by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
cd, copyright, counterfeit, dvd, movies, mpaa, music, riaa, software

mpaa, riaa

Who Cares How Many Discs Counterfeit Operation Could Have Made?

from the why-focus-on-that? dept

Information Week is reporting on two men who were sentenced to jail for what is being called the "largest CD and DVD pirating scheme to be prosecuted in the United States." From the evidence, it certainly sounds like these guys were counterfeiting all sorts of music, movies and software, so there's nothing wrong with them being caught, found guilty and punished. What I do find interesting, however, is how the various industry associations have been spinning this story (and how the press is accepting it without question). Since these guys were arrested, the story has been how they had equipment that could have made 300 million pirated CDs and DVDs. Note the "could have" part. Because, in reality, authorities only seized a bit less than half a million. It's still significant, but it's less than 0.2% (not 2%, but 0.2%) of what's going in the headlines. In theory, any DVD/CD burner could produce millions of counterfeit discs -- but that's not news. Why is it news in this case?

Of course, this is par for the course for the industry. Remember when the RIAA wanted to count high speed CD burners as multiple burners in trying to boost the size of a bust it made? Or when the MPAA claimed they seized $30 million worth of DVDs when in turned out to only be about $10,000? It seems they like to blow these things out of proportion with big, totally unsubstantiated numbers. Of course, that lets them make the laughable claim that each of these busts is "a significant blow" against piracy when nothing can be further from the truth. In fact, as we've seen, all these CD/DVD counterfeiting shops are facing a much more "significant blow" from the competition from free downloads. Yet, of course, the Information Week piece carries a quote saying that "It cannot be understated how significant it has been." Actually, I'd say it's been significantly overstated.

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  1. identicon
    Dan P, 9 Aug 2007 @ 7:38am

    Recording Industry it's own worst enemy

    The recording industry is its own worst enemy. That's why they feel the need to exaggerate these things. But at the same time, they're like the boy who cried wolf, you can't believe whatever they say because of their past outrageous claims.

    Besides, who is buying these bootlegs? It's probably people who don't go out to the movies and they're too cheap to buy retail, so the industry isn't losing any money. It just becomes a revenge issue where the bootleggers are making money from a niche the industry isn't serving.

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