Once Again Top Downloaders Are Top Spenders, According To UK Gov't Study

from the how-many-times-does-it-have-to-be-said? dept

If there's one clear trend that has emerged in recent years, it's that those who download and share unauthorized copies of files the most also tend to be the most avid purchasers of similar material. This completely negates the copyright industry's rhetoric that people who share files are just a bunch of freeloaders, suggesting instead that it's more a matter of sampling materials before going on to buy. It also implies that instead of seeking to punish such downloaders, the copyright companies should actually try to nurture them as potentially their best customers.

Even worse for the maximalists is that much of the new research revealing this trend is being conducted not by groups wearing eye patches and sporting wooden legs, but by government bodies keen to better understand the underlying dynamics of the online world. We wrote about one such study back in November, which had been commissioned by the UK regulatory body Ofcom -- the epitome of dull respectability. A follow-up report with the ponderous title "Online copyright infringement tracker benchmark study 'Deep Dive' analysis report" (pdf) has now appeared offering additional insights into why people download and stream unauthorized copies, how much they spend anyway, and what might encourage them to spend even more. The large sample size -- over 10,000 people -- makes its findings particularly valuable.

Here's one of the key results:

The Top 10% Infringers accounted for just 1.6% of the 12+ internet user population, but were responsible for 79% of infringed content. The Top 20% infringers, accounting for 3.2% of 12+ internet users, were responsible for 88% of infringements.



Despite their high levels of infringement, the Top 20% Infringers also accounted for 11% of the legal content consumed. The Top 20% Infringers also spent significantly more across all content types on average than either the Bottom 80% Infringers or the non-infringing consumers (£168 [$250] vs. £105 [$160] vs. £54 [$83] over the six month period covered).
As mentioned above, by now this is pretty much as expected, since survey after survey shows the same. But the current research explores a number of other aspects in greater depth, and presents new results we've not seen before. For example, in answer to the question "what would make you stop downloading or streaming content illegally?", the top answers by those downloading and spending the most were in the following order:
If legal services were cheaper
If everything I wanted was available legally
If legal services were more convenient\flexible
If everything I wanted was available legally online as soon as it was released elsewhere
If it is clearer what is legal and what isn't
If legal services were better
If a subscription I was interested in became available
As that makes clear, the main obstacles stopping them spending even more is unreasonable pricing and lack of availability -- things that the copyright world is still dragging its feet over.

The new analysis also tries to break down those accessing unauthorized copies into four broad categories that reflect their different attitudes. These are:

1. Justifying Infringers (9% of infringers, 24% of infringed volume, 2% of total digital consumers)

2. Digital Transgressors (9% of infringers, 22% of infringed volume, 2% of total digital consumers)

3. Free Infringers (42% of infringers, 35% of infringed volume, 10% of total digital consumers)

4. Ambiguous Infringers (39% of infringers, 20% of infringed volume, 9% of total digital consumers)
It's well worth reading the full report to see what the detailed analysis reveals about each of them. The research also tries to understand the different kinds of users who always access authorized copies, both paid and free, and then compares them in a variety of ways with the other group.

All-in-all, this is a valuable contribution to the field, and Ofcom is to be congratulated for continuing to commission innovative research that tries to get beyond the simplistic statistics that have hitherto been used to justifying ever-harsher punishments, in order to understand how the interests of both public and creators can be better aligned for their mutual benefit.

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Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Ninja (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 6:24am

    No surprises here. The moment I had the spare money to spend I poured into the originals I could find from games I loved, movies and others. Currently my expenditures moved away from buying the physical assets into trying to go directly for the artists. Being an insider in Techdirt is part of this behavior shift. And the MAFIAA is to blame for it. Still, the amount I spend annually remains similar. I'm currently near the $300-$400 range.

     

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  2.  
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    Gwiz (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 7:20am

    Oh Noes!

    Sometimes Tricky Rabbits without Crystal Ball access (like me) can comment early on some of the articles too, Blue.

    (That ought to keep Blue busy with his conspiracy theories for awhile)

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2013 @ 7:46am

    Once Again Top Downloaders Are Top Spenders, According To UK Gov't Study

     

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  4.  
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    out_of_the_bob, May 14th, 2013 @ 7:46am

    Damn pirate freetards paying for content!

    That only shows how we need to imprison them for life so they can never spend another dime on content!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2013 @ 7:47am

    Once Again Top Downloaders Are Top Spenders, According To UK Gov't Study = Once Again Top Shoplifters Are Top Shoppers, According To UK Gov't Study

    Who cares?

     

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  6.  
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    PaulT (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 7:53am

    Re:

    It's always pretty obvious when an article here is cut-and-dried and the basic facts can't be argued with. We either get anonymous morons trying to deflect from what the article's about, a criticism of how irrelevant the article is or a blatant lie intended to try and pretend the article doesn't say what it does. There's never any attempt to discuss, and certainly never any admission that a point regularly made is actually correct.

