Software companies and their shill groups have been spreading around reports on the "cost" of piracy, which are made bogus by their assumption that every pirated copy of software equates to a lost sale, which simply isn't the case. Now, the MPAA has joined the fun, saying piracy costs it $6.1 billion a year. That's 75% more than previous figures, and the study was even supposed to account for people who were watching pirated films they wouldn't otherwise pay for. The MPAA didn't want to release the study, and it's little wonder why: doing so would not only call into question its previous research, but also be a tacit admission that its "war" on piracy is failing, and failing badly. But, of course, there's a flip side to this. Instead of waking up and realizing that the answer is changing their business models to reflect the changing times, they'll use the figures to run to Washington (or some other world capital) and get their Congressional lapdogs to expand copyright laws and give pirates more stringent punishments, since current laws "aren't working". Oh wait -- they're already doing that. The entertainment industry's misguided strategy, reliant on legislation and litigation, is only succeeding at one thing: turning customers into criminals. The industry is fighting a losing battle, and nothing will change until it puts a higher priority on reforming its business models than it does on locking down content and locking up pirates.
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