Once Again, If Copyright Enforcement Doesn't Improve The Bottom Line, What's The Point?

from the serious-question dept

We've been asking for years which is more important for content creators: stopping piracy or increasing revenue? It's a question they hate to respond to, because every time I ask it, the responses often involve ad hominem attacks and anger. I've even seen a very small number of content creators claim that stopping piracy is more important, though I can't understand how that makes any sense at all. Think of it this way: if you could know, with certainty, that you as an artist could make more money and have a bigger fan base, but the "trade off" is also knowing that a larger group of people would effectively "free ride" and not pay for your content, why is that a problem? After all, in that scenario, everyone is better off. The artist is better off because they're making more money and have a larger fanbase. The fans are better off because more of them get to know of an artist they like. So where is the problem?

Yet, nearly all copyright policy seems to be focused on increasing enforcement to try to stop piracy, with almost no concern as to whether or not it actually helps the bottom line. Time and time again we see draconian enforcement rules put in place with no evidence that it actually helps sales. At all. The latest example comes from Japan. As you may recall, last year, Japan passed some insanely draconian anti-piracy laws that made unauthorized downloading a criminal offense. The law has been in effect for almost a year and the results are staggering.

While the observed reporting of file sharing has certainly dropped, so have sales -- and by a very, very wide margin. And this even includes digital sales, which are growing rapidly almost everywhere else.
From October 1 2012, those downloading copyrighted material without permission faced a potential two year jail sentence. But while users of Japan’s favorite P2P networks plummeted, sales have not been positively affected. Total music sales this year so far are down 7% on the same period last year, but digital sales are even worse – down 24% since the law was introduced.
From the numbers, it looks like there was a brief boost in sales right after the law went into place, and then they pretty much dropped off a cliff. This is similar to the effect we've seen elsewhere as well. There's a brief adjustment period where people may buy a little more briefly, but it fades very, very quickly.

Once again, this shows how ratcheting up enforcement (even to insane levels like criminalizing file sharing) doesn't actually help. Instead, listening to what consumers want, providing better, more open, more consumer friendly solutions does actually get consumers to spend more.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Rikuo (profile), Oct 7th, 2013 @ 3:31am

    Should I take bets as to how long until a certain someone comes along and accuses us of being piracy apologists, of being criminals, of not wanting to pay the creators etc?

     

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

  2.  
    icon
    silverscarcat (profile), Oct 7th, 2013 @ 7:14am

    Re:

    Please, that's a sucker bet.

     

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

  3.  
    icon
    Mega1987 (profile), Oct 7th, 2013 @ 7:17am

    Re: Re:

    Agreed.

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    Michael, Oct 7th, 2013 @ 8:53am

    Total music sales this year so far are down 7% on the same period last year, but digital sales are even worse – down 24% since the law was introduced

    Should have been a 4 year sentence - that would have helped sales more.

     

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

  5.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Oct 7th, 2013 @ 8:53am

    It lets cartels maintain the illusion of control and having done something to earn their cut.

    Content has a long list of people who need a cut of the pie, the least of which is the artist.

    If they were forced to have a global market, many of the cuts of the pie would be much smaller. It might give creators more money, and might even encourage them to do it all themselves.

    The copyright fight is about keeping a business model afloat at the expense of the public and creators. It is about allowing legacy players to stay relevant and keep control of a market they refuse to allow to move forward.

    Think about how much money the special interest groups dump into buying the laws they want, then consider how better off artists would be without that tax on their creations being extracted.

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    Michael, Oct 7th, 2013 @ 9:00am

    I've even seen a very small number of content creators claim that stopping piracy is more important

    Someone that thinks like this really deserves to fail.

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 7th, 2013 @ 9:00am

    Vested Interests

    The answer is obvious. Lots of people are making lots of money in support of the anti-piracy industry. Exactly the same as anti-drug or for that matter, anti-anything. Someone is ALWAYS willing to pay someone else to fight their battles for them. And the fighters are doing a great job of conning the payers into paying. Never mind that most of it is nowhere near the truth (you listening anti-terrorist industry?). Truth might interfere with profits.
    .

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    Phillip Sipe, Oct 7th, 2013 @ 9:04am

    "The artist is better off because they're making more money and have a larger fanbase. The fans are better off because more of them get to know of an artist they like. So where is the problem?"

