Questionable 'Piracy' Study Found; Details Show It's Even More Ridiculous Than Expected

from the that's-not-research dept

Thanks to G Thompson for pointing us to where the BSA has stashed a copy of that mysterious "piracy" research report we were just talking about, which was apparently written by someone named Emilio Ferrer. It's embedded below, and it's even more ridiculous than we had initially expected. First, the entire thing is based on the massively and completely debunked TERA report from last year, that used such outrageous assumptions as to not even pass the most basic sniff test. The researchers here appear to have made no attempt to determine the accuracy of the TERA report, nor to respond to any of the debunked points.

Digging into what little details there are suggests that this study just gets worse and worse and worse. It takes bad assumptions, then piles on more bad assumptions and then extrapolates out to get totally unsubstantiated conclusions. For example, it assumes that the volume of online infringement grows at the same rate as IP traffic and assumes the rate at which the industry will grow. That last one is particularly silly. Since it's making up a number for what the total jobs "should" be, it can just create whatever justification that it wants.. and can claim any job loss number it wants to name. The whole thing is a house of cards built on nothing.

Of course, it's worth pointing out that there was another report, this time from AFACT (the Australian anti-piracy group) just a few weeks before that some have confused this report with. The AFACT report can be seen here (pdf). It's even worse than the other study in some cases. Check out some of the assumptions in that report: including the laughable claim that "just under half of all pirate consumers would have paid." There have been various attempts to quantify that number, and I've never seen any unbiased source come anywhere close to 50%. At best, I've seen 10% claims. The only concession the report makes is that maybe some people use unauthorized copies to "sample," and make a legit purchase later. But they only count this if the person says they would pay for that legit product, not if it resulted in them buying other authorized products or services.

It also does a laughable job with "ripple effects." It's pretty sad. We've debunked "ripple effects" reports over and over and over again. They all seem to make the same mistakes. First, it ignores that ripple effects are really ways to count the same dollar over and over and over again. Second, they only count the ripple effects in one direction. So, for example, they say movie industry people lose their jobs, and that means less taxes. But what they don't say is that any money not being spent on the movies doesn't disappear from the economy, but is spent on something else -- and that something else might actually be even more productive or value generating. In fact, looking at this report, it appears they don't even consider this point, and assume that all the money "not" spent on movies disappears from the economy.

So there you have it. Two separate reports released within weeks of each other in Australia by the entertainment industry. Each one seems to be trying to outdo the other one in questionable assumptions and extrapolations.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    crade (profile), Mar 16th, 2011 @ 9:26am

    If they believe the rate of online infringement grows (and shrinks I pressume) at the rate of ip traffic then the only way to stop infringment is to stop all internet usage. It certainly looked like thats what they have been trying to do; now it all makes sense!

     

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      The eejit (profile), Mar 16th, 2011 @ 10:13am

      Re:

      You know you have a problem when comic-book supervillains sound less villainous that you.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 1:58pm

      Re:

      Simply because free open internet and capitalism are incompatible which the internet is a glimpse of what socialism really is and they don't like that.

      This is simply the reality of it since capitalists want to keep the world in stasis like how it was throughout the 20th century hence their reactionaries trying to destroy progress.

       

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    Wayne, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 10:24am

    typical

    reminds me of a while back, i hadn't sent in my taxes for two years, cause you don't have to if the government owes you money. I ended up getting a "Bill" essentially that said I owed 100000, based on the fact the my last reported salary was 75,000, the government assumed that the next years salary would be 100,000 and the year after that would be 150,000. How they came up with those numbers was amazing as 75,000 was the most money I had ever made in a year, and that had been slowly increasing over the years before that and I had never has a 33% let alone a 50% increase in pay ever.

    Sounds like how the RIAA and BSA and those guys get their numbers.

     

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      Christopher (profile), Mar 16th, 2011 @ 3:14pm

      Re: typical

      I hope you wrote a nasty letter back to the idiots telling them that there was no way in hell that your salary would have increased 50% in less than two years, period and done with.

       

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      monkyyy, Mar 17th, 2011 @ 12:44am

      Re: typical

      you should have wrote back at the rate it was going (1/3, 1/2, 2/3?,3/4?)
      you be paying off the national debt in your life time

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 10:28am

    But what they don't say is that any money not being spent on the movies doesn't disappear from the economy, but is spent on something else -- and that something else might actually be even more productive or value generating.

    Since the ripple effect does exist, it is always subject of discussion.

    The economy isn't just the amount of money in it, but the number of times that money turns. If the money isn't moving, the economy gets smaller. It's the nature of the game. There is no "conservation of mass" in the economy, the same dollar can grow or shrink depending on the number of times it changes hands, not on it's actual denomination.

    Looking at the economy only from the stand point of a single transaction (he bought a DVD, or he bought a McLunch) doesn't show that the economy remains the same. It should that the money takes different paths as a result of choices made.

    Quite simply, done right, the money moves in a manner that the end user can buy the movie today, and get paid for working and also be able to buy the McMeal tomorrow. He can do it because the local people he is buying from also end up buying from the company he works from and so on.

    When you remove money loops from the economy, you shrink the economy. The same number of dollars are out there, they are just passing through fewer hands. The more people involved in the economy, the more people trading money, the bigger the economy becomes.

    Saying that piracy has no effect is just silly. When you cut people out of the economy, the number of cycles of money (and the number of people with money to cycle) shrinks, and so does the economy.

    It's pretty simple. I don't know why a guy with an MBA would argue the basics.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 10:37am

      Re:

      You must be really smart, because I don't get it. If i go to the mall with the intent to spend 20 bucks on a shiney plastic disk, and while at the mall i trip over a flash drive of all the music i would have bought at the mall with that 20 bucks, I'm not just going to shrug my shoulders and go home.... I'm going to go buy a fat burger and see a movie.. or perhaps have a few drinks at the bar..... My intent was to spend 20 bucks, and thats what the hell i drove all teh way to the mall to do.

      So why does it matter if Mr. Fat Burger gets the 20 bucks or i give it to a plastic disk store where i don't actually own the product I'm actually only renting it... sort of... i think.....?

       

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        :Lobo Santo (profile), Mar 16th, 2011 @ 10:43am

        Re: Re:

        I think AC was trying to explain in a round-about way how the RIAA and MPAA (or MAFIAA) will begin killing people who stop spending money on movies/music. Hence this line:
        "When you cut people out of the economy, the number of cycles of money (and the number of people with money to cycle) shrinks, and so does the economy."
        This is typical, organized crime throughout history has made death threats against those they do not like.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 11:50am

        Re: Re:

        So why does it matter if Mr. Fat Burger gets the 20 bucks or i give it to a plastic disk store

        See, you missed it.

        It doesn't matter on the level of that single transaction. $20 was moved. But if everyone is taking the content of the plastic disc for free and not paying for it, you have taken those people out of the economy. The result is that the economy is smaller, because those people are not longer sellers and as a result, also no longer buyers. That means they are no longer hiring all the people who work on producing that content, which ripples along through the economy that way too.

        The real goal of the economy is for you to spend your $20 however you like, and having it cycle on through to other people who may choose shiny plastic discs (or anything else), including them in the economy. In a long way around, it gives your boss more business, so he can pay you enough that you have two $20 bills, and you have both a fat burger and a shiny plastic disc.

        When you turn a part of the economy into a "free" zone, you lose that part of the economy, plain and simple. You lose the cycle, you lose those sales, you lose that "cycle" of the money.

        Remember, it isn't your $20 bill - it is the number of times your $20 bill moves that is the economy. If everyone sits on their $20 bills and does nothing, we have a recession. One of the biggest problems facing the US economy right now is that many companies have lots of a cash and no desire to spend it or move it in the economy. If it was moving, the economy would pick up.

         

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          ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Mar 16th, 2011 @ 12:03pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          But if everyone is taking the content of the plastic disc for free and not paying for it, you have taken those people out of the economy.

          Yes, because they are no long necessary.

          If it's any comfort, the buggy whip manufacturers share your pain.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 12:04pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            If it's any comfort, the buggy whip manufacturers share your pain.

            Irrelevant comparison. People stopped wanting buggy whips. People haven't stopped wanting the contents of the discs.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 12:20pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              And the contents on the disc are now infinitely reproducible so the marginal cost of that content is now $0.00.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 12:30pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Even though it costs money and time initially to make, it's easy and cheap to copy, so that makes it OK. Is that what you're saying?

                 

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              Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 12:22pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "People haven't stopped wanting the contents of the discs."

              Perhaps not, but the people that want the content have decided the value of said content by itself is zero. Sure, you have a few out there that haven't figured it out, but they will. The trick now is, how to use that zero value content to give something else value.. you figure that out and you'll be on the right track...

