Journalists Continue To Rely On Bogus Research About File Sharing As If It Were Factual

from the sad dept

Over the summer, we had pointed out how disappointing it was that the press relied on an obviously bogus research report from the University of Ballarat's Internet Commerce Security Laboratory, about how much infringing content was being shared on BitTorrent. As we noted at the time, the folks over at TorrentFreak carefully picked apart the study and showed how it appeared to have been done by folks who didn't actually understand how BitTorrent and torrent trackers worked. Apparently, the TorrentFreak guys sent a note to the authors offering to help them fix the problems in their study methodology, and all they got back was a sarcastic email from one of the researchers saying that he'd gladly send the Torrentfreak guys a complimentary copy of O'Reilly's Statistics in a Nutshell, as it "might give further insight into statistical methodology." Snarky!

Apparently, the researchers didn't do much to fix their methodology, as they're out with another report, which -- yet again -- the press appears to be quoting without question, even with some serious red flags -- such as listing only four movies from 2010 as being among the most downloaded in 2010. Once again, TorrentFreak comes to the rescue and details the flaws in the study's methodology. Of course, seeing as the report was funded in part by a movie studio and IBM, perhaps the researchers aren't so concerned about getting it right as they are about getting what the funders' wanted.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 5:13am

    O'Reilly's Statistics?

    I'll give you statistics in a nutshell. A trained statistician can take any outcome and make it say any damn thing they want with statistics. Everyone knows it, they just don't know they know when the statistics are shoved in their faces.

    As has been said here many times "97% of all statistics are made up."

    I'm just glad that people are still willing to show how made up those statistics are.

     

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    Geek Hillbilly, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 5:15am

    RIAA & MPAA=MAFIAA

    The researchers are lazy and take the fraudulent figures because it take less effort.
    I do not believe ANYTHING any corporation has to say.They have proven themselves to be compulsive liars.

    Most of the major media corporations,if you really check into it,are owned by organized crime figures.

     

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      Anonymous, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 10:18am

      Re: RIAA & MPAA=MAFIAA

      Every single thing you wrote there is a lie. Nice work.

       

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        Gabriel Tane (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 10:37am

        Re: Re: RIAA & MPAA=MAFIAA

        You really do love attacking people instead of their points, don't you.

        At worst, this Geek Hillbilly could be said to be misinformed. He's stating his personal impression of the information he has at hand. I would hardly call that lying.

        You're attacks against people to try to discredit them however... I would hardly call that anything but infantile.

        GH, sorry if I got your gender wrong.

         

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    Darryl, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 5:52am

    So we cant believe independent studies, but we have to believe torrent freak !!! LOL.. they wont be biased !!

    obviously bogus

    If you read the torrent freak commentry on the report, it does not prove anything of the kind, that it is bogus, torrent freak claim their numbers were wrong, but did not provide any analysis not prove that was actually the case.

    They most certainly did not prove it was 'obviously bogus'.

    Torrent freak, mearly commented on the report, and added some superficial evidence that the report the not fully accurate..

    No statistics are absolutely accurate, and the writers of that study were happy to defend their claims.

    You "obviously bogus" quote links me to your own article, something becoming a bad habbit for you.. I know it saves you work.. but it looks cheap..

    We'll its headline is

    Why Does The Press Still Blindly Believe 'Studies' Put Out By The Entertainment Industry?

    Why should they, when they can blindly believe 'commentry' of the study put out by the torrent industry..

    What the hell is the difference Mike, why would the torrent industry be more honest than the entertainment industry ?

    One puts out a formal study, the other puts out nothing but critism and comment on that study..

    why not provide their own counter study, or commision an independent study, as the Entertainment often does ?

    But you wont believe them either, only torrent freak, but they have no interest in adding bias to the argument !!!! LOL..

     

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      Mike42 (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 6:02am

      Re: So we cant believe independent studies, but we have to believe torrent freak !!! LOL.. they wont be biased !!

      Yes, fellow readers, this is a troll. Please don't feed it, and just start another thread.

       

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        Hulser (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 6:51am

        Re: Re: So we cant believe independent studies, but we have to believe torrent freak !!! LOL.. they wont be biased !!

        Yes, fellow readers, this is a troll. Please don't feed it, and just start another thread.

        I don't think that Darryl's post is a troll. I think he is merely mistaken in categorizing the flaws pointed out by TF as "superficial eveidence". Besides, even if his post were an merely attempt to get a reaction, it still includes a valid point -- that you need to support your argument -- which ironically isn't very well supported in his post.

