New Study: 70% Of People Find 'Piracy' Socially Acceptable [Updated]

from the you-can't-combat-that dept

I’ve pointed out time and time again that I don’t, in any way, condone unauthorized file sharing. I don’t participate in it, and I don’t think people should do so, though I certainly understand why many do. Instead, I talk about recognizing two things. First, such unauthorized downloading is here and it’s happening and there’s little likelihood that it’s going away, so your best bet is to figure out how to deal with it, rather than just bitch about it. Second, once you come to realize that, you can often come up with much smarter, better, more effective and more profitable ways to make money by embracing what your fans want. And, yet, I’m still told that I’m “the world’s biggest piracy defender” who “only wants to rip off musicians.” And, recently, I was told that it was particularly pernicious of me to suggest that content creators recognize that piracy isn’t going away.

However, it looks like even more data is supporting that position. TorrentFreak points us to a new study coming out of Denmark — where the entertainment industry has been extra aggressive in trying to “crack down” on unauthorized file sharing and to “educate” the public on why such activities are wrong. And, yet, the study shows that 70% of people still find unauthorized downloading to be socially acceptable in some form or another. 15 to 20% say that it’s totally acceptable, with the rest saying that it’s acceptable within certain boundaries. Where people begin to think it’s not acceptable is when it involves downloading the works of others and then selling them. This isn’t all that surprising, and fits with what we’ve seen elsewhere, but it’s still interesting to see the numbers.

What’s also interesting is that these numbers are almost identical to what a similar study found over a decade ago. In other words, despite tons of money, lawsuits, lobbying, education campaigns, advertising, threats, news reports and the like — all telling people that unauthorized downloading was unquestionably morally wrong — it’s had almost no impact on people’s attitude towards the practice, and the vast majority find it socially acceptable. That certainly suggests that my position has a pretty strong basis in fact. Historically, it’s very, very difficult to convince people that something they feel is socially acceptable is morally evil. And that’s likely to be true in this arena as well. So why does the industry keep insisting that they can change that basic fact?

Update: Good discussion in the comments digging into the details of the study. It becomes clear that there are very different levels of what the folks surveyed believe is socially acceptable. What it suggests is that only 30% say that unauthorized sharing is always unacceptable, while the remaining 70% is across the spectrum in terms of how socially acceptable it may be and under what circumstances. I don’t think that changes the overall point — but it is good context for the discussion.

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Comments on “New Study: 70% Of People Find 'Piracy' Socially Acceptable [Updated]”

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187 Comments
el_segfaulto (profile) says:

Makes Sense...

I have cable, I have a homebrew DVR. Why is it legal for me to watch or record, but not to download? What is the justification that I can record songs off the radio but cannot obtain them online? I’m not surprised that people are finding piracy more acceptable. In my mind it’s like going over the speed limit, people acknowledge that it’s illegal, but don’t have an ethical problem with it. If you get caught you should have to pay a small fee and be on your way.

:Lobo Santo (profile) says:

Re: Makes Sense...

I completely agree with you right up to the “speed limit” part.

Speed limits exist for only one reason: so authorities can give out tickets and take drivers’ money. Please don’t attempt to feed me the BS about “safety”, if you do your homework you’ll discover accident rates in cities without speed limits are exactly the same as those in cities with speed limits.

That being said, as speed limits (and tickets based upon speed limits) are hogwash, the “get caught, pay a small fee” bit regarding downloading is utter bunkum as well.

fogbugzd (profile) says:

Re: Re: Makes Sense...

Speed limits do have at least a plausible reason for existing. They provide some measure of public safety. I am not sure what cities you are citing that don’t have speed limits.

One graphic indication that speed limits do have some effect on safety is that when the US lowered the speed limit to 55 traffic deaths went down significantly, and when it went back up to 70 the death rate went up significantly.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Makes Sense...

as a person who worked in highway safety for many years, I can tell you this is categorically not true, at least not in any statistically meaningful sense.

while the TOTAL number of fatalities does float around on the graphs a bit, traffic fatalities PER million vehicle miles traveled (the nearly-universally recognized standard for measuring highway safety in terms of “traffic deaths”), has been on a steady decline (with a few hiccups along the way), pretty much since the automobile become popular:

http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2010/09/adjusted-for-vehicle-miles-highway.html

fogbugzd (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Makes Sense...

There were speed limits before the gas embargo. Smaller eastern states typically had speed limits of 65 or 70. Western states where the population density is low typically had higher speed limits. 75 was common in the west, with a couple of states sparsely populated states in the north setting the speed limit at “reasonable and proper” which effectively meant no speed limit.

In the 70’s the national speed limit was set to 55. Lots of people didn’t like it, sales soared for things like radar detectors and cb radios. The devices were largely ineffective at avoiding tickets. What WAS effective was getting in a convoy of trucks and cars going well above the posted speed limit. That wasn’t hard to do because not many people actually obeyed the 55 limit.

In that sense the situation with the 55 limit is much like today with music downloading. The law was perceived as being inappropriate, and therefore people ignored it. There were calls to reduce the speed limit to 50 and even lower because so many people were ignoring the law. Wisely, enough elected officials realized that would only cause more people to ignore the law. (Back then we did have some lawmakers who actually thought about issues instead of just listening to campaign contributors.) Higher fines and more draconian laws are not going to convince people to stop file sharing; they will just convince more people that it is OK to ignore the law. That will undoubtedly include some people on juries who have read the pamphlet on jury nullification.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Makes Sense...

Not only all that, traffic studies showed that where speed limits were generally ignored, it was actually SAFER to raise the speed limits because the few people that were actually following the laws were driving at much slower speeds and causing more accidents than having everyone traveling at the same speed.

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Makes Sense...

Not only all that, traffic studies showed that where speed limits were generally ignored, it was actually SAFER to raise the speed limits because the few people that were actually following the laws were driving at much slower speeds and causing more accidents than having everyone traveling at the same speed.

This also makes sense, since it is usually not speed that causes accidents, but driver inattention and choke points. If I am driving down the road, talking on my cell phone and putting on makeup, or reading the newspaper, and traffic is stalled on the road ahead…I am far more likely to not respond in time than a driver who is giving the road conditions their full attention. At least one study reported that driving while talking on a cell phone is as dangerous as driving drunk. It is usually not the speed that kills, but the delta…70mph to 0mph, or even worse, 70mph to -70mph is far different than 25mph to 0mph.

Where speed becomes a big thing, however, is when you have pedestrians. If a pedestrian is hit at 15 mph, it has quite a bit different result than when they are hit at 30 mph. However, this can be fixed via education and limiting pedestrian access to roads (why pedestrians even think it is a good idea to walk on a freeway is beyond me.) But then again, people do a lot of stupid things. We have to get out of the mindset that we need laws to prevent people from doing stupid things, and reduce the liabilities to 3rd parties when people do these stupid things, and we’ll get back to being a great nation instead of one where the only people making millions are the lawyers.

Not an Electronic Rodent says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Makes Sense...

If you’re interested in a different take on speed, safe driving and speeding that actually makes logical sense try http://www.safespeed.org.uk/index1.html

Here’s some interesting stats about speed from the site. Be careful to note that “excessive speed” does not mean “over the speed limit” but instead “too fast for the prevailing conditions”, which is often under the speed limit. Stats elsewhere on the site seems to suggest around 10% of cases of “excessive speed” accidents are in fact also “speeding”

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Makes Sense...