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 12:27pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                It's valuable and they want it, but it's worth $0.00? It seems more likely that they're just "stealing" it because it's easy to do, other people do it, and most people get away with it. I don't buy the "it's worth nothing" argument. If it was so worthless, people wouldn't be breaking the law to get it.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 12:34pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  It's worthless if people don't have too/decide not to pay for it! Stealing it or not, if they want it at all they can get it for free. You have to get them to WANT to pay for it, not punish them or call them theifs for not playing for it. How do you make the "WANT" to pay for something they can get for free by stealing or other absolutely legal means such as Youtube? You wrap it around something else and increase the value... I can download a song, but i can't download a hand signed cd, I can't download a concert ticket for free....

                  I always thought it would be cool that if you went to a concert with a store bought cd that you got 10 bucks off the door price of the ticket... i don't know.. something cool like that...

                   

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                greg.fenton (profile), Mar 17th, 2011 @ 6:03am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Please, recognize the difference between value and price.

                People may not be willing to pay money for it (price of $0), but they value it or they wouldn't go out of their way to get it and to buy the equipment to play it, and to spend time listening to it (which is a form of payment), and to look into ways to appreciate it more like attending live performances, buying physical, related merchandise, etc.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2011 @ 9:39am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Please, recognize the difference between value and price.

                  People may not be willing to pay money for it (price of $0), but they value it or they wouldn't go out of their way to get it and to buy the equipment to play it, and to spend time listening to it (which is a form of payment), and to look into ways to appreciate it more like attending live performances, buying physical, related merchandise, etc.


                  It's only priced at $0.00 if you break the law and "steal" it. People "steal" it because it's easy to do and lots of people do it without getting caught. Economically, it hurts those who put their time, money and effort into producing this content. Content that lots of people clearly want. Calling these producers of content "buggy whip" makers overlooks the fact that everyone wants what they produce. Their not "buggy whip" makers at all. And don't give me any B.S. about them not adapting. They clearly are. I have all the music I want, legally, for a very reasonable fee. (I use MOG and iTunes, and I go to concerts.) I have all the movies I can watch for a very reasonable fee. (I use Netflix, Amazon on Demand, and I go to the movie theater.) If you pirate, you're hurting the very people who provide the content you love. It makes no sense to me. I don't like hurting people, and it's reasonably priced to not do so. What "justification" is there? I really don't get it.

                   

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                    greg.fenton (profile), Mar 17th, 2011 @ 11:54am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    It is not priced at $0, though the market is obviously indicating that it should be. Since it costs NOTHING to produce the copy that I want to get a hold of, a price of $0 is economically correct.

                    It is the business model that is broken. It is people doing work for FREE and then looking to get paid money for access to something that costs NOTHING to deliver. It is something like painting your house and then knocking on the door and asking to get paid.

                    If they changed their model they would either: (a) get PAID before doing the work and give the results away for free, or (b) give the results away for free and get PAID for other tangible, non-zero cost works that they associated with the free stuff.

                    And, in fact, most recorded music artists currently follow path (b). It is just that the masters they work for, who "discover" them, are having their middleman roles eliminated. So the artist believes that they themselves are being harmed, when in reality the $3 monthly royalty checks (after loan paybacks and marketing costs and discovery-referral fees and ...) were never worth the trouble. The majority of music artists make their money from OTHER SOURCES such as touring and private gigs. Now they could be focusing exclusively on the profitable portion of their daily work routine, rather than the part that the record industry has them believing might be massively profitable one day if you hit the lottery and we decide to back you and you don't realize how much of that lottery we are holding back from you....but in reality the vast majority will not hit the lottery and not make a profit catering to the industry's will.

                     

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              Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 16th, 2011 @ 12:31pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Irrelevant comparison. People stopped wanting buggy whips. People haven't stopped wanting the contents of the discs.


              Actually, it's you making the irrelevant comparison.

              Proper comparison: people wanted travel, buggy whips were a necessary piece of equipment for travel. When that changed, people went elsewhere.

              People want music, discs were a necessary piece for music. When that changed, people went elsewhere.

              Comparison stands.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 1:57pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                First off, kudos for dragging back in the buggy whips. It has been so long since you have made this tired comparison.

                As for the "discs", you keep forgetting that people aren't buying the discs, they are buying the rights to what is on the discs. Shiny plastic discs, vinyl records, 8 track tapes, or digital MP3 files are all just carriers for the licensed content. They are not the end in itself. The buggy whip is the end in itself. People don't care about the whips, no more than the people care about 8 track tapes. But they still want transport, and they still want the music.

                One day you will come to understand the very basic difference and stop playing the buggy whip card.

                 

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                  The eejit (profile), Mar 16th, 2011 @ 2:05pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Okay then, how about this one:

                  Radio happened, music became reasonably commonplace. Then came the cassette recorder, and people taped music they liked fromt he radio and shared it. Content owners cry something incoherent about the sky.

                   

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                  Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 2:18pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  I don't get it...you repeat his argument and then conclude that you're correct and he's wrong?

                  His whole point was that people don't care about the medium, but rather the content. Convenience of the medium (be it whip, disc, digital file, etc.) demands a price from the consumer. With digital distribution, costs of the medium drop to zero, so we're left with what? For me, convenience. Sure I could go torrent all the movies, but I'm lazy, so I'll pay my $10/mo and just watch them on Netflix, or I'll listen to the ads on Pandora. Some people don't have that $10 laying around, but they have abundant time, so they pirate. Life is tough sometimes.

                   

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                  Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 2:21pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  But they still want transport, and they still want the music.

                  Like on the YouTube? Which people can listen to for free? Walking is also a form of transportation and that also happens to be for free.

                   

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                  HothMonster, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 3:43pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  The buggy whip and switchboard and the monks vs printing press and other other like refernces do aply and the do like so:
                  They are examples of people makeing stuff that consumers don't want anymore. Yes people want the content, which the record industry doenst create they liscence it for as little as possible with a contract and then try to make absurd profits on it. There are new means of getting music that consumers want and plenty of people are happy to pay for it. As someone pointed out elsewhere in here people are lazy by nature and most of us are happy to pay a reasonable fee to not have to pirate things, because pirating takes work and time and your not guarenteed to get what you want. So if the music and film industies offered their work at reasonable prices and in a form people want they will buy. Look at hulu and netflix and pandora and spotify ect ect.

                  Like you say people still wanted transportation just not the whips people still want the music just without the disc and liscence. Plenty of money can be made giving the people what they want. These legacy businsses just don't want to adapt and they don't want to give up the power they had by being the only game in town.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 10:13pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Sorry no, they all fail, because not only do people still want content, they are hopelessly addicted to it, and will break the law to obtain it.

                    Just like hopeless and pathetic crack addicts that must steal to feed their addiction.

                    So indeed, all the usual silly analogies are easily debunked.

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 11:04pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Speaking of silly analogies . . . .

                       

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                      Justin Olbrantz (Quantam), Mar 16th, 2011 @ 11:26pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      You intrigue me. A good number of your posts (such as this one) sound most plausibly like satire, though a couple of others sound like they could be serious. I honestly can't tell whether you believe a thing you're typing or are merely mocking people who believe those things.

                       

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                  Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 16th, 2011 @ 4:29pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  As for the "discs", you keep forgetting that people aren't buying the discs, they are buying the rights to what is on the discs.

                  Right. And that's why when the *disc* breaks, they're free to just get another copy of the music.... Oh wait.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 6:48pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    When you drive your car till it breaks down, does Ford provide you another one for free?

                    Seriously, he was right to question how you obtained an MBA...

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 7:42pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      So when I purchase a Ford product, I'm actually purchasing a license and don't actually own it?

                       

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                    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 8:27pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Since you made your legal fair use backup copy, there is no issue. Well, there is if you are going to be a whiner.

                     

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                Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 10:32pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                People want music, discs were a necessary piece for music. When that changed, people went elsewhere.

                iTunes, Amazon sell music not on plastic discs. Many go there, yet piracy still continues.

                Comparison stands.

                LOL. Obviously not.

                 

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              Planespotter (profile), Mar 16th, 2011 @ 1:01pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              So where were you when the 8 track manufacturers folded? People aren't paying for the disc they are paying for its contents like you said, only thing is the actual container is now obsolete, like the 8 track cassettes and tapes that came before them. Unbfortunately the "industry" has always had a physical product, a tape or a disc, now they don't, the film/game/tv programme/music is now just 1's and 0's... and therefore infinite and no longer scarce.

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 5:34pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Perhaps so, but you keep conflating the content with the disc. Stop it. It destroys your whole argument.

