Latest Bogus Stats On Music Piracy Losses

from the do-we-really-need-to-go-through-this-again? dept

It's getting rather tiresome to need to debunk the bogus stats that come out every few months about the impact of "piracy" on one of the various copyright industries -- alternating between music, movies and software. What's most frustrating is that the press continues to take these studies at face value, and never once questions the most basic (and ridiculous) assumptions used to create the numbers. Take, for example, this report on the supposed impact on the economy of music piracy, put together by The Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI). It, like many of these reports, counts every pirated song as a loss (Update: turns out it doesn't count every copied song as a lost sale, but does make some random assumptions using a totally-pulled-out-of-the-air conversion factor), and never bothers to count back in the promotional impact of unauthorized music sharing, that helps get more attention for certain bands. Actual economic studies tend to show little, if any, impact in either direction to music sales. Yet, this report ignores all of that. Even worse, it wades into ridiculous territory by adding in the supposed "ripple effect," claiming that music piracy hurts the rest of the economy by killing 46,000 production-level jobs and nearly 25,000 retail jobs. Of course, the supposed experts at IPI don't seem to consider that ripple effects go in multiple directions. Those people may be working in other jobs that are more productive for the economy. Also, in effectively lowering the price of music, people then have more money to spend on other areas of the economy, some of which may be more worthwhile. This isn't to say that there might not be some net negatives to unauthorized music downloads -- but the study from IPI isn't worth taking seriously, and it would be nice if reporters started calling them out on this whenever they (and others) release these reports.


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  1.  
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    g-man, Aug 24th, 2007 @ 8:00pm

    Music stars hurting

    I just finished watching MTV Cribs and noticed that the rap and rock stars are surely hurting from the piracy of music. Most of them have chandeliers worth more than my house. Most of them have more shoes than a whole high school campus. Cars? Let's not even count their cars.
    It appears most rappers and rockers are nearly in poverty.
    Yes, piracy is killing the musicians.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2007 @ 8:00pm

    Stop debunking, then.

    "It's getting rather tiresome to need to debunk the bogus stats that come out every few months about the impact of "piracy" on one of the various copyright industries..."

    Then stop. Everyone who will actually read this already knows these "studies" are severely biased. The people who actually need to be told this will never read this site. You may as well give up.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2007 @ 8:00pm

    "Actual economic studies tend to show little, if any, impact in either direction to music sales."

    Lets not forget either that music piracy is nothing new. Bootleg copies were fairly abundant for cheap. The only difference is it is easier than ever to distribute, and it is going to the massess.

    Actually from what I gather (from the 1992 law signed by GW Bush, part of which protects your right to being able to make copies and stuff for non commercial use and give them away to friends. The only reason downloading music is a copyright violation is because of the indiscriminate nature of sites that host the stuff.

    So in short, download from a specific source and make sure you have pictures of yourself taken with the source on vacation or something. Then when you get sued you can say 'hey we're buddies, he just gave me a copy' and you should be fine.

    Note im not a law expert so i could be comletely wrong.

     

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    Matt, Aug 24th, 2007 @ 8:03pm

    I wonder if this study assumes because a song is downloaded that the user would have ever bought that song. Personally i like having the actual albums and artwork, but most of the people that i know who download music would rather listen to the radio for free rather than pay for entertainment. Or people that download entire albums because they can and get to hear new music which would ripple effect to radio station requests, and then selling more albums, instead of people paying 99 cents on i-tunes for the one hit single.

     

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  5.  
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    DittoBox, Aug 24th, 2007 @ 8:34pm

    Re:

    Instant perfect digital copies of songs is totally different than one off tape or CD copies that only copied in real time and cost money per tape way back 15 years ago.

    That goes in two directions. One that you can give digital copies to 5000 more easily and in better quality than you could make copies for 5 friends in 1992.

    The second is that it once again puts recorded music back into the promotional aspect of things, in that it's a value-add product and not a value in and of itself. Artists must again focus on the live show and use recordings as a promotional tool. And it's a very, very effective promotional tool. And being in marketing I can tell you the music industry has nothing better at it's disposal than this for promoting it's artists. There's a very fundamental change in business model that needs to happen. Not everyone in the industry will survive this. Tough. That's capitalism. Don't like it? Then go screw yourself. Don't artificially hold up the market with bogus federal laws and regulations simply because your business model doesn't stand up to changing technologies. Use those technologies to your advantage and you can solidify your position in the new market, but don't hold back the world because you're too afraid.

    But using logic like the parent's just makes RIAA execs want to piss on the new business model even more.

    I very much hate the recording industry in almost all aspects but claiming that a law written in 1992 to protect me when I make a few (lossy!) copies of my music for friends protects me from making 5000 lossless copies for my "friends" is just as much a logical fallacy as most of what the RIAA pukes out.