If you’re interested in a different take on speed, safe driving and speeding that actually makes logical sense try http://www.safespeed.org.uk/index1.html

They essentially say the same thing…driver inattention and “surprise” cause lots of accidents.

I know, because I’ve been professionally trained to drive, at speed, in an emergency vehicle. And I’ve been around long enough to see the results of other people’s mistakes (as well as a few of my own, before I received the training.) A driver which is looking down the road, maintaining a safe distance around them, has a plan of escape, and is attentive on the road and traffic conditions is far less likely to cause a collision, even at speeds greater than the speed limit than those who are playing perpetual motion machine on the freeway while yakking on the phone and putting on makeup going 20 mph under the speed limit.

Not an Electronic Rodent says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Makes Sense...

They essentially say the same thing…driver inattention and “surprise” cause lots of accidents

You know that and I know that, but it goes against the “accepted wisdom” especially currently in the UK where all the government road safety campaigns are focussed on “Speed Kills” and “If you speed you’re a terrorist, drown kittens and club baby Jesus to death with seals” – probably because it turns into a nice little earner with all the speed cameras.

From memory there’s a link in there somewhere to a study done in the US that suggests the safest speed (on a clear freeway) is actually slightly above the speed limit because of the average speed people tend to drive and the increased awareness in most drivers going just a little bit faster usually produces.

Certainly out of all the accidents I’ve ever had driving, in none of them were any party involved exceeding the speed limit – and that goes pretty much for everyone I know too.

:Lobo Santo (profile) says:

Re: Re: Makes Sense...

Well, unapportioned income taxes, in addition to being unconstitutional, do not go towards paying for anything. They go into the pocket of the owners of the “Federal” Reserve. But, I wouldn’t expect an AC to know that.

In short, yes; we should do away with those taxes which amount to nothing more than legal theft.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Makes Sense...

Cool, by your logic we can get rid of speed limits. And I’ll bet the same thing can be said for taxes, let’s get rid of those too.
Straw man alert!

That was not the argument – the argument was that the speed limits should be set to a level that the population thinks is reasonable.

Apply the same argument to taxes and it implies that taxes should be set at a reasonable level.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Makes Sense...

The statement was:
“In my mind it’s like going over the speed limit, people acknowledge that it’s illegal, but don’t have an ethical problem with it.”

That does not put a cap on speed limits, it only notes that people do not have an ethical problem with speeding. That means no speed limit, not for resetting it to something higher. That says for any speed limit people do not have an ethical problem speeding.

I’m not arguing anything, I’m just applying logic.

Anonymous Coward says:

“I’ve pointed out time and time again that I don’t, in any way, condone unauthorized file sharing. I don’t participate in it, and I don’t think people should do so, though I certainly understand why many do.”

So you say you don’t condone it but that you understand it, meaning you sympathise with some that do. Way to state one thing while going “nudge nudge wink wink” to the opposite.

“First, such unauthorized downloading is here and it’s happening and there’s little likelihood that it’s going away, so your best bet is to figure out how to deal with it, rather than just bitch about it.”

Ironic given that 2/3 of your posts on this site are bitching about the entertainment industry. I don’t defend or agree with the practices the entertainment industry is undertaking to “protect their property”. However, I find it a bit hypocritical that the industry bitching about people taking for free that which they’ve been asked to pay for (instead of you know, just not consuming content produced by companies they dislike) is bad but you making a living from bitching about their bitching is OK.

Seriously, the industry needs to wake up but I don’t care what childish rationalisations pirates make, pirating content is wrong and indefensible and only adds fuel to the fire. If a movie/album/show/game is released by a company whose practices you disagree with, then ignore it. Don’t buy it, don’t pirate it, don’t consume it. If you buy it anyway, you are part of the problem and if you pirate it out of some self-righteous form of “protect”, you are a bigger part of the problem. Piracy is not romantic or just, it’s theft–or at least on the same level.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I would be with you if copyright actually lasted a reasonable amount of time but it does not. I would be with you if copyright laws were reformed but they will not. In fact, there’s a very good chance that copyright will just be extended again and again and again because who cares about the public domain, because of America and freedom.

I would be with you but I’m not. And I’m an artist!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

By encouraging people to pirate, as an artist, I am attempting to break the system by getting others to break the law. It’s not that hard of a concept to understand.

If copyright were reasonable I, as an artist, would encourage people to NOT break the law, but seeing how it’s anything but reasonable, I go the other way.

And I’m an artist!

MrWilson says:

Re: Re:

“So you say you don’t condone it but that you understand it, meaning you sympathise with some that do.”

You’re putting words in his mouth. Understanding and sympathy are two different things.

I can understand why someone would enjoy having power over others and not have to do any work themselves and how convenient it might be for selfish purposes not to have a conscience, but I can’t empathize or sympathize with anyone who condones slavery.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re:

So you say you don’t condone it but that you understand it, meaning you sympathise with some that do.

Sorry understand!=sympathise. Otherwise every historian studying German history between the wars would be a nazi sympathiser

I don’t think it is bitching to point out that the industry could do better..

but I don’t care what childish rationalisations pirates make, pirating content is wrong and indefensible and only adds fuel to the fire.
and is also not going away. It is a fact of the landscape – if you want to make progress you cannot afford to ignore such facts – you have to adapt to them.

Also you are conflating together some issues that are in fact separate. The impact of over-aggressive enforcement of copyright and the gradual creep of extensions in time and scope does have an impact on those who wish to build upon existing work in ways that ought to be fair use (and probably, legally, ARE). This is still a copyright issue but is not to do with piracy I guess some of the 2/3 you mention are really about this – not about piracy.

Killer_Tofu (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Your repeatedly calling it theft helps to destroy your argument.
While you seem to blindly follow the law and love it to death no matter how wrong it is, one would think you would realize it is not theft, or stealing.

Then again, perhaps that is why you never cite anything to back up any points you make. Between that and calling it theft and stealing all the time it is rather apparent you are not fond of facts and research.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Use a dictionary much?

Look up those two words, they do not mean what you think they do. In fact they do not have the same meaning. In fact – your argument/statement/point closely resemble that of a troll.

Therefore you eat children (troll eat children) and should be arrested as eating a child causes them harm. And pedophiles harm children.

OMG you are a pedophile!

Got a problem with that logic? I do but it seems to work for you… so not a personal attack.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

I’ve been trying to navigate the original study using google translate, and I can’t say I’m all that impressed with the way these numbers are represented on TorrentFreak (and by extension in this headline)… it is only fair to note that the breakdown for acceptance of personal piracy was really this:

30% say unacceptable (chose 1 on the scale)
50% say they are skeptical (chose 2-6 on the scale)
20% say acceptable (chose 7-10 on the scale)

To break that down further, the scale was explained to respondents thusly:

1 – Unacceptable
2-4 – “it’s not OK but there may be exceptions”
5-6 – “it’s partly OK but no more”
7-10 – “it’s fairly OK but with greater or lesser [translate fail]”

Only the people who chose 10 think it is completely socially acceptable (and even that wasn’t explicitly stated in the rubric) – so the 70% figure actually includes people who still think it is unacceptable but has “exceptions”. And as far as I can tell the study doesn’t give us a breakdown of that 70%, which seems a little sketchy. I hate to say it but I think these results are being presented in a pretty biased way (though the observation about absolutely no change despite years of campaigning may still hold some water)

All that being said, the whole thing is in Danish so I may be missing other key points…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

I don’t see “calculating and manipulative” allegations in his post, just wrong and uncritical when a critical eye is obviously warranted.