    Sadly, the problem is human psychology:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loss_aversion

     

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

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 7th, 2013 @ 9:08am

    Absolutely brilliant. Thank you.
    .

     

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

  10.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Oct 7th, 2013 @ 9:11am

    Re:

    And it is not helped by the imaginary dollars that are constantly trotted out.

     

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

  11.  
    icon
    jameshogg (profile), Oct 7th, 2013 @ 9:11am

    In relation to the article before this one, I would actually say that the attempts to stop piracy are actually more delusional than the attempts to stop drug use through criminalisation. And even more delusional than the fucking war on prostitution, for goodness sake. And pardon the pun.

    For one thing, some files with a pattern of 1s and 0s WILL be legal while other files with that same pattern of 1s and 0s will not. And unlike weed, which is called weed for the precise reason that it grows everywhere and is hard to get rid of, pirated files practically grow on trees.

    Never mind the fact that some artists authorise file-sharing while others do not. Never mind that all Japanese visitors of deviantArt, fanfiction.net, tumblr, etc have technically violated piracy laws. Never mind that the Japanese state now has warrant to watch over not just torrents, but emails, file lockers, USBs sticks on the street, public WiFis, etc in their pathetic self-righteous, self-pitying Luddite utopia.

    It is by no means an exaggeration to say that the futile war on drugs is still a thousand times more successful than the war on piracy, yet as the internet becomes much more faster, much more proliferated with more global users and much more anonymous in the near future, only copyright seems to think flogging it with a dead horse will do the world any good.

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    kitsune361, Oct 7th, 2013 @ 9:11am

    I'll play some devils advocate today: Correlation does not necessarily equal causation.

    I don't think I've seen very much data tying these two data points together. Album sales have been falling for years, regardless of draconian laws.

     

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

  13. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Oct 7th, 2013 @ 9:12am

    WAIT A SEC. You've YET to show the opposite!

    THE POINT IS STOPPING CRIME. That's good in and of itself.

    The study is of course equivocal. May be many other reasons for the decline, like, oh, wild increase in fiat money further depressing economy, nuclear power plants melting down, with displacement of people...

    "According to the RIAJ, since the introduction of the new legislation rentals have increased by 50%." -- Rentals are a legal method. (RIAJ make not care for that, but it is legal.)

    If they've driven people into LEGAL channels, then it's a success!


    This piece from The Register today supports my title IF you'll read it all:

    IP rights are for the PRIVILEGED FEW – media studies bods
    If the data doesn't fit your hypothesis, muddy the waters

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/10/07/give_away_your_music_and_play_live_media_studies_p rof/

    Here's the key phrase referring to a graph:
    "You can spot the problem. The decline in revenue that record labels warned of is as clear as day: it's halved."


    Rhetorical re-phrase:

    If Rampant Piracy Doesn't Improve The Bottom Line (For The Producers), What's The Point?

     

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

  14.  
    icon
    jameshogg (profile), Oct 7th, 2013 @ 9:13am

    Re:

    I should also add that even stable-boys back in the day had enough dignity not to flog the invention of the automobile with their dead horses, and suck it up.

     

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

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 7th, 2013 @ 9:15am

    it has never been about the money and it has never been about actually stopping 'piracy' the aim is to get back the control these industries had during the analogue years, which the digital age has taken from them. if they could actually get that control, they probably would be less concerned with piracy, but atm it is seen as a bloody good excuse. they think that by using piracy as a reason for the drop in sales, that they must get politicians to believe so as to get new laws in place, even though the drop in sales is with physical media, but not with digital or concerts etc, they can then get more restrictive laws enforced. this will reduce piracy, so they say, but will get people removed from the 'net and possibly imprisoned. those that are left will be so scared of jail, they will go back to buying from the high street. unfortunately, that isn't how it works! what really happens is people get totally pissed off and dont buy anything, from anywhere. the sad things are that governments keep believing the shit put out by the industries, but ignore the independent studies. this has a second benefit for governments because they can then piggy back, if needed, off the entertainment industries laws to carry out surveillance on the masses. it's a win-win-lose situation with the people being the only losers, having more privacy and freedom removed

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
    Alt0, Oct 7th, 2013 @ 9:15am

    "Think of the CHILDREN" of the Copyright Trolls for God's sake!

     

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

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 7th, 2013 @ 9:22am

    You don't understand, it's a matter of principle.

    It's a lot like blowing up a planet.