     

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    Tom Giovanetti, Aug 24th, 2007 @ 11:18pm

    You got it wrong pal

    Mike,

    You're totally, completely wrong.

    I am the publisher of the study. We did NOT "count(s) every pirated song as a loss."

    Why don't you read and understand something before you describe and characterize it?

    It's amusing to me to see how many of your ilk are trashing something that they have either not bothered to read, or didn't understand. Turns out there is a difference between serious journalists and bloggers after all . . .

    Given your carelessness in reporting on this study, I guess it's YOU that we should stop taking seriously.

     

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    David Swanson, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 12:10am

    Re: You got it wrong pal

    If you're the publisher of this study, and you know enough about it to say that Mike reported it carelessly, AND you have time to post a comment on this site, would it be too much work for you to enlighten the readers here as to exactly how Mike is wrong?

    I was bored (very bored) so I sat down and read the report (big yawn) and found it as full of BS as I was expecting after reading Mike's reporting.

    So please, explain how he was wrong before you start bashing him.

    Go ahead, amuse us.

     

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    Pesti, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 12:20am

    Re: Re: You got it wrong pal

    I agree, come on Tom give us the "Whole Picture" here, I wouldn't mind having all the facts.....

     

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    john, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 12:27am

    Re: You got it wrong pal

    i really don't give a rat's *** one way or the other how it effects the economy as a whole, because CD's are just too f 'n expensive...

    if they were to reduce the price to something reasonable like $8-$10, i might be persuaded to have some sympathy for whoever you're precious study says is getting hurt...

    BTW pal, there's no such thing as a "serious journalist" anymore...it's all about the $ these days...

    i see The Institute for Policy Innovation's motto is:
    "Advocating lower taxes,
    fewer regulations,
    and a smaller, less-
    intrusive government."

    seems a bit hypocritical to me...wouldn't surprise me one bit if you got some funding from RIAA / MPAA either...

     

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    David, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 12:36am

    More stuff

    Adding to what I said, I think the numbers in the report are inflated. If I'm not mistaken, which I'll admit, I might be, I believe I read in one of calculations the author was using $2.31 as the price of one illegal download.

    I also think that you, Tom, with your experience in marketing, should know better than to not have the author mention anything about increased promotional use of recorded music. G-man noted in his comment that the rappers are making money. Not from selling their recordings well, because I'm sure research would point out that rap artists' (no one will ever catch me calling rap, music, or calling a rapper an artist EVER again) music is among the most commonly downloaded, but because they sell other things with their image.

    If you're going to publish a study on lost revenue, you have to tell the whole story.

     

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  11.  
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    Reva, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 12:44am

    Great blog. I really liked it. I have also created a lens in same niche. This is my first time , hope u guys like it. Here’s a brief intro: There are a clear indication that DVD decrypter programs are used in a bad manner such as making illegal copies of movies for sale. But are you aware that there are actually legal situations that allow you to create copies of the movies you own on DVD? With most movies costing close to$20 each it is quite easy to see why people look for anything they canto help reduce replacement costs. For more details: http://www.squidoo.com/DVD-Decrypter-Programs/

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 12:47am

    I can claim to publish studies too! Or publish bogus one and accuse anyone who criticizes that they don't know anything about it then run away and not be heard from again. It's such a good way to defend points being attack for being ridiculous in the first place.

    Tom you look like a genius, keep up the extremely falsified work, it's what gets me through the day laughing and what confirms that dumb people will always be around. I hope you keep your job as publisher so we get more of those hilarious studies!

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 1:05am

    Re: You got it wrong pal

    I have copied a folder of music from someones computer at a LAN gaming event a few years back (no idea who it was or where they got the copies of music from originally). It is 18.1 GB is size, 11 days 52 minutes playtime for a total of 2797 songs.

    Now exactly how much money was lost due to this? Was it $2,769.03 for 99c I-Tunes tracks, or perhaps $6,461.07 based off the $2.31 you apparently use in your study? Do you really think I would have paid that much for any music, let alone music I knew practically nothing about and still haven't listened to much of (a couple of hundred listened to would be generous)? Please not that I have only ever bought 2 cd's in my life for myself and I'd already downloaded all the music on them. Even with these I found out about them when a friend copied some mp3's by that artist for me (without me asking for them) when he copied some other stuff for me.

    Please do tell me why I shouldn't just dismiss your study out of hand. Seriously.

     

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  14.  
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    Paul`, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 1:44am

    Artists make dosh off merch and shows

    I'm not going to say this applies to rap and all that shit, really who would pay to see someone talk shit to a beat? But I am on good speaking terms with plenty of people from local signed bands, one of which just finished a US and UK tour, and they make the main chunk of their profits off of gigs and merchandise sold at them. In the end they get like $1 an album sold or some bullshit value like that.