         

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        Anonymous, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 6:56am

        Re: Re: So we cant believe independent studies, but we have to believe torrent freak !!! LOL.. they wont be biased !!

        Anyone that doesn't follow Komrade Masnick's pro-piracy agenda is a troll?

        Gotcha.

         

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          coldbrew, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 7:19am

          Re: Re: Re: So we cant believe independent studies, but we have to believe torrent freak !!! LOL.. they wont be biased !!

          No. Trolls make unsubstantiated claims, don't address the specific argument the other is making, and/ or make ad hominem attacks.

          Why is that so difficult?

           

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            Hulser (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 8:07am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: So we cant believe independent studies, but we have to believe torrent freak !!! LOL.. they wont be biased !!

            No. Trolls make unsubstantiated claims, don't address the specific argument the other is making, and/ or make ad hominem attacks.

            That's not what "troll" means. Trolls may sometimes use those techniques, but that's not what makes a troll. A troll is simply someone who is trying to provoke an emotional response. Most people that make unsubstantiated claims, don't address the specific argument, and make ad hominem attacks are doing so because of a lack of thinking, whereas the troll is actively thinking about how to provoke. That's why I don't think that Darryl's post was an attempt at trolling.

             

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              Rose M. Welch (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 9:47am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So we cant believe independent studies, but we have to believe torrent freak !!! LOL.. they wont be biased !!

              I don't care what the intent is. Someone who isn't capable of or refuses to have an actual discussion isn't worth responding to (in and of themselves) and can be labeled a 'troll', and ignored with impunity.

               

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          techflaws.org (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 10:18pm

          Re: Re: Re: So we cant believe independent studies, but we have to believe torrent freak !!! LOL.. they wont be biased !!

          Gotcha.

          Lol. No you didn't. By a longshot.

           

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        interval (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 8:01am

        Re: Re: So we cant believe independent studies, but we have to believe torrent freak !!! LOL.. they wont be biased !!

        Hang on, everyone should read theage.com article for themselves and be informed on what their actually saying. Mike gives one example about how 4 movies from 2010 were the most downloaded, well, ok, but that may be splitting hairs, its hardly an egregious mis-characterization of the statistics.

         

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          Hulser (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 8:16am

          Re: Re: Re: So we cant believe independent studies, but we have to believe torrent freak !!! LOL.. they wont be biased !!

          everyone should read theage.com article for themselves and be informed on what their actually saying.

          Why rely on The Age article when Mike makes it clear that the TorrentFreak article is the one that details the flaws of the study?

           

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      Hulser (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 6:39am

      Re: So we cant believe independent studies, but we have to believe torrent freak !!! LOL.. they wont be biased !!

      If you read the torrent freak commentry on the report, it does not prove anything of the kind, that it is bogus

      You must have read something different than I did, because the linked TorrentFreak article provides detailed analysis of the flaws in the study. The very first bullet point discusses how the study's estimate of unique torrents is seriously low.

      You "obviously bogus" quote links me to your own article, something becoming a bad habbit for you.. I know it saves you work.. but it looks cheap..

      There are four links in Mike's post, only one of which is to a TD article. If you haven't noticed, Mike links back to his own articles when it relates to the current topic, something that I think most people appreciate.

       

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      Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 1:25pm

      Re: So we cant believe independent studies, but we have to believe Darryl

      If you read the torrent freak commentry on the report, it does not prove anything of the kind ...

      So you say, yet you provide no evidence for same.

      They most certainly did not prove it was 'obviously bogus'.

      Same claim repeated with different words, still no actual evidence provided.

      Torrent freak, mearly commented on the report, and added some superficial evidence that the report the not fully accurate..

      Still mere repeating of the same bogus claim as before.

      No statistics are absolutely accurate, and the writers of that study were happy to defend their claims.

      So where did they do so?

      You "obviously bogus" quote links me to your own article, something becoming a bad habbit for you.. I know it saves you work.. but it looks cheap..

      Mike meticulously cross-references every claim he makes. Rather than repeat those references, he simply links back to where he listed them before. Learn to understand that this site is about research and facts, it’s not a branch of Fawksnooze.

      why not provide their own counter study, or commision an independent study, as the Entertainment often does ?

      It’s been done, more than once. See some of the links that Mike provided for details.

       

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    Ima Fish (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 6:01am

    "Of course, seeing as the report was funded in part by a movie studio"

    What incentive would the MPAA have to make it appear that mostly older movies are being downloaded? I can think of a great reason...

    The movie industry is doing fricken great. Every year profits are up. The movie industry is making tons of fricken money by tons of tickets.

    If the movie industry is doing so fricken well, as it is, then how can the MPAA continue bitching about file sharing?