Anyway, I do think Masnick’s post on this topic is indicative of a wider practice: links/studies/posts that generally agree with his opinions/preconceived notions are viewed and repeated with little or no skepticism, while links/studies/posts that generally disagree with his opinions/preconceived notions are run through the critical wringer hoping to find anything that subverts their message.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

maybe you haven’t been around long enough to be familiar with “The Masnick Effect” – but that is their shorthand for accusing Mike of intentionally misrepresenting the facts.

And while I do see your concerns there, that’s why I make a point of exploring further on most of the topics I find on techdirt, and frankly it’s pretty rare that I see anything wrong with the way they are presented here. On the rare occasion that I do, like now, I am not at all afraid to say so.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

Marcus- why are YOU doing this? While appreciated, shouldn’t MIKE have done his homework before he rushed to put out an article about some half-baked study from Denmark because it might help HIS agenda?

This just drives home all the negatives that are said about what he writes.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

Actually no, I disagree. One of the awesome things about the internet is that stories like this become a lot more participatory.

Now yeah, I’m a little surprised Mike didn’t notice this himself, which is why I’m curious to hear his response when he gets around to one (he’s a busy guy) – but I by no means feel cheated or make the immediate jump to “he’s intentionally misleading us all!”

In fact, I still DO think that piracy is becoming more and more socially acceptable – I even think this study still adds weight to that argument. It just doesn’t add quite as much weight as the headline makes it seem.

Basically, I like discussing and analyzing stuff like this. I see no need to make it into a grand war over Mike’s abilities as a blogger or his motives or any stupid stuff like that. I don’t plan on quoting any Lewis Carroll poetry. I was just hoping to dig a little deeper with other intelligent followers of these issues… so can we all just calm down with the mudslinging and stick to the question at hand?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

“I see no need to make it into a grand war over Mike’s abilities as a blogger or his motives or any stupid stuff like that.”

I do think it’s worth pointing out what, to me anyway, seems like a consistent pattern of accepting/repeating some specious claims without criticism and not others, essentially for the same reasons you state about general criticism/commentary/etc. about posts.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

Fair enough, though I’m not sure I completely agree. At least you sound like you are being rational about it, which is what counts. Blame TAM for being consistently childish and refusing to set up an account, thus making it really easy to accidentally assume all ACs are touched in the head the way he is.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:11 Re:

Yeah except we have names, so you can differentiate between us. You can easily look up things we have said before, and call us on them. For whatever reason, you ACs refuse to take an identity and stand by what you have said in the past. That’s your right, and I fully support it, but I definitely don’t understand the decision and it definitely weakens your position in all of these debates.

vivaelamor (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:12 Re:

“Yeah except we have names, so you can differentiate between us”

It worries me when an AC take issue with me calling them anonymous. They probably just do it to be contrary, but it’s an important distinction that effects how people perceive them. The issue isn’t about putting a real name out there, it’s about having a consistent identity; enabling other commenters to recognise them, and thus treat them, as individuals.

A cynical view may be that the only reason anyone might have for posting regularly without a handle would be to avoid being seen as an individual. I’ve already heard average_joe’s reasons for dropping his name, the supposed personal abuse he received, which could be a valid reason; however, he was noted for the occasional personal attack himself.

The only relevant difference between those who tend to disagree with Mike and those who tend to agree with Mike would seem to be the numbers. I find it hard to believe that posting anonymously is an effective response to having more people disagree with you.

If harassment were a real issue then I could accept that as a reason. If anyone can explain any other reasons then I would be interested to hear them. Regardless, I agree that it should be their choice to make, I just hope they understand how it effects people’s perceptions of them.

Greevar (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

There’s a lot of attitude going around here from trolling AC’s that can’t logically and factually argue against certain arguments made here so they proceed to defeat the message by discrediting the messenger. Sometimes Mike is dead on and sometimes he misses some details. Does he have to be infallible to make his arguments correct? No. Would it help his arguments if he scrutinized his sources thoroughly? Yes.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:11 Re:

There is definitely some truth in that, but the one problem is that when certain dissenting ACs bring up the same arguments over and over and over again without every responding to OUR responses, it becomes important to think about who is commenting. Because frankly it is impossible to move a discussion forward when some cowards refuse to acknowledge things they have said in the past, and play dumb about facts they have heard many times instead of actually trying to refute those facts.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:12 Re:

That’s all well and good, but everyone who’s hear often enough to recognize arguments that have been used before ought to also recognize that not every AC is the same person, and the color/pattern designations for ACs make it relatively easy (usually) to tell who’s who in a given comment thread.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:13 Re:

the colour/pattern icons help a little bit, but not much. I have had conversations where the same AC (openly admitting he was the same AC) appeared with three or four different snowflakes in the same thread.

As far as I’m concerned you should take the two seconds to change “Anonymous Coward” to something consistent. If you don’t want to do that, fine, but don’t complain when you get mistaken for other ACs with identical opinions.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:14 Re:

You are a just bitching. ACs are here to stay, deal with it.

I still think you should look into anger management. you really do get too worked up over seeing AC. Hey, maybe you can convince Mike to give you a reason to buy where you can pay Mike to not allow ACs. Then you and your insider buddies can raise the cash. That way, you win, Mike wins and ACs everywhere lose. Then you can have the complete echo chamber you are looking for, asshole.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:15 Re:

Actually I hate it when sites don’t allow anonymous commenting. I first started commenting on techdirt anonymously. I think it’s a great feature. But once I realized I was going to be participating in multiple long-term conversations here, I started giving myself a handle – then a little while later I signed up for an account. Even if you don’t want to do the latter, I see no reason for you not to do the former. I did it so I could have real discussions. Isn’t that what you claim to want?

And like I said, you don’t have to. If you want to be an AC, fine. And if I want to think that lowers your credibility significantly, that’s my choice. You deal with it.

(p.s. I think you should really look into what actual anger problems are. The fact that I am occasionally unable to resist pointing out that certain ACs are a giant pain in everyone’s ass doesn’t exactly qualify)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:16 Re:

When you say things like:
“manages to piss me off on a regular basis”

and

“Blame TAM for being consistently childish and refusing to set up an account, thus making it really easy to accidentally assume all ACs are touched in the head the way he is.”

Then it is clear that you need this:
Anger management can help you:
-Argue less.
-Maintain better health.
-Prevent psychological problems linked to anger.
-Use your frustration to get things done.
-Help avoid addictive escapes.

In case you forgot, the reason that you know TAM as TAM is because TAM *did* make an account.

vivaelamor (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:17 Re:

“-Argue less.
-Maintain better health.
-Prevent psychological problems linked to anger.
-Use your frustration to get things done.
-Help avoid addictive escapes.”

That would make a good skit: you troll a forum and then announce yourself as a doctor selling a solution to the issue of trolls.

