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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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They never have believed their own bullshit

I learned this whilst punting an anti-counterfeit solution in 2001. Couldn't figure out - initially - why, if counterfeit (inc piracy etc) was "costing" global industry anything like the $800 billion a year some of them were claiming that they were only prepared to spend - globally - a couple of billion.

An accountant eventually made it clear that while they use the full retail value of the "stolen" goods to project the alleged value of losses, when it comes to investing in countermeasures, they make a much more realistic estimate of actual additional sales they might achieve if counterfeit became physically impossible and, surprise, surprise, their most optimistic forecasts suggest that - if nobody could counterfeit anything, ever, sales would only increase by a few percent and some producers would actually risk a major haemorraghing of their "market share".

Microsoft (and other software manufacturers), for example, could easily prevent counterfeit by requiring validation every time you go online. They daren't do it for a mixture of reasons, like privacy implications and service reliability but these are actually quite trivial to fix. The killer reason was their recognition that their 93% share of the desktop market would plummet to less than 50% and Linux, BSD and other free OSs would soar. As the real value of windoze is as a platform for their other apps and global software domination program, preventing piracy would actually be a major shot in the foot...

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(Written by Reg staff) Bronze badge

Why do Freetards hate creatives?

As usual Mark, you have to invent a fiction to support your obsessive anti-creator rhetoric. And as usual, it's a persecution fiction.

(Bullies do this a lot: they imagine they're being bullied themselves, which gives them the moral justification for their bullying).

No one at El Reg has ever advocated removing the right of artists to do what they want with their material. The beauty of the system today is that a copyright holder can do so whatever they wish, by doing absolutely nothing.

I've received hundreds of emails from you Mark over the years (as many as eight in a single day) complaining about the compensation right. You've never once defended the right of artists to _choose_ to be compensated for their creativity. Nor have you ever made a proposal that would help artists get paid that didn't involve the removal of that right.

In addition, you support anything going that weakens those rights. You praise the gift economy, then invent a fiction like this, that somebody wants to remove the right of an artists to give their stuff away. That's a claim that exists only in your head.

So to recap - one of us is fighting for the removal of a creator's "right" here, and it's not me ;-)

This obsessive hatred you have of creatives is very mean spirited - you begrudge people these pennies simply because it gets in the way of your digital utopia.

Can't you find a more noble cause to fight - or is this as good as you get?

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I like fudge.

If it can be proven this was a deliberate fudge of their statistics, can they be held in contempt of Congress? I understand you get in a lot of trouble for that. Of course, I imagine that would be impossible to prove.

Anyways, whatever statistics they come up with are obviously garbage but that doesn't really change the fact that college kids shouldn't be pirating films. They should be studying. Or having sex. Maybe doing drugs. These kids are missing out.

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For the AO:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/10/01/radiohead_digital_giveaway/

"Then again, this is such a guilt-ridden corpus of record-buyers they may well feel obliged to make more than the minimum donation."

"How ironic that these impeccable liberals should be endorsing trickle down economics and contributing to a wider disparity in wealth."

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/10/10/has_beens_free_downloads/

"Proving they can be as derivative with their marketing as they are with their music, both the Mancunian Dad-rockers and the tedious chicken-in-a-basket jazz-funk noodlers are considering aping Radiohead's gimmick."

"So how long does a novelty remain a novelty, when everyone's doing it?"

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/11/06/radiohead_comcast_stats/

"Radiohead last month let punters "set the price" for the digital download of their new album It's Raining In Rainbows, which is coming out on CD shortly."

"Overall, the band grossed about a quid per download, reckons ComScore. People who paid contributed an average of $6.00 (£2.89) - but once freeloaders were included, that falls to just $2.26, or £1.09 per album.

Either way, you can't build much of a business off a quid an album - that much we already knew (although digital utopians spend much of the time in denial about this)." (though Apple Itunes goes for 79p a track...)

"Nice gimmick, shame about the business model"

And nowhere did you mention that Radiohead made MORE from this album than their last.

Selective reporting is indicative of hidden (hah!) bias.

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Stop

@Mark

"... why the heck should we be accurate and reasonable?"

Because then we* can claim the moral high ground, present reasoned and supportable arguments to legislators, and point out the egregious fudging of figures from the MPAA et. al. without them having a pot-kettle-black retort.

* - define "we".

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@Mark and Law - Real loss and costs

The original "Real loss and costs" post was me, and I was posting anonymously during the day, because I was at work, not because I was ashamed of what I was admitting.

I want to ask what is the difference between using a non-traceable name like Mark or Law rather than Anonymous Coward. When I post non-anonymously, I actually use my real name, unlike some.

@Law

You are so English-centric. Much of the media I download is fan-subbed anime (and no, not hentai) that has not been translated to English yet, but has had English subtitles added by kind people in the fan community. I could import the Japanese DVDs, and they would even play on UK region 2 DVD players, but I would not be able to follow the dialogue. I suppose I could learn Japanese, but this is rather more a life choice that I have time for at the moment. Much of this media is *never* translated into English.