    Music downloads only hurts the record companies and eventually artists will be able to do away with them and distribute online entirely. Bring on those days.

     

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  15.  
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    Vincent Clement (profile), Aug 25th, 2007 @ 6:24am

    Re: You got it wrong pal

    The reality is that rampant global piracy of recorded music has cost the U.S. $12.5 billion in economic output and 71,060 jobs annually.

    You make it sound that $12.5 billion has disappeared from the US economy because of piracy. I didn't know that piracy was a negative sum game. Who is being careless?

    If I'm not spending my money on music, I'm spending my money on something else, so there is no cost in economic output and jobs. Perhaps, by spending my money on something else, I'm actually helping the economy because the spin-off affects are greater.

     

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    barren waste, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 6:28am

    Re: Artists make dosh off merch and shows

    I agree, Paul, and what's more, most of the copyright laws in effect (read copyright infringements prosecuted) deal with protecting the record companies hold on each particular band. How does limiting the bands to one record company help them in any way, shape, or form? Not that the established artists are hurting all that much. As for the new bands just starting or not quite there yet.....free distribution of music would gain them the fanbase they need to push past the threshold. I run a business myself, and do you know what one of my best promotions is? I give away small packets of free stuff. Since I started doing that my customer base has increased nearly 300 percent....in three months...hmmmmm....is it to much to hope that the record companies are listening to what I am saying?

     

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  17.  
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    Vincent Clement (profile), Aug 25th, 2007 @ 6:31am

    Re: Re: Re: You got it wrong pal

    That would be impossible, since there are no facts. Ask Tom to point us where on the balance sheet there is a line that refers to "Losses from Piracy". There is no such line. Ask Tome how much the money the movie, music and TV sectors are losing (surely they must be bleeding ink because of "rampant piracy").

     

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  18.  
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    Vincent Clement (profile), Aug 25th, 2007 @ 6:35am

    Re: Re: You got it wrong pal

    Good call on their motto. I don't see anything about "not granting corporations 100+ year copyright monopolies". Maybe that fits in with "fewer regulations, and a smaller, less-intrusive government".

    Tom, explain how 100+ year copyright fits with fewer regulations and less-intrusive government? 14 years seems to be the optimal number when it comes to economic efficiency. So surely being a supporter of the free market, you would support a reduction in the length of copyright? Or are you a hypocrite?

     

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  19.  
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    daryl, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 8:31am

    Re: You got it wrong pal

    Y You're totally, completely wrong. I am the publisher of the study. And I'm the Antichrist.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 9:39am

    Re: Re: Artists make dosh off merch and shows

    The whole point is that the record companies do not want to listen. The reality is they have no idea how to change and adapt to the world we are living. They fear they will soon lose much of their business to much more savvy artists who are fully capable of managing and promoting themselves. Or at the very least to new and upcoming labels that are much more progessive than they are.

    I've worked for a number of very large companies that struggle to compete dispite having once had a monopoly in their area. The reason they fail is not because they are unwilling to change, they simply do not know how. I feel this is the same with the record labels, they just don't knw how to adapt.

    But that's good because eventually it will mean they will die out and hopefully everything will be a little better run.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 9:58am

    Re: You got it wrong pal

    No, I'M spartacus! I mean... Publisher. I'm the publisher. Me.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 10:19am

    Re: You got it wrong pal

    I gotta ask: WTF is Institute for Policy Innovation?

    And how much does the RIAA/MPAA pay for publishing propaganda?

     

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  23.  
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    Yes but it.., Aug 25th, 2007 @ 10:22am

    Job Creation

    creates jobs for those making bogus stats. This is a good thing, right?

     

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  24.  
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    Bob, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 10:25am

    For every 10,000 people who lose their job in the music industry, another 20,000 people are hired to stop piracy. =D

     

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  25.  
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    Mac the Ripper, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 10:27am

    Re:

    Is the most effective for non HD, 97% no-error rate, decrypter available, and it's free. Just need a Mac. Even the errors are easy to live with, the movies still play.

     

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  26.  
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    CRTisMe, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 11:49am

    Serious Discrepancy

    Mike quote

    "Take, for example, this report on the supposed impact on the economy of music piracy, put together by The Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI). It, like many of these reports, counts every pirated song as a loss, and never bothers to count back in the promotional impact of unauthorized music sharing, that helps get more attention for certain bands."

    I have read on other sites that this study used a multiplier- I can't find what I originally read but it seems that it was around 60%. I could be wrong on this but the study is what it is and if it proves out that a multiplier was used than Mike should publicly revoke his above statement.

     

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  27.  
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    matt, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 1:55pm

    Re: You got it wrong pal

    anyone check this guy's blog? Interesting little concept, its "comment free", haha.