    If nothing else, you've achieved all 3 fallacies in one comment. Congrats, I guess...

     

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  7.  
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    Gwiz (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 7:57am

    Re:

    Once Again Top Downloaders Are Top Spenders, According To UK Gov't Study = Once Again Top Shoplifters Are Top Shoppers, According To UK Gov't Study

    Who cares?



    Umm...store proprietors who wish convert shoplifters into paying customers maybe.

    Or they could waste more money on security and the alienation of this group of people and still be in lose-lose situation if they want, I guess. Doesn't make much business sense to me, but whatever.

     

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  8.  
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    Rabbit80 (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 7:59am

    Re: Oh Noes!

    Tricky rabbits like me?

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2013 @ 8:00am

    Solid evidence that the pirates are screaming out for services they can pay for but as always the MPAA and their ilk would rather not have to change they way they do business to cater to lowly customers.

     

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  10.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 8:00am

    Once again, facts get in the way of maximalist agenda. I almost feel for them.

    I do await the usual bleating about anomalies etc etc etc. Yawn.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, May 14th, 2013 @ 8:01am

    NOT "a valuable contribution to the field" -- IT'S A SURVEY.

    NO assurance at all that answers are honest. Of course the biggest pirates are going to SAY that they spend more.-- But it does NOT support your notion that they pay their way.

    Get the PDF here:
    http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/research/telecoms-research/online-copyright/deep-di ve.pdf

    Go down to table 3.4, Digital Content Consumption, and compare "Mean No. COnsumed" under Film between Top 20% and Bottom 80% (of Infringers!), and see that the ratio between those two is ELEVEN TO ONE. -- And the ratio of spending is nowhere near that. The biggest pirates are STILL just freeloading at a fraction of the sum honest people would pay for as much content.

    So the biggest pirates consume more content WAY out of proportion to any more that they claim to spend.

     

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    PaulT (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 8:02am

    I'm glad to see a study that actually makes an effort to recognise that the reasons for piracy are a big factor, and one that requires particular attention. Pretending that the guy who downloads because he has no legal route is the same as the guy who will never pay is half of the problem - people who do this have been addressing fiction. Few people pirate 100% of their content, and for everybody else there's ways to get them to pay - but each group requires a different approach.

    Hopefully some of this will sink in and the industry will finally realise that they cannot "win" while they refuse to address customer demand. The UK market is better served than most countries outside of the US, yet it's still a confusing mess that leaves a great many people completely unserved by the legal channels on offer.

     

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  13.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 8:05am

    Re: NOT "a valuable contribution to the field" -- IT'S A SURVEY.

    Blah blah fucking blah

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2013 @ 8:05am

    Re:

    And shoplifing is not at all like copyright infringement

    Typical anti techdirt drone: When you can't debate techdirt with the facts, come out swinging with a bad anology

     

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  15.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 8:07am

    Re: Re:

    It's as good an analogy as the stupid "you wouldn't steal a car" bollocks.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2013 @ 8:08am

    if those that downloaded supposedly illegally were the only ones that ever downloaded anything and the only ones that ever bought anything as well, the entertainment industries would still want to make criminals out of them, sue them and get them kicked off the internet. this whole debacle is and always has/will be about control! the monies made from court cases is a bonus and all goes to and stays with the labels and studios, with nothing going to the very people, the artists, used as the excuse for following the course taken. what is so sad is the fact that these industries dont have the decency to do their own dirty work, expecting, for suitable rewards, politicians and other internet companies to foot the bill for doing that work. the stupidity of this situation is that the other companies, not the entertainment industries, are the ones that lose paying customers and politicians lose their seats because of the way they lie to constituents and do nothing for them. the only ones that gain a little (and it never lasts. history tells us that!) are the industries that eventually have to change before progress not only leaves them behind, it buries them!!

     

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  17.  
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    Gwiz (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 8:09am

    Re: NOT "a valuable contribution to the field" -- IT'S A SURVEY.

    The biggest pirates are STILL just freeloading at a fraction of the sum honest people would pay for as much content.

    Not sure how true that really is Blue. This metric is relatively easy to measure. There are a lot of factors of your so called "honest people" that can't be measured. Loan a DVD to a friend, listen to the radio, watching a movie with a group of friends, wait for the movie to come out on TV, borrowing books from family, etc, etc. All consuming content without directly paying for it.

     

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    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, May 14th, 2013 @ 8:11am

    Results of Wall Street stock traders survey:

    Key question: how much do your efforts contribute to the economy? 211% of respondents checked box marked: "Over 100 times the pittance I get". No other category was checked, nor was any higher amount printed for choice, however, many lengthy notes provided such other information as "work an average of 23.7 hours a day and help blind children in spare time". (Total over 100% due to multiple statements.)

    A further item is that -635% said that they're parasites on labor. (Best approximation from multiple denials and death threats.)

