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If We Don't Kick People Off The Internet For File Sharing, Football Will Die

from the evidence-please? dept

We've discussed in the past how the UK's Premier League's fear of the internet has been a case study in what not to do online. But it seems that the Premier League bosses still want to push forward with plans to make it more difficult and more annoying for fans to actually watch matches. Jeff T alerts us to an opinion piece in The Guardian from the CEO of the Premier League, Richard Scudamore, in support of Lord Mandelson's Digital Economy Bill for kicking accused (not convicted) file sharers off the internet. It's the usual rant against "piracy" without much basis or knowledge:
Without the safe passage of the bill -- requiring ISPs to take firm measures against unauthorised filesharers who are currently streaming and downloading with virtual impunity -- the marker that this is theft isn't even set down, educating consumers cannot begin in earnest, businesses cannot begin to develop new models because the market won't be functioning properly and, most importantly of all, the current levels of investment that create jobs as well as talent will be lost. And that is when the real cost of digital theft would become apparent.
And yet, even as he writes those words, the creative industries that he insists are dying have been growing. How? Because the business models have been adapting just fine -- even without additional artificial barriers to competition or the ability to kick people off the internet. And, in the case of the Premier League, Scudamore seems to be leaving out an awful lot of important facts, such as how incredibly limited an online offering the Premier League has put forth, which is a large part of the reason why lots of people stream it illegally. He also tosses out some totally made up "facts" such as "the UK leads the world in illegal downloads of TV programmes, with up to 25% of all online TV piracy taking place here." Well, perhaps it's not totally made up since he uses the magic words "up to." But if there is a problem with file sharing of TV shows in the UK, it's likely (as Jeff noted in his submission) because the "creative industries" that Scudamore insists are so important still delay the release of popular shows in the UK and demand that online streaming sites like Hulu not work outside the US.

Piracy is not the problem. Piracy is only showing folks like Scudamore that they're doing a terrible job in meeting demand. He doesn't need people kicked off the internet to adjust his business model. Lots of others are already doing so.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 2:24pm

    Ah yes, when "the market won't be functioning properly" means "Wahhhhhhhh, I want to make more money but am too lazy to adapt."

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 2:41pm

    Actually, he is right on this one.

    It is impossible to compete with thieves. Quite simply, the thieves have no startup costs, no costs for the content, and as such, they don't have to have a functional business model.

    It is much about re-educating people about the value of the source content (which is scarce). You aren't paying for the copy or the access, you are paying to see the original (football game in this case). Distribution isn't the expensive part.

     

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    TDR, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 2:55pm

    Anon, one can only be a thief if one steals something. Which in the case of online content, is not true. Because as the law quite clearly states, and as common sense agrees, infringement is NOT theft. You CANNOT steal something that isn't scarce. It's quite impossible. And digital goods are infinite by their very nature.

     

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  4.  
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    Cyanid Pontifex (profile), Nov 30th, 2009 @ 2:55pm

    Re:

    You compete with "thieves" by creating a product/experience they can't steal.

     

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  5.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 30th, 2009 @ 2:57pm

    Re:

    Actually, he is right on this one.

    Please explain how whining about new technologies that provide better distribution, better promotion and his own failure to embrace them is a smart move?

    It is impossible to compete with thieves.

    Of course, it's not "stealing," but if we even use the false designation of "piracy" it most certainly is possible to compete and many are doing so today. We point out examples all the time. I'm surprised you, a person who appears to read this site regularly, would somehow be blind to that.

    Quite simply, the thieves have no startup costs, no costs for the content, and as such, they don't have to have a functional business model.

    Nor do they have access to all the various scarcities provided by the original content creator. And it's those scarcities which is where the money is made.

    It is much about re-educating people about the value of the source content (which is scarce).

    Good luck re-educating. The rest of us are working on how to actually make money.

    You aren't paying for the copy or the access, you are paying to see the original (football game in this case). Distribution isn't the expensive part.

    Indeed. So why lock it up?

     

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  6.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Nov 30th, 2009 @ 2:57pm

    Re:

    Keep repeating it until it's true!!
    Maybe even start a chant; or a drum circle of chanting!

    OOh! I know, you could hold a rally (with cheerleaders) and have everybody chant that line of BS.

     

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  7.  
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    Yogi, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 3:03pm

    Re:

    If i don't give my customers what they need and want - I won't be able to make a living.

    This is an argument that ultimately content producers cannot win and in fact, for their own good - better not win.

    People want content at reasonable prices when and where they can use it the way they need to. All the technological tools are in place to supply this demand. The only question is when this will happen and who will supply the demand.