“In case you forgot, the reason that you know TAM as TAM is because TAM *did* make an account.”

For all I’m aware of such things, you may be TAM, but the point is that they didn’t always an account.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:17 Re:

Wow, it’s like you’ve reached through the screen and wrenched out my heart. What an incisive and ruthless observer of others you are! I’m sobbing, now, but truly they are tears of joy, nay, of gratitude to this anonymous angel for freeing my from my self-made prison and showing me the light. You are more pamphlet than man, sir, and I applaud you for it!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

It isn’t so much an intentional misrepresentation as much as it is an incredibly biased reading of the stats. Mike has done this before with similar study results:

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110207/02222612989/if-artists-dont-value-copyright-their-works-why-do-we-force-it-them.shtml

In that case, he took everyone that wasn’t “oh my god yes we love copyright and need more” as “hate copyright”, when the study didn’t show that at all.

This study is very similar. A small percentage things piracy is acceptable, everyone else has either reservations, or disapproves. His reading of the study (and that of Torrent Freak) classes everyone who didn’t say piracy is bad at all times as “approving” of it.

It’s sad, and it is very misleading. What it makes me wonder about is in all his other posts, does he have is thumb on the scales on those too?

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

The possibility for translation errors and honest mistakes has to be ridiculously high….

Precisely. I still may well be missing some key details hidden in the huge blocks of Danish text: my analysis comes from the charts and google translations of their labels. That being said, one glance at the bar graphs shows that the 70% figure (at the very least) an obvious oversimplification.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Yep like Mike can influence Google too.

Try typing:

Is piracy ok
Piracy is ok
Piracy who cares

And whatch the results, almost all will tell you that the majority think it is ok, hundreds of thousands of hits.

Also there is all those studies showing music piracy is declining.

http://blogs.westword.com/backbeat/2011/02/study_shows_music_piracy_on_th.php

People don’t want to go near music apparently because of the industry douches.

Read the writing on the wall, all your customers are sick and tired of you people.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

more like “Only 30% of people think piracy is never acceptable”

I’m not saying the other figure is a lie, but I think it’s only fair to say it does give a slightly warped impression. Part of the scale was explicitly defined as “not acceptable, but with exceptions” and yet those people were counted as calling it “acceptable”

That, to me, is misrepresenting the true public sentiment somewhat… Since they have not released a breakdown of the 70%, we do not know how the people were distributed in that slice. But I think it is important to know that “acceptable” here means anyone who chose anything other than 1 on a scale of 1 to 10 (even though the respondents were told that 2-4 still meant ‘not OK’)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Also, surveys that ask “moral” type questions are always to be taken with a grain of salt.

I would assume (don’t really know for a fact), that more than a few people answer questions concerning morals in a way that places them on higher moral ground and not really reflective of their actions.

Remember, we judge ourselves by our intentions and we judge others by their actions.

MikeLinPA (profile) says:

Re: Re: Morals, judging ourselves

If asked about finding a bag of money with no ID, how many people say they would turn it in and wait to see if it is claimed?

If presented with said bag of money, how many people would actually do it?

It is one thing to talk like a knight in shining armor, and quite another to be one.

(Honestly don’t know if I could pass that test. Times are pretty hard right now…)

Anonymous Coward says:

I’ve pointed out time and time again that I don’t, in any way, condone unauthorized file sharing

But all of the business models you bring up tend to depend on it continuing. Things wouldn’t work out if there wasn’t a system for widespread distribution of materials without cost, and certainly wouldn’t work if there wasn’t all the nice high quality label music and Hollywood Movies to pirate.

Social acceptance of piracy is a sad, sad thing. Thanks Mike for doing your part.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

It ain’t piracy if you choose to give it away for free as a part of your business model.

You are exactly correct. But the mechanisms to do so, the wide public use of P2P systems is almost entirely based on access to pirated material.

Without P2P, bands would have to host websites and actually pay for bandwidth to distribute their songs. So rather than being free distribution, it would be paid distribution, and looked upon in the same manner that other paid promotional efforts are done.

Further, the reach would be much more limited, because people would not be out there looking for free stuff to the same level, there would not be this huge infrastructure of free P2P sites and users to move the information.

Mike’s business models depend entirely on that structure and that public use of it to exist. Without it, his business models would be looked at in the same manner as magazine ads or perhaps giving away shiny plastic discs at high schools and universities: an interesting but not very cost effective way of marketing.

Nastybutler77 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

But the mechanisms to do so, the wide public use of P2P systems is almost entirely based on access to pirated material.

I don’t know if you actually believe this crap you post or are just trolling, but this statement is laughable. So you think the only reason anybody accesses “P2P systems” is only for “pirated material?” This shows you don’t have a clue. Plenty of people use uTorrent and other P2P software to trade legal and legitimate information. Many real world businesses depend on P2P software every day to share and speed up the transfer of large files.

Without P2P, bands would have to host websites and actually pay for bandwidth to distribute their songs. So rather than being free distribution, it would be paid distribution, and looked upon in the same manner that other paid promotional efforts are done.

Further, the reach would be much more limited, because people would not be out there looking for free stuff to the same level, there would not be this huge infrastructure of free P2P sites and users to move the information.

But we have P2P. So these two paragraphs are meaningless. How about living in reality instead of a fantasy world?

Mike’s business models depend entirely on that structure and that public use of it to exist. Without it, his business models would be looked at in the same manner as magazine ads or perhaps giving away shiny plastic discs at high schools and universities: an interesting but not very cost effective way of marketing.

That’s first sentence is false. You clearly either have no idea what “Mike’s business models” are or you are intentionally distorting what some of his suggestions are. Every time he points to business models that work he says something to the effect of, “These won’t work for everyone, and it’s up to each band, author, etc. to figure out what does work for them.” Sometimes they may include using a P2P element, but never as the sole marketing tool, and they certainly never are “entirely” dependant on them.

el_segfaulto (profile) says:

Re: Re:

As I stated in an earlier post…what is the operative difference between recording a TV show to my DVR and downloading? Or recording a song off of the radio? I have zero ethical problem downloading music and TV, I do with newer movies and software. That’s just my personal opinion formed with what passes for logic nowadays.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

What is the operative difference? If you record it on your DVR, you are presumed to have the rights to it. If you download it, there is no way to know if you actually could receive it or not.

Example, you “cut the cord” to cable, but then continue to download HBO exclusives online. Can you see the difference?

There is no legal presumption that you “would have seen it / would have recorded it”. Life is a series of choices, record channel A or B, watch TV or play WoW, those sorts of things. You cannot expect the law to support the idea that you can do everything at the same time all the time.

If you could record it on your DVR, just do it. End of your ethical issues.

Greevar (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

What about content that you just can’t get legally? Are you going to claim that it’s wrong to acquire content that you were willing to pay for but wasn’t for sale to you? There a lots of shows that air in the US that are just not available overseas legally. Why should they be denied the enrichment of those works if they were willing to compensate the authors? Now they have to get it illegally and the author gets nothing for it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

legally, it is wrong.

Why should they be denied the enrichment of those works if they were willing to compensate the authors?

What happens if the authors / creators / whatever are in the middle of working out a deal to get distribution in (insert your country here), but that will mean it will take 60-180 days before the product is available. Should you be allowed to short circuit the process?