    Also perhaps indicative is that every survey returned had with it cash, check, or credit card number; gold or silver including jewelry with gems; nearly all came with stock tips, plus many had bags of illegal drugs.



    ^Point is that people KNOW how surveys work and give self-serving answers.

    Also, freetards, don't skip this opposing -- much better written besides timely -- view:

    What freetard are you: Justified, transgressor or just honest?
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/05/13/ofcom_freetard_field_guide/

     

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  19.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 8:12am

    Re: Re: NOT "a valuable contribution to the field" -- IT'S A SURVEY.

    Wow, you just made his brain (such that it is) explode

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2013 @ 8:12am

    Re: NOT "a valuable contribution to the field" -- IT'S A SURVEY.

    And WAY to miss the point.

    It doesn't matter one iota if people who line the pockets of publishers, studios and labels consumer more content per $ spent than the people who put a lot less money in the pockets of same.

    The point is, the content producers as a whole make more money from pirates than they do from people who don't infringe on copyright. In business you don't care how much benefit your customers get as long as the benefits they get don't cost you and this survey shows as many other studies have shown that pirates are good for business.

    Money spent fighting piracy however, is money wasted.
    Whether its on DMCA takedowns, court cases or DRM, it's been clear for a while now that they might as well be flushing money down the toilet.
    Anti-Piracy is a major financial drag on businesses, with no upside.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2013 @ 8:17am

    Re: NOT "a valuable contribution to the field" -- IT'S A SURVEY.

    Your complaint seems to be that the top 20% infringe eleven times as much as the remaining 80%, a fact quite ably mentioned in Glyn's writeup. You also seem to complain that their "ratio of spending" is very low, while ignoring the more important fact that even at such a low ratio they are still spending more money.

    When more spending is worse than less spending, "because piracy", you do naught but tilt at windmills.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2013 @ 8:17am

    Re: NOT "a valuable contribution to the field" -- IT'S A SURVEY.

    No assurance that all studies saying otherwise are honest either. What's your point?

     

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    out_of_the_blue, May 14th, 2013 @ 8:18am

    Re: Re: NOT "a valuable contribution to the field" -- IT'S A SURVEY.

    @ "Gwiz": "Loan a DVD to a friend, listen to the radio, watching a movie with a group of friends, wait for the movie to come out on TV, borrowing books from family, etc, etc."

    ALL THOSE ARE LEGAL. (Yeah, maybe the corporations WISH they weren't, but they are.)

    You are comparing thieves with honest people, and to "prove" your point that thieves are perfectly okay, you say what honest people do, but not a word about the thieves who consume many times more content, nor do you refute my point that they obviously pay a fraction of the honest price.

    "Not sure how true that really is Blue." -- WELL I AM. Do you think a weaseally "not sure" is going to sway anyone weighing the facts, let alone ME?

     

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  24.  
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    PaulT (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 8:20am

    Re: Re: Re:

    ...and we all know how effective that was..

    ...at encouraging piracy among people who tired of buying DVDs with 10 minutes of advertising and propaganda forced on you every time you want to watch the movie you legally purchased...

     

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  25.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 8:24am

    Re: Re: Re: NOT "a valuable contribution to the field" -- IT'S A SURVEY.

    Until fairly recently those things were technically illegal (at least in the UK). People have been doing that for decades.

     

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  26.  
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    average_out_the_bob, May 14th, 2013 @ 8:25am

    rah rah rah wah wah wah, pirate mike

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2013 @ 8:25am

    Re: Re: Re: NOT "a valuable contribution to the field" -- IT'S A SURVEY.

    Yes, viewing content without paying for it is legal in a whole host of situations.
    It just is if it's done "on a computer" it's suddenly theft.


    This is silly, we all know this. The choice is whether you let yourself be bound by stupid laws or try and change them.

     

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  28.  
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    PaulT (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 8:25am

    Re: Results of Wall Street stock traders survey:

    He's not even trying to address the articles any more, is he? Oh well, at least his moronic "signature" now seems to have a stated point, even if it's idiotic.

    He's probably just jealous because Orlowski (I knew the article was by that lying troll before I clicked) turns off comments for all his articles, thus avoiding the factual smackdown that follows even one of ootb's posts here.

     

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  29.  
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    Gwiz (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 8:28am

    Re: Results of Wall Street stock traders survey:

    Point is that people KNOW how surveys work and give self-serving answers.


    Probably true.

    Ya know what is also true? The surveyors usually know that people know how surveys work and give self-serving answers so they adjust the questions accordingly.

    That's why the methodology and survey process itself are just as important as the results on ANY survey. As long as all the background information is available, any intelligent person can decide for themselves how much weight to give any results. It's surveys that attempt to hide the process (legacy gatekeepers - I'm talking about you!) that aren't worth the paper they are printed on.