    The legacy content industries are still hoping that the 21st will just go away but I doubt that will work as a business strategy.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 3:18pm

    Re:

    I use the exact term that the high leader of online used "steal" - Trent Reznor called it stealing, and he should know, he was asking people to steal from his record company.

    legally it's a quirk in the system, something that ACTA will likely fix.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 3:22pm

    Re: Re:

    Why would ACTA stop at making copyright infringement the same as theft? It should obviously be made the same as terrorism.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 3:32pm

    Re: Re:

    ACTA is about counterfeiting. It's in the title. You should learn how to read properly.

     

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    dorp, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 3:36pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I am getting confused here, are you the dumb AC or the retarded one? Too many of you here.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 3:37pm

    Re:

    Copyright will be rendered obsolete in the near future. Perhaps you should start looking for some other means of employment? I'm just looking out for you. Good luck!

     

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    PRMan, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 3:49pm

    Hockey

    The other day, the Kings game wasn't on TV. I would gladly pay up to $2.99 to watch the game on Center Ice.

    But the NHL won't do that. It's either $150 for the entire season, or nothing.

    So what do fans do? They find feeds of games at various "illegal" sites run in shady Eastern European countries or with uploaded streams from individuals.

    It's poor quality (nowhere near HD) and it locks up several times during the game, but it's a price/performance ratio that the customer (who is always right) can live with.

    And the NHL is leaving money on the table.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 4:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    ACTA stands for the Anti-COUNTERFEITING-Trade-Agreement.

    Whose dumb or retarded now?

     

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    dorp, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 4:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You still made no point besides spelling out ACTA, so you must be the retarded AC.

     

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    some old guy, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 4:27pm

    what if

    [i]If We Don't Kick People Off The Internet For File Sharing, Football Will Die[/i]

    Good, professional sports in its current iteration NEEDS to die. Sounds like a win-win to me.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 4:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I was being sarcastic. So that makes me the sarcastic AC.

    I know that ACTA has nothing to do with counterfeiting. It has everything to do with copyright and control. The AC who shills for the entertainment industry was the one who brought up ACTA, in regards to "stealing".

     

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    JackSombra (profile), Nov 30th, 2009 @ 4:46pm

    "And, in the case of the Premier League, Scudamore seems to be leaving out an awful lot of important facts, such as how incredibly limited an online offering the Premier League has put forth,"
    There is a very good reason for this, TV rights, just the UK rights alone are worth to them close to 1.5 billion USD a year and international rights about the same again.

    If they start offering online versions directly, the likes of Sky (getting the near exclusive rights pretty much "made" Sky broadcasting when it started up) and other major broadcasters would not pay these crazy amounts

    Sure potentially they might earn more if they offered the games online directly themselves, but then they could not get the lucrative multiyear broadcast contracts they currently do, which would make it hard for the clubs to know in advance how much money they have to waste each season on over-paying for players

    While I in no way agree with the whole kicking people off the net, cannot really blame the premier league doing anything they can to keep their games offline, they are already earning astronomical amounts (far more than they deserve), why risk it?

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 4:54pm

    But, I want football to die. Seriously.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 5:05pm

    Re:

    Me too. Sport distracts the populace from the political process. Then again, the political process distracts the populace from the political process. Hmmmm.

     

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  21.  
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    Pangolin (profile), Nov 30th, 2009 @ 5:08pm

    Here's a novel idea

    Let's say someone is CONVICTED of "File sharing" and assuming it is illegal, won't the jail time automatically kick them off the internet?

    Why do we need new laws?

     

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  22.  
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    Sam I Am, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 5:51pm

    Theft of Service

    Mike, once again you've missed the point entirely. You'd have content creators and service providers just shrug and look for money other ways while online content theft robs them blind? In your dreams.

    Notable, high profile, public punishment has a long and proven history for effective law enforcement. And once Obama and Company strips away anonymity so we can all be held accountable for our shoddy online ethics just as we are (and should be) offline, law enforcement will have a field day with this. Why should online ethics be held to a lower standard than offline in the first place?

    Besides, you've utterly set aside the sheer satisfaction gathered when vengeful legality comes calling to countermand theft. And yes, "theft" is accurate, just and wholly appropriate here. When cable service was first pirated in the early 1980's, laws were adjusted to include "Theft of Service" with eyewatering punishment and guess what? It drained to a trickle of the truly foolish. Grow some balls. Innovation and adaptation go down a lot more effectively with a chaser of public retribution. Great taste. Less filling. Get real.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 5:59pm

    Re: Theft of Service

    "Notable, high profile, public punishment has a long and proven history for effective law enforcement."

    How's that war on drugs going?