    You try to go to the site and comment and will simply get a 1word response from a redirect stating "refused". So you can't even verify his "legitimate-ness" of his study, since you can't even ask the moron where his magic numbers came from.

     

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  28.  
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    Angry Consumer, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 2:18pm

    Re: You got it wrong pal

    I don't buy music. I will never buy music. If I can can get it for free, good for me, if not oh well.

    I really disagree with paying a buck a song online -- if music were cheaper I'd actually pay for it.

    Last time I bought a CD it cost me $20 for a crummy CD with one song on it that I actually like and 11 other crummy songs.

    Maybe it's the music industries crummy business model that's causing them to lose money? Instead of trying to fight the way things are shifting and clinging to the old way things were 15 years ago, they should be looking for new ways to integrate in a way that consumers would appreciate.

    And when they start going after the things that I really like with lawsuits and legislation (napster, pandora, etc) that just makes me view it more as "us vs them".

    Kind of like Comedy Centrals parent company's lawsuits against youtube (google). I'm not really sure what their motive is. Do they really think if they rid youtube of all the southpark clips i'm going to start visiting comedycentral.com to watch them their? Same goes for the other companies. I'm never going to visit ABC.com to watch a 30 sec clip of their show that has a 30 second commercial before it. It's like they're forgetting that they're on the internet and trying to pretend its still 1974 and that there are only 3 channels.

    In closing, I think companies are trying to operate the way they did 20-30 years ago and they're trying to fight the current system instead of trying to roll with it and find creative ways to make money. Instead of viewing it as a threat they should be looking for opportunity. The ones that do (think youtube) will be burying the competition. No one cares about comedycentral.com, or a music label like geffen.com, but they feel passionately about their myspace (eww) or youtube.

    I could go on for another hour but I'm sure no one will really read this.

     

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  29.  
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    Hopeful, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 2:25pm

    I really wish music were freely distributed online. If a major label tried to experiment with doing that I'd be an instant fan.

     

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  30.  
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    Hopeful, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 2:26pm

    I really wish music were freely distributed online. If a major label tried to experiment with doing that I'd be an instant fan.

    Free to download, free to keep, free to pass on for personal use. I'm sure they could find other ways to make revenue off of their.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 3:12pm

    Re: Re: You got it wrong pal

    I read it. You're a genius! :)

     

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  32.  
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    John, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 3:42pm

    Where's the research?

    Yet another organization puts out stats about piracy. Why isn't the media doing any research about the issue? Why are they just accepting one organization's "statistics" without any real proof?

    It's been proven time and again that *anyone* can skew statistics to back up their claim. Why can't the media call the organizations on this? If piracy really costs the economy billions of dollars, let's see more proof by *impartial* organizations, rather than people like the RIAA, MPAA, etc.

     

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  33.  
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    X, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 5:16pm

    Time to Embrace the Revolution

    As musican, having friends who are all musicans and being business minded (lights up big cuban cigar with $100 bill),

    When records companies say artists loose they mean 'Their' company. The artist individual or group get tiny % from sale of CD most goes to retailer, tax (if any), Record Company, Some rights group that takes flipping years to get your royalties from, the artist manager then to the artist. If you made $0.50 you'll be raking it in :-) from each sold.

    They the old record comapnies are bloated oversize corporate egos who not only are late to game with crappy drm filled spyware cd's that only run on windows blah blah balh or the trendy coloured (brown) Zune portable media player rent music you never own or cant take anywhere else, that as most important people who actually buy music (yes there a few still) Loose out Big Time.

    If your an artist who could make $1 from every song that some buys just via paypal or google checkout and have it go streight to your bank account (gasp), can play to a large amount of people world wide through shoutcast, or play and promote yourtself in secondlife and other virtual crappy worlds and reach more fans and following all from the comfort of your living room, selling merchandise via cafe press.

    You the artist save a boat load of money, shave costs and able to promote and keep more money for yourself using low costs methods. Oh but what or who lost out, erm let me think .... oh yeah the record labels who want to squeeze every single $ out of your ass, stick u up on Mtv etc donkey show and then pull you when your album doesnt do too well in the charts cause no one buys CD's now and you end up touring some remote far away backroads for years and years hoping to make it and playing to 1 man and his dog.

    (end of rant -> PS Am cranky, been up 23 hours and counting, so expect odd rambling and typo in above but i was angry lmao when i first wrote then)

     

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  34.  
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    X, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 5:19pm

    Re: Time to Embrace the Revolution

    erm forgot one other important bit ------> Myspace, Bebo, Face book etc social sites. Just a small tiny overlook i forogot to add

     

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  35.  
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    Mike (profile), Aug 25th, 2007 @ 6:12pm

    Re: You got it wrong pal

    I am the publisher of the study. We did NOT "count(s) every pirated song as a loss."

    I corrected that part of the story.