     

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  30.  
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    horse with no name, May 14th, 2013 @ 8:28am

    re-read the report

    You might want to re-read the report and figure out the relative sizes of the marketplaces. You would discover that your high spending pirates are a very, very small part of the marketplace. Moreover, there is no indication anywhere that giving people unlimited free access to stuff would suddenly make them buy more.

    The real contention is that the high spending pirates would likely have spent much more without piracy.

     

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  31.  
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    RD, May 14th, 2013 @ 8:32am

    Re: Results of Wall Street stock traders survey:

    "Point is that people KNOW how surveys work and give self-serving answers."

    Ah good, so the next time the MAFIAA comes out with one of their "piracy is the destroyer of all things!" screeds, we can do like you and hand-wave it away because it is self- serving.

     

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  32.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 8:33am

    Re: re-read the report

    Who is talking about giving anyone unlimited free access to anything?

     

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  33.  
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    PaulT (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 8:33am

    Re: re-read the report

    "The real contention is that the high spending pirates would likely have spent much more without piracy."

    That's the assumption that the last 15 years of failed bullshit has been based on, and it's still failing. How about we try the "offer people a better deal and they'll buy more" and the default assumption rather than "if we could only get rid of piracy we'll be rich again!".

    "there is no indication anywhere that giving people unlimited free access to stuff "

    Nobody's pushing this as a solution. Stop lying.

     

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  34.  
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    Gwiz (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 8:37am

    Re: Re: Re: NOT "a valuable contribution to the field" -- IT'S A SURVEY.

    You are comparing thieves with honest people,...

    Ummm no Blue. You compared them, not me. I was just pointing out that you are missing data on the comparison.



    Do you think a weaseally "not sure" is going to sway anyone weighing the facts, let alone ME?

    I'm not interested in "swaying" you in the slightest, Blue. Just pointing out to everyone else reading this that your comparison is incomplete. If you want to base your opinion on incomplete data, go right ahead, I don't care. But when you spout it out like it's the gospel truth, I will continue correct you. Ok? Have a nice day.

     

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  35.  
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    jameshogg (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 8:42am

    Re: Re: Re: NOT "a valuable contribution to the field" -- IT'S A SURVEY.

    "Yeah, maybe the corporations WISH they weren't, but they are."

    Why shouldn't they? It is theft to take something from the artist without giving anything in return, isn't it?

     

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  36.  
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    Gwiz (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 8:42am

    Re: Re: Results of Wall Street stock traders survey:

    ...we can do like you and hand-wave it away because it is self- serving

    That's not what I said.

    If the survey is backed with the methodology and survey process information, then no, I wouldn't just wave it away.

     

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  37.  
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    Gwiz (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 8:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Results of Wall Street stock traders survey:

    Oh crap, nevermind. I thought that was a response to me, duh!

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2013 @ 8:50am

    Re: re-read the report

    The real contention is that we could fly if gravity didn't exist!

     

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  39.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 8:52am

    Re: Re: re-read the report

    Technically would we not float?

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2013 @ 8:52am

    Re: NOT "a valuable contribution to the field" -- IT'S A SURVEY.

    Your reading comprehension is almost as bad as your trolling comments.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2013 @ 9:04am

    Re:

    People who want to sell things.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2013 @ 9:08am

    Re: NOT "a valuable contribution to the field" -- IT'S A SURVEY.

    And if the price of content was at all proportional to the cost of providing it you might have a point but it isn't so you don't.

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2013 @ 9:15am

    Re: Results of Wall Street stock traders survey:

    I was wondering how you were going to shoehorn classist rhetoric into this.

     

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  44.  
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    cpt kangarooski, May 14th, 2013 @ 9:17am

    Re: Re: Re: NOT "a valuable contribution to the field" -- IT'S A SURVEY.

    @ "Gwiz": "Loan a DVD to a friend, listen to the radio, watching a movie with a group of friends, wait for the movie to come out on TV, borrowing books from family, etc, etc."

    ALL THOSE ARE LEGAL. (Yeah, maybe the corporations WISH they weren't, but they are.)


    Copyright law can largely be set arbitrarily. Congress could legalize currently illegal piracy right away, if they wanted to. It could be done and in effect in under two weeks.

    You appear to be okay with the idea that copyright holders shouldn't get complete control over their works (eg not able to control or get paid for lending of books) and that the law determines what should and shouldn't fall under copyright,, presumably for some public purpose, rather than the authors' wishes being of paramount importance.

    So why shouldn't the law be reformed to legalize at least some currently illegal acts? We could make it legal for natural persons to engage in otherwise infringing behavior, so long as they did not receive any commercial benefit from it, beyond the benefit of the infringement itself. That is, it would be legal to download a song, and the benefit of having the song wouldn't disqualify it from the new exception, but it wouldn't be legal to charge for it, to require an exchange of pirated works, to have ads on qualifying websites, or to solicit donations, etc.

    This would solve a lot of problems with copyright.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2013 @ 9:20am

    Re: re-read the report

    That doesn't make any sense. They spend the most AND know where to get the free stuff and your theory is if their was no free stuff they would... spent more? Under that logic why do they spend at all as it is?