               

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            Joe (profile), Mar 17th, 2011 @ 11:25am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            No, the buggy whip manufacturers changed their business plan. Now, they target the BSDM population. ;)

             

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 12:13pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "When you turn a part of the economy into a "free" zone, you lose that part of the economy, plain and simple. You lose the cycle, you lose those sales, you lose that "cycle" of the money."

          Excuse me, sir (or madam)? Please explain to me why shifting the money cycling to other, more efficient/productive, areas of the economy is a bad thing. If I do not spend my 20$ in a CD, but instead spend it on a flash drive (or something), wouldn't I still be stimulating the economy?

          Also, if one area of the economy is dying, doesn't that mean that the business models or products being sold are unwanted or are being inefficiently applied? Based on the principle of "survival of the fittest" (which is basically how free market economies work), wouldn't it make MORE sense if those businesses died?

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 12:13pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Ok, I think I'm starting to see, but their are still some holes.
          "you have taken those people out of the economy"

          Are not "those people" replaced by "new people"? If demand goes up for the Fat Burger, won't those places need employee's, suppliers, management, etc etc... so would not the money still move, just in a different direction?

          "When you turn a part of the economy into a "free" zone, you lose that part of the economy, plain and simple. You lose the cycle, you lose those sales, you lose that "cycle" of the money."

          This is the part i don't get the most. When you create a zone "free" or otherwise, don't you need supporting "zones"? Can't some of these generate money? So you don't buy the shiney disks, you download your music...you now have a whole new market that didn't exist before! You have flash drives, online storage, bandwidth, replication softwares, and an entire market of new shiney toys to store your music on that didn't exist before! Don't those more than replace the "plastic disk" market you lost? Have you not actually increased the cash flow with all these tiny markets that have opened up in support of this new idea?

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 3:52pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Cyberlockers, multimedia websites, apps creators and etc.

            What the old industry wants is to stop the new guys from supplanting them and actually the old industry is the one causing loss of jobs and stalling the market.

             

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 3:44pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Quote:
          But if everyone is taking the content of the plastic disc for free and not paying for it, you have taken those people out of the economy. The result is that the economy is smaller, because those people are not longer sellers and as a result, also no longer buyers. That means they are no longer hiring all the people who work on producing that content, which ripples along through the economy that way too.


          Now you just have to prove that those assumptions are really true because in every other part of the market that free distribution also creates other opportunities even when people sell those things and don't pay the original creator, to show you that you can go to Brazil and see how aparelhagems work producing physical goods(CD's) that they give away to street vendors that help them create another market, also you have radio and TV they should have cannibalized that market too if what you say was correct and despite your claims that is not what we see, further you have open source that gives away their product and many projects now have secondary markets that create income to them, I know people buy services(i.e. support) from the original producers because they are offering their own services and need support from others who create those tools.

          On the other hand one guy with a monopoly stops all that from happening and actually that is more likely to shrink any market and contract economies, we all know that is true because we have a very detailed history of how monopolies harm economies.

          Now care to share with us how giving absolute power to any muppet helps the economy when a thousand other people who could be moving money too are left out?

           

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          Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Mar 17th, 2011 @ 10:09am

          Re: Re: Re:

          you have taken those people out of the economy
          Says he ignoring that such a thing does not necessarily happen, that there's little or no hard evidence either way to suggest the 2 are or are not related even where you can show a reduction, that such things naturally happen whether by "piracy" or not as the economy/technology evolves (horse and buggy effect), that other different jobs are created "over there" where the money was spent to replace or augment the ones perhaps lost "over here" from the money not being spent... and so on and so on... Overall a masterpiece of picking the bits you like and ignoring the rest. Bravo *tips hat politely*

           

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        Unanimous Cow Herd, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 11:56am

        Re: Re:

        You're only renting the burger. After all, 30 cows agree.

         

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      Hephaestus (profile), Mar 16th, 2011 @ 10:44am

      Re:

      "When you remove money loops from the economy, you shrink the economy. The same number of dollars are out there, they are just passing through fewer hands."

      There is so much wrong with that sentence. Actually your entire comment is horrible. You use so many words to say nothing.

      The only thing I got out of the entire comment is you think if money isn't spent on a DVD it disappears from the economy and doesn't follow another path. You are an IDIOT.

       

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        Joe (profile), Mar 17th, 2011 @ 1:28pm

        Re: Re:

        No, he's saying that if you don't buy a CD and chose to pirate your music, you should donate the money you would have spent on music to the pirate site where you got your music. That way, the whole economy maintains its balance.

        Or something like that. ;)

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 10:44am

      Re:

      It's pretty simple. I don't know why a guy with an MBA would argue the basics.

      He's arguing the agenda. Every study that says piracy is good is gospel. Every study that says piracy is bad is meritless. It doesn't matter what the study actually says.

      I love the justification that since the money's spent elsewhere it's OK to not spend it on the people who incur the debt producing the content that's so valuable people will "steal" it in the first place. How immoral can one blogger be?

       

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        Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 16th, 2011 @ 10:56am

        Re: Re:

        He's arguing the agenda.

        What "agenda"? I keep asking you to answer this simple question, because frankly, it makes you look ridiculous. My "agenda" is what's BEST for society and culture and the economy and innovation. So awful, I know.

        Every study that says piracy is good is gospel

        No, I've pointed out errors in some of those studies too, but you can't resist lying about me.

        Every study that says piracy is bad is meritless

        No. But every one we've looked at is, meritless. I mean, seriously, look at these two studies. Neither has even the slightest dose of reality.

        It doesn't matter what the study actually says.

        Actually, it does. We respond to what's in the study specifically.

        I love the justification that since the money's spent elsewhere it's OK to not spend it on the people who incur the debt producing the content that's so valuable people will "steal" it in the first place. How immoral can one blogger be

        Immoral is misstating what I said. I did not say it was "ok." Your misrepresentations are pathological. I said that it means the ripple effects are misleading in saying how much something "harms" the economy. Are you seriously arguing otherwise?

         

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          :Lobo Santo (profile), Mar 16th, 2011 @ 10:59am

          Re: Re: Re:

          _sigh_ I feel your pain. Kinda makes a brother wanna break out the ban-hammer. But, as TJ said: "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it."

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 11:34am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Of course you're going to deny your agenda. That's part of your agenda. :)

          You've mentioned that piracy is not OK. Can you explain to us why exactly you think that? Thanks.

           

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            Hephaestus (profile), Mar 16th, 2011 @ 11:54am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "You've mentioned that piracy is not OK. Can you explain to us why exactly you think that? Thanks."

            Its not piracy, its infringement.

            Piracy is defined as : a war-like act committed by private parties (not affiliated with any government) that engage in acts of robbery and/or criminal violence at sea.

            Infringement is defined as : A violation, as of a law, regulation, or agreement; a breach.

             

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            G Thompson (profile), Mar 16th, 2011 @ 7:11pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Ah yes the old "There has to be a conspiracy because people deny the conspiracy exists, so therefore to deny it means that they know about it"

            Warning: Circular logic is bound to make your footinmouthus condition worse

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 10:15pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You've mentioned that piracy is not OK. Can you explain to us why exactly you think that? Thanks.

            crickets...

             

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            Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 17th, 2011 @ 2:05am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You've mentioned that piracy is not OK. Can you explain to us why exactly you think that? Thanks.


            I've explained plenty of times why. I think it violates the law, and I tend to think people shouldn't violate the law.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2011 @ 9:11am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:



              But other than the fact that it violates the law, it's perfectly OK, right?

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2011 @ 9:50am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I've explained plenty of times why. I think it violates the law, and I tend to think people shouldn't violate the law.

              (Sorry, my comment got cut off.)

              So other than the fact that it is technically illegal, you really don't have a problem with it. In fact, you believe piracy is a good thing in the net, right? So really, you're for piracy, right? Please explain. It's quite a conundrum, and I've never heard you reconcile the claim that it's not OK with the claim that it doesn't hurt anyone. If it does hurt someone, then why is that OK? Please explain exactly who it hurts, how it hurts them, and why it's OK to hurt those people. I feel like you're saying it's OK to hurt certain people, even though those people provide a valuable service. How's that OK? I really don't get where you're coming from. It seems like you're coming from a bad place.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2011 @ 10:36am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "Could you show me on the doll where the pirate touched you?"

                 

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                Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 17th, 2011 @ 2:41pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                So other than the fact that it is technically illegal, you really don't have a problem with it. In fact, you believe piracy is a good thing in the net, right? So really, you're for piracy, right? Please explain. It's quite a conundrum, and I've never heard you reconcile the claim that it's not OK with the claim that it doesn't hurt anyone. If it does hurt someone, then why is that OK? Please explain exactly who it hurts, how it hurts them, and why it's OK to hurt those people. I feel like you're saying it's OK to hurt certain people, even though those people provide a valuable service. How's that OK? I really don't get where you're coming from. It seems like you're coming from a bad place

                You seem very confused.