    Will you correct the bogus parts of your study, such as the ripple effect and the randomly chosen multiplier for what counts as a lost sale?

     

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  36.  
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    Mike (profile), Aug 25th, 2007 @ 6:21pm

    Re: You got it wrong pal

    Actually, Tom, now that I'm reading the study for the second time, I have to call you out even further. The methodology you guys used for the movie piracy study was clearly bogus and the faults were highlighted right after it came out.

    That you guys turned around and ADMIT that you're using the same flawed assumptions, should make you ashamed.

    Seriously. Ripple effects?

    Given your carelessness in reporting on this study, I guess it's YOU that we should stop taking seriously.

    Again, I corrected my mistake. You used your mistakes a second time to make a second bogus report and then stood by it.

    Who looks worse?

    Turns out there is a difference between serious journalists and bloggers after all . . .

    Yeah, the journalists who take your bogus, easily disproved numbers as facts... they sure are serious, aren't they?

    As others have pointed out, you didn't defend the methodology of this study at all. You simply stopped by to insult me. Would love for a real defense of the study, because from what I can see, it's indefensible that you would use such a methodology -- especially after many people have pointed out how foolish it is.

    For a group that claims to be against big gov't and for fewer regulations, it's amazing that you're such huge supporters of gov't monopolies and subsidies like this.

    Again, it would be great if you wanted to actually defend this study, but that hasn't happened yet, I see.

     

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  37.  
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    Lucretious, Aug 26th, 2007 @ 5:53am

    The whole industry is like some insane ranting old man still worrying about communists under every rock. They are completely out of touch with reality.

    Must be tough to wake up one day and find yourself obsolete and have to justify your existence to people who are forgetting what you even did.

     

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  38.  
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    Lucretious, Aug 26th, 2007 @ 5:57am

    @ Tom Giovanetti

    How does it feel to be a paid shill?

    Thanks for being part of the problem.

    -Lu

     

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  39.  
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    Svante, Aug 26th, 2007 @ 6:04am

    Thats the way they work

    Mike... asking them to defend their study is just not fair. Their entire strategy is based on repeating the same bogus claims until people believe them. It has nothing to do with fact or defenceible argumentation.

    So basically you are talking two different languages ;-)

     

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  40.  
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    Infamous_R, Aug 26th, 2007 @ 8:57am

    interesting.....

     

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  41.  
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    Scott Cook, Aug 26th, 2007 @ 9:58am

    music quality

    Downloaded music is so compressed, and the bit rate is so low that it hurts to even listen to it. So I still pay for my music so I can listen to it.
    I could go on and on about music quality , but from the comments I've read here most will settle for the crap they can get CHEAP.

     

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  42.  
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    CRTisMe, Aug 26th, 2007 @ 11:20am

    Digging a Deeper Hole

    Mike quote: (in post #36)

    "You simply stopped by to insult me."

    Mike, Tom's post #6 corrected your factual and central error and then he proceeded to insult you- in that order. So your above statement is incorrect. When you make incorrect statements it weakens your arguments.

     

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  43.  
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    Pirate, Aug 26th, 2007 @ 12:05pm

    Re: music quality

    I've bought Cds, I've purchased music online, and I've downloaded music w/o paying. Some of the downloaded music is just as good as the stuff I rip. Other people know about ripping at high bitrates, and it sounds fine. True, some is bad, but that's a pretty inaccurate blanket statement.

     

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  44.  
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    blue collar musician, Aug 26th, 2007 @ 12:46pm

    the musicians lively IS being murdered!!

    i have only made a living as a musician since i was out of high school.
    I make enough to pay the rent , by a car every 10 or 12 years and buy a new instrument every few years.
    I will say with out reservation, I have never seen more hatred toward
    artists and creatives, than in the last 3 of 4 years.
    I am not talking about stars and corporations.
    I am talking about average working stiffs - engineers producers big and small
    studios , pro gear manufacturers , big and small publishers Techs sales people.
    And indy musicians and labels.
    I am saying it is worse than this report that you guys are complaining about.
    I am talking from from my experience only granted , but i am a mid line and indy musician and have worked on 200+ records in my 30 years.
    I AM TELLING YOU THT ILLEGAL DOWNLOADING IS KILLING US

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    AvidFan, Aug 26th, 2007 @ 3:26pm

    RE: the musicians lively IS being murdered!

    @blue collar musician

    Last month I purchased 14 CDs online (Amazon and band web sites), all regional indie bands. I discovered each of those bands on the web and by downloading music. If a band intrigues me, I download a few songs (if I can find them), and if I like them, I buy their music, go to their shows, lobby them to play in my area, and look for new albums when they come out so I can buy more.

    I didn't realize that kind of support was causing musicians to lose money.

    I guess I will stop my "anti-artist" behavior. Please accept my apologies.

