UK DVD, CD Retailers Give More Bogus Predictions About Lost Jobs Due To Piracy

from the buggy-whips dept

It appears that the latest group to whine and complain about totally bogus "losses" from piracy are CD and DVD retailers in the UK, who have commissioned their own study claiming that 30,000 jobs may be lost to piracy. This is from the UK's Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA), though the group doesn't seem to make any indication of its methodology (its own website doesn't even list the study at this point). However, from what's in the article, it certainly sounds like the usual tricks for presenting bogus stats on piracy. It only counts the changes in one direction, ignores the fact that the shift (not loss) in jobs is due to a variety of factors that go well beyond "piracy," and ignores all of the new jobs created due to the shift to digital distribution of content. But, of course, that doesn't make for nearly as interesting a story... especially when the ERA is teaming up with a bunch of famous actors to whine about how they are too incompetent to learn how to adapt to the changing market. If these folks ran the buggy whip industry a century ago, we'd all still be driving around in horse drawn carriages. Markets change, and it creates new opportunities. Stop whining about the the way things used to be, and focus on taking advantage of all of those new opportunities.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2008 @ 3:10pm

    I see -- Woolworth's went out of business due to piracy. What's the next bogus claim?

    Have you ever noticed that the entertainment industry comprises about .000001 percent of the working population, yet also comprises about 90% of rights organizations?

    I say fuck 'em all. I don't buy DVDs, I don't rent movies, I don't go to movies, I don't buy music, I don't go to concerts. There are plenty of entertaining things to do (read, go bowling, shoot pool, go to a ball game) that don't involve shoveling more money into the pockets of these greedy cocksuckers. Fuck all of 'em. I hope they all burn in hell.

     

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  2.  
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    carnac the magnificent, Dec 16th, 2008 @ 6:06pm

    Popcorn Industry

    This just in:

    Illegal downloading of films, TV programmes and music could mean the loss of 30,000 jobs in the popcorn industry according to a powerful alliance of popcorn growers, small electrical appliance makers and media rights-holders.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    cram, Dec 16th, 2008 @ 7:31pm

    Even granting that piracy will actually cause the loss of 30K jobs, what these organizations often leave out is a crucial point: will these jobs be saved if piracy is eliminated?

    Does anyone know of any study that claims more jobs were created or x number of jobs were saved because filesharing/piracy/*whatever you wanna call it* has been eliminated? What is the guarantee that eliminating piracy will help those 30K guys retain their jobs? Or is this so-called study just an excuse to fire a whole bunch of people?

    Man, I'm tired of raising questions that industry won't answer.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Mark Regan, Dec 16th, 2008 @ 7:33pm

    CDs and DVDs?

    You mean those things that scratch easily? That cost about $20 each? That require fragile protective cases that are hard to open? That you have to go to the store to buy, and after you get there find out they don't stock the one you are looking for?

    I put ALL my videos and music on two different USB memory sticks, and carry them around in a pocket sized protective case, and plug them into any computer I desire. I've even loaded my favorite video player onto the sticks in case the computer doesn't already have it.

    To carry that many Cds and DVDs around, I'd need a briefcase. How long before they got stolen by a crack addict and sold at somebody's yard sale for 50 cents?

    No, thanks, Music Industry. I'll stick with PROGRESS, thank you. You can keep selling 78 rpm records to collectors, or get into the wholesale 8 track player business if you want, but I'm going to continue buying the newest gadgets that make MY life for convenient, instead of padding YOUR pockets simply because you REFUSE TO INNOVATE.

    If the music industry were a phone company, they'd still be leasing dial phones.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Mark Regan, Dec 16th, 2008 @ 7:58pm

    A Better Idea For Retailers

    1. Order only one of each CD and DVD. Keep them in the back room and hire somebody to put each onto a computer hard drive and use Google Desktop to index them by title and artist and genre and author and any other way desired.
    2. Put the Jewel Cases on display in the retail display area of your store.
    3. Sell mp3 players and usb drives at the cash register, and allow your customer to rent time in the computer booths in the back of the store and download anything they want onto their players and drives.

