Who Cares How Many Discs Counterfeit Operation Could Have Made?

from the why-focus-on-that? dept

Information Week is reporting on two men who were sentenced to jail for what is being called the "largest CD and DVD pirating scheme to be prosecuted in the United States." From the evidence, it certainly sounds like these guys were counterfeiting all sorts of music, movies and software, so there's nothing wrong with them being caught, found guilty and punished. What I do find interesting, however, is how the various industry associations have been spinning this story (and how the press is accepting it without question). Since these guys were arrested, the story has been how they had equipment that could have made 300 million pirated CDs and DVDs. Note the "could have" part. Because, in reality, authorities only seized a bit less than half a million. It's still significant, but it's less than 0.2% (not 2%, but 0.2%) of what's going in the headlines. In theory, any DVD/CD burner could produce millions of counterfeit discs -- but that's not news. Why is it news in this case?

Of course, this is par for the course for the industry. Remember when the RIAA wanted to count high speed CD burners as multiple burners in trying to boost the size of a bust it made? Or when the MPAA claimed they seized $30 million worth of DVDs when in turned out to only be about $10,000? It seems they like to blow these things out of proportion with big, totally unsubstantiated numbers. Of course, that lets them make the laughable claim that each of these busts is "a significant blow" against piracy when nothing can be further from the truth. In fact, as we've seen, all these CD/DVD counterfeiting shops are facing a much more "significant blow" from the competition from free downloads. Yet, of course, the Information Week piece carries a quote saying that "It cannot be understated how significant it has been." Actually, I'd say it's been significantly overstated.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 4:05am

    Counterfeit goods is a cottage industry

    To quote theRegister, this guy worked out the value of counterfeit imported UK goods at less than 65 million quid;

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/08/01/led_zep_piracy_conviction/comments/

    So fake goods is a cottage industry, and if they have to inflate the claim to make the story worthwhile then it means they are aware that the numbers on their own don't impress.

    Mind you, if there are 3 of them, and they ship 50 packages a day each. Thats 3*50*365 = 54000 items shipped a year, which is quite a big operation.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 4:26am

    so let me think my dual layer 16 speed dvd burner can burn billions of cd's and dvd quick some call RIAA and MPAA

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 5:41am

    From the register story about high-speed burners countted as multiple burners: "There were only 156 actual burners, but some run at very high speeds: some as high as 40x. This is well above the average speed," was the official line yesterday."

    As high as 40x? WOW, where can I get one of those beasts from?

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Copier, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 5:44am

    Dude, I just picked up a 52x burner. I'm gonna make 46 trillion copies of the new Celine Dione album, by lunch-time!

     

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  5.  
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    Sanguine Dream, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 5:56am

    Yeah right...


    Since these guys were arrested, the story has been how they had equipment that could have made 300 million pirated CDs and DVDs. Note the "could have" part. Because, in reality, authorities only seized a bit less than half a million.


    Just like those old ladies, children, computer illiterate, and people who don't even own PCs could have downloaded the music the brought those "settlement" down on them like a ton of bricks.

     

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  6.  
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    GoblinJuice, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 5:57am

    Re:

    Death sentence!!! =D

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Ajax 4Hire, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 6:06am

    If newspapers want respect and increasing

    readership, then they better start being more responsible.
    Sensationalism was ok in the early age of TV News.
    Serious news report media (TV, internet, paper, radio) have to be serious about their news facts. Too many screw-ups and people stop taking you seriously, "cry wolf!".

     

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  8.  
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    SlapHappy, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 6:17am

    "all these CD/DVD counterfeiting shops are facing a much more "significant blow" from the competition from free downloads"



    The "free downloads" is just another source for their product, not competition.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 7:07am

    so does this me i could be arrested for owning a gun or driving a car, because those "could be used" to commit crimes?

    or if i get a speeding ticket, can i get another ticket for a claiming i could have "had a higher rate of speed" than what i was originally ticked at?