    By pretending that file sharers are downloading older movies instead of buying them. In other words, the MPAA can still reap great profits, but still complain about lost sales.

     

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    Darryl, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 6:10am

    And if the stats are better, it will prompt more action, as its working.

    Of course Mike, I'm sure you know that if you convince the entertainment industry that things are not as bad as they seem. Then they will assume what they are doing is working.

    So expect more efforts to stop file sharing, and to keep doing more of same as they are now.. how is that going to make it better for those who want, and expect stuff for free just because they can.. as long as you dont mind commiting a crime.. knowingly..

    Mike, are you SURE you cant find any more free space on your page for freaking high bandwidth adds, vids and shit is slowing your site to a crawl..

    Ever heard of the term 'quality of service'.

    Many of the adds you host here, making your site suck, are for things you profess to hate.

    Do you really want to promote companies that will do DCMA takedowns for you ??

    get a far better server, or lose the lose the adds, or have a web site that sucks.. up to you..

     

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      Jaws4theRevenge (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 7:45am

      Re: And if the stats are better, it will prompt more action, as its working.

      You are terrible at the internet. Learn2Adblock.

      In saying that, I have a feeling you'd rather curse the darkness than light a candle.

       

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      Greevar (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 7:49am

      Re: And if the stats are better, it will prompt more action, as its working.

      You certainly make a habit of jumping to conclusions and making broad unsubstantiated assumptions. It's cute how you assume that everyone that is file sharing does so to acquire media that would normally be paid for, media that they want to appropriate for free. You completely ignore the fact that part of those "thieves" that the anti-file sharing types decry are actually paying customers who are looking for alternate formats and/or backups for media they already legally purchased. You seem to be of the mind, as well, that if you spew enough vitriol at someone, it will make your argument valid and theirs false.

      You don't like the ads? Get an ad blocker or better yet, don't patronize the site with your traffic. No one is forcing you to come here. Your attempts to make Mike look like a fool only serve to do as such to yourself. You are the one who looks like the fool. All you do is bitch about how you disapprove of this site's message and methodologies, but you never make any attempt to contribute anything but spite towards Mike. I don't always agree with everything that Mike says, but I don't act like an ass when I disagree.

      Lastly, this site is not subject to your whims and opinions. You don't get to dictate how this site is run because you don't like how it's operated now. You don't come into someone's house, shit on their rug, and expect them to answer to your beck and call. That would get you kicked out. Be grateful you are still free to come here and insult the host.

       

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      Gabriel Tane (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 8:51am

      Re: And if the stats are better, it will prompt more action, as its working.

      Mike, are you SURE you cant find any more free space on your page for freaking high bandwidth adds, vids and shit is slowing your site to a crawl..


      And your internet connection doesn't factor into the equation, I'm sure.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 9:16am

      Re: And if the stats are better, it will prompt more action, as its working.

      If you want faster loading try a text mode browser, or just get an isp that isn't total crap. :P

       

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      techflaws.org (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 10:22pm

      Re: And if the stats are better, it will prompt more action, as its working.

      get a far better server, or lose the lose the adds, or have a web site that sucks

      Or simply stop assclows like you from posting here since your incredible stupidity is so damn hard to ignore that people feel compelled to answer your bogus drivel.

       

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    Revi (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 6:21am

    To be fair, the article was written by a film critic. http://about.theage.com.au/view_profile.php?intid=1331

    I don't think it's so much that the media are blindly believing it as having a vested interest in believing it.

    You may also rest assured that Ballarat is far from a hub of academic research. The best and brightest migrate to Melbourne.

     

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      Anonymous, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 6:59am

      Re:

      Is that sort of like you having a vested interest in conning yourself into believing piracy isn't harmful to artists and illegal?

       

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        Gabriel Tane (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 7:38am

        Re: Re:

        I suppose you have evidence to support that piracy is harmful? And no one here claims piracy isn't illegal.

        Of course by 'evidence' I mean 'evidence that hasn't been proven to be full of false mathematical conclusions and inflated numbers'.

        Go ahead... I'll wait.

         

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          Anonymous, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 9:22am

          Re: Re: Re:

          When you take music illegally that would have otherwise been bought, you just stole an artist's opportunity for a sale.

          And therefore the money he would have recieved from the sale.

          You rip off musicians. And Masnick encourages it.

          You're both scumbags.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 10:13am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I only download music that's legally free, does this also make me scum? After all, the artists of paid music lose any oppertunity for sales Including those from live gigs because I liked the free stuff more. Fact is, nobody has a god given right to profit or even the monopolies granted through copyrights. What they do have is the right to try to make money and to have agreements upheld, and this is enough for an artist(or programmer) of any real skill to be succecful in the marketplace.