     

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  46.  
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    Obvious, Aug 26th, 2007 @ 3:34pm

    What do you expect?

    Would you expect someone funded by the music industry to produce results that dont illustrate a dramatic impact on the industry and the economy?

    Of COURSE it is exaggerated.

    You have done more to promote their point of view by drawing attention to it than you have done to discredit it by pointing out the obvious exaggerations.

     

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  47.  
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    disturbed, Aug 26th, 2007 @ 6:03pm

    You gotta love that phrase "illegal downloading." Where's the law that says downloading MP3s is illegal? More importantly, show me one person who's been convicted of this so-called crime. It's frightening how the music industry is trying to brainwash people into believing that music downloading is the moral equivalent as stealing and exactly the same as stealing from a store in the eyes of the law. Their bully settlement tactics sure don't show confidence that they'd win a case in court.

    An earnest high-schooler came up to me today at church because he knows a little about my views about music downloading. He asked me to speak to the high school praise team leader, a college kid with aspirations of being a Christian rock star. Apparently, the praise team leader/dictator has instituted a rule saying that any person who "illegally downloads" MP3s is barred from joining the praise team. Considering himself an artist, Mr. Praise Team Leader had tears in his eyes as he waxed eloquently on the topic of how wrong it is to steal from the mouths of hard-working artists (oblivious of the fact that artists get very little of the money from CD sales). His argument is practically a word-for-word recitation of the industry's propaganda, and it enrages me to think that he's imposing this as part of religion on children.

     

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  48.  
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    Pointer, Aug 26th, 2007 @ 6:05pm

    Real Math...Uh

    Hey, will someone do a study calculating how much money the publishing industry loses every year as a result of "library piracy"? Every time someone borrows a library book, that's money out of the publisher/author's pocket, and if you think of how many times some books get checked out...we're practically talking an act of terrorism.

     

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  49.  
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    Hyrulio, Aug 26th, 2007 @ 6:18pm

    Yarr Harr Fiddle De Dee....

    I like the advert at the beginning of various DVD's (in the UK at least) that says that piracy is a crime, then moves on to say (and I quote) "Piracy funds terrorism".

    The reason I like this little piece of propaganda is the mental image I get... Osama Bin Laden sitting in a cave somewhere saying "9-11 went well, everyone's worried, sure 100,000 Iraqis have died because of it, but I have a master plan! We will go out and buy CD's, films and software, then let people download them for FREE!! Take THAT western world!!"

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2007 @ 4:56am

    But, what about all the jobs that were lost in the 8 track manufacturing plants? And all the jobs that are being lost in vinyl platter plants? And all the jobs that are being lost in the cassette plants? We must preserve those jobs and go back to analog!!!

    Improvise, adapt, overcome ... or go extinct.

     

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  51.  
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    RandomThoughts, Aug 27th, 2007 @ 7:03am

    Seems quite a few opinions here can be boiled down to a couple of points for those that believe they have the right to "download" or "share" content. The first is that the content is just too expensive. If it were cheaper, they would pay for it, but it isn't, so they just obtain it elsewhere.

    And Mike, you claim that the report ignores the positive "ripple effects" but don't you do that when you talk about the costs associated with SOX regulations? There are benefits to SOX but you ignore them.

     

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  52.  
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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased), Aug 27th, 2007 @ 8:54am

    Re: the musicians lively IS being murdered!!

    So you have to live like the rest of us. That is so sad. Musicians should be gods and live like royalty. Give me your band name so I can use my hard earned money to buy your music at highly inflated prices. Don't worry about me, I will scrounge some money up to pay my rent.

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2007 @ 8:58am

    Music, songs, books, software ... it's all information.

    As long as the information can be controlled - whether through controlling education - allowing only certain privileged people to read write, controlling the press, controlling publication and distribution - as long as information is controlled and limited, society in general suffers.

    When controls have been overcome - through technological advances, through education, through "enlightenment" - society as a whole has advanced.

    Doesn't it stand to reason that technology has advanced so that information is flowing more freely and that the artifical controls of the industrial revolution have served their purpose and now need to give way to an age of "even more enlightenment" in which information - whether audible or legible can flow more freely for the good of society?

    I am not advocating not rewarding the producers of information - the authors, artists, and musicians.

    I am advocating not holding on to the past for the sake of the profits of the industrial age INFORMATION MONOPOLIES who aren't needed any more.

    In the end, I believe it will be economics which finally kills the record stuidos. When a musician can go and do their own recording, post the songs on their site, and allow me to listen to a low resolution song for free, and download the high resolution version for $.50 DIRECTLY TO THEM I will - why go spend $15 for a CD to get 1 song, $14 of which (or more) doesn't go to the artist?!?! Or how about an author who will sell me a .pdf of their book for $1 instead of $15 for a paperback?