    Blowing up planets - admittedly - has a poor return on investment, with all that lost population and infrastructure. That and the other members of the United Galactic Nations get all angry for some reason.

    But - hell - that's what evil overlords do. People expect us to be...well...evil. So, once in a while, you have to bring out your Anti-Planetary DeathKill Destroyer and fire a couple of rounds on a nearby planet, for no reason at all.

    But it is society's fault, really, for putting this tremendous pressure to do evil things on us Evil Overlords.

     

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

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 7th, 2013 @ 9:27am

    Re: WAIT A SEC. You've YET to show the opposite!

    Actually thats a false equivocation.

    Stopping crime for the sake of stopping crime is not good in and of itself, the ends do not justify the means.

    The point is to minimize crime while maintaining maximum public benefit. This is why we have things like human rights, constitution in the US, etc.

    They do not help stop crime, if anything, they AID crime, but they are basic rights that free people need.

    Also your article doesn't prove anything. It's a guy giving his own opinion on the study.

    Also the decline in revenue ONLY applies to "recorded music", all others are up.

    Therefore my answer is a big fat "so what?" It's not my job to care if all artists who only record CD's make money, nor should I care. There is no morality in spending money to support others, since I know that if you reply, you will bring up morality like a crutch for consumer spending.

     

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

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 7th, 2013 @ 9:28am

    Re:

    But there is no need for causation in this case. If The point of the criminalization of piracy is to increase sales and then sales don't increase, it follows that the criminalization of privacy was pointless.

     

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

  20.  
    icon
    Chris Rhodes (profile), Oct 7th, 2013 @ 9:29am

    Re: WAIT A SEC. You've YET to show the opposite!

    THE POINT IS STOPPING CRIME. That's good in and of itself.

    Laws are ends in themselves?

     

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

  21.  
    identicon
    Lochar, Oct 7th, 2013 @ 9:30am

    "Gentlemen, what is the penalty for treason?"

    "Death"

    "And the penalty for copyright violation?"

    "Death"

    "Gentlemen, we've been accused of copyright violation."

     

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

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 7th, 2013 @ 9:34am

    "I've even seen a very small number of content creators claim that stopping piracy is more important, though I can't understand how that makes any sense at all."

    If your priority is money you will never understand.

    But, some people priority is not money.

    An even fewer set feel damn the money integrity is all I have.

    This latter set does not believe that you should be able to use their work, period, even if you pay to do so.

     

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

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 7th, 2013 @ 9:37am

    Re:

    It's integrity if you refuse to let anyone use your work at all, even if it's paid for?

    That's not integrity.

     

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

  24.  
    identicon
    RD, Oct 7th, 2013 @ 9:39am

    Re: WAIT A SEC. You've YET to show the opposite!

    "THE POINT IS STOPPING CRIME. That's good in and of itself."

    Thats a wonderful appeal-to-authority justification you've got there for all sorts of "its the LAW!" actions that can be abused or are illegitimate law.

    "Back of the bus/don't drink from that fountain, nigger!"

    "Pick that cotton, nigger!"

    "Surrender, escaped slave!"

    "You aren't allowed to own that business, Jew"

    At one time, these were all "crimes" but were rather patently wrong. The law isnt always right just because its the law. If it was, why is there such a big dust-up over things like Obamacare, or the Citizens United USCC ruling?

    Many of the corporate things you rail against in here are ALSO LEGAL, and not a crime, yet you spit vitriol about their supposed malfeasance. Why do you bother? When you have the answer to that, maybe you'll finally understand what this site is about.

     

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

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 7th, 2013 @ 9:53am

    Re: Re: WAIT A SEC. You've YET to show the opposite!

    I always thought that "law" was a lubricant.

    It is there to define boundaries and actions and make sure the social cogs don't stop turning because of chaos.

    But recently I find it a bit crusted with all sorts of grains and is wearing the machinery down.

     

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

  26.  
    identicon
    S. T. Stone, Oct 7th, 2013 @ 9:56am

    Re: WAIT A SEC. You've YET to show the opposite!

    THE POINT IS STOPPING CRIME.

    No, I’d think the point would lie more along the lines of ‘reduce illegal activity and grow legal activity’, as that actually presents a net positive.