                Let's try this slowly:

                1. Piracy impacts a market. I've never claimed otherwise, contrary to what the clueless anonymous coward above says.

                2. That said, there are ways to react to it, and there are ways, as a content creator to embrace it, and we've seen over and over again that those who do learn to embrace it end up being better off.

                3. Thus, the problem is not "piracy" so much as it's a failure to put in place a smart business model around it.

                4. So my recommendation is to choose a smart business model, and then there's no problem with piracy (there may be other problems, but that's separate).

                5. As for why I don't think it's okay, it's because I'm talking about things from the content creator's perspective, and I feel they should learn to embrace smart, realistic business models. I don't think telling anyone to break the law is a good idea, and I don't break the law myself. That's why I don't think it's "ok."

                Make sense?

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2011 @ 9:22pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  So if your so confident in new business models, why do crank on every single attempt at enforcing the law when it comes to piracy? Why the constant snarky posts about enforcement?

                  Do really think people believe you when you call every enforcement of the law censorship?

                  If you really believed piracy wasn't a problem, and there was a better new way, you wouldn't have to do that.

                   

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                    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 17th, 2011 @ 11:38pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    So if your so confident in new business models, why do crank on every single attempt at enforcing the law when it comes to piracy? Why the constant snarky posts about enforcement

                    Because people are worried about little things like due process and free speech.

                    It's sad that you're not.

                    Do really think people believe you when you call every enforcement of the law censorship?


                    If it involves taking down speech by the government it is, by definition, censorship. I'm sorry that you don't understand the language, but I'll buy you a dictionary.

                    If you really believed piracy wasn't a problem, and there was a better new way, you wouldn't have to do that.


                    Wait, I should let idiots like you stifle free speech, innovation, and due process in a fruitless attempt to bring back the old days that don't exist any more (and never actually existed)?

                    That's ridiculous. I don't think piracy is a problem at all, because I know that people can put in place smart business models. What scares me is idiots like you who refuse to adapt, and sit back and beg the government to trample on everyone else's rights, stifle innovation, and seek to hurt the economy.

                    You scare the shit out of me.

                    If you had your way, there would be no iPods. There would be no radio. There would be no computers. You are a menace.

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 1:03am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      This was most convincing rant on the internet I've ever seen. I've now been forced to change all of my values and go steal some music.

                      I'm thinking either Weird Al or Grand Funk Railroad. I can't decide. Maybe I'll stay up a bit later and grab them both.

                      Please post all megaupload/mediafire/rapidshare links to these artists in the handy box below.

                      besame mucho.

                       

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                        Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 18th, 2011 @ 1:18am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        This was most convincing rant on the internet I've ever seen. I've now been forced to change all of my values and go steal some music.

                        I explain my position, which has nothing to do with piracy, and you're so obnoxious that the best you can do is a sarcastic ass reply about piracy.

                        Please post all megaupload/mediafire/rapidshare links to these artists in the handy box below.

                        Why would I do that? I don't support piracy.

                        In fact, now that you've asked to pirate stuff, by your own reasoning, I should be turning you over to the gov't for enforcement, right?

                        Since you don't care about basic rights, you'd have no problem if I shared your IP address as a pirate's, right?

                         

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                  Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 8:58am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Let's try this slowly:

                  1. Piracy impacts a market. I've never claimed otherwise, contrary to what the clueless anonymous coward above says.

                  2. That said, there are ways to react to it, and there are ways, as a content creator to embrace it, and we've seen over and over again that those who do learn to embrace it end up being better off.

                  3. Thus, the problem is not "piracy" so much as it's a failure to put in place a smart business model around it.

                  4. So my recommendation is to choose a smart business model, and then there's no problem with piracy (there may be other problems, but that's separate).

                  5. As for why I don't think it's okay, it's because I'm talking about things from the content creator's perspective, and I feel they should learn to embrace smart, realistic business models. I don't think telling anyone to break the law is a good idea, and I don't break the law myself. That's why I don't think it's "ok."

                  Make sense?


                  I appreciate the explanation. Thank you. It's point number one that intrigues me. Can you explain how "piracy impacts a market"? Is it a positive or negative net impact? Exactly which market does it impact, and how does it impact it?

                  I disagree with your position generally though, since I don't see why people deciding to pirate should shift the burden on the victims to change their ways. Nor do I understand how it is you think there's a viable, superior, and alternative business model for every type of business that the pirates negatively affect. Furthermore, I don't understand why it is you believe that piracy hurts certain markets, yet the people in those markets who are hurt should not use the courts to seek remedies from those who hurt them. You NEVER side with a plaintiff in an infringement action. If you really believe the infringer has injured the plaintiff, they why not side with the plaintiff?

                   

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 10:36pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          My "agenda" is what's BEST for society and culture and the economy and innovation.

          Which apparently includes stomping on the rights of artists who ask to be paid for the product they sell.

          So awful, I know.

          It is actually. And you would know that if you weren't such a hopeless sociopath.

           

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            greg.fenton (profile), Mar 17th, 2011 @ 6:15am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Let's be clear here. The attempt to stop piracy is substantially less than 10% about the artists. It is 90%+ about protecting the business model of the middleman that have exploited those artists for 100+ years.

            And as Techdirt (and many others) have pointed out for years: many, many more artists will do better under a model of unhindered distribution of their primary marketing materials.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2011 @ 8:59am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              This is a canard, as piracy takes away options from artists. While it is great that artists can now choose to distribute themselves on the internet, it's still their choice what to do with their music, and far and away most musicians strive to sign with a label and utilize the resources they provide. Demonizing "middlemen" is nothing but a rationalization for piracy.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2011 @ 9:29am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                far and away most musicians strive to sign with a label and utilize the resources they provide.

                [citation needed]

                 

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                greg.fenton (profile), Mar 17th, 2011 @ 12:01pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                In addition to needing a citation, realize that many in the industry continue to follow the failing routines because...it is routine. I bet there were students learning the trades of buggy whip making/marketing/sales and telephone operations at the time that those industries collapse.

                This issue is, for the most part, the type of things that drive the trolls around here nuts. "But it has always been this way" (which is essentially what you are arguing) is the non-thinking man's argument. Why does it need to stay that way? Why is an industry's choice of business model dictate the paths of progress?

                No rights are being violated when I download a song from the internet. So why are they getting my government to slap on taxes, search my stuffs, go after those I associate with, taking away my ability to "own", blocking my access to interacting directly with artists I want to, dictating how/when/where I can appreciate information that costs nothing to reproduce and is taking nothing away by my having a copy of?

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2011 @ 1:21pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Once again, you don't know what you're talking about. You write software and think you know the intricacies of the music business. nuff said.

                  I have worked in just about every aspect of music you can think of. musician, record store employee, engineer, roadie, live soundman, writer, producer, drum and guitar tech, record label employee, etc. You name it. And despite what Masnick would love to believe, I have been extremely successful. I've made a wonderful living exclusively in music since I was in my teens; 20+ years.

                  All my friends are professional musicians. A few of my close friends are people you have heard of, and quite likely have copies of their music. They are literally world famous.

                  Mike Masnick's views on how musicians should now make money is what has long been known as "personalized promo". It is not a new concept. Artists should use it, as they always have, but the vast majority can't make a living wage doing that as their primary source of income. If Mike Masnick has something more groundbreaking than personalized promo, he should share it on this blog in a headline article. Because piracy has removed a vital income stream from recording artists. I have seen that lack of income hurt in so very many ways; creative-wise, family-wise, and even health-wise.

                  So please spare me any lectures on piracy or anything else. I've seen all sides of this issue for years; the moral and amoral, legal and illegal, the altruist and the leech. I'm comfortable knowing I'm on the good guy's side.

                   

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                    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 17th, 2011 @ 2:38pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Mike Masnick's views on how musicians should now make money is what has long been known as "personalized promo". It is not a new concept. Artists should use it, as they always have, but the vast majority can't make a living wage doing that as their primary source of income

                    As I've already explained to you, it's NOT personalized promo. That may be a part of it, but if you think that's it, and you think that personalized promo with calling your biggest fans criminals is a smart business model, you deserve to fail.

                    And I find it funny that you now claim to be a success. Just a month ago you told us that the band you're in had to all go out and get day jobs because you couldn't find anyone who wanted to buy your music any more. Were you lying then or now?

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2011 @ 3:19pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      The only one who is lying is you Masnick, as I stated I knew people in bands that had to get day jobs when they wanted to be making music. But you've never let facts get in the way of your agenda, have you?