             

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            Gabriel Tane (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 10:29am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "When you take music illegally that would have otherwise been bought, you just stole an artist's opportunity for a sale."

            Here, an early x-mas present.
            http://www.docstoc.com/docs/31483004/IPEC-Comments-FINAL-w-Attachments
            Go read this. It made rounds back in March of this year. And, as Mike mentioned in his post about it, it discusses:

            The lost sale fallacy: of course, demolishing the industry's desire to pretend that each act of infringement represents a "lost" sale.
            and
            The theft fallacy: once again reinforcing that infringement is a different beast than theft, and even the Supreme Court recognizes this... though the entertainment industry seems unwilling to admit it.



            "You rip off musicians. And Masnick encourages it.

            You're both scumbags."

            Straw-man fallacies aside, your ad hominim attack hurts... really. I mean that with all the sincerity the recording industry has when it says it's looking out for the best interests of the artists. Really.

             

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              Anonymous, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 1:21pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              LOL

              Yeah, every download can't be proven as a lost sale, duh.

              But feel free to prove many downloads would not have been a sale.

              You can't. Because we all know many people that primarily obtain their music illegally.

              For but one example which aptly demonstrates that obvious fact, despite CDs sill being the music medium of choice, the nation is littered with shuttered record stores.

               

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                Gabriel Tane (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 1:43pm

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

                "Yeah, every download can't be proven as a lost sale, duh. "

                You're missing the focus of the argument. You put in the quantifier "every", when I quoted Mike as saying "each". It may sound like splitting hairs, but keep up with me for a second... when you say 'every', you're implying that we state the entire body of downloads has be proven to be free of 'lost sales'. However, when we say 'each', we mean that the act itself, the very concept, is false logic. We’re not saying ‘every download can be proven as a lost sale’; we’re saying that it’s fallacious logic to imply that a download can be equated to a lost sale.

                See the difference?



                "But feel free to prove many downloads would not have been a sale."

                I don't need to. The logic behind one download not being a lost sale is the same logic as 100 or 1,000 downloads not being lost sales. Your argument is based on the assumption that people who download don't buy and that any song downloaded is a sale that would have otherwise been made. And that's not accurate.



                "For but one example which aptly demonstrates that obvious fact, despite CDs sill being the music medium of choice, the nation is littered with shuttered record stores."

                Which, of course, would have NOTHING to do with online music sales such as i-Tunes which allows people to buy single songs instead of whole albums for that single song... something which had been a heartburn for many 'legitimate' purchasers of music for a long time. It obviously couldn't have anything to do with better purchasing alternatives being made available, could it?

                 

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                  Anonymous, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 1:52pm

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

                  Your argument is based on the assumption that people who download don't buy and that any song downloaded is a sale that would have

                  No, it's not.

                  You wish it was, because you can argue your pirate cause easier that way.

                  But that's not what I believe. I know that many, many downloads never would have resulted in a sale.

                  And I also know many, many would.

                  Even if the number were only ten out of a thousand, you still lose the argument. You have no leg- moral or legal, to stand on.

                   

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                Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 5:19pm

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

                For but one example which aptly demonstrates that obvious fact, despite CDs sill being the music medium of choice, the nation is littered with shuttered record stores.

                And so are horse carriage stores. Not sure of your point.

                 

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                  Anonymous, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 5:59pm

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

                  Remind us again what illegal activity cut the horse carriage business in half, Mike?

                  Oh that's right, you can't.

                  Funny how you're so anxious to trot out stale, invalid analogies to defend the ripping off of artists, Mike.

                  Why is that?

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 6:24pm

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

                    The thing you miss is that whether the activity that changes a market is legal or not is irrelevant to the need to adapt to that change.

                     

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                    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 10:59pm

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

                    Remind us again what illegal activity cut the horse carriage business in half, Mike?

                    Automobiles were illegal, Mr. Anonymous.

                    Why? Because the trains and the horse carriage makers had politicians pass red flag laws that made automobiles mostly illegal.

                    Just like the recording industry making tools like Napster/Grokster illegal, rather than learning to embrace them -- and embrace them in a way they could make more money.

                    I find it funny that you still won't reply to the fact that musicians embracing new models are making more money while those listening to you -- by your own admission -- are making less.

                     

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                techflaws.org (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 10:26pm

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

                Because we all know many people that primarily obtain their music illegally.

                Citation needed.