What happens if they are working a deal for distribution in syndication after the network run is finished in the US?

Widespread piracy in those markets (and availability without license) could cause harm to potential sales and values in those markets. The “harm” isn’t so easy to measure for your single action, but overall, it can have significant impacts of the residual values of works over time.

Greevar (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“What happens if the authors / creators / whatever are in the middle of working out a deal to get distribution in (insert your country here), but that will mean it will take 60-180 days before the product is available. Should you be allowed to short circuit the process?”

How is that the consumers’ fault? Why should they care? All that matters is that there is content they want to pay for, but nobody is providing it legally. I’d say that’s the failure of the content business. It’s a stupid move to allow your content to be placed in a walled garden that only a certain group of people can buy into when you have all of these other people with their wallets open looking to get in on the action.

“Widespread piracy in those markets (and availability without license) could cause harm to potential sales and values in those markets. The “harm” isn’t so easy to measure for your single action, but overall, it can have significant impacts of the residual values of works over time.”

Harm? You see people getting something for nothing and all you can see is harm. That’s a pretty narrow view. You completely disregard that if people observe content, they tell others about their experience. This adds value to the content and increases awareness of the works and their creators. The fact is, sharing content and the subsequent experiences adds value to that content.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Should you be allowed to short circuit the process?

Yes. The process is stupid. The process is rooted in systems that pre-date the internet and cheap digital distribution. The process is, in a word, obsolete.

Is it technically legal for me to circumvent that process? No. Do I as a consumer give half a damn about that? Hell no.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Agreed, I know in my case there are numerous instances where this is exactly the case. Either a show started here but word of mouth didn’t spread as rapidly as hoped or the show was never advertised well enough, so the show was dropped from the airing list. Instead of forgetting about it, or learning japanese we found it through less than legal means because it was otherwise unavailable.

After 1 saw it, and advised it to friends they did the same, after a while the demand increased enough to bring it back to air. Do I still use those old channels to find new content? yes. Do I support the content providers of content that I like? yes. I’ve even built up a decent sized library that has yet been touch simply to support the content I used, and want to continue to receive.

mrtraver (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“But all of the business models you bring up tend to depend on it continuing.”

Not true at all – the business models he brings up tend to be ways for content creators to make money DESPITE content users continuing unauthorized downloads. If unauthorized downloading suddenly and miraculously ceased tomorrow, connecting with fans and giving them a reason to buy would still make the content creators money.

By the way, labels don’t make high quality music – musicians do. If you work for a label, I hope that doesn’t hurt your feelings.

Chris Rhodes (profile) says:

Re: Re:

But all of the business models you bring up tend to depend on it continuing.

“Depend on it continuing” is an incorrect choice of words. “Assume that it will continue regardless of what you do” is more accurate.

But I think you know that, and chose to word your statement in a way that tries (too hard) to make Mike look bad. Must be that “Anonymous Coward Effect”.

Greevar (profile) says:

Isn’t it interesting how reactions to technology scale in proportion to how much it disrupts incumbent business models? Perhaps so many people find it acceptable because they realize that it’s not that different from burning a copy of your content for a friend. The core comparison is that this happens on a much wider and more public platform. When will the suits realize that this isn’t a battle of laws and rights, but a battle of who can find the best incentives? So far, the file sharing society is winning.

Oh, but what are the incentives for infringement you ask (implying that you don’t merely assume they are all cheap-ass thieves)? Well, it’s cheap (it only costs you internet access and a computer), it’s easy (It’s merely a web search away), it’s low risk (an IP address is pretty weak evidence in tying you to any wrongdoing), and it has a high payoff (you get the content you want on your terms, not theirs). I can’t say how you could possibly beat the first incentive (free is hard to beat), but the other incentives are not so impervious. Try beating those in the market.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Agreed. I would add that free may be hard to beat, but since iTunes, Amazon, Netflix, e-reader purchasing, etc. are still in business, it’s certainly not impossible. That’s because convenience, service, authenticity and wealth of choice are what people want AND are willing to pay for. That people are still filesharing shows that region coding, lack of choice or availability, after purchase limits and perhaps also pricing are still blocks to a good number of folks.

Anonymous Coward says:

Can you imagine a headline like:

70% of Techdirt Readers Think Masnick is Wrong

The study reports that:

10% think he is wrong all the time.
20% think that he doesn’t include all pertinent information
40% think he makes grammar errors and typos from time to time
30% thing he is correct.

It’s sort of the same thing. In fact, I would bet you that a survey done here would reveal those sorts of numbers. Does that make Mike Masnick wrong? It does by his logic.

herbert says:

people just like sharing. that will never change or stop. industry just want to make money. that will never change or stop. it’s the methods industry use and the fear of doing things differently (better and easier?) that makes them so overly protective, it is beyond belief! they only want things to change when it suits them. wait a couple more years and bit torrent (or its successor), will be the poodles plums, everybody will be encouraged by the entertainment industries to use it, simply because it suits. hypocrites all!!

Anonymous Coward says:

So why isn’t the government passing laws that represent its constituents? Instead of making copy’right’ more reasonable by, for instance, making it last a reasonable period of time so that people can find the law socially acceptable, the government is seeking to make the laws more oppressive so that people can find breaking it socially acceptable. Clearly, most people don’t agree with the laws in place and think that breaking them is OK to the extent that they are oppressive, so why is the government passing laws that most people disagree with? Just because big corporations want them? Not good enough.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

(but prove is a strong word, there is no such thing as absolute proof except maybe for math. IP maximists insist on having absolute proof to refute their position yet they refuse to provide any evidence whatsoever in favor of their position. I have evidence for my position, you have none for yours).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“First, I never used the word “prove.””

but you’re demanding (absolute) proof. The evidence is suggestive of the fact that our current copy’right’ laws are not in sync with what most people want. To deny that this evidence does suggest that is to demand more proof, what you want is a ridiculous standard of proof for you to consider it evidence against your position, such a ridiculous standard that it’s little (if any) different from absolute proof. You’re denying the obvious, you’re trolling.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

(but if I were to ask you for evidence that people agree with 95+ year copy protection lengths and that these things promote the progress, some of you would insist that it’s true without providing any evidence whatsoever. You hold your position up to a much lower standard of evidence than the position of those who disagree with you).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

“but you’re demanding (absolute) proof.”

No I’m not. I’m not demanding any kind of proof. Where are you getting this?

All I’m saying is the study discussed in this article doesn’t show (or even suggest) what the headline purports to show, or that copyright law is out-of-sync with popular opinion.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

“All I’m saying is the study discussed in this article doesn’t show (or even suggest) what the headline purports to show, or that copyright law is out-of-sync with popular opinion.”

but that’s not true, it does suggest that. You may argue that the evidence isn’t strong enough for it to be true, but to deny what it suggests is disingenuous at best. You’re simply trolling and, deep down, you know it. At the very least you should take the position, OK, this is suggestive that people disagree with our current laws, but the evidence isn’t strong enough because of blah blah blah (not a large enough sample size, statistics may have been poorly taken, blah blah blah).

The problem is that IP maximists insist that their position is correct and that there must be absolutely no evidence whatsoever against their position. They can not tolerate a middle ground. So they must simply deny and ignore all evidence that disagrees with them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

“You’re simply trolling and, deep down, you know it.”