    The store will make more off selling drives (legal) and renting time on computers (legal) than they do on stocking a lot of duplicate copies of expensive inventory.

    The downloading is illegal? All I can say is that when I rent a Ford from Budget Rent a Car, the Ford Corporation doesn't claim I am depriving them of profits they MIGHT have earned had I bought the car from them instead of renting it from Budget.

    If all I want is ONE song from each of 16 CDs, why should I have to buy 16 CDs instead of ONE? If I need a car for only one day, Budget will buy it for me and rent it to me for one day and to others a couple of hundred other days.

    Why does the Music Industry think they can control their product's use past the point when they sell it to THEIR CUSTOMER. They need to sell their products by the SONG and lower the price so that they can deal in volume, instead of packaging a ton of unwanted garbage with the product and then claiming you stole something valuable from them.

    If the Music Industry had half a brain, they would BUY a satellite over each continent, and beam up EVERYTHING to the satellite, and continuously stream it to the users, and make it free to download or listen to. Then they could put all the radio stations and retailers and distributors in the world out of business. That's how they can control the end user -- when there is NO competition.

    THEN they could charge per streamed download. Meanwhile, in the REAL world, the Music Industry has to go with the flow and COMPETE with the freebies and file sharers and complaining retailers and make their CUSTOMERS their priority instead of their stockholders, employees, and distributors. When the CUSTOMER is the FOCUS of their energies, they will PROSPER. As long as stockholders are their focus, there will always be somebody around the corner who will make THEIR customer happy.

    How long would an ugly, nasty, self-centered, disease ridden prostitute last in business if a beautiful, friendly, nice, smart, healthy one opened up shop right next door?

    Well, WAKE UP, Music Industry. You're getting ugly and nasty, and your competitors are paying LOTS of ATTENTION to us consumers and making it EASY and SAFE for us to do business with them. TAKE A HINT.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2008 @ 8:40pm

    It does seem a bit harsh to use terms like "usual tricks", "bogus stats" and "whine" without any information where and how these numbers were calculated.

     

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  7.  
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    rEdEyEz, Dec 16th, 2008 @ 8:43pm

    Re: Popcorn Industry

    Don't know if your being sarcastic, because that was actually an argument used last year!

     

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  8.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Dec 16th, 2008 @ 11:47pm

    Re:

    It does seem a bit harsh to use terms like "usual tricks", "bogus stats" and "whine" without any information where and how these numbers were calculated.

    Given that every single similar stat released by other areas of the industry have met those criteria... it's difficult to see how this is even the slightest bit harsh. Given that the criticism of those numbers is widespread and well known, I would think that any *credible* new numbers would clearly explain the methodology and why it avoided the pitfalls of earlier reports.

    Given that such an explanation was not proffered, I don't think it's even remotely harsh to assume that these numbers have the same problems.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    SteveD, Dec 17th, 2008 @ 1:07am

    Given the daily announcements of job-cuts and the UK unemployment figure expected to top 2 million today, complaining about 30'000 to piracy almost seems like a drop in the ocean.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2008 @ 1:20am

    Re:

    The "study" is the other way around; the music industry used to make pots of money and now it makes less so it must be due to piracy. If there were any situations in recent years where filesharing/piracy has been reduced you could do your own "study" but it would be equally lacking in credibility.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    mike allen, Dec 17th, 2008 @ 1:33am

    Re:

    problem solved more unemployment no jobs no one able to afford internet = no piracy now we know who to blame for the ecconomic chrisis yes the RIAA BPA etc.

     

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  12.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger, Dec 17th, 2008 @ 7:22am

    Reccession

    We in the US are having an economic crises, but aren't the people in Europe having a worse one? Wouldn't that have more of an affect on the employment numbers than piracy?

    I would bet that if we found the source of the numbers it would be more like this. Music was downloaded a number of times. At a set price per song (probably too much), if people had payed for all of those songs, it would have given them a crap ton of money. with that crap ton of money they could have payed for 30,000 more employees. Since a downloaded is a potential sale that is lost, than a potential job is now lost.