                      Yes, I am extremely successful. I'm sure you would be shocked if I told you how much so. But that doesn't stop me from lobbying against the injustices foisted upon artists. Engaging in and supporting piracy is immoral and that makes me angry and an activist. You're going to have to deal with that.

                      If your theories are more than personalized promo, then write an article and spell it out for us.

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2011 @ 6:11pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        You know whats an injustice? Copyright that last for centuries. How anyone could support such an asinine system is beyond me and until some measure of reform is instituted I'll keep telling people to go ahead and copy that floppy.

                         

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                          Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2011 @ 9:04pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          What do you care about copyright length??? The stuff you guys rip off is usually only a couple years old at best.

                           

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                        Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 17th, 2011 @ 11:31pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        If your theories are more than personalized promo, then write an article and spell it out for us.


                        I've spelled it out for you so many times. You don't want to listen. Personalized promo is potentially a part of it, but it's useless if you don't connect with your fans.

                        You know how not to connect with your fans? To act as if they're criminals.

                        The point of CwF + RtB is that it's not just the RtB. The problem is you fail at CwF, because you are not listening to your fans and not understanding what they want. That's why you're a failure in the music business.

                         

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                    greg.fenton (profile), Mar 17th, 2011 @ 8:33pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Interesting. So you are saying that you, someone well cultured in the routine of "the music business", is having difficulties adjusting to the new ecosystem? That when presented with well reasoned arguments about change, you lash back claiming that it cannot work and essentially point to the 50+ year industry to explain why?

                    Tell me, as a seasoned musician, how many members of your audience today are there because they bought a copy of your latest CD at a CD store or iTunes? And how many made that purchase because of the marketing clout of your label?

                    And then tell me how many of those people are there because they discovered your music via social networks, blogs, youtube and their ability to sample your music before buying that concert ticket or showing up to that club?

                    Oh, and since you have the goods on the inside track: can you share with us your breakdown (rough numbers is fine) on your revenues of published music vs performance vs other revenue streams? Feel free to compare the current breakdown with those of prior to, say, the year 2000 so we are clear as to how this rampant piracy has had such a negative impact on your personal experience in the music industry.

                    Yes, I am just a software developer (well, that's what you claim to know). But somehow I don't see that this fact is at all relevant to my ability to think through these issues and provide critique from what information I do have. I'm happy to be corrected in my understanding of the facts, but to date you haven't provided me much more information to go on beside "trust me, I know." So, what is it you know?

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2011 @ 9:16pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      You're trying to somehow exculpate piracy by saying concert revenues went up? Yeah for who? And how long did that last?

                      There's no excuse for taking something without paying. Everything else is rationalizations.

                      Comedienne Jen Kirkman so totally nails it at the 9:20 mark:

                      http://vimeo.com/20999360

                       

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                        greg.fenton (profile), Mar 17th, 2011 @ 9:28pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        Okay, so we agree that piracy is wrong...as I've said in other replies on this article. We disagree that we agree, as you continue to say that I support piracy, which I do not (nor does Mike, BTW).

                        However, you still have not given me any facts. You have not given me information about how playing within the label's rules (which I'm assuming you have done based on your stance in all these replies, but since you haven't actually provided any information on this topic the assumption is all I have to go on) has been beneficial to you, and/or measurements on how "piracy" has affected you.

                         

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                          Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2011 @ 9:34pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          Literally almost every band I know has a 50/50 deal with whatever (usually) indie label they're on. The one that doesn't is on a major, but still has a great deal, and are so ridiculously famous that they can't begin to spend all the money they have.

                          If a disc is on the web before it's even out, that hurts sales.
                          Piracy affects my royalty statements. Believe me.

                           

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                            Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 17th, 2011 @ 11:41pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            Piracy affects my royalty statements. Believe me

                            Of course it does. Because *YOU* have failed to give your fans any reason to actually buy. If you actually stopped calling them all thieves, and started respecting your fans, maybe they'd buy from you again. We've seen this over and over again. The artists who respect their fans and give them a reason to buy do fine and aren't at all worried about piracy, because IT DOESN'T impact their revenue.

                            The problem is you want everyone to just pay. Well, sorry dude, that's not how capitalism works. If you wanted the gov't to force people to give you money, go somewhere else. If you want to make money in the music business, learn how to run a business.

                             

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                              Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 12:53am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              *YOU* have failed to give your fans any reason to actually buy.

                              But a lot of reasons to copy! hey-o!

                              Really Mike, if your models are so great, they'll succeed on their own; no need to encourage piracy. Good luck.

                               

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                                Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 18th, 2011 @ 1:04am

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                Really Mike, if your models are so great, they'll succeed on their own; no need to encourage piracy. Good luck.


                                I don't encourage piracy. As I said, the models have nothing to do with piracy. This is pretty basic stuff I'm explaining here, and you don't seem to grasp even the most basic concepts.

                                If you can't understand what I'm saying, please try not to misrepresent me so badly. It makes you look like a complete idiot.

                                 

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                        Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 17th, 2011 @ 11:34pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        There's no excuse for taking something without paying. Everything else is rationalizations.


                        You posted here without paying.

                        Apparently you're a thief. Where shall I send the invoice?

                         

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                          Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 12:47am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          Remind me again what I took without paying?

                          You're drowning.

                          I'm an empathetic person by nature, so I'm actually feeling sorry for you right now. wow.

                           

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                            Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 18th, 2011 @ 1:02am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            I'm an empathetic person by nature, so I'm actually feeling sorry for you right now. wow.


                            You make me laugh. Empathetic? You come here every day, and blatantly lie about what I say. You blame me for your own failures, and when I try to help you, you attack me.

                            You're a sick individual.

                             

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                              Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 1:35am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              You're a sick individual.

                              Really now?

                              Be sure to say the same thing to all the other anonymous posters whose opinions parallel mine, just to keep things fair, k?

                              Hopefully they'll be as empathetic as I am.

                              Remember what I said Mike, the decision to make piracy the focus of your blog was your boneheaded choice, not mine.

                               

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                                Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 18th, 2011 @ 1:58am

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                Remember what I said Mike, the decision to make piracy the focus of your blog was your boneheaded choice, not mine

                                I finally figured it out. You're jealous. Hilarious.

                                Funny stuff.

                                Oh well. At least I know what this blog is actually about, and what I actually say. It amuses me to no end that you're so threatened by basic economics that the best you can do is attack the messenger who tries to help you. You must be so fun to be around.

                                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2011 @ 1:38pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  And btw, you lose points for trotting out the buggy whip non-analogy.

                  Here is a more recent debunking of that old chestnut:

                  http://www.copyhype.com/2011/03/copyright-and-buggy-whips/

                   

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                    JMT, Mar 17th, 2011 @ 5:36pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    And the first comment on that post completely debunks the "debunking":

                    "I think you are conflating the content with the container, and so your attempt to extend the analogy in this way is itself inaccurate. To speak through the analogy: People are not pirating buggy-whips, they’re pirating transportation, which the buggy-whip makers dominated until the automobile introduced a new and better means of transportation. This seems the more correct analogy: the buggy-whip makers are trying to make people buy buggy-whips to start up their new automobiles, instead of changing their business into making automobiles or automobile components.

                    In other words, the “buggy-whip” is the excludability that is inherent to the physical versions of content in film, discs, and paper. The content industries are trying to maintain or artificially create excludability via DRM, DVD release windows, and other means. That seems more like efforts at protection rather than innovation.

                    People aren’t demanding new forms of content; as you say, they are chomping at the bit for the content that artists are producing. But they are certainly demanding that the means of buying and accessing that content evolve with the times. Consumers are not in arms against content creators; they are in arms against the content packagers and content peddlers.

                    I agree that many new distribution and monetization models are unproven, and it would indeed be foolish for the content industry to throw all their eggs in any single new basket. But the trend seems pretty clear that monetizing excludability won’t last in the digital age, and so filing suits against those who are moving ahead in that trend will result only in pyrrhic victories at best.

                    I agree that piracy is not innovation. But neither is trying to futilely import physical excludability into the digital landscape while suing your customers along the way. No, piracy is not innovation; piracy is a signal that content industries are not meeting the needs of their consumers. It seems to me entirely acceptable for the content industries to be cautious in transitioning to this new and developing new business environment, but it seems to me entirely unacceptable for them to try to cling to and artificially sustain an environment that is quickly fading into history."


                    So that old chestnut holds up just fine if you actually understand the analogy.

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2011 @ 9:08pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      that's not a debunking, it's an unconvincing manifesto.

                      The buggy whip analogy is silly. Feel free to keep using it, it's your scarlet letter, not mine.

                       

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        Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Mar 16th, 2011 @ 10:57am

        Re: Re:

        You claim that the study is completely, 100% accurate? That the money not spent on a CD is hidden in a coffee can burred in the back yard until hard currency has lost all value and meaning? You claim that downloading, using, seeing anything without paying is stealing?