C’mon man. Not everyone who disagrees with you or conventional Techdirt wisdom is “simply trolling.” That’s a BS excuse to ignore someone’s points. And if that *is* your definition of trolling, then I assume you have a closed mind and no interest to open it.

You don’t address any of the substantive points I have made and instead make up criticisms (“not a large enough sample size, statistics may have been poorly taken”) that I have not made.

If you’re not going to discuss the actual merits of the study and are just looking for an excuse to rant about “IP maximalists” that have nothing to do with this study, article, or our conversation, I’m just going to leave you to it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

Heck, most IP maximists on techdirt constantly trout the line, “Most file sharing is infringement. Most file sharing is infringement. Sure, legitimate uses are theoretically possible, but 99.99 percent of it is infringement.” If IP maximists claim that file sharing generally refers to infringing behavior how can they then turn around and claim that when most people refer to file sharing, they are likely referring to non-infringing behavior?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

Ok, maybe I should have made this clearer earlier. I do not consider myself an “IP maximist.” Regardless, saying “a lot of idiots say X” as a reason to criticize X instead of the actual substance of what *I* am saying is annoying as all hell.

I’m not going to assume you share all views with Hitler, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Bernie Madoff just because you said some things that kinda sorta might imply some sympathy with some acts that might be criminal. I’d appreciate it if you’d do the same with me (and it would make your comments a lot more credible in general, I think).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

“Regardless, saying “a lot of idiots say X” as a reason to criticize X instead of the actual substance of what *I* am saying is annoying as all hell.”

The substance of what you’re saying is to twist the words “file sharing” to mean “fair use” and when most people think of “file sharing” they are not referring to “fair use”.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:10 Re:

(and I am especially referring to the words “unauthorized file sharing”. Most people simply do not associate the words “unauthorized file sharing” with “fair use” so it’s not very meaningful for you to make a point by twisting the meaning of words to mean something they do not mean. When people see “unauthorized file sharing” they generally think “infringement”).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:11 Re:

OK, I retract some of what I said after what Marcus said. I guess the study was done in Danish and since I don’t speak Danish, and also partly based on what Marcus said, it is difficult for me to evaluate the likely meaning of the words “unauthorized file sharing” in Danish and how it translates back from Danish to English. Maybe the AC arguing against me has half a point, though I still say this study likely suggests that people are not in favor of our current copy’right’ laws and that this AC is likely just jumping on the pro IP bandwagon every chance he can.

Not an Electronic Rodent says:

Re: Re: Re:11 Re:

Which is rather the problem with studies like this – even when (if) they are no done by a researcher with a vested interest one way or another they tend to be easily scewable depending who you ask and whether they really understood the question to mean what *you* thought you meant when you asked it.

Language can be a tricky thing and I’ve yet to see any survey like this done with, for example, OPQ-style cross referential questions to attempt to spot bias – after all who really wants to sit still to answer around 300 questions many of which ask the same thing in a different way? ๐Ÿ™‚

I’d love to see such a thing though because I think the answers would be really interesting. Perhaps a genuine independant study (if such a thing were possible) using really stringent methodology and analysis that gets a really good sample of where most people think the line should be drawn. Who knows? It might get somewhere to making copyright reform genuinely possible and giving even the most deeply sand covered head a reason to think.

I’d be almost as interested in a decent survey that tried to find out what people *think* copyright law is as it applies to music etc. I’d lay a small wager that many would be suprised to find out some of the things that are infringing – which fact would have also scewed the results in this study.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:12 Re:

I know language can be ambiguous, but that doesn’t change the fact that unauthorized file sharing generally refers to infringement. Sure, the study may not have been perfectly done, and you can argue that point, and perhaps the stats were wrong, but that doesn’t change the fact that the study seems to suggest that people are generally against our current copy’right laws. Now, was the study done incorrectly? Could the sample size have been too small? Could the questions have been asked wrong? Could the sample have been somehow biased? That’s debatable, but the study still seems to suggest that most people are generally against our current copy’right’ laws. It may not be absolute proof, it may not be strong evidence for xyz reasons, but it’s still evidence.

and it’s definitely far more evidence that people are against copy’right’ than any of the evidence that IP maximists have used to persuade congress to make IP more strict (ie: keep on extending copy’right’, etc…) and to pass more stringent IP laws. IP maximimsts have absolutely no evidence in favor of anything they say, absolutely none, there is plenty of evidence that copy’right’ and IP only hinder progress, there is reasonable evidence to suggest that people are not in favor of 95+ year copy’right’ lengths, yet instead of fixing our copy’right’ laws to better meet the public interest and will, based on absolultely nothing, Congress makes copy’right’ last 95+ years and the only thing they’re seeking to do is to make the laws even worse. The standard of evidence that these IP maximists are using to support their position absolutely pales in comparison yet IP maximists consider it valid.

Not an Electronic Rodent says:

Re: Re: Re:13 Re:

I know language can be ambiguous, but that doesn’t change the fact that unauthorized file sharing generally refers to infringement.

You may think that and you’re probably correct that if you asked all the people surveyed what they were talking about they’d probably come up with a description that sounded something like “infringement” but I’d guess many wouldn’t use the word at all. That’s why I’d love to have a “proper” study done – this 1/2-arsed stuff just gives excuses to deny the data as bad or biased, which to some extent it is intentionally or not.

debatable, but the study still seems to suggest that most people are generally against our current copy’right’ laws.

On the whole I do too but I think the numbers are pretty rubbish both ways so any value in them isn’t a whole lot.
On the one hand all the things you said about the statistics are true to some extent, on the other I think you’d also get a different response if you explained in detail what was and wasn’t infringing as it applied to consumer behaviour. For example I think many people in the UK would be suprised to find that, having stumped up ?15 for a CD that by putting it in their computer and putting the music on their iPod they are technically infringing (if the CD was published after 1997 though not before). Explain that kind of thing and I think it would suddenly affect the number of people responding “ok in some circumstances” (though probably not the “it’s OK” bracket).

It’s one of my major problems with copyright law as it stands – how the hell are you supposed to follow a law when you’ve got no way of knowing what it is without years of legal study? Call me picky but I don’t consider it reasonable to have to get out my magic decoder ring every time I consider ripping a CD…. Even the rights holders often don’t seem to know whether something is infringing or even under copyright or not.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Really? 30% chose the lowest “acceptability” number on a scale of 1-10; 20% chose one of the three highest “acceptability” numbers (so, clearly, more people think it is absolutely unacceptable than absolutely acceptable), and the rest chose somewhere in between.

How does that “strongly suggest” that copyright law is contrary to popular opinion?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

The data in the study is consistent with (though doesn’t necessarily show that) 51% of people thinkint it’s generally not ok to engage in unauthorized file sharing except in some limited circumstances. Coincidentally, copyright law has exceptions that might make unauthorized file sharing acceptable in limited circumstances.

This study doesn’t show one way or the other the copyright correlates either in general or perfectly (as you, ironically, seem to demand) with popular opinion.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

“Coincidentally, copyright law has exceptions that might make unauthorized file sharing acceptable in limited circumstances.”