     

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  10.  
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    another anonymous, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 7:10am

    Even you seem to be exaggerating a bit. "In theory, any DVD/CD burner could produce millions of counterfeit discs -- but that's not news." My burner will produce a disc every two minutes, and I don't know about how much time shuffling the disks takes, but at that rate wouldn't it take me about 8 years to make 2 million disks? My burners seem to quit after about 6 months, and that is with minimal usage. I can't imagine one lasting over a week with constant 24/7 use.

     

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  11.  
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    another anonymous, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 7:16am

    Re: however

    I do agree with the original article. An enormous amount of taxpayers money is being spent on these idiots petty vendetta, and they are trying to make the expense legitimate in the minds of the ignorant within the public. It reminds me too much of the Clinton/Monica saga.

     

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  12.  
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    Dan P, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 7:24am

    Re: dead DVD drives

    Your DVD burners only last 6 months? Something's burning them out way too quickly. Most of my drives have outlived the machine's usefulness. Something in your PC must be burning them up.

     

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  13.  
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    Dan P, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 7:38am

    Recording Industry it's own worst enemy

    The recording industry is its own worst enemy. That's why they feel the need to exaggerate these things. But at the same time, they're like the boy who cried wolf, you can't believe whatever they say because of their past outrageous claims.

    Besides, who is buying these bootlegs? It's probably people who don't go out to the movies and they're too cheap to buy retail, so the industry isn't losing any money. It just becomes a revenge issue where the bootleggers are making money from a niche the industry isn't serving.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 7:44am

    Re:

    And don't forget being areested for:

    Going to the park because you "could be" looking for a child to abduct.

    Buying someone a drink at a club becuase you "could be" trying to slip a drug in it.

    Standing behind someone at an ATM becuase you "could be" trying to mug him/her.

    Damn at least the cops in Minority Report actually looked into the future to see who really did commit the crime instead of guessing like these guys.

     

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  15.  
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    mark robbins, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 8:34am

    "It cannot be understated how significant it has been."

    He made your point for you. If I understate something I play down the significance of it.

     

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  16.  
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    Thomas Aquinas, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 9:34am

    Re:

    [QUOTE]so does this me i could be arrested for owning a gun or driving a car,[QUOTE]

    No, but you should be! On charges of destruction of the planet and the intent to kill another animal!

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Nismoto, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 9:44am

    Re:

    Exaggerating? I don't think so. "In theory" a DVD/CD burner COULD produce millions of discs. I think perhaps you are exaggerating: "My burners seem to quit after about 6 months and that is with minimal usage". I have only had one burner failure (within the first 30 days) out of 5 burners. To this day, I still own four of them and they are going strong.

    "I can't imagine one lasting over a week with constant 24/7 use"

    Your lack of imagination should not deter you from actually trying: substantiate your claim.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 9:51am

    Re: # 9

    No, but if they ticket you for going 35 in a 30, they could say "he owned a car in which he could have gone at 140 mph, which is above average".

     

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  19.  
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    chris (profile), Aug 9th, 2007 @ 10:11am

    Re: Recording Industry it's own worst enemy

    Besides, who is buying these bootlegs?

    bootleg disks sell in the ghetto... where people may be able to afford a game console, but not a computer, and probably not high speed internet access.

    what's funny is that in the future, as downloads overtake everything, these are going to be the people that continue to buy retail CDs and DVDs since the world will have moved on to ipods and media center PC's.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 12:31pm

    Re: Re: Recording Industry it's own worst enemy


    bootleg disks sell in the ghetto... where people may be able to afford a game console, but not a computer, and probably not high speed internet access.


    Don't forget the college kids. After spending a small fortune on tuition and books that will be be out of date by the end of the semester (meaning the bookstore WONT buy them back) there are lots of college kids that cannot afford portable digital players (of reputable quality anyway).

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 5:04pm

    Re: Re: dead DVD drives

    "Your DVD burners only last 6 months? Something's burning them out way too quickly. Most of my drives have outlived the machine's usefulness. Something in your PC must be burning them up."

    Either that, or you are buying from the welfare racks at the local junk computer store. I have seen small computer shops (Krazy Kenny's Custom Computer Warehouse, Columbus, Ohio) repackage used junk and sell as new. Try paying full -over inflated- price a "new" motherboard with dust on all of the heatsinks and around the CPU socket. Talk about being mad.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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