     

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    superthrust (profile), Nov 30th, 2009 @ 6:07pm

    I am actually surprised Dark helmet hasn't appeared here yet...

    But this "omg piracy is killing everything" is stupid...i've had enough with it all. I pirate because i don't wanna pay or can't pay in some cases.

    But! 9.5/10, I will pirate to see what its like, THEN actually go pay to see the movie/buy the cd/buy the game. Mainly because of this issue we have in this decade. HORRIBLE movies and games and more cd's have been being released...Why pay some ludicrous amount for something no one is going to enjoy, or you only want a couple songs from, or its just not worth it at all, and stores won't do returns anymore?

    I say, long live piracy for ALL uses...maybe when things go south, movie makers and the music artists will release better content...

     

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  25.  
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    Guilty until $$$ is spent, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 6:07pm

    Re: Theft of Service

    For arguments sake, let's say it is theft and punishable by whatever sentencing gives you a thrill .....

    Do the accused ever get their day in court ? You know, like the law says you do ? Or are they punished solely upon the accusation of someone who thinks they know what is going on ?

     

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  26.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Nov 30th, 2009 @ 6:13pm

    Re: Re: Theft of Service

    Damn, AC, I was looking for the perfect way to point out that "making an example" of people doesn't deter crime, but you beat me to it.

    High profile, public punishment has never deterred crime, and it never will, because it is completely irrelevant to the mindset and calculus of people who decide to ignore the law (whichever law we're talking about.)

    Even Sam I Am's example of cable piracy doesn't demonstrate the point he's trying to make. Cable piracy did go down, true, but that has more to do with economics (it is cheaper to get the desired channels now than then) than high-profile enforcement -- and even now, it's hardly a "trickle." It's very, very common.

     

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    I'm waiting, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 6:17pm

    Ok then

    When are they going to kick Nicolas Sarkozy off the intar webs ???

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 6:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Theft of Service

    Sorry, I guess I am guilty of thievery of thunder.

     

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  29.  
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    zcat (profile), Nov 30th, 2009 @ 6:41pm

    Re: Re:

    I wish they were only 'hoping' it will go away.

    They're pushing for laws and secret multilateral treaties to make many of the technological advances and benefits of the 21th century go away. "We can't or wont adapt, so instead we'll throw all our influence and power into trying to halt the inevitable progress of technology"

    And all this even though the evidence (record profits year after year just about everywhere in the 'content industry') seems to indicate that piracy isn't really doing that much damage anyhow.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 6:46pm

    Re: TDR

    You can steal something that not not scarce, how meny people have stolen money, gold or food. What you mean to say is you can steal something that isn't tangible.

     

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  31.  
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    The Jew, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 7:00pm

    Re: Re: TDR

    Money, gold and food are scarce, economically speaking. Every unit of it has value independent of other units. Copies of digital content have no value in and of themselves; the only cost involved in producing them is the tiny amount of electricity required and the pirates are more than willing to cover that cost. The content is scarce but not the copies of that content. I'm more than happy to pay for content if it's easily available and of high quality.

     

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    Sam I Am, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 7:17pm

    re: John Fenderson

    John Fenderson, http://www.cabletheft.com/ states “Overall average percentages of theft are 11.48% for basic service, and 9.23% for premium service.”, or an average of about 10%. Cable service can be quite expensive for middleclass wage earners, but compare that to high percentages of highway speeding, for instance, and “quite common” is simply false. It’s barely one in ten.

    And a quick search for “Does punishment reduce crime?” yields countless studies, presentations and seminars that very clearly indicate its historical effectiveness. We’re not talking deterring a psychopathic mass murderer with no ability to reason, John. We’re just placing the bar high enough to make stealing a premium-for-pay broadcast a risky--and inevitably diminished-- proposition. Only the foolish won't "get it."

    When law enforcement curtails online theft (of all kinds) to 10% of the total stream, thievery rates will draw closer to shoplifting and then be considered simply one of the costs of doing business. And of course the costs of enforcement will be borne by us all.

    But don’t think for one moment that content creators will invest cash to create digital product for sale and then just walk away from it and “adapt” because there can be technical ways of pilfering it. Carrots work when sticks are behind them. And don’t even to try to kid us with “punishment has never deterred crime, and it never will”. Tell me you don’t stab the brake the moment you fly through a speed trap. ;-)

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 7:28pm

    Re: re: John Fenderson

    "But don’t think for one moment that content creators will invest cash to create digital product for sale and then just walk away from it and “adapt” because there can be technical ways of pilfering it."

    Their loss.

    Also, war on drugs. Again.

     

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  34.  
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    JEDIDIAH, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 7:28pm

    Re:

    What's to steal really?