    Look at the War on Drugs. The United States sunk tons of money into the fight against illegal drugs and so very little into help for drug abusers and the victims of the illegal drug trade. We have thousands of people in prison for minor drug offenses because the US government decided prison would work better than rehab. The illegal drug trade continues even when the US knocks out a few cartels or high-level dealers because it keeps the prohibition on drugs up and running. The focus remains on ‘stopping crime’ full stop, not ‘reducing bad and growing good’ (so to speak).

    ‘Stopping crime’ is a means to an end, not the end itself.

    May be many other reasons for the decline, like, oh, wild increase in fiat money further depressing economy, nuclear power plants melting down, with displacement of people...

    And no one denies that the decline could have other factors behind it.

    But the government specifically set up the law to curtail illegal filesharing based on the idea that doing so would both reduce piracy and bring people back to buying music through legal channels. The law accomplished the first half of that goal, but has yet to provide the second half.

    It looks to me as if the government put the law into action with the intent to stop filesharing rather than with the intent to do anything to increase legal purchases of music.

    "According to the RIAJ, since the introduction of the new legislation rentals have increased by 50%." -- Rentals are a legal method. (RIAJ make not care for that, but it is legal.) If they've driven people into LEGAL channels, then it's a success!

    While the amount of rentals has increased, the revenue from those rentals doesn’t add up to all that much in the long run, and the Torrentfreak article suggests that a good portion of those rentals don’t get returned (which doesn’t help the record companies’ bottom lines).

    Yes, it counts as a success insofar as people have moved to a legal method of listening to music — but it has also failed to produce an increase in overall revenue.

    And if the record companies refuse to adapt to the changing marketplace regardless of the filesharing law, they’ll suffer the same fate as the major record labels who folded into the current Big Three in the US.

    IP rights are for the PRIVILEGED FEW

    So…only the major media conglomerates should hold every copyright known to man, and the creators who worked their asses off to make the works covered under those copyrights should have no rights whatsoever?

    If Rampant Piracy Doesn't Improve The Bottom Line (For The Producers), What's The Point?

    Exposure. Free advertising. The satisfaction of knowing your work could (and possibly has) reached more eyes, ears, and minds than you might ever know.

    You seem to think that all creators do what they do for money. You labor under the delusion that all artists try to monetize every last work they create.

    Your little fairy tale doesn’t hold up to reality, though. Lots of artists don’t create for the sake of money. Tons of artists create for the sake of creation, for whatever reason such an act fulfills.

    And non-commercial piracy (the most common kind) doesn’t affect their bottom lines in the least.

     

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

  27.  
    identicon
    PRMan, Oct 7th, 2013 @ 9:58am

    Re:

    From the data, it would appear that the technophobes in Japan have returned to CDs instead of downloads because they don't want to accidentally download the wrong thing.

    And everyone else is discovering less music.

     

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

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 7th, 2013 @ 9:58am

    Re:

    When I pay for things I expect other things.

    Surely I don't expect to keep paying some lazy ass no good stone head a percentage of my earnings for the rest of my life, for any use of material that I paid for once.

    It ain't happening.

     

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

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 7th, 2013 @ 10:00am

    Re: Re:

    Wut?!

     

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

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 7th, 2013 @ 10:07am

    Reminds me a lot of the policy to cut off the nose to spite the face.

    It's something that, in my limited experience on this planet of ~30 years, has become increasingly popular. Maybe I didn't notice it as a kid, I'm not sure...

    Just business moves, political moves, etc that remind me of people playing chess (that aren't that very good at it at all that become incredibly frustrated with something they don't understand) start screaming
    "HA! I just took your damn queen! HAHAHA"
    "Errr... ok, but now I can checkmate you and I win. this helped you in now way."
    "I DON'T CARE I KILLED YOUR QUEEN THAT'S ALL THAT MATTERS"

     

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

  31.  
    icon
    RyanNerd (profile), Oct 7th, 2013 @ 10:12am

    You are looking at this from an American point of view

    In America (or at least in the minds of most Americans) there is a division between civil and criminal offences. Not so in many countries. For example exceeding the speed limit in Mexico could land you in jail (unless of course you bribe the cop that pulled you over).
    The line has been blurred in America as well. I discussed this with an officer of the law not too long ago. He said there are very few laws on the books that are not crimes. Having your headlights out, or a crack in your winshield is an infraction but pretty much everything else is criminal.
    I told him that was insane. He told me to take it up with the judge.
    To see file sharing being made into a crime in Japan is not really that suprising. In America in the minds of law enforcement pretty much everything already is.