I highly doubt these people were referring to those exceptions though. File sharing generally refers to sharing things beyond fair use and copy’right’ exceptions and you are disingenuously twisting common use language here.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

“File sharing generally refers to sharing things beyond fair use”

Says who? File sharing systems can be used for all sorts of applications (even if their predominant use is infringing).

Your argument seems to be if *any* unauthorized file sharing is *ever* socially acceptable under *any* circumstances, then our legislators are not doing their job by making copyright law conform *perfectly* to public morals/ethics. Yet you are assuming that copyright does not conform to the exceptions without any evidence (just your subjective “high doubt”).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

Heck, most IP maximists on techdirt constantly trout the line, “Most file sharing is infringement. Most file sharing is infringement. Sure, legitimate uses are theoretically possible, but 99.99 percent of it is infringement.” If IP maximists claim that file sharing generally refers to infringing behavior how can they then turn around and claim that when most people refer to file sharing, they are likely referring to non-infringing behavior? No, they are likely referring to infringing behavior and you know it.

“Your argument seems to be if *any* unauthorized file sharing is *ever* socially acceptable under *any* circumstances, then our legislators are not doing their job by making copyright law conform *perfectly* to public morals/ethics.”

That’s not what I’m saying and you know it.

“Yet you are assuming that copyright does not conform to the exceptions without any evidence (just your subjective “high doubt”).”

Evidence has been provided, but you continue to ignore it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

Also, you should know the context of the study. From the site.

“questioned participants on morals and ethics, and included discussion on which laws they believe are socially acceptable to break. “

Besides, if most people thought that breaking copy’right’ laws were wrong, they would naturally obey these rules without any laws or enforcement telling them to do so and the industry would still be able to make its money.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

“Besides, if most people thought that breaking copy’right’ laws were wrong, they would naturally obey these rules without any laws or enforcement telling them to do so and the industry would still be able to make its money.”

I actually don’t believe that. It relies on a presumption that people never do things they believe to be wrong. I think that’s an invalid premise.

Not an Electronic Rodent says:

Re: Re: Re:11 Re:

(or that most people generally act contrary to what they believe to be moral * Is that what you are arguing?)

Actually by observation it’s usually the other way round – people, when “officially” asked will say they believe something is bad/immoral/disgusting/pick adjective but then naturally act against what they say.

Look at scandal stories in newspapers for example – ask anyone their opinion of scandal stories or gruesome personal tradgedy stories in papers and you’ll get a high response of “ooo it’s disgusting the way they do that it shouldn’t be allowed” and similar answers, and yet the circulation of papers goes trhough the roof every time there’s a “juicy” one.

People often want to appear more “moral” than they really are. The cynic in me calls it hypocrisy, but I don’t think that’s true. I think maybe that’s just how we function together as a collective – a veneer of “civilisation” and no more.

The tricky bit then of course is how do you set society’s laws when there are 2 different equally valid levels? Personally I think it’s gone a bit too far in favour of the veneer and I blame it on the emergence of “sound-byte” politics.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:11 Re:

A: I don’t think the law should always dictate morality.

B: The fact that people sometimes act contrary to what they believe to be moral doesn’t mean they generally do

C: I think people generally agree that, in order for something to be illegal, it needs to be immoral past a certain point. I would argue that those who think something is immoral enough to be illegal would generally not do it. As an extreme example, if murder weren’t illegal, I argue that most people still wouldn’t do it. If anything, people will come up with their own ways of dealing with it collectively (apart from federal laws, though that way of dealing with it apart from law could be considered law?). Separately, people might come up with their own ways to deal with infringement and copying other peoples work, like not buying works from those who copy without attribution?

Even if some people do think infringement is immoral, some people think that telling a lie is immoral just as well. Yet it’s not necessarily illegal to tell lies. Fraud is illegal, certain types of lies are, but not every immoral lie is illegal. It’s not the governments job to micro manage and dictate morality. A girl can stand you up, it maybe immoral, doesn’t mean it should be illegal. People will generally not break moral codes that they think are so immoral that they should be illegal.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

“That’s not what I’m saying and you know it.”

If not, please explain how people thinking there may be “some exceptions” to the unacceptability of unauthorized file sharing suggests that copyright law does not conform to public opinion?

“Evidence has been provided, but you continue to ignore it.”

Are you kidding me? I am the only one of us talking about the actual substance of the study, while you continually ignore my points about the actual substance of the study. Simply saying “this study = evidence of XYZ” does not make it so.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

“If not, please explain how people thinking there may be “some exceptions” to the unacceptability of unauthorized file sharing suggests that copyright law does not conform to public opinion?”

Unauthorized file sharing refers to infringement. The government does not authorize you to share the material in that manner. Most people think there are exceptions to the acceptability of unauthorized file sharing, hence the government should authorize more file sharing.

JMT says:

Re: Re: Re:

“First, study is Danish, presumably polling Danes.”

And why is that so important? Are the opinions of the Dutch not important? Do you think their position on piracy is that different to other countries?

I might be wrong, but there’s a slight whiff of national exceptionalism in your comment…

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I believe that observation was in response to the original question “So why isn’t the government passing laws that represent its constituents?” (referring to the U.S. government) – and the fact that it’s a Danish study is a valid answer to that question, since these are not U.S. government constituents.

In terms of gaging social attitudes it is still a valid study. Though I wouldn’t write off the idea that those opinions differ from country to country – most opinions do, even if not wildly so.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

This is the perfect quote for this thread.

“”At present the holder of copyright has the public feeling on his side. Those who invade copyright are regarded as knaves who take the bread out of the mouths of deserving men. Everybody is well pleased to see them restrained by the law, and compelled to refund their ill-gotten gains. No tradesman of good repute will have anything to do with such disgraceful transactions. Pass this law: and that feeling is at an end. Men very different from the present race of piratical booksellers will soon infringe this intolerable monopoly. Great masses of capital will be constantly employed in the violation of the law. Every art will be employed to evade legal pursuit; and the whole nation will be in the plot. On which side indeed should the public sympathy be when the question is whether some book as popular as Robinson Crusoe, or the Pilgrim’s Progress, shall be in every cottage, or whether it shall be confined to the libraries of the rich for the advantage of the great-grandson of a bookseller who, a hundred years before, drove a hard bargain for the copyright with the author when in great distress? Remember too that, when once it ceases to be considered as wrong and discreditable to invade literary property, no person can say where the invasion will stop. The public seldom makes nice distinctions. The wholesome copyright which now exists will share in the disgrace and danger of the new copyright which you are about to create. And you will find that, in attempting to impose unreasonable restraints on the reprinting of the works of the dead, you have, to a great extent, annulled those restraints which now prevent men from pillaging and defrauding the living.””

http://www.baen.com/library/palaver4.htm

Anonymous Coward says:

Screw copyright. Copyright is pushed down our throats by the government. Laws that are put in place by people who make a lot more money than me. In my book pirating is nowhere close to morally wrong. I know i’m just copying bits from one source to another without taking the original product from the source. So I know i’m not stealing. I don’t care how you want to define stealing.