    You've got the original which cannot be replicated. It's really absurd to claim otherwise. A video copy is nowhere near the same thing. This is as true of a sporting event as it is of any other "performance".

    That leaves the recording of the event which is a pale shadow of an immitation of the original. It's really quite insulting to consider that the original would be undone by people selling what are basically grainy 3rd generation copies.

    The idea that the sport could be done in by "pirates" is about the biggest insult you could throw at all involved. You might as well just start slapping the players in the face and peeing on their shoes.

     

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    Sam I Am, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 7:44pm

    "Their loss."

    "Their loss."

    For now yes, but they are just beginning to work on it. This is the largest, international industrial ransacking in human history and these things take time to work out. :-)

    "Also, war on drugs. Again."

    Recreational drugs are essentially victimless except for those seriously out of control. When you convince every digital creator who has ever worked to sell something but have unpaid copies taken instead by digital theft that they are "not" a victim, then you'll have your analogy, but only then. Until then this is quite different. And I think you know that.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 7:47pm

    Re: Theft of Service

    Notable, high profile, public punishment has a long and proven history for effective law enforcement. And once Obama and Company strips away anonymity so we can all be held accountable for our shoddy online ethics just as we are (and should be) offline, law enforcement will have a field day with this. Why should online ethics be held to a lower standard than offline in the first place?

    Because the online world is nothing like the offline world. And anonymity still exists, in spades, in the offline world. You're just not looking very hard.

     

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    Sick & tired of it, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 7:49pm

    Re: re: John Fenderson

    "When law enforcement curtails online theft"

    Why should law enforcement (tax $$) be responsible for what is still a civil matter ? As a tax payer, I am tired of fraud waste and abuse - and yet there are those who propose increasing this sort of behavior.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 7:52pm

    Re: "Their loss."

    I believe the largest ransacking in human history would be the "theft" from the people's right to access their shared culture via the public domain.

    And who "stole" this access? That's right! The content industry. Thanks to their tireless efforts to bribe, sorry, lobby the political class.

    Seriously, good luck in the future. You're going to need it.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 7:55pm

    Re: Re: re: John Fenderson

    I thinks it's because secretly, they don't actually pay any taxes. So who are the real thieves here?

     

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  40.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 30th, 2009 @ 8:14pm

    Re: re: John Fenderson

    But don’t think for one moment that content creators will invest cash to create digital product for sale and then just walk away from it and “adapt” because there can be technical ways of pilfering it.

    Um, but they seem to be doing exactly that, aren't they? At least the smart ones are. More and more content creators are creating more content and giving it away as part of a larger business model -- are finding it successful.

    So why would you ever want to go against that?

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 8:31pm

    Re: "Their loss."

    It has nothing to do with an analogy, but good effort at repeatedly dodging. Deterrence only works when people respect the reasoning behind the laws involved.

    There is limited respect for speed limits (due to their arbitrariness, selective enforcement, speed traps, etc.), so no one is deterred (except in immediate circumstances). The generation(s) that are targeted in the "war on drugs" do not respect it (see medical marijuana, recreational/personal use, half the high schools in the US, etc.). The legal drinking age is routinely ignored at colleges/universities.

    If "piracy" is common, that means the common belief is that it's not a big deal. Of course, if piracy isn't common, then there's no need for additional laws (see your cable "theft" references). Can't have it both ways.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 8:47pm

    Re: Re: "Their loss."

    What bugs me the most about the comparison to the laws against copyright infringement and the laws against speeding is that in one of those cases there is a potential that someone could die.

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 8:49pm

    Re: Re:

    Of course, it's not "stealing," but if we even use the false designation of "piracy" it most certainly is possible to compete and many are doing so today. We point out examples all the time. I'm surprised you, a person who appears to read this site regularly, would somehow be blind to that.

    Two odd things here. First, Trent Reznor called it stealing, I am just using his terms, argue with him if you like. Second, when you are pushed on any of these "examples", you admit that they probably wouldn't work for anyone else, or at least are not models, just stuff that happened to work. So I think you answer is a bit of weak tea and misdirection.

    Nor do they have access to all the various scarcities provided by the original content creator. And it's those scarcities which is where the money is made.

    Remind me again what the scarcity is in a live football match. Oh yeah, live football. If the pirates have it as well, what's the point? The other scarcities aren't the things people are as interested in, they want to see the games. If they can get them for free online instead of as part of a PPV or channel package, which do you think they will take?

    Good luck re-educating. The rest of us are working on how to actually make money.

    Sort of like taking 10k of stuff, 20k of advertising, and 10k of man time to make 37k selling "lotsss of t-shirts"?

    Indeed. So why lock it up?