     

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  54.  
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    RandomThoughts, Aug 27th, 2007 @ 10:01am

    "When a musician can go and do their own recording, post the songs on their site, and allow me to listen to a low resolution song for free, and download the high resolution version for $.50 DIRECTLY TO THEM I will - why go spend $15 for a CD to get 1 song, $14 of which (or more) doesn't go to the artist?!?! Or how about an author who will sell me a .pdf of their book for $1 instead of $15 for a paperback?"

    This can happen today. Why do you think it isn't more widespread?

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2007 @ 10:25am

    ?This can happen today. Why do you think it isn't more widespread?

    A: Because they're locked into recording contracts prohibiting it.

     

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  56.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Aug 27th, 2007 @ 12:49pm

    Re:

    And Mike, you claim that the report ignores the positive "ripple effects" but don't you do that when you talk about the costs associated with SOX regulations? There are benefits to SOX but you ignore them.

    First off, I'm not ignoring the benefits to SOX. I just have pointed out that the costs seem to outweigh those benefits. And, when we talk about SOX, we're not talking about the ripple effects -- we're talking about direct costs and benefits.

    If you want to get into the ripple effects, you'll start to tread dangerously close to a broken window fallacy -- which is exactly what happens in this IPI report.

    However, you're missing the point. You don't have to explain all the ripple effects... but if you're going to show the ripples in one direction, to completely ignore them in the other direction is intellectually dishonest.

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    Tood, Aug 27th, 2007 @ 1:39pm

    Re:

    The music labels have killed the music industry not PIRACY!!! People still go to concerts (not as many due to greedy arenas, concert halls & promoters cough!cough!clear channel!cough!cough! who charge $9.00 for a draft beer). The music labels are only giving the artist something like a $1 per $12-$14 CD. Still charging $.99 for a song on iTunes that should only be $.10 per song since they don't have to pay for any type of printing fees or material costs!!

    25 years ago when the CD was introduced, they always said the CD would be cheaper in the long run when the CD becomes more popular then albums or cassettes. Now that everyone owns CDs I still haven't seen a new CD cheaper than $12. I personally wouldn't buy a new CD anyways, I go to the used places since you can go there and get a CD for $2-$4 but first I will still download the album first to see if its even worth $2 since most music today you couldn't even give it away to me.

    That is another area where the record labels killed the music industry. Distributing full albums with maybe one good single. When was the last time you heard a song on traditional radio bought the CD & said WOW! Every song on this album is great" not since the ninties IMO!

    Don't get me wrong there is good music out there but you won't any of it on shitty traditional radio!! You know where I have found the good bands ON THE INTERNET & Sat Radio where good music survives

    MUSIC WILL ALWAYS BE HERE!!!! FUCK THE LABELS & FUCK THE RIAA. Real musicians now have a place to distribute & advertise without bullshit deals & paying bullshit fees!! Maybe they will go back to the old days & not tour as much & make at least an album a year.

     

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  58.  
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    RandomThoughts, Aug 27th, 2007 @ 1:44pm

    Re: Re:

    Thats valid, when you talk of SOX you don't bring up the ripple effect, which this guy does in talking about piracy. I don't believe the statistics they come up with, but of course I also don't think that the effect is as small as you would argue.

    You are writing a lot of articles, what, everyone else out there on vacation?

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    Evil_Downloader, Aug 28th, 2007 @ 10:42am

    Re:Yarr Harr Fiddle De Dee....

    "I like the advert at the beginning of various DVD's (in the UK at least) that says" ... "(and I quote) 'Piracy funds terrorism'."

    "The reason" ... "is the mental image I get... Osama Bin Laden sitting in a cave somewhere saying "9-11 went well, everyone's worried, sure 100,000 Iraqis have died because of it, but I have a master plan! We will go out and buy CD's, films and software, then let people download them for FREE!! Take THAT western world!!"


    I believe that the "Piracy" that they are refering to with that statement is bootleg DVDs. They (terrorist or their supporters) combind 3 or 4 movies onto one DVD, then sell the copies for the price of one. I've been to the middle east and seen the shops selling these.

    $60 for 3 movies (if they buy them in the first place), $30 for 100 DVD+R, hell why not throw in $10 for packaging. It cost them 100 bucks and if sold for $20 makes them $2000.

    $1900 buys a hell of a lot of bullets

    I'm not saying that all the piracy claims are valid, I have downloaded plenty of music and movies to see if they were worth buying and I do still buy CDs and DVDs I like, but your mental image is a little out of focus.

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Re: Evil Downloader, Aug 28th, 2007 @ 10:56am

    But that mental image is exactly the one the industry wants you to have. I've heard several speeches by industry proponents in which they stress that piracy funds terrorism and go on to compare the amount of money that bootleggers make with statistics from sales of cocaine. Obviously, they're indulging in sensationalism.

