by Mike Masnick
Thu, May 16th 2013 7:38am
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Feb 28th 2013 3:05pm
from the incredible dept
by Mike Masnick
Mon, Feb 11th 2013 11:45am
Lies, Damn Lies And Statistics: How The BPI Cherry Picks Its Averages To Pretend File Sharers Spend Less
from the add-back-the-missing-zeroes dept
Appearing to debunk the common belief that filesharers spend more on music than other consumers, Kantar Worldpanel found that the average spend over a 12-month period for professed filesharers was lower than the spend of consumers who only use legal services. Kantar Worldpanel’s respondents diarise their music purchases on an ongoing basis – there are no estimates made of past purchasing, just an accurate recording of spending patterns over time. The panel data demonstrated that filesharers spent an average of £26.64, compared with £33.43 by legal-only consumers, refuting the popular argument that filesharers are the heaviest spenders on music.Of course, when you're talking about averages, it's not difficult to fudge the numbers a bit, and as TorrentFreak explains, that's exactly what BPI did. If you break out the specific numbers, you can tell a very different story:
- Legal only digital music buyers spend an average of £33.43 a year.TorrentFreak confronted BPI on this, and they shot back that TorrentFreak's analysis was unfair:
- File-sharers, in total, spend an average of £26.64 a year.
- File-sharers, the 44.8% who are not buying, spend an average of £0 a year.
- File-sharers, the 55.2% who are buying, spend an average of £48.26 a year.
"You cannot just wave away the 44.8% of file sharers who are not spending anything on music, despite being music 'consumers', and pretend they don’t exist or are not relevant. What happens if only 5% of file sharers are spending on music? Do we disregard everyone else who is freeloading?," a BPI spokesman said.Fair enough... except that BPI's own numbers "wave away" all of the people who consume music legally for free, but don't spend anything on music. That is, there is a very large percentage of people who don't pay for music, but who also do not infringe. These people may listen to music on the radio or while walking around in stores, but neither purchase any music, nor file share infringing works. And if the BPI was being intellectually honest they would have to average all of those £0s into the average for "legal only" if they want to require all the £0s to be added into the infringing side as well. Basically, BPI is picking and choosing who it includes and excludes to make their argument look better. When it hand waves away all the zeroes on its side of the argument, while including all the ones on the other side of the argument, of course it'll make the numbers look better for its argument. However, if you're going to do an apples-to-apples comparison, you have only two choices. Either you include all the people who don't buy on both sides or on neither. BPI didn't do that. They only chose the ones who don't buy on the file sharing side.
"It's not credible to discount the people who consume music, for free, illegally."
It's important to note that an analysis of the UK market by economist Will Page, back when he was with PRS for Music, noted that only 40% of the UK adult population actually bought any music at all. So you've got 60% non-buyers, some of whom are file sharing and some of whom are not. The BPI report chose to only include those who file shared, and ignore those who didn't. That's a clear methodological problem with their data. If they're going to include the non-buyers on the file sharing side, they need to include the non-buyers on the "legal" side, or they're simply lying with statistics.
by Mike Masnick
Tue, Dec 18th 2012 7:10am
from the wac-wac-wac'ing-that-mole dept
by Glyn Moody
Fri, Nov 30th 2012 5:38am
from the trapped-in-the-past dept
The body which represents the UK's biggest record labels says it "doesn't make sense" for Google not to tackle piracy when it's launching a new, legal music service.We know that when music streaming services became available in Denmark, Sweden and Norway, illegal downloads were halved. The BPI's obsession with punishing illegal download sites blinds it to the fact that Google plans to launch a far better way of dealing with them: not through extrajudicial censorship in the form of doctored search results, but simply by offering something that people are happy to pay for. The UK recording industry should be embracing new ventures like Google Play Music wholeheartedly, not using them as bargaining chips in its pointless fight over search results.
Google says it wants its new music service, Google Play Music, to wipe out piracy on Android devices.
But the BPI claims the firm is not keeping its promise to make it harder to find illegal download sites.
by Mike Masnick
Fri, Sep 7th 2012 5:29pm
from the dmca-failures dept
If you look, you can see a bunch of takedown requests for Megaupload links in the past month.
by Mike Masnick
Wed, Aug 15th 2012 9:50am
from the free-speech? dept
Drake - 'Take Care'Not particularly positive, but not particularly scathing either. He also posted another post on About.com that merely pointed to that review, but included no additional content other than that he wrote a 50-word review.
A briefly entertaining, occasionally ponderous, sometimes lazy, sometimes brilliant, slow-rolling, rap-singy, bulls-eye missing, kitten-friendly, runway-ready, mega corny, lip-smacking, self-conscious, self-correcting, self-indulging, finely tuned, Houston infatuated, crowd pleasing, delightfully weird, emotionally raw, limp, wet, innocuous, cute, plush, brooding, musical, whimsical, exotic, pensive, V-necked, quasi-American, strutting, doting, cloying, safe alternative to sleeping pills.
Best Song: "Lord Knows"
Release Date: November 15, 2011
Either way, both of those links are gone from Google's search. Why? Because just as someone filed a bogus DMCA to take down one of our key SOPA posts, Universal Music, via the BPI (British RIAA) filed a DMCA notice with Google claiming that both of those pages were infringing. That's clearly a false takedown, and pretty clearly designed to stifle a negative review.