    They aren't "locking it up", they are selling access to the scacity, the live game. One day you might realize what it is that people really want, rather than spending your time trying to figure out how to sell them what they don't want.

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 8:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: "Their loss."

    Aha, but you're forgetting that copyright infringement supports terrorism! I know because a shill told me so.

     

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  45.  
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    Sam I Am, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 9:14pm

    That's why.

    "finding it successful."

    Actually, it's been ten years and the pendulum is already returning. Few sites offering free merchandise are making it on their advertising alone in part ironically because those who complain about price complain about the advertising, too. Desperate hourly discussion of paywalls is not a sign of success, Mike. And fewer free sites will eventually survive when as they are viewed by shareholders as a drag on margin rather than enhancing it. Hulu is becoming a prime example.

    Truth is, it's cheaper and better business to fix this now, to remind society at large (and the governments that need the tax revenue) that value-for-value doesn't change just because format always will. And when has government NOT stepped into unlawful behavior, civil OR criminal?

    "So why would you ever want to go against that?"

    Because two wrongs don't make a right, Mike. Because knowingly taking something for sale without paying for it is at least as immoral as copyright extension. Because shareholders who own these companies see value in going against theft. Because re-establishing the merch/price quid pro quo is good for perception of value and because acquiescing to the ethics-free nonsense of "you can't stop us" was never the ethical thing to do. Because rolling over is unfair to those who do pay properly. Because "free" is a digital illusion borne unfairly on the backs of other, analog revenue streams.

    And because doing the right thing makes an important point to observers, especially when temporarily this inconvenient. Because this kind of civil disobedience is based in personal greed for free product, rather than the personal sacrifices of civil disobedience based in justice and equality. Government and industry will never stop working to make online behavior align with offline accountability because all of society benefits from this very organization, and those who misuse the network for unlawful behavior will be historically remembered as to why we lost these freedoms in the first place. Because personal accountability and common governance are what entire societies are built upon, Mike. Because the single biggest continuing error in judgment in this whole debate is to see justice and value in a legalized, unaccountable, anarchic network that uses tech and anonymity to strip artists and digital workers rights while illegally copying their products. Because thou shalt not steal, nor condone stealing from others. That's why.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 9:40pm

    Re: That's why.

    Copyright will be rendered obsolete in the near future. The artistical trends are self-evident.

    Good luck to you and I wish you the best.

     

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  47.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 30th, 2009 @ 10:21pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Two odd things here. First, Trent Reznor called it stealing, I am just using his terms, argue with him if you like.

    Uh, nice try. It's not stealing, no matter how many times you like to point out that he called it that. Of course, I'll try just once to get this through to you: he was being ironic.

    Guess I'm not surprised you can't understand basic irony. Sad, but it happens.

    Second, when you are pushed on any of these "examples", you admit that they probably wouldn't work for anyone else, or at least are not models, just stuff that happened to work.

    No, again, you seem to have rather basic trouble understanding rather basic concepts. The specific *implementations* do not work over and over again. But the underlying model absolutely does.

    Remind me again what the scarcity is in a live football match.

    Too many to list here, but let's try a few:

    * Seats to attend the live match
    * The attention of those watching the game
    * Advertising for those watching a live match
    * Advertising for those watching the non-live match
    * Sponsorship of aspects of the match or the stadium
    * Merchandise related to the team
    * Merchandise related to the players
    * Access to the players.

    And on and on and on. If you were creative, you could easily list out two dozen or so such scarcities.

    Oh yeah, live football.

    Hmm. No, that's the infinite good.

    If the pirates have it as well, what's the point?

    Uh, all the actual scarcities?

    The other scarcities aren't the things people are as interested in, they want to see the games.

    Of course they want to see the games. And that's where those scarcities come into play. Someone hasn't been paying attention...

    If they can get them for free online instead of as part of a PPV or channel package, which do you think they will take?

    Heh. Someone really hasn't been paying attention.

    Sort of like taking 10k of stuff, 20k of advertising, and 10k of man time to make 37k selling "lotsss of t-shirts"?

    Heh. You must not be an accountant.

    They aren't "locking it up", they are selling access to the scacity, the live game.

    Not sure why this is so confusing to you, but the video stream is not a scarcity.

    One day you might realize what it is that people really want

    Of course it's what they want. That's why you use that to make all those other scarcities more valuable.

    rather than spending your time trying to figure out how to sell them what they don't want.

    No, I'm afraid you've missed the point. If you're selling people what they don't want, none of this works. We advocate exactly selling them what they want. But what people don't want is to pay for things that are abundant. Basic economics. Learn it.

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    Mark, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 10:28pm

    Re: Re: That's why.