     

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

  32.  
    icon
    saulgoode (profile), Oct 7th, 2013 @ 10:12am

    "According to the RIAJ, since the introduction of the new legislation rentals have increased by 50%." -- Rentals are a legal method. (RIAJ make not care for that, but it is legal.)
    Yet in the U.S. such rental of music is illegal. Are these Japanese "renters" merely grifters stealing from musicians? Or is U.S. copyright law in need of reform so that renting music should be "a legal method"?

    Is one approach more moral than the other? Or are the copyright laws of these two countries enforcing arbitrary decisions as to who is deemed a criminal and who is an upstanding, law-abiding contributor to society?

     

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

  33.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Oct 7th, 2013 @ 10:13am

    Re: Re: WAIT A SEC. You've YET to show the opposite!

    Most of the artist I know create because they enjoy creating.

    The more ambitious ones create because they want to share their ideas with the world and gain respect.

    The few that just want to make money go make commercials.

     

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

  34.  
    icon
    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Oct 7th, 2013 @ 10:20am

    Re: Re: Re:

    It's simple. If sales are declining, and you pass a new law making it even more illegal to infringe copyright. If then sales continue to decline, your new law did absolutely nothing for you.

     

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

  35.  
    icon
    RyanNerd (profile), Oct 7th, 2013 @ 10:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Not so simple. It just means that the law needs to be made even more draconian and the enforcers of the law must be much more vigilant in hunting down and destroying the lives of those who file share.

     

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

  36.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), Oct 7th, 2013 @ 10:33am

    Re:

    Especially since there is evidence that piracy increases sales.

    So the question really becomes, which is more important:
    1. stopping piracy -- and reducing sales
    --or--
    2. increasing revenue?


    Uhhh.... dooooh..... ummmmmm..... I'll take Stopping Piracy for $75 Trillion dollars please, Alex.

     

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

  37.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), Oct 7th, 2013 @ 10:34am

    Re: Re:

    Bitcoins have more actual value than Hollywood's imaginary dollars lost due to piracy.

     

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

  38.  
    icon
    silverscarcat (profile), Oct 7th, 2013 @ 10:37am

    Re:

    Wait, you can rent music in Japan?

    ...

    I thought the RIAA killed that in the 70s?

     

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

  39.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), Oct 7th, 2013 @ 10:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    > must be much more vigilant in hunting down and destroying
    > the lives of those who file share.

    You mean those accused of file sharing.

    Nevermind whether what they were sharing was actually legal, authorized, etc. If you use bit torrent you are a CRIMINAL.

     

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

  40.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), Oct 7th, 2013 @ 10:39am

    Re:

    What is the penalty of being accused of copyright infringement?

     

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

  41.  
    icon
    Zakida Paul (profile), Oct 7th, 2013 @ 10:39am

    "Once Again, If Copyright Enforcement Doesn't Improve The Bottom Line, What's The Point?"

    Protecting monopolies on culture is the point.

     

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

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 7th, 2013 @ 10:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I can just see it now, the new ObamaRight bill where you are forced to buy copyrighted material! That will fix all the problems with infringement and sales!

     

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

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 7th, 2013 @ 11:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Quote:
    If The point of the criminalization of piracy is to increase sales and then sales don't increase, it follows that the criminalization of privacy was pointless.


    Read it carefully and have a laugh please.

     

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

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 7th, 2013 @ 11:04am

    Re:

    It is illogical. It is a feeling of being exploited. Business is not always the first thing on the minds of artists or publishers. Sometimes the feeling of being part of something greater, makes irrational behaviour in the short term seem reasonable. "If we go with a x million dollar deficit on this one to fight piracy, it will be worth it for our children". In the oldschool heritage and denying proof to the contrary kind of way (a sport in certain industries and some parts of the web)...

    The real problem is that some politicians can be guilted into thinking that you can legislatively mend their feelings.

     

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

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 7th, 2013 @ 11:07am

    It's not about the bottom line. It's about control. They fear competition and feel inadequate when Johnny Public can outdo them not just in business models but even music itself. There must also be some "sunken cost" fallacy going on when someone trying to come up with a method that's cheaper and faster but at the same quality gets lynched.

    The music industry can't survive on bad laws, legalized bribery of the government, and manufactured pop music forever. If they keep up their ways, they'll be joining the buggy whippers sooner than they'll think.

     

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

  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 7th, 2013 @ 11:20am

    Re:

    It so sounds like Machiavelli has met Douglas Adams!

