Debunking The Ridiculous Claims That Unauthorized Copies Of Handheld Games Has 'Cost' The Economy $41.6 Billion

from the reality-check dept

A bunch of folks have sent in the ridiculous claims from a study done by the Japanese Computer Entertainment Suppliers Association (CESA) suggesting that unauthorized copies of handheld games have cost the industry $41.5 billion over a five year period. Like similar bogus reports, these numbers have little, if any, connection to reality. I was considering skipping posting about it altogether, given that it's really just the same old thing, but Dark Helmet sent in a nice starter list on why this study is completely bogus:
  1. Every infringing download is counted as a lost sale
  2. CESA took the numbers for Japanese handheld game piracy and multiplied it by four to get the worldwide numbers, because CESA "believes" Japan represents 1/4 of the market
  3. Deviations in piracy levels in different world regions were not taken into account
  4. Pricing for games per unauthorized copies were ALL based on the initial release price, not taking into account pricing fluctuations of games over time
In addition, I'd point out that the study apparently picked which sites to cover somewhat at random and may not accurately portray (in any way) the number of downloads. Also, there's no attempt to look at whether or not those who get unauthorized copies of some games end up buying other games as well (i.e., do they still spend the same amount otherwise -- just on different offerings?). Basically, there's very little in this study to take seriously.

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  1. icon
    Jay (profile), 9 Jun 2010 @ 5:22pm

    Oooh, ooh! More about Japan!

    Simply because I'm a big fan of Japanese anime (I love One Piece, hated the way 4Kids translated it, and only restarted watching it after it was picked up by Toei), lemme show how Japan wants to fight this:

    http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/press-release/2010-06-08/multi-national-manga-anti-piracy-c oalition-formed

    "According to the coalition, the problem has reached a point where “scanlation aggregator” sites now host thousands of pirated titles, earning ad revenue and/or membership dues at creators' expense while simultaneously undermining foreign licensing opportunities and unlawfully cannibalizing legitimate sales. Worse still, this pirated material is already making its way to smartphones and other wireless devices, like the iPhone and iPad, through apps that exist solely to link to and republish the content of scanlation sites. "

    What they don't tell you is how most American titles pick up anime titles based on those numbers on sites OR those titles aren't available in the US. Let's not forget that this stuff being on the iPhone or iPad is GROSSLY inaccurate to the truth:

    Steve Jobs doesn't like mature anime - Source - http://www.analoghype.com/2010/05/apple-say-f-u-to-porn-manga/

    ----------------------

    If you read the article, you see that they want to fight the consumer rather than:

    A) Produce manga/ anime online
    B) Distribute more overseas (their entire belief is to keep it within Japanese Borders all things told, then give the US consumer a substandard product)
    C) Not understand their consumer and why they like a series that's hugely popular, but do everything that the article about handheld games is talking about... Put every last download as a lost sale, multiply it, spin around a few times, then make their bosses happy by saying it's causing Japanese consumers to lose out.

    *scratches head*

    Japan has more issues to deal with. Copyright infringement across their borders isn't the one.

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