     

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    Gwiz (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 9:20am

    Re: Re: Re: NOT "a valuable contribution to the field" -- IT'S A SURVEY.

    ALL THOSE ARE LEGAL. (Yeah, maybe the corporations WISH they weren't, but they are.)

    When looking at the economic impact of a situation, don't fall into the trap of discarding anything because it's illegal. Economics doesn't really care if something is legal or illegal, it only matters if it exists or not.

     

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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 9:22am

    Re: Re: NOT "a valuable contribution to the field" -- IT'S A SURVEY.

    while ignoring the more important fact that even at such a low ratio they are still spending more money.
    I'm trying to work out whether it's just wilful blindness/paid agenda or whether the poor dear can't get his head around the difference between physical and digital goods - i.e. that, with the marginal cost of each "digital good" infinitessimal, more money is REAL more money as opposed to IMAGINARY "lost" money.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, May 14th, 2013 @ 9:26am

    Techdirt fanboys cheer self-confessed thieves.

    All claim to spend heaps on content.

    ^Accurate title for this article. It'd also have been comment enough, had I thought of it earlier.

    Once again proving the value of the "out_of_the_blue" screen name, my substance drives the commenting here. That's why Mike keeps me round: otherwise it's just "early" commenting saying that they're commenting early.

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2013 @ 9:27am

    Re: re-read the report

    "without piracy"

    What does that mean? No one is ever going to make piracy disappear.

     

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  50.  
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    Violated (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 9:28am

    Re:

    The MAFIAA shills come out to play with their constant flawed logic.

    Shoplifting causes actual financial loss due to physical goods theft. Also shoplifters simply won't be their biggest customers and no report would say such.

    Infringers only copy so nothing is lost beyond a potential sale but look-see here a detailed report that proves that this free viewing causes a 200% sales boost. The potential sale becomes an actual sale but one more informed and selective about what they like.

    Your move MAFIAA. Are you still going to attack file sharing proving to all you care only about control while risking a 200% sales drop from this group worth millions? Or are you going to work with us to give the public what they really want... a free trading consumer market. Would not your sales then increase?

     

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  51.  
    icon
    Gwiz (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 9:41am

    Re: Techdirt fanboys cheer self-confessed thieves.

    Techdirt fanboys cheer self-confessed thieves.

    Not me. I just happen to think that providing the services that people want is a better way to fighht piracy than increased enforcement that usually tends to collide with my inalienable rights.


    All claim to spend heaps on content.

    For me it's not a claim, it's a fact. DirectTV, Premimum channels, Netflix, Amazon books, Good Old Games and much more.


    Once again proving the value of the "out_of_the_blue" screen name, my substance drives the commenting here. That's why Mike keeps me round: otherwise it's just "early" commenting saying that they're commenting early.

    Yes, yes, Blue. Everyone who comes to Techdirt is here ONLY to see YOUR comments, of course.

    Now that I have stroked your fragile ego a bit, will you please go away now?

     

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  52.  
    icon
    Violated (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 9:52am

    Re: re-read the report

    You are making the false assumption that all big media spenders are pirates which is totally false.

    People who do not infringe have their high and low spenders also where the general average works out at 54 over six months.

    Again casual infringers have high and low spenders with the average of 105 over six months a 94.4% sales boost.

    Then heavy infringers have both high spenders and total freeloaders as the report makes clear where there average is 168 over six months a 211% sales boost.

    Trying to make out that all media lovers become pirates is stupid when it is just that pirates with a far larger media exposure get far more engaged instead of going out and playing sports or socializing or such.

     

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  53.  
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    Greevar (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 9:52am

    Re:

    Equivocation fallacy. Shoplifting and infringement are not the same.

    The data bears out the facts. People who infringe spend more than people who don't and this isn't the first study that found this trend. The logical conclusion is that people that infringe more have a wider exposure to content and are more likely to find things they want to spend money on. Simply put, content is advertising. If content is advertising, I'd wager that the content industry would want to put as much content into the hands of their customers as they possibly can.

     

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  54.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 9:53am

    Re: Techdirt fanboys cheer self-confessed thieves.

    If you're screen name's so valuable, why do you constantly refuse to take any steps to protect it? Why do you make so many comments for nothing, thereby only benefitting Mike's traffic and ad income? Why are you so obsessed with coming here if you hate the site so much? Why are you so incapable of addressing any point without lying your ass off?

    These and many other questions I'm sure will be ignored....

     

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  55.  
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    Greevar (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 9:56am

    Re:

    Exactly! Give me a service where I can stream every newly released movie, every TV show at airing, and I will pay for it. We want universal, unlimited access to all content that is on-demand and in high quality. That's something I'd pay for.

     

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  56.  
    icon
    Zakida Paul (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 10:04am

    Re: Techdirt fanboys cheer self-confessed thieves.