I would actually prefer to buy the titles up front, and I do feel a little guilty about downloading it, but if the producers value it enough to follow up on my supposed theft, they ought to value it enough to produce an English dub.

@Mark

You state that the proprietry encoding adds to the costs. Of course it does, but the producers decide to pick up the cost for this from their cut, as I do not see the full price of their titles being any more than other DVDs. Also, it must be compatible with the documented standards, otherwise bog-standard DVD players would not be able to play the disks. This would rather be an own-goal if it were not the case.

CSS is well known, and will not add to the costs. Many of the other tricks they use involve corrupted VOBs, which cause computer DVD drives to barf when trying to copy, but are skipped over by the point at which the menu starts the title on the disk. This is not rocket science, and again does not add much to the costs.

Now, I have to sit back and see if the MPAA and RIAA come knocking at my door with an order to sieze my computers.

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"you can't build much of a business off a quid an album"...

Sure you can, probably at least several tens of millions of quid. If you look at the cost saved on fabrication, distribution, and in Radio Head's case, marketing, then you are doing pretty well. (BTW, fuck Radio Head).

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Anonymous Coward

@Mark

"why the heck should we be accurate and reasonable?"

Are you by any chance a Climate Scientist?

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Actually...

Only one out two people is dead. Thats 50%. There are more people alive today than have lived previously in human history. SO less than half of all people are dead. The other few, are members of the MPAA. Piracy is simply forward-based viewing, its all gonna get on TV anyway. Windows of opportunity. Love that statistic!

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Where would the money come from if it wasn't lost.

I had a near 4.0 in high school, got scholarships, grants and worked two part time jobs while going to a state college and I still came out in debt.

I am not arguing about the ethics, just wondering how where they think all this lost revenue "stolen" by college kids would have came from?

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Re: "a quid an album"

Sure you can make money off a quid an album. That's all the artist is left with once the shops, marketing, distribution and record companies have had their share anyway. As long as you take Radiohead's trick of piling on an explict 44p or whatever it was for credit card charges, you're fine.

Also, PLEASE don't call people "retards", Andrew, even with your oh so amusing pun on 'free'. Some of your arguments are perfectly valid, but whenever you resort to that level of abuse it doesn't matter; you might as well have saved yourself the bother and written

"la la la, you're a big Mongo"

instead. I understand it's not a terribly offensive word in the US, but this is still a UK site and it's the equivalent of "spastic".

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@Sean Ellis & AC

Sean, the problem is that if YOU are reasonable, the compromise position is "somewhere in the middle" because that's what people nowadays consider a compromise. Where in fact it is where the reasonable position is. But if that gets chosen, you've got your way!!! No fair!!!!!

AC, I'm a physicist. Actually took astrophysics but I'm not IT support. I did to fluid dynamics and got it COMPLETELY wrong but found out where I got it wrong in about five minutes when I talked to someone who did modelling programming for the Met Office. And what's the climatologist to do anyway? There are large errors (though oddly, +3C change +/- 3 is taken by people like you to mean "see! no change!!!" rather than "Bugger, could be 6C..." so you CANNOT be "accurate" AND reasonable (in that your statements are a reasonable facsimile of the truth available at the time). If that wasn't the version of "reasonable" you meant, what's reasonable about a position that's either saying

1) Hey, it's someone ELSE'S kids who are going to be in the crapper! Why should I change???

or

2) Yeah, you're not *certain* are you, so there's a risk I'll do something and it won't help. (well, why do so many people not skydive: it's unlikely you're going to splat into the ground...)

Doesn't seem reasonable to me.

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Anonymous Coward

@Actually

http://uplink.space.com/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=humanbio&Number=419903&page=6&view=expanded&sb=5&o=0&fpart=

Summary:

People who have ever lived = 106 Billion

Population of world today = 6.5 Billion

%of people alive today vs ever lived is about 6%

Which seems much more reasonable than 50%.

Unless actually God created Adam and Eve 6000 years ago, in which case you may be right.......

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(Written by Reg staff) Bronze badge

Mongo

"Also, PLEASE don't call people "retards", Andrew, even with your oh so amusing pun on 'free'. Some of your arguments are perfectly valid, but whenever you resort to that level of abuse it doesn't matter; you might as well have saved yourself the bother and written: "la la la, you're a big Mongo" instead. I understand it's not a terribly offensive word in the US, but this is still a UK site and it's the equivalent of "spastic"."

This reminds me of one of my favourite quotes (paraphrasing) -

"Someone who is without humour is like a cart without suspension - he feels every bump and jolt in the road".

It's the logic that's "retarded", not your arms and legs. So this is voluntary. To un-retard yourself, you only need to begin to think clearly.

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