But, no, there's no free speech concerns around the DMCA, right?
by Mike Masnick
Thu, May 24th 2012 12:03pm
from the data-data-data dept
The new transparency platform lets you dig in and see quite a few details about exactly who is issuing takedowns and what they're removing from search. It's using data since last July (when Google set up an organized web-form, so the data is consistent). It may be a bit surprising, but at the top of the list? Microsoft, who has apparently taken down over 2.5 million URLs from Google's search results. Most of the the others in the top 10 aren't too surprising. There's NBC Universal at number two. The RIAA at number three (representing all its member companies). BPI at number five. Universal Music at number seven. Sony Music at number eight. Warner Music doesn't clock in until number 12.
It's also interesting to hear that these reviews catch some pretty flagrant bogus takedown requests:
At the same time, we try to catch erroneous or abusive removal requests. For example, we recently rejected two requests from an organization representing a major entertainment company, asking us to remove a search result that linked to a major newspaper’s review of a TV show. The requests mistakenly claimed copyright violations of the show, even though there was no infringing content. We’ve also seen baseless copyright removal requests being used for anticompetitive purposes, or to remove content unfavorable to a particular person or company from our search results.It's good to see Google catch these, as plenty of other sites would automatically take such content down, just to avoid any question of liability. Of course, it doesn't catch them all. Some get through -- as we ourselves discovered a few months ago. That led us to wonder if this tool could drill down and find the details about takedowns targeting Techdirt,
Either way, this is really fascinating data and an interesting platform, shedding some significant light on just how often copyright holders are trying to take links out of Google, who's doing it and who they're targeting.
by Mike Masnick
Wed, Mar 7th 2012 5:06am
UK ISPs Lose Their Challenge To The Digital Economy Act; Entertainment Industry Responds Condescendingly
from the ok,-start-your-censors dept
What's somewhat ridiculous, however, is to then watch the entertainment industry practically gloat about this result. Geoff Taylor from the BPI responded by claiming that:
"The ISPs' failed legal challenge has meant yet another year of harm to British musicians and creators from illegal filesharing."That's ridiculous on multiple levels. First of all, prove the harm. We'll wait. And wait. Because BPI can't do it. But, second, that assumes that kicking people off the internet will actually solve "the problem." It won't. The problem is with the fact that the companies represented by BPI refuse to adapt in a significant way, and thus users move towards more convenient, more efficient and better priced offerings.
PACT -- a UK trade group representing "independent creative content producers," the kind of folks who rely on an open internet and who should be terrified about the impact of something like the DEA, again, was extremely condescending to the legitimate concerns of ISPs:
John McVay, CEO of Pact, said: "Rather than needlessly spending more time and money on further legal challenges, BT and TalkTalk now need to focus on working with rights holders and the Government in implementing the Digital Economy Act with immediate effect."Immediate effect to raise costs and decrease access -- none of which will do a damn thing to get people to pay more for content. Others were equally condescending and obnoxious. There was Equity general secretary Christine Payne:
“Once again a judge has made it extremely clear that the Digital Economy Act is a fair, focused, proportionate and efficient system for consumers and the creative industry,” she added. “Rather than individuals being hauled into court, the DEA makes it possible to conduct a mass consumer education programme. BT and TalkTalk need to stop fighting and start obeying the law.”Hint to Christine: no "education programme" involves legislation requiring one industry to police users to stop them from doing what they want because a different industry is too lazy or clueless to adapt.
The Film Distributors’ Association president Lord Puttnam CBE hoped the court decision would put an end to “a long chapter of uncertainty, and the DEA can now help in implementing a mass consumer education programme so that people, especially young people, can come to appreciate the damage piracy inflicts on the whole of the creative community”.Kicking people offline and making ISPs copyright cops is not an education program, and the "problem" the industry faces is not an education problem. People know that copyright infringement is illegal. It's not because of ignorance that they're doing what they do. It's because the industry refuses to offer what they want in a convenient manner at a reasonable price.
The British Video Association’s director general Lavinia Carey added: “Several other countries are adopting this measure and it would be bad for Britain’s creative industries to be left behind more forward thinking nations who are supporting their creative economies at this difficult time of transition towards increased digital consumption during this period of recession.”Not that many countries, actually, and there's widespread opposition where it's happening, as well as significant concerns about the collateral damage. Over in France, of course, there are efforts under way by opposition parties to dump Hadopi as soon as possible. Pretending that this is some sort of widespread, agreed upon strategy that other countries are adopting widely is simply false.
But, in the end, this reaction shows how the industry continues to have its collective head in the sand on this particular issue. They think that users just need "education." That's wrong. It's the industry that needs education. It needs innovation on how to adapt, on how to meet consumers needs and on how to actually embrace what the technology allows. Until it does that, no "education program" is going to help... and the collateral damage of the DEA's program is only going to make things worse, and make sure that another generation of young people have no respect at all for the entertainment industry.
by Mike Masnick
Mon, Mar 5th 2012 5:24am
from the tpb-v-bpi dept
Oh yeah. It's also worth noting that Dan's got a new album coming out, which (of course) you can download for free. You can also buy it to show that you support the artists you like.
* Bonus points if you can spot our own Leigh Beadon in the video somewhere.