    The logic of the piracy=terrorism argument is puzzling. (and that's probably why it's intentionally left vague) It reminds me of the "people are starving in Somalia" argument that mothers used to tell their children to get them to finish their dinner. Eating all my dinner doesn't give starving children in Somalia any more food, and my downloading movies, or even buying ripped DVDs on the streets of New York, doesn't give "terrorists" in Afghanistan any more or less money to buy bullets.

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    RandomThoughts, Aug 28th, 2007 @ 11:33am

    Evil, if you buy something from someone who gives your money to terrorists, how could you think it isn't funding terrorism? How do you know the guy selling it to you isn't funding terrorism?

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    Brandon, Sep 4th, 2007 @ 12:32am

    Re: Re: Good Ideas todd

    I am about to start my own record label soon. And i have read this blog for nearly an hour now, to listen and take every single comment to heart regarding "why people download". Todd i understand your points, and suggestions, and i wanted to personally thank you for your advice. Once my label gets started, i will deffinatley pay more per album sold to all of my artists and musicians. Lets say that i put my retail price for 7$ for a 8 track album, if i pay my artist 50% of all royalties sold. That will leave me 3.50$ per album and same with the artist. That seems very fair, but now you have to look at the distributor who puts the albums on the stores shelves, they will also want a cut as well, and whos pockets do those go into?, they go into the labels. So in that response, i will be making less money than the artist them selves. So from that standpoint, i will deffinatley include in the recording contract that i will be making most of the companies profits off their shows and merch. Not all record companies are bad, alot of the indie labels, pay very very good royalties to the artist who remain on the label and are selling records. The majors are the only ones who pay $0.30 per album sold. I hope you all understand that. I will be taking everyones advise and try to strategicly market a plan so that i can make a profit and so will the artist equally. Thanks for the advice Todd and i very very much appreciate it!.

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    Gary Lee Connor, Sep 20th, 2007 @ 1:00am

    Solution to Piracy for all

    I had come up with a viable solution that would have made the fan base and the record companies happy. It would have more than doubled cd sales yet still left the option open for those who wanted to download for free intact.. Record company Execs would rather complain than even take the time to listen to solutions....While I hold out hope we can someday discuss my idea I am not holding my breath waiting for a return call..Lol.

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    T-RAV, May 18th, 2008 @ 2:55pm

    Re: Music stars hurting

    The artists you see on cribs aren't the ones that feel the pinch. How about the independent artist that is trying to sell his album in order to pay for the studio costs. Or, maybe the fact that stealing is stealing. I realize that this is not a popular opinion. I myself have been guilty of this by blue toothing ringtones from my friends. Make no mistake though, a solution will be found and when it happens it's going to change everything.

     

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  65.  
    identicon
    Joseph Apollo, Aug 15th, 2008 @ 5:15pm

    Re: Solution to Piracy for all

    man im all ears..im about to head into this music industry as a producer and im am going full speed as to wanting to make a change..i myself am develpoing a from the inside out phase..basically i know costs will have to be cut as far as prices for cds and all merchandise..you see im not going to be in this to make a killing ..i do want to be comfortable but more important i want to flip the industry on thier u know what..i want to bring back respect to A record label, i want to be able to meet fans demands not have fans meet ours..music is for the people without them ur words would never be heard in the first place. So enlighten me please, out of the whole thread u caught me. i know i might not recieve a message back, but for some reason i was supposed to read this today, never have i read one of these. I have always been in it to change things for the better, cause in the end $$ wont matter, you cant take your fortune 500 company with you when u journey on, but what i do in this lifetime will make all the difference of where i will go after this lifetime. please responde to joapollo@ksbe.edu im Joseph

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    fsdffsd, Dec 9th, 2008 @ 9:23am

    Re: Music stars hurting

    Hey dumbass, it doesnt matter how much money they still have, they are still losing money that is rightfully theirs and their record companys.

     

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  67.  
    identicon
    ;laksdj HI, Jan 8th, 2009 @ 3:11pm

    Re: Music stars hurting

    Uh yeah, and that counts for what? 5% of all the musical artists? how about a local band in your area? do they have chandeliers?

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    lawls. FAIL, Mar 4th, 2009 @ 5:44pm

    lawls?

    WTF you all fail.

     

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  69.  
    identicon
    Shagnik Saraswati, Jun 1st, 2009 @ 12:25pm

    Re: You got it wrong pal

    Its cool to see your ratings of our intellectual prowess but exactly what are you saying? How did you arrive at these numbers?

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    Jesus, Mar 20th, 2012 @ 11:17am

    Re: Re: You got it wrong pal

    Nice to meet you antichrist. im jesus! when is our epic battle going to begin?

     

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


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