         

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        Michael, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 11:00am

        Re: Re:

        "since the money's spent elsewhere it's OK to not spend it on the people who incur the debt producing the content"

        I have never heard anyone say that. What I have heard is that the claims that piracy is killing the music industry do not really match reality and studies like the one the article is referring to are so full of errors that we should not be basing policy on them. Do you feel the study is accurate?

        In addition to this, the means being used to reward the people "incur the debt producing the content" is copyright law. Copyright law was not intended for this. It was intended specifically to grant a limited monopoly as incentive for creation of new content. Do you know of any studies that conclude that there is less content being created these days due to piracy? I have not seen any credible ones, but perhaps you have.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 11:09am

        Re: Re:

        About as immoral as copyright can be:

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

        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

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 11:23am

        Re: Re:

        Every study that says piracy is good is gospel. Every study that says piracy is bad is meritless. It doesn't matter what the study actually says.


        So it doesn't matter what the study says, but it *does* matter what it says?

        Care to make up your mind?

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 3:27pm

        Re: Re:

        If it is so important explain why more people are just not buying anything.

        You know they could, they are just not buying, not even when it is priced right why?

        In my case I can assure you, I don't buy, rent or lease anything from people like you, I go to Jamendo which is free and also legal, are you going to compete with free or not?

        Hint: You people actually don't have a choice.

         

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      Michael, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 10:53am

      Re:

      "The economy isn't just the amount of money in it, but the number of times that money turns"

      Not that I agree with much of what you said, but let's go with this piece and say i agree with it. How is directing money to a different group "shrink" the economy? Doesn't it just shrink the economy of the the people it used to go to and grow the economy of the new people?

      Any reasonable discussion about ripple effects in an economy need to look at both sides. Yes, piracy may be impacting the purchasing of plastic disks, but without looking at what the saved money HAS been spent on is basically making the assumption that people put that money in their mattress. Now, if you found that piracy was causing money that used to be spent on plastic disks to be redirected to purchasing concert tickets and band t-shirts, would you be saying piracy helps the music industry, or do you mean record labels when you talk about the music industry?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 11:57am

        Re: Re:

        The effects are because the people who sell movies / music / software are also consumers of other products. They are a cycle. When you remove 40 billion dollars of sales (and convert it into free) you also hurt a large number of people, removing their economic power to buy in other places, which in turn hurts those people's ability to buy, and so on. In a bigger way, it's how a recession works.

        The money does go elsewhere, but one of the potential cycles is lost (buying "content"). That shuts a number of people out of the economy, which hurts the overall economy.

        Another way to look at it: If only two people in the US had all the money and all the goods, they could trade it back and forth a million times a day and the US economy would be huge. It would also not include anyone else. When you add people into the economy, there is more actual economy activity. When you cut them out of the economy, there is less.

        Mike's point of view only works if you assume that the movie and music industries are economic dead ends. The money goes in and is burned to melt the plastic to make the plastic discs and never returns to the economy. That just isn't true. It also assumes that nobody in the "content" industries ever employs anyone, or every buys products from others, creating more cycles. That just isn't the case.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 11:59am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Funny how Mike takes time to respond to my jabbing, but he hasn't time to respond to your excellent points. Hmm...

           

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            Colin, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 12:22pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            At least you admit you aren't making any points and are just trying to start something.

             

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            You still don't get it?, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 12:41pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You keep explaining why Mike is correct but you can't even see it. All of those loops and lost activity blah blah blah are NOT gone. The exact same amount, more or less, are CREATED, but in other places.

            You keep arguing that more loops in general are better for the overall economy but at the same time more loops in places you don't like are bad? You can't seem to reason past your own biases.

             

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          The eejit (profile), Mar 16th, 2011 @ 12:25pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          You faield to address Michael's point: if no money is spent on the music, but the money is instead spent on merchandise and concert tickets, is it of a geater benefit to the economy or not?

          The aformentioned report assumes that that money simply disappears from our minds, which is patently false.

           

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          Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 16th, 2011 @ 12:29pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          The money does go elsewhere, but one of the potential cycles is lost (buying "content"). That shuts a number of people out of the economy, which hurts the overall economy

          This is economically false. There is actually a fair amount of research on this and it totally debunks the fallacy above. In fact, if what you said above was true, then the way to grow an economy would be to simply add more cycles, and force more money through. But that's phantom movement, but not actual growth. Read your Bastiat to understand why.

          Another way to look at it: If only two people in the US had all the money and all the goods, they could trade it back and forth a million times a day and the US economy would be huge. It would also not include anyone else. When you add people into the economy, there is more actual economy activity. When you cut them out of the economy, there is less.

          What you don't understand is your hypo actually disproves your point. When *unnecessary* cycles take place that does not actually lead to economic growth, it is wasteful. What people are saying is that if the free market is removing the cycles, that means those are wasteful cycles. Again this has been studied in great detail.

          Mike's point of view only works if you assume that the movie and music industries are economic dead ends. The money goes in and is burned to melt the plastic to make the plastic discs and never returns to the economy. That just isn't true. It also assumes that nobody in the "content" industries ever employs anyone, or every buys products from others, creating more cycles. That just isn't the case

          It does not make that assumption in the slightest, and I'm somewhat confused as to how you could make that assertion.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 2:04pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            his is economically false. There is actually a fair amount of research on this and it totally debunks the fallacy above. In fact, if what you said above was true, then the way to grow an economy would be to simply add more cycles, and force more money through. But that's phantom movement, but not actual growth. Read your Bastiat to understand why.

            As I mentioned, if only two people had the money and moved it back and forth between themselves, there is a huge economy -of nothing. That is part of the point - just moving it isn't meaningful - which kills off the question of "$20 spent here or there" not being different.

            When *unnecessary* cycles take place that does not actually lead to economic growth, it is wasteful. What people are saying is that if the free market is removing the cycles, that means those are wasteful cycles. Again this has been studied in great detail.

            yes, but where are the studies that show what happens when you take a sellable product, and remove it from the economy? We aren't in a situation where people have moved from buying music on discs to buying music digitally, rather we have had people move from buying music to not buying music, while still expecting it to be there.

            Unemployment is the most obvious effects of this, which hurts the economy. Are you denying that huge numbers of people related to the sale of recorded music have lost their jobs?

            The system wasn't unnecessary. It has been put on hold by piracy. Can you show me the true functional business model that is actually working and replacing the lost jobs in the economy? Running pirate sites isn't one of those examples.

             

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              The eejit (profile), Mar 16th, 2011 @ 2:12pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              More musicians and small-scale producers making a living off their work in the creative industries. They have been given the tools to connect with other people, and give them a reason and opportunity to buy.

              Let's take Hulu as an example. It's not available anywhere outside North American Territories. That's lost money from other economies that could be moving into the US economy.

              Another one - the Sundance Festival brings its host town in Utah money that it otherwise would not get, to make a living.

              And another - Trent Reznor, who still makes a decent livingwage, in SPITE of being deemed 'unprofitable' by his previous record label.

              I could go on...

              (NOTE: I do
              not say living fantastically well.)

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 10:22pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Piracy didn't bring people to Sundance. LOL

                The internet has brought new opportunities to musicians, but unfortunately you can't list piracy as one of them.

                Musicians used to be paid when they sold albums. They aren't getting paid anymore.

                You'd love to think you're just stealing from major labels, but you know that's a lie.

                You're taking away an income stream from musicians.

                And everyone knows it.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 10:50pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Cool story, bro.

                  Needs more unsubstantiated declarations, tho.

                   

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                  Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 11:13pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Musicians used to be paid when they sold albums. They aren't getting paid anymore.

                  I thought the record labels were paid when record labels sold albums that record labels owned? And I'm sure switching to selling singles and not full albums had nothing to do with the drop in revenue. Or the global recession. It's all the pirates fault.

                   

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                  greg.fenton (profile), Mar 17th, 2011 @ 6:29am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Musicians used to be paid when they sold albums. They aren't getting paid anymore.
                  Uh, no. Musicians used to be given an advance (read: loan) to create the album and hand over the copyright to the recording company. The recording company then charged the musicians for the privilege of recording (studio & production costs) and then for the promotion of that album. For each sale of a disk/tape, the artist made a very small amount of money ($0.10-$0.25), which was put against the "advance" until it was paid off.

                  In the event that an album did not rub enough dimes together to pay back the "advance", the artist was on the hook for the rest.

                  So musicians only got paid when their album made enough money to cover the reap HUGE profits for the recording company. Anything less left the artist indebted to that company.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2011 @ 9:21am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    hand over the copyright to the recording company...
                    the artist was on the hook for the rest. So musicians only got paid when their album made enough money to cover the reap HUGE profits for the recording company. Anything less left the artist indebted to that company.