                 

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            Gabriel Tane (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 10:32am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            And by the way, your opinion (proven wrong by people outside of this blog and conversation) and personal attacks against people is hardly what I would call 'evidence'.

             

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            Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 10:39am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            When you take music illegally that would have otherwise been bought, you just stole an artist's opportunity for a sale.

            There is no such thing as "stealing an opportunity for a sale."

            If there were, offering a coupon for a competing product would be illegal, since you would be "stealing" the opportunity for someone else to make money.

            People make choices about what to buy and what not to buy. Choosing not to buy is not a crime.

            And therefore the money he would have recieved from the sale.


            I see. And when I show artists who have embraced new models and MADE MORE MONEY because of it, is it your belief that the deals they had before -- from which they made less money -- involved "stealing" from them? Just curious about how the world works.

            You rip off musicians. And Masnick encourages it.


            I have never done so. Lies do not make you look good.

            You're both scumbags.


            And insults make you seem so much more credible.

             

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              Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 10:46am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "And insults make you seem so much more credible."

              Particularly in response to what was a call for evidence.

              AC: Piracy is horrible! Detrimental! Killing everything!

              Gab: What evidence do you have for that?

              AC: I'm glad you asked! I have more unsubstantiated claims! Howdya like that? Plus, you and this blogger are ginormous douche nozzel puppy murderers! Raporists, all of you! Ha ha! I've proven my point!

              Collective Audience: *shakes heads sadly*

               

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              Anonymous, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 1:31pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              That coupon analogy is wrong as usual, Masnick.

              A coupon provides someone with an incentive to purchase one product as opposed to a competitor's.

              If someone wants to obtain a song or album for their collection- and would pay for it, when it is provided to them for free and they go ahead and illegally take it, the artist just had his opportunity for a sale stolen. Because they would have had that sale were not for the fact the illegal option was used instead.

              And spare me your usual "I help artists make money" BS. You haven't ever had an original thought on the issue, just your idea of a novel spin on the ages-old concept of promotion.

              You're not an artistic talent, and you haven't done a single meaningful thing for artists other than defending those that rip them off.

               

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                Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 5:25pm

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

                That coupon analogy is wrong as usual, Masnick.


                Only to those who put on blinders.

                A coupon provides someone with an incentive to purchase one product as opposed to a competitor's.

                Indeed. But you just claimed that removing an "artist's opportunity for a sale" is illegal. The coupon example was to show that there is nothing wrong with removing an opportunity for a sale, contrary to your statement. You are wrong.

                If someone wants to obtain a song or album for their collection- and would pay for it, when it is provided to them for free and they go ahead and illegally take it, the artist just had his opportunity for a sale stolen.

                No, nothing was "stolen" because nothing is missing. I'm not sure quite how to explain this to you, but you seem unfamiliar with both the English language and the law.

                Because they would have had that sale were not for the fact the illegal option was used instead.

                You don't know that. If that's your measuring stick, then the coupon explanation still applies. But we both agree that's silly. So why do you think musicians get some extra special not anywhere in the law right?

                And spare me your usual "I help artists make money" BS.

                It's not BS if it's true, right? Not sure why you're so angry about the fact I help musicians. So weird. For someone who claims to support musicians, why are you so upset that I'm able to help a bunch?

                You haven't ever had an original thought on the issue, just your idea of a novel spin on the ages-old concept of promotion.

                Even if that were true, um, so what? If what I'm telling them works (and, does it ever work), then who cares if it's new or not?

                You're not an artistic talent, and you haven't done a single meaningful thing for artists other than defending those that rip them off.

                Tell that to folks who are now making a living by following these concepts.

                Meanwhile, if you're the same guy who I think you are, last we heard from you, you flat out admitted that the bands YOU helped are making a lot less money.

                So, let me ask a simple question: if the bands who listen to me are making more money than they used to, and the ones listening to you and footstomping about "freetards" and "piracy" are making less money... why do you think it still makes more sense to listen to you? This is an honest question.

                 

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          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 11:18am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            So, no, you don't have any evidence.

            Of course.

             

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          •  
            icon
            techflaws.org (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 10:25pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            When you take music illegally that would have otherwise been bought

            Here, I highlighted it for you. Now think again.

             

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  •  
    icon
    ofb2632 (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 7:05am

    name change

    shouldn't that be University of Mallrats?
    They are quite obviously ignorant fools.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 7:06am

    IBM salivating over that security money.

     

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  •  
    icon
    average_joe (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 7:06am

    I'm just curious... Are there any studies done that are critical of piracy that aren't bogus, biased, and faith-based?