    Too bad we all know that all that money would never have been put to new jobs.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2008 @ 7:54am

    Re: Re:

    It is not that I disagree with your choice of terms given what has transpired here in the US (Note: the reason I posted a few days ago a quote from Obama's Technology Plan was because it specifically incorporates the domestic entertainment industries' numbers re lost jobs and money), but just that it is hard to critique a methodology when the methodology is not known as yet.

    One thing I do find curious is the absence of any figures from the software industry. Does it believe piracy is harmful in a substantial way, is the harm down in the noise, or some other reason?

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    anymouse government worker, Dec 17th, 2008 @ 9:49am

    Breaking News - Eliminating Priating has caused the elimination of 60,000 jobs

    Hot off the wire, **AA's successfully eliminate piracy thru fear and terror campaign (just go with it for a second).

    Over 60,000 jobs were lost as a result in what's being called an 'unforseen consequence' of the strong arm tactics. With no piracy, all DRM manufacturers are out of business, along with 85% of the **AA lawyers, and 50% of the propeganda machine (marketing).

    When asked about the unfortunate turn of events, all the **AA could come up with was, "But we eliminated piracy, so we won, right?"

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Dec 17th, 2008 @ 8:52pm

    Re: Harsh Harsh Baby

    Some anonymous blowhard spouted:

    ...it is hard to critique a methodology when the methodology is not known as yet.

    The fact that the methodology has not been revealed, while its supposed “conclusions” have already been trumpeted, is grounds enough for the critique.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2008 @ 9:18pm

    Re: Re: Harsh Harsh Baby

    Please explain just what it is you are critiquing, the numbers being bandied about or the methodology by which those numbers were generated? You can certainly be suspicious of the former, but it seems a bit of a stretch to challenge the latter in the absence of its particulars.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Gareth, Dec 18th, 2008 @ 4:25pm

    Re: A Better Idea For Retailers

    The difficulty the music industry as a whole face is caused by the relative ease in which a single paying customer can transfer paid-for music to an free service. Once done, there is a diminishing chance that the publisher and retailer will receive further sales from other customers. Instead, the potential customer will use an free service. This seems a reasonable assertion - if the potential customer does not value their time, they can easily locate music through 'unauthorised' distribution chains (Kazaa, BitTorrent, or whatever the 'youf of today are using) that do not charge for their use. In comparison, the effort and cost to go to a store and buy a CD or digital download will always be greater (e.g. bus fare, petrol costs, travel time. Most stores insist that you wear clothing to shop in their store, while web-based services are less judgmental about attire.)

    I'd like to offer a suggestion or reference for one or more business models that could help to solve a situation, but I can't find a single proposal that offers a firm guarantee that each and every retailer will stay in business. The proposal to provide 'download bays' seems a reasonable method for stores to support digital distribution and justify the use of space in a town or city centre. However, the creation of the Internet and Web has contributed to the development of a global distribution method that transcends physical media and local retailers that specialise in the sale of such are inevitably beginning to suffer. Although the environmentalist in me is happy that the demand for paper, plastic and other materials may decrease, the sociologist in me is worried. The switchover to digital publication will change the required skills and working conditions of many people - retail staff may be pushed into lower-paid factory or menial work, or make them unemployed.

    It's nice to be idealistic and make snide comments from the comfort of your armchair about the failure of others to develop a working solution. However, it's demonstrative of the complexity of the issue that none of the TechDirt administrators, previous posters or the wider tech community have provided any viable options that will allow publishers and retailers to continue to make a profit without costly reinvention. If the result of digital distribution is the collapse of retail chains and mass unemployment, how will the masses be able to pay for Internet access and 'legal' download services?

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Gareth, Dec 18th, 2008 @ 4:51pm

    Re:

    The 30,000 figure appears to come from a comment by the ERA director and may or may not be present in the report itself. He's comparing the potential job loss to the all-to-real job losses that the collapse of Woolworths has caused.

    I don't know about anyone else, but I find it easy to develop apathy when presented with such large numbers - I can't imagine 30,000 people without picturing a mass of unrecognisable faces. Instead, I find it easier to think in terms of the number of seats in a stadium - 30,000 people would fill almost half of Old Trafford in Manchester. A sizeable number!

     

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