                    This is completely untrue, and is often repeated by pirates to justify their piracy.

                    First of all, indie labels do 50/50 deals with artists; not .15 cents a disc, which is ludicrous on all levels, even majors. So when people steal from artists on indie labels, they are complete hypocrites.

                    Secondly, only in major label deals with unknowns does an artist ever use the offer to give up their songwriting copyright. And when they do this, they are given 6 figure advances on future publishing money. Sometimes artists will do 50/50 deals so they can keep part of the publishing. But it's always their choice.

                    An advance is when labels loan artists money to record and tour, and what exactly is wrong with that?

                    Did you know that if the artist doesn't sell enough to pay it back, the label will just drop their contract and forgive the debt? It's true and happens all the time.

                    So please stop spreading lies about record labels in order to justify stealing music.

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2011 @ 9:33am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Committing copyright infringement. Who's lying now?

                       

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                      The eejit (profile), Mar 17th, 2011 @ 10:44am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      So why were Radiohead taken to court to attempt to recoup costs?

                       

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                      greg.fenton (profile), Mar 17th, 2011 @ 12:29pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Though I agree that indie labels often treat artists somewhat better than the majors, I point to many, many historical references of artists that sold excessively well and wound up broke.

                      I wish we could provide more accurate accounting records, but the labels would never release those specifically because of the absolute criminal levels of exploitation that takes place.

                      Seriously, an attempt to show the current/historical system as "working for the artist" is just plain wrong: http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/music-royalties6.htm

                      And the industry continue to propagate (and protect) the historical, mythical ideology that getting signed and published by a label is the only way to "make it" in the music world. I blame artists for not really taking a look at the economics of their world with anything other than the back-facing lenses that the recording industry provides them.

                      To be clear, as has been said on this site a large number of times: we are NOT advocating piracy. We are advocating that artists (and the industry as a whole) make economically sound choices, that they reason through their business models with a view of how the world is and where the current (and obvious) trends are headed, and adjust accordingly.

                      To argue that they shouldn't have to is silly. Every single industry ever adjusts. Coal miners today work very differently than they did 100 years ago. IBM is a very different company than it was 20 years ago. The environment and the economy changes with time. Why does the content industry not accept this and adjust? And no they haven't: putting out DVDs instead of 8-tracks is one-dimensional adjustment in a multi-variable reality.

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2011 @ 1:43pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        Your link is a non-starter, written by someone that doesn't know the music industry, because their figures are all exaggerated or insane. $800,000 budget/advance????????????

                        Really? With a straight face, they/you wrote that???????

                        Is it so difficult to argue your side that you must do it with blatantly uninformed and biased things like that?

                         

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                          greg.fenton (profile), Mar 17th, 2011 @ 8:36pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          Care to provide me with a breakdown of the numbers from your experiences? Or care to provide me with a similar analysis that you find more accurate to reality?

                          You chide us for our "non-starter" information. So to avoid being chided right back it would be great to see your analysis.

                          Thanks in advance!

                           

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              Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Mar 16th, 2011 @ 2:31pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Unemployment is the most obvious effects of this, which hurts the economy. Are you denying that huge numbers of people related to the sale of recorded music have lost their jobs?

              Are you denying that the mass production of the automobile put large numbers of people involved in the manufacturing of buggy whips out of their jobs?

              Are you denying that the invention of electronic switching put large numbers of telephone operators out of their jobs?

              No one denies that people in the recording industry could lose their jobs. The market has made those jobs obsolete because they are inefficient. The Internet has made you obsolete. The faster you and those who are losing their jobs accept that undeniable fact and stop trying to hold on to an obsolete job or business model, the faster you can become a contributing member of the economy.

              The system wasn't unnecessary. It has been put on hold by piracy. Can you show me the true functional business model that is actually working and replacing the lost jobs in the economy? Running pirate sites isn't one of those examples.

              The system may have been necessary before the Internet made distribution cheap and easy. But situations change.

              Mike has shown dozens of different models that work. If you bothered to read posts looking for ideas instead of doing nothing but saying everything written on TD is wrong, you might actually see one.

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 2:50pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "As I mentioned, if only two people had the money and moved it back and forth between themselves, there is a huge economy -of nothing. That is part of the point - just moving it isn't meaningful - which kills off the question of "$20 spent here or there" not being different."

              Not sure what you are trying to say. You said that moving it is whats important but just moving it isnt important? Why does this kill off the spend it here or there question? Why is spending it on the legacy industries more important then everywhere else? Isnt that it gets spent the issue, not where?

              Maybe if the top level executives stopped getting raises they could employ more people. You could employ about 30 of me for one of them. And before you say they deserve to make more money then me cause they are better at their jobs then maybe they should have been good enough to see this coming decades ago and innovate and fix their business models.

              "can you show me the true functional business model that is actually working and replacing the lost jobs in the economy? Running pirate sites isn't one of those examples."

              Itunes
              Pandora
              Spotify
              Bleep
              Artist Direct
              Amazon
              Big Noise
              Audio Lunchbox

              and all the associated services and businesses that help them run. The people who make and run the servers, the it people, the coders. The people who make the hdds and cds and other storage media. The advertising agencies who make adds for the sites.....

              Its just there are lots of places now instead of 5-10 companies paying people as little as possible and soaking up a much money as they can for shit they didn't create all because they have done that in the past and now have more money to dangle in front of poor people to trick them into selling all rights to something that is a part of them.

               

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              Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 16th, 2011 @ 4:32pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Unemployment is the most obvious effects of this, which hurts the economy. Are you denying that huge numbers of people related to the sale of recorded music have lost their jobs?

              Yes, and when we introduced automatic phone switching, a huge numbers of people who were telephone operators lost their jobs.

              But, you know what? It didn't harm the economy. Instead, it allowed the phone system to grow much bigger, it enabled the internet and much much more and quickly surpassed the number of jobs that had gone away by a massive amount.

              Same thing is happening with the internet.

              The system wasn't unnecessary. It has been put on hold by piracy. Can you show me the true functional business model that is actually working and replacing the lost jobs in the economy? Running pirate sites isn't one of those examples

              Are you really claiming that the internet hasn't created a massive number of new jobs?

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 10:24pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                So automatic phone switching is the same as illegally taking music and movies without paying.

                Gotcha.

                Your analogies are so very logical and a beacon of enlightenment.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 11:12pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  I engage in transportation via automobile, I actually own an appliance that makes ice in my kitchen, I purchase milk out of refrigerated cases at a nearby supermarket where I can use a COMPUTOR to check out with no assistance, and for decades I have been dialing my phone all by myself!

                  I don't illegally take anything, but I refuse to buy what yer selling because it is no longer relevant to my interests or inconvenient or overpriced or not even available for sale or...gasp!

                  I should be locked up for these transgressions against...who am I transgressing against? There must be some transgressions, I mean, my god! People lost jobs and companies lost revenue streams because of my choices, er, transgressions!

                  Clearly I am guilty as charged...of something!

                   

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                  Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2011 @ 9:24am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  So automatic phone switching is the same as illegally taking music and movies without paying.

                  Gotcha.

                  Your analogies are so very logical and a beacon of enlightenment.


                  LOL! His analogies are really quite sad.

                   

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                Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2011 @ 9:19am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Are you really claiming that phone switching machines are the same thing as internet pirates? Talk about your strained analogies. Anything to justify your pirate buddies, though, right?

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2011 @ 9:36am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  I think it's more about recognizing an economic reality. For example, the marginal cost of an infinitely reproducible good is $0.00.

                   

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              freak (profile), Mar 17th, 2011 @ 4:31am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Can I ask something?

              What, exactly, is an economy?

              Is the exchange of money? Or is it the exchange of goods and services using money?

              Point of that question being:
              Right, now in the content industries, we now have creators who are able to do everything themselves, from creating, to advertising, publishing, and selling. Thanks to the internet.
              In fact, it's so easy to do a lot of the things after the creating, that people are doing it for free, out of their own good will to see the content be enjoyed by others.

              So . . . now all of a sudden, the old industries are dying; the middlemen in movies and music and books, they aren't needed nearly as much anymore. A lot of them aren't needed at all.

              So, if they aren't performing a useful function, but are still being paid big dollars . . . are they contributing to the economy?

              And if two people are moving money between each other, that's not an economy, is it? The money is only worth what their goods and services to each other are worth.

               

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                greg.fenton (profile), Mar 17th, 2011 @ 6:44am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                So, if they aren't performing a useful function, but are still being paid big dollars . . . are they contributing to the economy?
                Contributing to the economy? Well, they are a part of the economy. But they are no longer an efficient part. So the economy would grow better/faster if they moved to doing something more efficient.