    Never take guns from your people, never take their money. Get your money from waging war and killing possible contenders to your throne.

    Expropriate for a hyperspatial express route is important for the evil overlords, the Vogons!

     

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

  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 7th, 2013 @ 11:27am

    The Point

    The point is that is improves the bottom line (profit) for the lawyers and the agency's charged with the task.

     

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

  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 7th, 2013 @ 11:28am

    Re: Re:

    Japan's economy is completely in the shitter. Did the author compare music sales to other retail sales? This article is moronic.

     

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

  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 7th, 2013 @ 11:32am

    Re:

    They already have. They just haven't admitted it yet.

     

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

  50.  
    icon
    Franklin G Ryzzo (profile), Oct 7th, 2013 @ 11:46am

    Re: Re:

    It wasn't in the article here, but I think it was in the torrentfreak coverage that indicated that Japan's CD rental business experienced a huge increase. It would seem that the sneaker net is making a big comeback which explains the huge drop in digital sales. Since it has been shown through numerous studies that downloaders spend the most on culture, and that many used downloading as a way to preview the culture before committing to buy, now people are renting the cd's to try them and since they've got a physical copy they are most likely just ripping them before they are returned. No reason to go get the limited digital purchase when you get a drm free rip in the quality of your choosing.

     

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

  51.  
    icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), Oct 7th, 2013 @ 12:23pm

    Laws ARE ends in themselves.

    This is one of the failings of activism by challenging laws in the courts is that human beings instinctively respect authority (to a fault, the Nuremberg laws serving as an extreme example). Once something becomes law, there will always be a following who recognizes that's the way things should be due to tradition or common practice. A law is right because it is law, and requires neither justification nor defense.

    The commandment Thou Shalt Not Steal throws up a whole lot of pro-property law until a state determines exceptions (e.g. coercion, necessity or usury), and so yes, some people are going to decide that it is more important that their property be protected even at a greater loss in the long run to their own pocketbooks and to the welfare of the society at large (e.g. egregious restrictions and chilling effects on internet traffic). It takes reason, and therefore effort for people to recognize that a sharing society is more profitable in the long run, even to them personally.

    As of this posting I have not received a US National Security Letter or any classified gag order from an agent of the United States
    Encrypted with Morbius-Cochrane Perfect Steganographic Codec 1.2.001
    Thursday, September 26, 2013 Thursday, September 26, 2013
    Monday, October 07, 2013 12:21:00 PM
    shampoo quarry switch bully cook fax artist arch

     

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

  52.  
    identicon
    Zem, Oct 7th, 2013 @ 12:49pm

    They should have made a law that forces you to buy rather than punishes you for downloading.

    An automatic 2 year sentence for every Japanese citizen, reduced by 1 week for every copyrighted item you purchase.

    I am sure that would have worked........

     

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

  53.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Oct 7th, 2013 @ 12:56pm

    Re: Laws ARE ends in themselves.

    The state also provides exemptions to "Thou Shalt Not Kill"

    And the Nuremberg Laws were inspired by our Jim Crow laws.

    Copyright law is bad law.

     

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

  54.  
    icon
    James Burkhardt (profile), Oct 7th, 2013 @ 1:09pm

    Re: You are looking at this from an American point of view

    A big problem is the word 'civil' offense varies depending on jurisdiction, but in most cases the examples you gave aren't civil offenses.

    In most cases a law school will teach that civil offenses (Torts) are between private parties. Criminal Offenses are 'against the state'. Your taillight and speeding examples? That ticket you receive is actually you being arrested and then "released on your own recognizance", pending the court date on your ticket. Its just simpiler for minor traffic violations to not have to worry about the long arrest process and the costs to society far outweigh the benefits.

    I have read a few places where misdemenors are refered to as civil offenses, but normally civil offenses refer to private parties (which lead to lawsuits) rather then criminal offenses which involve the cops.

    By definition, breaking the law is a crime. an infraction is still a crime, it just isn't punishable by imprisonment.

     

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

  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 7th, 2013 @ 1:10pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    It has been in the shitter for almost 2 decades now, but music sales where growing before, is now that they are declining, what happened?

     

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

  56.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Oct 7th, 2013 @ 1:13pm

    Re: WAIT A SEC. You've YET to show the opposite!

    THE POINT IS STOPPING CRIME.