    "All claim to spend heaps on content."

    I don't claim to, I do.
    Spotify premium subscription
    Netflix subscription
    Spend around 100 a month on music
    Buy DVDs when there is something worth buying

     

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  57.  
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    Keroberos (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 10:08am

    Re:

    Solid evidence that customers are screaming out for services they can pay for...fixed that.

    Once the studios or any of their shills start using terms like 'pirate', 'piracy', 'theft', or 'stealing', it usually means they are not going to listen to what anyone says. It's the modern day version of someone yelling out 'heresy' during the conversation--a clear indication that any meaningful discussion of the issue can no longer take place.

     

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  58.  
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    Greevar (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 10:09am

    Re: NOT "a valuable contribution to the field" -- IT'S A SURVEY.

    "The biggest pirates are STILL just freeloading at a fraction of the sum honest people would pay for as much content."

    And you think that matters in absolute terms? Does it cost the industry anything for them to have that content for free? Would those people actually be able to afford all the content they consume? No, it doesn't and they can't. But in absolute terms, they spend more money than your so-called "honest" people. The cost of letting people have that content is $0 because people that use p2p invest their own bandwidth and energy. It's free distribution for the publisher, even if it goes against their wishes, which are not sacrosanct by the way. So by comparison, $300 profit from an infringer is still $300 profit compared to $100 profit a non-infringer, which is still only $100 profit. With the cost per sale being the same, the infringer is sill generating more profit for the industry than the "honest" people.

    So get off your high horse and leave your delusional concepts of morality and property rights behind.

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2013 @ 10:12am

    Re:

    That is actually not their entire defence. They are of the opinion that the large downloaders would buy even more if it weren't for the possibility to pirate. They are a "special" group of high volume consumers, not to be compared with the rest of the surveied groupings. To me it might have some echo if it weren't for the fact that the group is so large!

     

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  60.  
    icon
    Keroberos (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 10:25am

    Re: Re: Re: re-read the report

    No, we'd have to hold onto something securely attached to the planet for dear life, or go flying out into space from the inertia of planetary motion and rotation. But most likely horribly die in the vacuum caused by the lack of an atmosphere.

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2013 @ 10:26am

    Re: re-read the report

    What?

    High spending pirates are a small part of the total marketplace, with you so far. There is a survey indicating that the legal services are insufficient. Your third sentence is completely without merit. Who is advocating "unlimited free access"? And if you say that high spending pirates are a minority, then isn't there even more reason to listen to their reasoning (Which is clearly, lower prices and better legal services...)?

    The real contention has nothing to do with the completely unsubstantiated claim that the high spending pirates would spend more. The real contention is how do you get the lower spending pirates to convert to legal services (at least in this world)?

     

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  62.  
    icon
    Keroberos (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 10:28am

    Re: Re: re-read the report

    That's your problem, assuming that he (or his masters) use 'logic' in any of their statements or beliefs. Something I've seen zero evidence of.

     

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  63.  
    icon
    Keroberos (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 10:32am

    Re: Re: Techdirt fanboys cheer self-confessed thieves.

    Yes, yes, Blue. Everyone who comes to Techdirt is here ONLY to see YOUR comments, of course.
    Well, they are good for a laugh...or at least a chuckle...at the sheer stupidity people are capable of.

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    RD, May 14th, 2013 @ 10:54am

    Re: Re:

    "Exactly! Give me a service where I can stream every newly released movie, every TV show at airing, and I will pay for it. We want universal, unlimited access to all content that is on-demand and in high quality. That's something I'd pay for."

    This. OOTB and his Big Media Masters need to do exactly this or SHUT THE FUCK UP about "piracy" "theft" and "losses."

     

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  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2013 @ 10:57am

    Re: your stupid rhetorical question

    Who cares?

    Obviously, you do. Otherwise, why even mention it?

     

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  66.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 11:04am

    Re:

    > Who cares?

    And that, right there, is the problem with dinosaur business models. When faced with innovation, their answer can be summed up in two words.

    I'm sure that's what the horse and buggy industry said about automobiles. What the Newspaper industry said about the web. What the post office said about email. But it goes further back in history that these few of many examples . . .


    "Hey, be careful! Did you notice those tarpits over there?"

    "Who cares?"

     

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  67. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2013 @ 11:10am

    Re: Re: NOT "a valuable contribution to the field" -- IT'S A SURVEY.

    Blah blah fucking blah

    Translation: Looks like you're right. My apologies for being such a douchenozzle.

     

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  68.  
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    Ben (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 12:13pm

    Re: Re: re-read the report

    "there is no indication anywhere that giving people unlimited free access to stuff "

    Nobody's pushing this as a solution. Stop lying.

    The funny thing is, we already have access to unlimited free stuff! It is out there right now on torrent sites, p2p applications and even the passing of physical drives from friend to friend. And yet people still are buying a ton and your highest spending customers are the ones most accessing this unlimited free stuff! Therefore the solution should automatically be on how to use the free stuff to make MORE money! How can you maximize this unlimited resource to your advantage.