    Possibly... but somebody has yet to come up with any alternative that actually benefits them as much as the current system. Any hope of change until then is just a pipe dream.

     

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  49.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 30th, 2009 @ 10:35pm

    Re: That's why.

    Actually, it's been ten years and the pendulum is already returning. Few sites offering free merchandise are making it on their advertising alone in part ironically because those who complain about price complain about the advertising, too.

    Who said anything about surviving on advertising alone?!? Perhaps you are new to this site? Perhaps you haven't read what we write? No one has said advertising alone is a good business model. I certainly don't think it is.

    nd fewer free sites will eventually survive when as they are viewed by shareholders as a drag on margin rather than enhancing it. Hulu is becoming a prime example.

    Heh. Ok. I have no idea what you think we advocate, but you seem really, really confused. Maybe spend some time reading before assuming what you think we're suggesting here.

    Truth is, it's cheaper and better business to fix this now

    Fix what? What needs fixing, exactly? The music business is thriving. The overall ecosystem has grown. The movie business is thriving. The overall ecosystem there has grown as well. More music is being made than ever before in history. More movies are being made than ever before in history. More people are making money from music or movies than ever before in history.

    What needs fixing exactly? Oh, other than the business models of a very small number of companies who keep insisting that last millennium's business model needs to keep working despite technological and market changes?

    to remind society at large (and the governments that need the tax revenue) that value-for-value doesn't change just because format always will.

    Heh. Welcome to the market economy. You might want to learn how it works before making a bigger fool of yourself.

    And when has government NOT stepped into unlawful behavior, civil OR criminal?

    Heh. Neat trick. Unlawful behavior. You call it that as if it must be. Maybe try doing a little research first. In this case, the only reason things are unlawful are due to specific lobbying.

    Because two wrongs don't make a right, Mike.

    What are the two wrongs? I'm really serious here, because I don't see them.

    Because knowingly taking something for sale without paying for it is at least as immoral as copyright extension.

    Why are you bringing up morals? We were discussing economics.

    If the market is bigger. If more people are making money. If more people are making more content. If more people are enjoying more and better content than ever before.

    Where's the immorality? I'm honestly at a loss. This is a golden age. How is that possibly immoral?

    Because shareholders who own these companies see value in going against theft.

    By which you mean a very small number of firms who bet too long on old business model and have management too stupid to change? We should listen to them? Should we have continued with the laws -- pushed by horse carriage makers -- that all cars need to be preceded by a man waving two red flags as well?

    After all, that was a "moral" issue as well.

    The only people who argue moral issues are ones who have no argument and no morals.

    Because re-establishing the merch/price quid pro quo is good for perception of value and because acquiescing to the ethics-free nonsense of "you can't stop us" was never the ethical thing to do.

    How about re-establishing basic market freedoms of supply and demand? Perception of value is meaningless. Let's see what the market actually says the value is.

    What you want is not real value. You want fake, artificially inflated value that is a deadweight loss to society, but a small gain to a small group of companies and their investors at everyone's expense.

    Why? Obviously, the answer is that you're one of those people.

    Because "free" is a digital illusion borne unfairly on the backs of other, analog revenue streams.

    Heh. Never taken economics, then?

    And because doing the right thing makes an important point to observers, especially when temporarily this inconvenient. Because this kind of civil disobedience is based in personal greed for free product, rather than the personal sacrifices of civil disobedience based in justice and equality.

    I honestly don't know what you're talking about. We're talking about efficient markets, not civil disobedience or greed.

    Please, learn a little and then rejoin the conversation.

    Government and industry will never stop working to make online behavior align with offline accountability because all of society benefits from this very organization, and those who misuse the network for unlawful behavior will be historically remembered as to why we lost these freedoms in the first place.

    Huh? So you want to take away all the benefit that technology creates because it doesn't fit with the business models of a very small number of companies, even as everyone else benefits? Wow. That's insane. Clinically, so.

    Because personal accountability and common governance are what entire societies are built upon, Mike.

    Indeed. And basic economics and not caving to monopolists that create dead weight losses. Why would you support such activities that create a net loss for society?

    Because the single biggest continuing error in judgment in this whole debate is to see justice and value in a legalized, unaccountable, anarchic network that uses tech and anonymity to strip artists and digital workers rights while illegally copying their products.

    What are you talking about?

    Because thou shalt not steal, nor condone stealing from others. That's why.

    Indeed. Stealing is bad. We agree. But... um... Sam... who's talking about stealing? Not us. We were talking about business models.

    Perhaps you might want to try reading and educating yourself a bit before you try on that righteous anger act.

     

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  50.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 30th, 2009 @ 10:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: That's why.