     

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    •  
      icon
      Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 7:18am

      Re:

      "I'm just curious... Are there any studies done that are critical of piracy that aren't bogus, biased, and faith-based?"

      I suspect there are, but they don't get promoted to the MSM by their cousins in entertainment media. The problem with studying this stuff is that any truly valid study is probably going to result in only one valid conclusion: we don't know what the overall effect is.

      I think anyone who claims that piracy does not result in lost sales is fooling themselves. But I ALSO think that anyone who claims that piracy has no positive benefit on the overall money-making capability of entertainment as a whole is equally misguided. The question becomes whether we're looking at a net positive, net negative, or something of an overall wash.

      The OTHER problem is that the people trying to put in new laws are often times looking at their own incorrect spectrum argument and trying to pretend that they know the answer to the question above, and they're lying....

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 7:21am

      Re:

      It's hard to say they all seem to be paid for by the media cartels who's control comes from contolling the distribution path.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 9:13am

        Re: Re:

        Until someone comes up with an alternate plausible explanation for why overall sales have been cut in half since 2000, then yeah, sorry pirates, but Occams Razor applies.

         

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        •  
          icon
          Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 9:27am

          Re: Re: Re:

          And yet overall music production has grown. I assume that Occam's Razor applies there as well, so we can thank the "pirates" for that?

           

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          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 9:45am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Explain to us what you mean by "overall music". And whatever it is, why it somehow justifies piracy.

             

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            •  
              icon
              Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 9:56am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100914/14214111013.shtml

              This is but one of a few studies I found w/a simple Techdirt search highlighting that more money is going into the music industry as a whole and, more importantly, that more music is being made.

              As far as justifying piracy goes, I guess illegal is still illegal, but if an action has an overall net benefit on culture, how can that be all that bad?

               

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              •  
                icon
                Gabriel Tane (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 10:15am

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

                "As far as justifying piracy goes, I guess illegal is still illegal, but if an action has an overall net benefit on culture, how can that be all that bad?" [emphasis added by me]

                Because it shatters their fragile little stances as industry shills. Duh.

                 

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              •  
                identicon
                Anonymous, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 1:40pm

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

                THAT'S YOUR EVIDENCE?

                Norwegian musicians are making more money?

                Whoopteefreakindoo.

                The vast amount of music consumed in the world is made here in the US.

                Recorded music sales have been cut in half since 2000.

                Bands are forced to leave home and go on the road to make up for the lost income due to piracy.

                It's illegal. Stop trying to defend the indefensible.

                 

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                •  
                  identicon
                  monkyyy, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 3:08pm

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

                  whats wrong with "Norwegian musicians"?
                  to different for u to listen in public to?

                  "It's illegal. Stop trying to defend the indefensible."
                  so was helping slaves get north the law doesn't know best that only works as a argument of someone not doing it not weather or not its wrong;
                  and its very defensible as the many defensive arguments have proven

                   

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                  •  
                    identicon
                    Anonymous, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 3:42pm

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

                    Hopefully there's a special place in hell reserved for people that compare ripping off musicians to the freeing of the slaves...

                     

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                    •  
                      identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 4:11pm

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

                      hopefully there's a special place in hell for people who pretend that goverment granted monopolies are the same as property rights and use that false comparisom as a justification for sueing kids out of existance.

                       

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                    •  
                      identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 4:16pm

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

                      And for the record the other poster was NOT coparing copyright with slavery, just pointing out a case where something being illegal did not mean it was immoral to do.(indeed, in the case of slavery the law itself was horribly immoral)

                       

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                •  
                  icon
                  Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 5:30pm

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

                  THAT'S YOUR EVIDENCE?

                  Norwegian musicians are making more money?

                  Whoopteefreakindoo.


                  Reading comprehension is not your strong suit, is it? That post shows a study about Norwegian musicians, but also links to studies that found the same thing about musicians in the US, UK and Sweden -- also known as the three largest exporters of music in the world.

                  The vast amount of music consumed in the world is made here in the US.

                  And, again, studies covering the US have shown musicians are making more today in the US than ever before.

                  Recorded music sales have been cut in half since 2000.


                  And that's a problem IF and ONLY IF all you do is focus on selling recorded music. But that's simply a bad business model. If you focus on a smarter business model, then it's not a problem. We've had this discussion before, and it seems to go like this:

                  You: Recorded music sales suck.
                  Me: Yes, that's why we suggest you focus on other business models.
                  You: YOU PIRATE DEFENDER!@$#!@$#!@

                  It's illegal. Stop trying to defend the indefensible.