     

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  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2013 @ 12:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: NOT "a valuable contribution to the field" -- IT'S A SURVEY.

    "... thieves ... honest people, ... honest people ... the thieves"

    Who are you talking about? What does theft have to do with anything.

    And what about that "honest price".

    I can buy Michael Jackson's compact disk Thriller for $6.99. That is almost 4 years after the death of Michael Jackson and 31 years after it was released. I am talking about the "best selling album of all time". What does it cost to procedure one CD? $0.20?

    If that is what you call an "honest price", and make everyone who is deprived of legal content out to be thieves, then you are a disingeneous lying bastard.

    But you won't read this anyway. You only post your messages to derail valuable discussions and to excuse your masters for their immoral behavior to bend the law for their gain while hurting society in the process.

    Copyright should be reduced to 5 years with an obligation to provide mandatory reasonable pricing, and no right to enforce copyright until such time this reasonable pricing is available for the customer in the respective country.

    And you, you should lose your job, and should start helping society...

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    JEDIDIAH, May 14th, 2013 @ 1:12pm

    The Great Catch-22

    People who consume a lot also buy a lot.

    If you discourage people from consuming. You will also discourage them from buying. If you get them accustomed to "doing without" when they are in a poor position to pay, then they may never bother at all.

    The American consumer culture is built on "enough is never enough". If you attack that, then you're far more subversive and dangerous than mere a pirate.

     

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  71.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2013 @ 1:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: re-read the report

    We all float down here

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2013 @ 1:38pm

    Re: Re: Techdirt fanboys cheer self-confessed thieves.

    To be fair, most of the time he doesn't appear until after people call his name 5 times.

     

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

  73.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 1:46pm

    Re: Re: Techdirt fanboys cheer self-confessed thieves.

    That's what makes me giggle. I spend at least that, maybe less on music and more on DVDs (but I probably make up the difference in film festivals and gigs anyway). On top of that, I spend extra to access VPNs and other services to access content that these people try to stop me from accessing normally. Their response to that recently? I'm still a pirate because I pay MORE MONEY to bypass the idiotic restrictions! No wonder these people are failing.

     

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  74.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 1:51pm

    Re: The Great Catch-22

    If you discourage people from consuming. You will also discourage them from buying. If you get them accustomed to "doing without" when they are in a poor position to pay, then they may never bother at all.

    Exactly right.

     

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  75.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 1:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: re-read the report

    +1 for any Stephen King reference...

     

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  76.  
    identicon
    horse with no name, May 14th, 2013 @ 2:53pm

    Re: Re: re-read the report

    "High spending pirates are a small part of the total marketplace, with you so far. There is a survey indicating that the legal services are insufficient. Your third sentence is completely without merit. Who is advocating "unlimited free access"? And if you say that high spending pirates are a minority, then isn't there even more reason to listen to their reasoning (Which is clearly, lower prices and better legal services...)?"

    You almost got it. What you have to understand is the the current non-infringers are a market 8 to 10 times larger than the total "pirates who buy" market, which means that there is little reason to change. The real risks here aren't that the existing pirates will pirate more or less, rather that the true paying customers will learn not to pay.

    Remember too that all of the non-infringers are lumped together in one area. There is no attempt made to filter out "non-buyers in any manner" in each group. I have seen reports on this site and others suggesting that nearly 50% of the population does not directly purchase content in a year - and this survey only looked at 3 - 6 months back. When you really start to look at it, you can see where the non-infringers who do buy likely spend at least as much as the middle group, and the huge gap to the rare big spenders shrinks.

    Done in real sales dollars, the report would draw the entirely opposite conclusion, that non-infringers buy nearly 10 times as much as infringers, so keeping them from infringing is good for the bottom line.

    Cutting costs for lower dollar services doesn't seem to be much of a starter in many ways, as they would appear to be lowering the costs to the majority of the people who pay, in order to play to the minority who don't.

     

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  77.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 4:49pm

    Re: Re: re-read the report

    "if we could only get rid of piracy we'll be rich again!".

    Slight correction... The ones complaining are the ones that are at the top of the ladder. They're already rich.

     

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  78.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2013 @ 5:24pm

    Re: Techdirt fanboys cheer self-confessed thieves.

    "Substance"?

    Like your "charity comment"? That's what passes for "substance"? No wonder no one wants to purchase your content; even your free offerings suck.

     

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  79.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2013 @ 6:23pm

    Re: Re: re-read the report

    I don't see the problem with unlimited free access, open source did it why can't they?

    Are the "creative" people dumber than the "tech" people?

     

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  80.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 7:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: re-read the report

    Remember too that all of the non-infringers are lumped together in one area. There is no attempt made to filter out "non-buyers in any manner" in each group. I have seen reports on this site and others suggesting that nearly 50% of the population does not directly purchase content in a year - and this survey only looked at 3 - 6 months back. When you really start to look at it, you can see where the non-infringers who do buy likely spend at least as much as the middle group, and the huge gap to the rare big spenders shrinks.