    Possibly... but somebody has yet to come up with any alternative that actually benefits them as much as the current system. Any hope of change until then is just a pipe dream.

    Hmm. That's simply not true. We're seeing lots of people ignoring copyright and making more money than they did in the past. The old guard becomes rendered obsolete the more they ignore this sea change.

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 11:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: That's why.

    New will always win against old. Freedom will always win against control. All self-evident. Historically. Artistically. Factually.

    Seriously, good luck to all the copyright maximalists out there.

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    George, Dec 1st, 2009 @ 4:31am

    Just let them get on with it...

    We're going to have very little input into what prehistoric rules and regulations are going to be imposed. Just let them put in whatever they think is right and fair (which will be everything!)

    Then watch ISP go absolutely nuts issuing thousands and thousands of threatening letters, disconnecting people and what not. It'll be a logistical nightmare for them. There'll be millions of complaints from angry consumers that they're either being kicked off-line or they can get what they want to buy.

    Watch as the whole thing crashes around the entertainment industry as it faces the backlash that will force it to change the way it operates.

     

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  53.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 1st, 2009 @ 6:26am

    Re:

    Actually it means ....

    ....Wahhhhhhh! I leveraged myself to the hilt to buy this team and my made up projections of future profits are taking a hit because my business plan didnt include any plans on how to use the internet.

    The guy should put the stuff on a streaming video service and put Hulu style ads in. Problem solved.

     

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  54.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 1st, 2009 @ 6:34am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "We can't or wont adapt, so instead we'll throw all our influence and power into trying to halt the inevitable progress of technology"

    This will lead to them becoming obsolete as they price themselves out of the market and new business models, new open standards begin showing up, and new viewing options show up.

    Its all good, stupidity and inflexability are rewarded with failure.

     

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  55.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 1st, 2009 @ 6:52am

    Re: Just let them get on with it...

    Look at the UK's Digital economy bill (pdf) .... the line

    "payment in advance of a contribution towards meeting costs
    incurred by the provider."

    That one line is going to piss off the ISP's. especially the words "meeting costs" ... ie we arent going to pay you for doing this, it will come out of your pocket.

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Mark, Dec 1st, 2009 @ 7:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: That's why.

    Historically, such things have only happened when people are prepared to give their lives for the cause (and do). I don't know anybody who's prepared to take up arms over copyright.

     

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  57.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 1st, 2009 @ 7:13am

    Re: re: John Fenderson

    I wonder how they get those figures -- cable theft is certainly much more prevalent than that in my neck of the woods, and it would be very difficult for the cable companies to detect the theft.

    Nonetheless, 10% is not a "trickle," or at least no other victim of theft would consider it such.

     

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  58.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 1st, 2009 @ 7:36am

    Re: That's why.

    "And because doing the right thing makes an important point to observers, especially when temporarily this inconvenient."

    And that's exactly why I am engaged in this issue on the side that I am. I see that the large corporations are inflicting an injustice on society -- they are doing the wrong thing on so many levels -- and I raise my voice in protest.

    They know that the issue isn't "piracy." They're using an exaggerated issue as a means to maintain monopoly control on the means of distribution. That is the real issue, and that is the real threat they are fighting against with the internet.

    Piracy can be easily dealt with without all these heavy-handed measures. If you insist on equating infringement with theft, here's and analogy for you: the industry wants to handle burglary by routinely searching our homes, eliminating the concepts of private property, and punishing people out of proportion to the crime, merely on the say-so of them rather than through due process.

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2009 @ 9:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, I'm afraid you've missed the point. If you're selling people what they don't want, none of this works. We advocate exactly selling them what they want. But what people don't want is to pay for things that are abundant. Basic economics. Learn it.

    Learn it? I understand it, and I think that you have taken a basic economic concept and ignored EVERYTHING ELSE around it.

    What do people want? They want football matches. That is what they want, and the whole idea of business is to sell someone something they want.

    Water is abundant, overwhelmingly so. Most western societies have these things called taps that bring an almost unlimited amount of clean water to every house. Yet there are plenty of companies selling bottled water. How the heck do they sell an abundant product? After all, your basic economics says it is impossible.

    People will pay for what they value. They won't pay for what they don't value. These fans value football matches, they don't value t-shirts or magazine articles about football in the same way. Plus, just as importantly, football matches aren't abundant, they are rare (they don't run 24 hours per day). That is the rarity they sell.

    Sorry if it doesn't line up with your world view Mike, but aside from piracy, there is no issue, right?

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2009 @ 11:32am

    Re:

    Good, so explain:

    You will pirate the live football game, and then what? You are going to pay to see a repeat?