    You seem to be defining "crime" as "that which is prohibited by law". If that's the case, then no, the point is not stopping crime. If that was the point, then it would be much easier and more cost-effective to remove the laws against the behavior than to get people to comply with the law.

    Clearly, the point is something else entirely, and since the arguments in favor of these laws are all about rectifying a perceived economic injustice, then the purpose is an economic one. And if that's the case, the laws fail to accomplish their goal.

     

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

  57.  
    icon
    Rikuo (profile), Oct 7th, 2013 @ 1:30pm

    Re: Re:

    ...what is this accused you speak of?

     

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

  58.  
    icon
    steell (profile), Oct 7th, 2013 @ 1:53pm

    Re: Re: Laws ARE ends in themselves.

    You really need to do some research.
    The Nuremberg Laws were a continuation of European laws from prior to 1806. The US inherited it's bigotry from the Europeans, not the other way around.

     

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

  59.  
    icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), Oct 7th, 2013 @ 1:56pm

    Re: Re: Laws ARE ends in themselves.

    The state also provides exemptions to "Thou Shalt Not Kill"

    Of course it does. Legal necessity was derived originally (in the US) as an extrapolation of self defense as justified homicide. It similarly follows that one is justified to steal food when starving, or medication when going without can be fatal, injurious or cause undo suffering (and cannot be accessed in any other way).

    And the Nuremberg Laws were inspired by our Jim Crow laws.

    [citation needed] I'm pretty sure Europe in general (and Germany in particular) needed little inspiration from the US to criminalize hereditary or cultural characteristics. Jews and Romanies (Gypsies) and wandering peoples in general have been hated throughout for over a two millennia.

    Copyright law is bad law.

    Agreed. As is patent law. My argument is that because it is law, we're at a disadvantage getting it regarded as bad law, since people are driven to obey it as custom even when a law is not enforced, and is bad practice (e.g. against one's better self-interests). This is why (for example) medicinal pot users continue to be stigmatized more so than heavy drinkers, even in the states where pot consumption is legal, and drinkers are statistically more likely to be dangerous.

    As of this posting I have not received a US National Security Letter or any classified gag order from an agent of the United States
    Encrypted with Morbius-Cochrane Perfect Steganographic Codec 1.2.001
    Monday, October 07, 2013 1:53:52 PM
    traffic lights coffin sieve eating bet clove internet mirror

     

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

  60.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Oct 7th, 2013 @ 1:58pm

    Re: Re:

    No. As far back as the early millenium, Japan had a CD rental service along with other parts to their economy that I can explain later. The RIAA is all American. It's not the RIAJ. Basically, this is going to my experience in the country. The computer has effectively taken over as a large library for people along with places like 2chan over going to Tsutaya for music.

     

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

  61.  
    icon
    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Oct 7th, 2013 @ 2:32pm

    Re: Re: WAIT A SEC. You've YET to show the opposite!

    No, I’d think the point would lie more along the lines of ‘reduce illegal activity and grow legal activity’, as that actually presents a net positive.
    Except both miss the point entirely in that it in fact increasescrime. In much the same was as making spitting on the pavement a criminal offense creates criminals. In much the same way as making drinking alcohol illegal creates criminals.

    That being said, it's entirely in keeping with policies like the war on drugs: America - leading the free world in creating criminals...

     

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

  62.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Oct 7th, 2013 @ 2:32pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I rent music all the time from the public library, and have been for decades.

     

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

  63. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 7th, 2013 @ 5:27pm

    Copyright and Sales---- HELD FOR CENSORSHIP

    One is a law, the other a business model.

    This post will be

    HELD FOR CENSORSHIP.

    Because Masnick is scared I might say things he does not agree with..

     

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

  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Oct 7th, 2013 @ 5:40pm

    Re: Re: WAIT A SEC. You've YET to show the opposite!

    "You aren't allowed to park in that space!"

     

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

  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 7th, 2013 @ 6:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Oh. In my defense, the words look more alike since privacy also became a thing we aren't supposed to have. I bet this will happen a lot from now on.

     

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

  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 7th, 2013 @ 6:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The sarc is strong with this one.

     

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

  67.  
    icon
    shaun39 (profile), Oct 7th, 2013 @ 8:02pm

    Wrong type of government intervention

    Copyright is one possible government imposed mechanism for incentivising content and information production.