    So let's be clear... There's an entire market outside of the DVD, legal usage group that aren't being sampled?

    So you're saying that teenagers with disposable income, friends given DVDs for sampling or other people that may not spend directly on income need to be marketed to and this will show that you need to punish them instead of giving them better alternatives?

     

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  81.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2013 @ 9:48pm

    Re:

    Oh please.

    At this point all the pirates know how they're supposed to respond to these unscientific surveys:

    "Always tell them you spend lots of money on content every month, it helps our PR claims!"

     

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  82.  
    identicon
    horse with no name, May 14th, 2013 @ 11:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: re-read the report

    So you're saying that teenagers with disposable income, friends given DVDs for sampling or other people that may not spend directly on income need to be marketed to and this will show that you need to punish them instead of giving them better alternatives?

    Not sure where you get that. All I am saying is that the report points out that certain pirates are the biggest spenders, and my reply is that they are only a small part of the market. Adjust radically downward the price in your main market (or giving free access with the hope of them buying anyway) to cater to a smaller group seems a little backwards.

    Take the report and work it out. The 50 pounds average group is so many times larger than the "big spending pirates" group that their market dwarfs them by a factor of 10. Are you suggesting that they give up the 90% of the profitable market to concentrate on meeting the needs of the few?

    Allowing piracy to expand to the point where everyone (including your parents) would be using it as their sole source wouldn't increase business. It's pretty simple.

     

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  83.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 15th, 2013 @ 1:28am

    Re: Re:

    And all the terrorism apologists know how to respond to these factual surveys:

    "Let's accuse them of lying about their spending even if we can't prove it, we might even be able to claim the moral high ground for once!"

     

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

  84.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 15th, 2013 @ 1:30am

    Re: Techdirt fanboys cheer self-confessed thieves.

    "Accurate title for this article."

    No, that would be "Downloaders are top spenders, according to UK Gov't survey".

    Or if you prefer: "Techdirt cheers factual survey, terrorists respond with "Thieves" lie as usual".

     

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  85.  
    icon
    JMT (profile), May 15th, 2013 @ 3:12am

    Re: Re:

    You mean like how copyright holders regularly claim massive losses due to piracy without any factual evidence of harm?

     

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

  86.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), May 15th, 2013 @ 5:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: re-read the report

    Not sure where you get that. All I am saying is that the report points out that certain pirates are the biggest spenders, and my reply is that they are only a small part of the market.

    But that's the problem. The markets have grown larger and the people spending the most aren't the ones being catered to. The markets also include the people with disposable income such as teenagers who share and find content regardless of legality. I haven't yet read the report but I would guess that is the main market which makes sense for a number of reasons. Firstly, without the larger responsibilities of adulthood, their money goes to finance more projects and use content. That really hasn't changed since... Well, quite some time.

    llowing piracy to expand to the point where everyone (including your parents) would be using it as their sole source wouldn't increase business.

    But in report after report, that's what happens. When Steam lowered prices and followed a global release of a few days instead of weeks, piracy disappeared for them and Germany as well as Russia became great customers.

    Lowering prices and increasing availability has worked far more than catering to the current average.

    Besides that, who relies on a sole source for content? That makes no sense.

     

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  87.  
    icon
    Greevar (profile), May 15th, 2013 @ 5:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: re-read the report

    Actually, the Earth would go rogue and leave orbit. The atmosphere and oceans would dissipate without gravity. Holding on to something will only delay the exposure to vacuum, not prevent it. To survive, we would need underground habitats sealed off from the vacuum.

     

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

  88.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), May 15th, 2013 @ 11:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: re-read the report

    certain pirates are the biggest spenders, and my reply is that they are only a small part of the market.

    They may be a small part of the people in the market, but they are the majority of the people who spend money in the market.

    An analogy: the people who drive cars are a small part of humans in general, but they are a large part of the market for people who buy gasoline.

     

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

  89.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), May 15th, 2013 @ 11:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: re-read the report

    An analogy: the people who drive cars are a small part of humans in general, but they are a large part of the market for people who buy gasoline.

    Actually, I saw that it was a bad analogy as soon as I made it.

    The people who drive cars are a small part of those humans who need to quickly get from Point A to Point B.

    They are a large part of the market for those who buy gasoline. But the people who drive cars are a small portion of the people who 1. Drive cars, 2. Ride the subway, 3. Bike, 4. Walk.

    What you're saying - exactly - is: if you don't like the price of gas, don't drive. But that only means that more people will bike, take the subway, or walk.

    And all of those people will result in exactly the same losses to the driving industry, as if they'd simply acquired gasoline for free. Moreover, they will get used to doing without gasoline.

    If you're living in a world where nobody drives anymore, what would you do?

     

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


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