                  Once again, it seems that the bands who are putting in place smarter business models and not worrying about piracy are making more money, than when they relied on recorded music sales -- even before the internet came along. So I really must ask what is "indefensible" about suggesting ways to make more money.

                  I really have a lot of trouble understanding where you're coming from.

                   

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                  •  
                    identicon
                    Anonymous, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 6:04pm

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

                    And, again, studies covering the US have shown musicians are making more today in the US than ever before.
                    Link please.

                    A valid one. Not one from some pro-piracy site.

                     

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                    •  
                      identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 6:26pm

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

                      Reality check: a link is not invalidated just because a site holds a position/agenda you don't agree with.

                       

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                    •  
                      icon
                      Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 10:48pm

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

                      A valid one. Not one from some pro-piracy site.

                      None of the studies in question are from a "pro-piracy" site.

                      Nice try.

                       

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                    •  
                      icon
                      techflaws.org (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 10:49pm

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

                      You first. Where's the study talking about a cut in half?

                       

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                      •  
                        icon
                        Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 11:04pm

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

                        You first. Where's the study talking about a cut in half?

                        He's right. *Recorded music sales* have been cut in half. What he ignores, of course, is that "recorded music sales" is only a small portion of what *artists* actually make. It covers most of what *record labels* make, but that's different.

                        What's funny is he refuses to respond to any of the multitude of studies showing that artists are making more money today, or any of the specific examples of artists doing so, other than to claim that they're somehow exceptions (even though the aggregate data continues to show he's wrong).

                         

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

        •  
          icon
          BigKeithO (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 10:09am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Overall sales of what? Are we talking about music? CD's? Movies? DVD's or Bluray's? What has been cut in half?

          What of the entire industries? Aren't they making more money as a whole than they ever have before? People aren't going to keep buying discs forever file sharing or not.

           

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 10:24am

          Re: Re: Re:

          How have the sales of video games fared since 2000? Or doesn't that count for anything?

           

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        •  
          icon
          techflaws.org (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 10:47pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          So how come the movie industry had their biggest year ever? What does Occam say to that?

           

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

  •  
    icon
    iamtheky (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 9:28am

    "plausible explanation for why overall sales have been cut in half since 2000"

    yay, unsubstantiated comment day!

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 9:49am

      Re:

      LOL

      are you retarded?

      Google is your friend. They've been cut in half since 2000.

      And before any freetard tries to say the numbers are lies, I'll say...

      Uh uh. Sorry, these are publically traded companies; thus accounting is regulated and their books are open for inspection.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 10:25am

        Re: Re:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_accounting

        The recording industry would never . . . .

         

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        •  
          icon
          Gabriel Tane (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 10:38am

          Re: Re: Re:

          SSSSHHHHH!!!!! Don't bring reality into it! Think of the children!

           

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 1:45pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          That's a movie link.

          And I don't care if you can dig up some random example of record label nefariousness; before piracy, record labels, especially indies paid musicians nicely for their recorded music sales.

           

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

          •  
            icon
            Gabriel Tane (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 1:56pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "before piracy, record labels, especially indies paid musicians nicely for their recorded music sales."


            Um… ok…

            http://www.salon.com/technology/feature/2000/06/14/love/print.html

            I'm no fan of Courtney Love, but I'd label her as an informed expert on the matter before the majority of anonymous posters around here.

            One of the things that's overlooked in 'how much money is paid to the artists' is how much of that 'great money' goes right back to the label as 'recoupable expenses'.

            Now I'm sure that contracts have evolved since then, but your argument was for the 'time before piracy' which this was.

             

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            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 2:24pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Do you understand the concept of recoupment?

              A label LOANS a band a sum of money, interest-free, to record, buy new instruments, tour, living expenses, etc.

              The label gets that loan paid back by record sales. If the record doesn't sell, the loan isn't recouped, and the band doesn't get any more money.

              Why am I not shocked in the least that no one here actually knows shit about how things actually work.

               

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              •  
                identicon
                Anonymous, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 2:29pm

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

                And any band that would sign a contract like that is stupid.

                Their fault.

                Indies don't do crazy million dollar advances with high priced lawyers and payola involved.

                Yet their music gets ripped off just like the major labels.

                Defend that.

                 

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                •  
                  icon
                  Gabriel Tane (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 2:55pm

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

                  "And any band that would sign a contract like that is stupid."

                  So that's your defense of the label's practice? Really?

                  Go look up the history of "company store". If all these labels are so saint-like in their dealings, why did Courtney Love so publicly speak out against it? Why did Tori Amos angrily change labels and effectively told them to screw themselves by purposely releasing a crappy 'last album' to fulfill their contract?

