but not £3.50 either.

You also cannot compare the years-old films that you see in bargain shops and 'sale' racks that have moved on to the lets-get-what-we-can phase of marketing, with the cost of new titles. These deserve a premium, mearly because they are new.

BTW. I still download some media content, but normally things that I cannot buy (deleted or never available in this country). And when I do, if it becomes available, and I think it is worth buying, I will buy it and reclaim the disk space.

My jacket is the asbestos one by the door. Could I have it, please.

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Joke

Honest, guv !! I was aiming that nuke at Washington....

....not the MPAA and anyway it's just a difference of digits, guv. Easy mistake to make !!

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Paris Hilton

@ Anon

"if it becomes available, and I think it is worth buying, I will buy it and reclaim the disk space."

So you are actually the thief who will store the media once you have deemed it decent... rather than importing (not difficult). You have now lost all credibility you had before (which is none since you posted anon).

Personally - I see this as a two way street. If I stop getting screwed by buying a DVD or going to the cinema, just to find out it was over marketed and the cool trailer is the summation of all the good bits with the rest being crap, then I might start buying DVDs again. Also - if they get their finger out and just stick to the next gen standard (Blu or HD) so I don't waste my money twice then I will buy again. Oh - and if they stop making me watch the compulsory "Get the FACTS" or whatever video for 10 minutes everytime I want to watch the DVD then I will buy again.

The truth is, its the Media companies themselves that are killing the industry, they have taken it upon themselves to start trying to teach us about piracy, sue everybody, force government legislation threats, create rootkits and DRM hell, and argue over standards to the point where they release two at the same time. All the while, confusing, extorting and screwing over the people who they are supported by in the name of profit - and when we get annoyed and give up on them, it is seen as "lost earnings". Personally, I think they have gone too far down this path to ever really save themselves - the market and the customers perceptions have changed too much for them to reclaim what they had, and its just a matter of time before we either shift to an "arts" license, or they become a controlling body that dictates exactly what your PC does... and if you stray its to the camp with you. We are equally close to both! :S

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Re: Real loss and costs

You're right, but when one side (MPAA/et al) are saying it's one FULL PRICE lost PER DOWNLOAD and are now saying that because it could be *potentially* thousands of downloaders, that's thousands of full price losses per track, why the heck should we be accurate and reasonable?

Sometimes the only way to a good compromise is by getting two extremes together. If you get a moderate and a nutter, you're going to "compromise" on something near the middle of the moderate/nutter line which is rather nearer the nutter line than reasonableness would have you think.

As to DVDs, you're forgetting that some of that cost is because they're using propriatory algorithms to either encode or protect the content. Costs they didn't have to undertake but they didn't mind because they could pass this on (with a little extra on top for them) to the customer.

If you don't think this would happen, think about petrol prices. Crude goes up 10%. Pump prices go up 8%. "Aren't we nice" say the petrol companies. Not unless the price of crude is 80% of your costs, it isn't.

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Black Helicopters

stats....

"I bet you, a lot of the terrorism laws where created through similiarly retrieved figures.."

err, try the total f**k up that people call the gulf war.... that was pushed through based on some very shakey stats..... and onto the death of the scientist who tried to reveal the facts...*coughdavidkellycough*

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