Yes, I pay for Netflix, internet radio, and songs from iTunes. I pay and use them because they are easy. I don’t have to waste money on a DVD that I will watch one time then throw on the shelf. I’ll download anything that is not on Netflix. Make things inaccessible to me or price it high and I’d rather download. Can’t stream all those damn Netflix movies to my TV? Download them. Why go to the theater and watch another crappy movie that was not worth the time or effort. I’ll go to a place that serves me dinner, movie, and lots of alcohol. Still the expense of the theater ticket hurts my wallet. Lower the damn cost. For me to buy two tickets to a movie, I could buy a PC game that will give me weeks of entertainment. Why should I go to the movie that only gives me maybe 2 hours of entertainment?

The entertainment market is huge and diverse. Many families revolved around TV and movies when they were new. Then society was pushed this idea of the family bonding around TV and movies. The industry’s mindset is still stuck in those days. Wake up, the industry has changed and others are eating your profits because you cant change. You’ve grown into a fat old slob. Maybe they should try harder to bring in the customers instead of suing and telling them that pirating is wrong. No one likes a bully.

Buy a movie for 2 hours of entertainment or buy a video game for 100 hours of entertainment. At equal cost, you’d go with more entertainment.

I know someone will try to tell me i’m wrong but their words will fall on deaf ears. This is how I view the world and nothing is gonna change it. Just some insight into how a pirate thinks.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Yes, I pay for Netflix, internet radio, and songs from iTunes.

So you don’t have an issue with copyright. You can watch movies from netflix, and you can get music from internet radio, itunes, terrestrial radio, and watch television on broadcast TV. Where is your problem with copyright?

If you find video games more entertaining than movies, more power to you. However, the enjoyment of the video game doesn’t magically give you the right to take everything else you consider lesser for free.

Copyright is nothing in your views, except perhaps that you have taken Mike’s world view to heart without realizing what you are actually saying.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Yes, I pay for Netflix, internet radio, and songs from iTunes.

So you don’t have an issue with copyright.

Willful misunderstanding here. He says he does have an issue with copyright – but is happy to pay for the convenience of netflix etc.
In his book he is paying for the delivery mechanism rather than for the content itself.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Um, why would there ever be no content?

In case you havent noticed, human beings have created content in every set of circumstances, in every part of the world, en masse, forever. Strife, prosperity, war, peace, famine, plenty – it has never mattered. Ever since the first protohuman took ochre to limestone, we have been producing content and never asking ourselves why.

If your fear is a world devoid of content, then fear not.

Anonymous Coward says:

Where is Mike? 100% don't know!

12.7% of the respondents think mike is sitting back, smiling and letting the pot boil.
34.6% of the respondents think Mike is doing more important things than getting caught up in silly discussions about statistics.
26.3% of the respondents think Mike, TAM and AC are all one in the same.
17.8% of the respondents thing Mike is busy pre-ordering a iPad 2.
0.01% of the respondents think Chris Dodd is Mike’s Father.
42.3% of the respondents think it is Lunch Time.
11.4% thought they heard mike say “?I?m entertained as hell. I?m not saying that it?s not true, but I?m saying I?m laughing. And I?m laughing with the goddesses; I?m laughing with my friends.?

Vic says:

I bet there is at least one more category of people that was NOT counted as saying that piracy is socially acceptable. Those are people that officially say that they are against piracy without even realizing that what they do on the Internet sometimes fully qualifies for the same piracy! And we have seen quite a few of those even among celebrities!

ECA (profile) says:

Justification

LETS DISCUSS Justification..

Do we consider that a Corp can be harmed?

Do we consider an Alternative to MONEY/GREED exits?
(i find it funny that we are TRAINED from birth to SHARE everything, and then grow up to find that SHARING is not Politic)

DOES a virtual GOODS/Product really have VALUE?
Air is a virtual product.. YOUR HOUSE isnt.
HOW much do you need to PAY for something that will NEVER expire/run out/DIE/extinguish.

Copyright laws have changed MANY MANY times over the years, ONLY to the corp side..NOT to releasing what SHOULD HAVE BEEN RELEASED. ‘Gone With the wind’ SHOULD have been released YEARS ago. but, it is STILL making money for the corps. The Corp sold the RIGHTS to another group, who can sell to another, and another, EACH gets COPYRIGHT CONTROLS.

There is music that hasnt seen the LIGHT of day that is 30-40-50+ years old, that is MOLDING in a basement vault. The only way to get it is SPECIAL ORDERS. Do the artists get any money? NO! The Artists contract is GONE.

Is the concept of 1 recording 1 sale, a VALID CONCEPT? it never has been. YOU have always had the ABILITY to sell and trade your HARD GOODS..from records/tapes.. WHY does the CORP think that it can sell 1 recording PER HUMAN, and YOU have no way to give/share/introduce this Item/music/video to OTHERS..

Matt says:

back to basics

Greetings,

I started to write a wall of text covering so many random elements, however I think 1 will cover the case for “piracy”.

Capitalism while fundamentally being the “lesser of two evils” in terms of governing systems is still flawed. We see more social aspects of government being mixed and matched into today’s politics because of this.

I’ll try and steer off that point,I guess I can cover it in more detail if required but most people should see capitalism for what it is.

The problems started with the launch of the internet. It by design being a base of free information, accessible from anywhere in the world.

Then the corporates hit the scene, seeing the potential of the internet the question arose, how do we make money out of this?. The division and segmentation of the internet is a direct result of corporations trying to tame and control the internet to increase revenues from it.

Every step to produce more revenue is at the cost of the consumer, be it ease of access or increased costs.

Here is an example;

to go to the cinema at a release costs you ?5, you watch the whole movie. Your forced to sit and watch 10ish minutes of various warnings about piracy, 20-30minutes of up and coming features for various age ratings (more the older the target audience is as there are more age ratings covered)

DVD/Blue-Ray comes out, costs you ?50. Anyone who has made their own CD’s knows the CD itself is worth 0.17p the print and box costs 0.20p at best your talking 50p add that to the cost to watch the movie in the cinema ?5.50 where the hell is the rest of that money actually going and what are you actually paying for?

A copy? how much does it cost to copy data these days? nothing.

its the same with music, download a track online for 10p or buy it on disk for ?5… these people are just insane.

If car companies started to jack up their prices and inflated them to over 1000% extra governments would step in and call it a cartel. Its fine for the entertainment industries.

A final note, going to the cinema is a night out for virtually everyone, regardless of the film people will go and view them. just like people will watch anything freely available to them at home. A film that doesn’t make enough money from cinema sales isn’t a good film and shouldn’t of been produced. CD’s and DVD’s pricetags are extortion considering the exact same data is given out either freely/much cheaper in alternative methods, legally to boot.

I guess in a lot of peoples minds the greed of the companies offsets the theft of “their” information.

Not an Electronic Rodent says:

Re: Re: back to basics

And how exactly does the producer know in advance, that the movie won’t flop at box-office?

Same way you determine what will be successful in any other business – skill with the same dollop of luck thrown in – sometimes you gamble and lose. That’s called a free market. I don’t mind them using blockbusters to finance flops but I object to them expecting the public to stump up the same amount of money for the flops too just because they cost lots to make.

explicit coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: back to basics

I don’t mind them using blockbusters to finance flops but I object to them expecting the public to stump up the same amount of money for the flops too just because they cost lots to make.

I agree.

I only had an issue with the “shouldn’t of been produced”. As you noted it’s a gamble at which some might be better than others because of various factors – but it will always remain a gamble.

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