                  And I do understand the idea of recouping costs. But you didn't address my point that "all this money the band is making" is doing little more than paying back the label.

                   

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              •  
                icon
                Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 5:54pm

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

                Do you understand the concept of recoupment?

                A label LOANS a band a sum of money, interest-free, to record, buy new instruments, tour, living expenses, etc.

                The label gets that loan paid back by record sales. If the record doesn't sell, the loan isn't recouped, and the band doesn't get any more money.


                Now, of course, that's what the record labels WANT you to think, but it's not accurate at all, as we discussed with Tim Quirk's description of the RIAA accounting on recoupment in his post about his band's situation:


                A word here about that unrecouped balance, for those uninitiated in the complex mechanics of major label accounting. While our royalty statement shows Too Much Joy in the red with Warner Bros. (now by only $395,214.71 after that $62.47 digital windfall), this doesn't mean Warner "lost" nearly $400,000 on the band. That's how much they spent on us, and we don't see any royalty checks until it's paid back, but it doesn't get paid back out of the full price of every album sold. It gets paid back out of the band's share of every album sold, which is roughly 10% of the retail price. So, using round numbers to make the math as easy as possible to understand, let's say Warner Bros. spent something like $450,000 total on TMJ. If Warner sold 15,000 copies of each of the three TMJ records they released at a wholesale price of $10 each, they would have earned back the $450,000. But if those records were retailing for $15, TMJ would have only paid back $67,500, and our statement would show an unrecouped balance of $382,500.


                So what you're conveniently leaving out is that even if bands are profitable for record labels, they're still a LOOOOONG way from actually recouping. It's not a loan. What the record label does is give you a "loan" *AND* take ownership of your work (even after you've paid back the loan) *AND* take a huge percentage of any revenue you bring (again, even after you've paid back the "loan"). Presenting it as a normal loan is disingenuous at the highest level.

                Why am I not shocked in the least that no one here actually knows shit about how things actually work.

                Why am I not shocked in the least that you would mislead about how things actually work?

                 

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  •  
    icon
    pringerX (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 10:39am

    The devil is in the details

    The article on TorrentFreak highlights two serious flaws in the way the study was carried out. Basically, there is overcounting of seeders, and misleading approximation of "most downloaded" as "most seeded". The miscategorization issue is subjective, but an authority like TF is likely to be better at categorizing torrents.

    In short, the standards are incredibly bad. If you did the equivalent in biology, you'd probably be retracting the paper right about now.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 11:21am

      Re: The devil is in the details

      "If you did the equivalent in biology, you'd probably be retracting the paper right about now."

      Unless your paper is about arsenic-adapted lifeforms and sponsored by NASA. ;)

       

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  •  
    icon
    G Thompson (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 8:13pm

    Read the source first before trolling

    Wow...
    Everyone is quoting either the Age's very massaged media response that was given by none other than the authors themselves, and AFACT

    AFACT as some of you might be aware is currently in a very precarious position with iiNet since they are trying to appeal a major setback between themselves and iiNet about infringement of content

    It seems that in the Age statement Mr Neil Gane, AFACT's executive director stated "But Michael Malone, the CEO of service provider iiNet, said recently that more than 50 per cent of their traffic was BitTorrent, and this Ballarat study would suggest the vast majority of that is copyright-infringing content.''

    This a reasonable person might think is alluding that, using the statistical model that ICSL used, that at least 45% of all traffic flowing through iiNet must now be infringing content.. wow.. and whilst there is an appeal currently in progress too. Mr Gane couldn't be trying to add unproven so called "expert testimony" into the public domain to try and sway the courts could he? nah.... he would never do that...


    the other side of the coin here at techdirt is that some people are alluding that torrentfreak should not be put in the same place as the age and because they are so "biased" who cares what they say.

    Well lets see...

    Why don't we all actually read the latest Report found at http://www.icsl.com.au/files/validation_study_nov_2010.pdf [pdf]
    and compare it to the original done way back in April http://www.icsl.com.au/files/bt_report_final.pdf

    anyone who knows anything about bittorrent protocol, distributed processes and statistical modelling will be able to pick it apart totally.

    So don't just take torrentfreaks word for it.. And never take an industry spokesperson from AFACT/MPAA/RIAA word on statistics that conform to what they want. LOOK FOR YOURSELVES and then come back and critically explain how the report is so correct and relevant, or as most people do, how it isn't.

    I should point out that a lot of the research done by the Internet Commerce Security Laboratory (ICSL) is used by myself visa vis my forensics role. Though that research is normally NOt sponsored by corporate/NGO interests so carries a veil of authority.

     

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


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