    Sorry, your logic fails massively.

     

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  61.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 1st, 2009 @ 11:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Water is abundant, overwhelmingly so. Most western societies have these things called taps that bring an almost unlimited amount of clean water to every house. Yet there are plenty of companies selling bottled water. How the heck do they sell an abundant product? After all, your basic economics says it is impossible.

    They're not paying for water, because, as you note, the water is (mostly) free and abundant.

    What they are paying for is convenience (scarcity) or comfort (scarcity) that the water really is clean. The reason bottled water took off was due to the concerns of tap water not being safe. What bottled water companies sold was a response to that. Fits perfectly with basic economics.

    People will pay for what they value. They won't pay for what they don't value. These fans value football matches, they don't value t-shirts or magazine articles about football in the same way. Plus, just as importantly, football matches aren't abundant, they are rare (they don't run 24 hours per day). That is the rarity they sell.

    Heh. I like how you ignored all the actual abundances we listed.

    Must be tough ignoring reality. How do you do it?

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    ish, Dec 1st, 2009 @ 6:31pm

    Reply

    here is the thing, if i was given a service that let me watch EPL, serie A and La liga for lets say $30 a month. This would allow me to watch game whenever i want, either live or later for lets say up to a week. I wouldnt need to pirate streams, but currently to watch football i need to buy a subscription to a cable service i do not want, who dont offer me exactly what i need and pay something stupid like $60 a month for things i wont watch. The next best thing are streams, for a couple of dollars i would gladly be willing to pay for good high quality streams of matches with minimal slow down(i tried setanta but as mentioned they shit).
    The digital age allows people to look exactly for what they want, now days the big tv i have is more for watching streams, downloaded tv shows, dvds, blu ray and very very rarely television.

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2009 @ 6:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Must be tough ignoring reality. How do you do it?

    Simple, I just act like you do.

    Seriously, you see abundance where there is scarcity. People want to pay for football games (either with actual money or with their attention to advertising). The matches are sold out pretty much solid without exception, meaning that the league doesn't need any more exposure because they already have plenty.

    You haven't shown how giving the matches away for free would be beneficial or profitable.

    Further, if you have ever seen english premiere league games live on TV, they have no commercial interruptions during the actual play time, and only have ads before, at the half, and at the end. That means that paying a slight amount for access to the games is a true value, because you get uninterrupted viewing.

    Again, you haven't shown that people don't want to pay, and further, absent piracy, you haven't shown that people would not watch the games on TV.

    Please, list again those "actual abundances" and why you can't sell them?

     

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  64.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 1st, 2009 @ 7:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Seriously, you see abundance where there is scarcity.

    Heh. You are a piece of work, aren't you. In your effort to write something negative about every post on the site, you seem to live in a fantasy world.

    The definition of what's abundant and what is scarce is not an opinion. It's factual. It's really simple too: is it rivalrous and excludable? Scarcity. Is it non-rivalrous and non-excludable? Abundant. Simple.

    eople want to pay for football games (either with actual money or with their attention to advertising).

    I give up. I already explained how the attention was scarcity. Now you finally admit that's true and pretend it goes against my point?

    Dude, you are so confused you don't know which way is up.

    You haven't shown how giving the matches away for free would be beneficial or profitable.

    You haven't been paying attention. Because I gave you an entire list of scarcities, which I'll note you still haven't commented on.

    Further, if you have ever seen english premiere league games live on TV, they have no commercial interruptions during the actual play time, and only have ads before, at the half, and at the end. That means that paying a slight amount for access to the games is a true value, because you get uninterrupted viewing.


    Heh. Someone has apparently never looked at the uniforms of premier league players. I guess that makes sense, given that you live in a country where most of the games are not available.

    Again, you haven't shown that people don't want to pay, and further, absent piracy, you haven't shown that people would not watch the games on TV.

    I never said they didn't want to pay. In fact, I made the argument (reading comprehension is a wonderful thing, I'm so sorry you've lost it) that the problem is that the Premier League doesn't even give most people a way to pay to watch the games. Hence the piracy.

    Alex, I know you take great joy in trying to debunk every post on this site, but your level of trolling is really getting ridiculous. Your inability to make a comprehensible argument is really beginning to make you look foolish. No wonder you keep hiding behind your Anon Coward stance.

    I guess the porn and spam business isn't so good these days.

     

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  65.  
    identicon
    Minsk, Feb 18th, 2010 @ 12:17pm

    Piracy is not the problem. Piracy is only showing folks like Scudamore that they're doing a terrible job in meeting demand. He doesn't need people kicked off the internet to adjust his business model. Enzyte Lots of others are already doing so.

     

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


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