    After all the evidence presented in this article (should we really build all this surveillance infrastructure, mountains of bureaucracy, legal quagmire and impose high costs on business to exclude the unwashed masses from accessing digital information?), surely a pivot to alternative mechanisms is appropriate?

    http://t.co/sDeo9fj2bh

     

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

  68.  
    icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Oct 7th, 2013 @ 8:29pm

    Re: Copyright and Sales---- HELD FOR CENSORSHIP

    There is nothing in your comment to agree or disagree with. You say nothing at all.

     

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

  69.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Oct 8th, 2013 @ 5:22am

    Re: Re: Re:

    It's a fair point, but that's a large drop in the digital side, and they even pointed out the brief increase in sales beforehand.

     

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

  70.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Oct 8th, 2013 @ 5:26am

    Re: Re:

    I know. And the poor artists are the only ones feeling exploited in all the world's industries? Cry me a river. Then go and explain that to all the minimum-wage parents working three jobs, or kids working for next to nothing in an unsafe clothing factory in Bangladesh, or immigrants being used as Olympian slave labour in Qatar.

     

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

  71.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Oct 8th, 2013 @ 5:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, because people who happen not to need or consume copyrighted material should be or are bankrupted like people with massive medical bills.

    Besides, due to the insane Berne convention, *everything* is copyrighted!

    (Maybe every state that refuses to operate Obamacare should pay 'insurance' to the US Government to get FEMA help to deal with their next catastrophe.)

     

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

  72. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 8th, 2013 @ 5:53am

    Re: Re:

    out_of_the_blue just hates it when due process is enforced.

     

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

  73.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Oct 8th, 2013 @ 5:57am

    Re:

    For one thing, some files with a pattern of 1s and 0s WILL be legal while other files with that same pattern of 1s and 0s will not.

    Maybe I'm splitting hairs, but files are not illegal, only actions. For any digital file (that's been published), there's a legal way to own it, so it's not possession of the file that's illegal, unlike with drugs. How you got the file may or may not be legal.

     

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

  74.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Oct 8th, 2013 @ 6:00am

    Re: Laws ARE ends in themselves.

    A law is right because it is law, and requires neither justification nor defense.

    You're explaining the mindset of some, not saying you actually believe this, right?

     

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

  75.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Oct 8th, 2013 @ 6:01am

    Re: Re: Re: WAIT A SEC. You've YET to show the opposite!

    I always thought that "law" was a lubricant.

    So tempting... I'm sure you all see the joke there though. :-)

     

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

  76.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Oct 8th, 2013 @ 6:04am

    Re: Copyright and Sales---- HELD FOR CENSORSHIP

    No one is scared of anything, because we all *know* we're going to disagree with you.

    And why should Mike, of all people, be scared of you, of all people? Other than in your little anonymous fantasy lala land?

     

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

  77.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 8th, 2013 @ 6:36am

    Re: Re:

    If we use the new, improved definition of 'own', perhaps.

     

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

  78.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 8th, 2013 @ 9:00am

    Re: Re: Re:

    That should correlate with an increase in blank CD/DVD media, USB sticks and portable hard drive sales. Have such effects been observed in Japan?

     

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

  79.  
    icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), Oct 8th, 2013 @ 1:11pm

    Re: Re: Laws ARE ends in themselves.

    You're explaining the mindset of some, not saying you actually believe this, right?

    I thought my position was obvious given I was pointing out that an appeal to law is equivalent to appeal to authority, to tradition or to common practice. All of these are rationally fallacious.

    As of this posting I have not received a US National Security Letter or any classified gag order from an agent of the United States
    Encrypted with Morbius-Cochrane Perfect Steganographic Codec 1.2.001
    Tuesday, October 08, 2013 1:00:05 PM
    fertiliser toy satire blonde tar crown tank stardom

     

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

  80.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 6:23am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Feelings of exploitation and a strong sense of entitlement, combined with the illusion of defining culture, make for a really dangerous combination.

     

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

  81.  
    icon
    Sheogorath (profile), Oct 9th, 2013 @ 5:48pm

    Re:

    Make that a twelve year sentence. That way, the drop in sales would be sufficiently significant to make even IP maximalists come out against the law they bought.

     

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

  82.  
    identicon
    Andrew Hwang, Oct 31st, 2013 @ 4:46pm

    An interesting article on how piracy may promote the digital sales of music. Quite problematic in regards to how record companies continue to throw lawsuits at those who support it.

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This