                Is a 419 Scammer contributing to the economy? They are causing money to move. They then spend that money to buy things, employing people. Does that justify their (inefficient) contribution?

                No, I am not saying that the employees in the recording industry are scam artists. But they are performing a job that is no longer necessary and thus inefficient. And they are wasting huge resources (money and attention) trying to fight an almost certainly lost battle in getting the government to use the force of law to protect those unnecessary jobs.

                AND I am not saying that the industry itself is unnecessary. The base services they offer artists are still completely viable and a potentially great way to become relevant and efficient again. However the industry needs to recognize this, realize that this new function might not be as profitable as their old function was, and so need to adapt.

                Or, they can continue wasting resources awaiting their demise.

                 

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                  freak (profile), Mar 17th, 2011 @ 8:29am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Okay, yeah, that's what I was thinking.

                  Basically because our society has become more efficient, the roles have changed and what was a useful role isn't anymore.

                   

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                  Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2011 @ 9:37am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  No offense, but you're a software developer and do not understand how the music business works.

                  There are 3 majors left, but hundreds of indies. They certainly went through some difficult times, but they aren't going away. Ever.

                  Seriously, they're never going away.

                  So you should get used to that fact.

                  Once again, no offense, but if you knew what it was record labels do for an artist's career you would understand why.

                  This notion that all labels are evil and are going to die is delusional thinking. It's usually brought on by the desire to justify stealing music and fantasizing that it will be legal to do so someday.

                   

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                    The eejit (profile), Mar 17th, 2011 @ 10:47am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    You may be right, but those who fial to adapt will be left to rot. Or at least, they would if left to pure free-market principles.

                     

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                    greg.fenton (profile), Mar 17th, 2011 @ 12:41pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    If indie labels are the salvation of the recording industry, then they will achieve business models that do not involve treating their CUSTOMERS as criminals. They will find ways to encourage those, who recognize that the content itself has a cost of $0.00 to reproduce, to pay money towards the label and the artist for other associated, tangible reasons.

                    Only then will the "recording industry" survive, short of invoking the government to smash down hard on the rights of citizens and placing economic and innovation burdens on other industries.

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2011 @ 1:33pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Indie labels certainly don't treat their customers as criminals. You don't know what you're talking about, so please just stop with the bs.

                      Musicians deserve to have the laws that protect them enforced, so please stop whining about it and deal with the inevitable.

                      And anyone that rips off music is not a "customer". They're free-loading leeches.

                       

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                        greg.fenton (profile), Mar 17th, 2011 @ 8:52pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        I wasn't saying that indie labels do consider their customers criminals. I said that if the indie labels will be the saviours then they will not behave that way, the way that the big labels have been. However, there have been a few indie label execs interviewed in the media, at conferences and highlighted here who have certainly made comments that parallel the big labels.

                        Second, I completely agree that piracy is wrong and stand with you on that point. However I do not believe that enforcement should include the overreaching powers that we've seen in the past few years w.r.t. border searches, domain seizures and laws that limit consumers' rights to use their lawfully purchased items in ways that do not harm others.

                        Third, if you think that everyone that samples music is a "free-loading leecher" then you are blatantly smearing a good portion of your current and future customer base. The content is in digital form and the technology is only going to evolve in its ease of use, capacity and access to gobs more content.

                        As stated MANY times in this thread and throughout the stories on this site, give these "leechers" (a.k.a. potential customers) a reason to buy and a good portion will. These leechers (what we in the s/w, financial services, insurance and other industries call "qualified leads") are today's radio listeners, though (a) they don't have to put up with the ads and annoying DJs, and (b) your record labels don't have to break the law trying to get your materials marketed to the "leechers".

                        These leads will not buy copies of the content that is in digital form, because it makes no economic sense without something else of value added to it. If you disagree with this fundamental economic point, then you plainly are rejecting reason.

                         

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          HothMonster, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 12:40pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I'm sorry that holywood can't safely invest 100 million dollars and 8 months to make a movie and expect a 700 million dollar profit. Boo Hoo. Now people can preview movies and tell if there junk and they don't have to buy them. But guess what people do buy shit they like because they want the people who made it to make them more shit. I do understand where they are coming from, if I could make a 700% return on my investment every 8 months I would be sad if that revenue stream went away too.

          "Mike's point of view only works if you assume that the movie and music industries are economic dead ends."

          Just like the point your trying to make assumes that everything not related to music and movies dead ends. Music and movies aren't going anywhere they just can't expect such ridiculous profit margins anymore.

          I don't think anyone is arguing that big music and big movie are not a part of the economy. Mike is just pointing out that the way these reports generate their numbers is bullshit. We are not trying to argue the polar opposite as your posts seem to think. Its just that me only buying music I actually like doesn't suck billions out of the US economy it just funnels it towards people who make shit I like and advertising campaigns and other hoopla can't trick me into buying shit I don't like because I can test it first.

          Your trying to say there are less cycles because people buy less music but that is not true. People have a spendable allowance, no I don't mean what THAT AC's mom gives him weekly for juice boxes, an amount of money that they take from their income to spend on things they don't need. Most people, that I know, are not good at saving money. I have small goals for saving, i.e. ski trip next year, bachelor party to vegas next month, boundary waters this summer, after I have met my monthly goals I spend everything else. I doesn't matter if I spend it on a movie, a beer, a plastic disc or a hooker trust me its getting spent. I don't say "well I saved 50 dollars buy not buying this video game ill just hide it for 8 years" no i say "fuck yeah 50 dollars extra this month who wants to go get some chicken wings!"

          To try and sum up my ramblings, sorry too much caffeine i think, digital infringement does not disappear money. The money cycles just as much just not through the plastic disc buying channels. However, we are not taking all the money out of those channels, music and movies are not going anywhere because people do pay for things they like. I bought the entire run of the Wire and Battle-Star Galactic after I had watched them all on Ninja Video, they are still in their shrink wrap I bought them to try and give money to the people who made something I loved. And finally just because people are saving money on plastic discs does not mean that they are actually gonna save(i.e. put in coffee can under loose board in garage) that money.

          I still managed to ramble in my ramble summary...well while im at it:
          How about the Bon Jovie quote
          "...and the beauty of taking your allowance money and making a decision based on the jacket, not knowing what the record sounded like, and looking at a couple of still pictures and imagining it..." and getting home and realizing you spent all your allowance on a piece of crap.
          Or getting tricked by the one good song on the record that is on played on the radio to find out that the rest of the album sounds nothing like it and is crap. Or some advertising campaign that portrays a movie or artist as something there are not, and I don't find out till after my money is gone. Well sorry those days are done, now i know what I am buying and its not your crap.

          Yeah, wow way to much caffeine, i need a nap

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 2:06pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I'm sorry that holywood can't safely invest 100 million dollars and 8 months to make a movie and expect a 700 million dollar profit. Boo Hoo.

            Are you sorry for the guys like the bozo who made MiddleMen who put 30 million on the table and didn't get 1 million back? Would you care to look at some of the bigger hollywood failures? They take risks, and they often lose money. It isn't a free money machine.

            When you start from that point, the rest of your comments are a little hard to swallow.

             

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              The eejit (profile), Mar 16th, 2011 @ 2:15pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              No, you're right, I'm sorry, just let me regurgitate this idea I had about toys that lived when no-one was looking.

              Are you sorry for Guillermo Del Toro, who wanted to make H.P. Loivecraft's at the mountains of Madness because it was deemed "unprofitable" over its US rating?

              Are you sorry for those that Hollywood pirated in its inception to overtake?

              Are you sorry for Nikolai Tesla, whose concepts were stolen then denied to Tesla, in spite of hard evidence of infringement?

              ...didn't think so.

               

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              HothMonster, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 2:27pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Middlemen from wiki:
              The film received mixed reviews. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 41% based on 46 reviews. The site consensus is "Middle Men benefits from a solid cast, particularly Luke Wilson, but its muddled script lets them down".[7] Metacritic gives the film a weighted average score of 60% based on reviews from 20 critics.

              Crap sinks, cream floats in this day and age, that was kinda one of my points, you don't have to pay for it BEFORE you find out its bad. Also if memory serves me right, and it probably doesn't so correct me if I am wrong. Didn't this movie have minimal advertising, come out at the same time as Social Network and (if i wasn't at work i would watch the trailers) was advertised as pretty much the same movie but with a Owen Wilson. I also like that you call the film maker a bozo, like im suppose to feel bad for the bozo (your own word) who made a subpar movie.

              Also your basing that off the box office run off that movie which was cut after 3 weeks. Im sure they have made more since but admittedly probably not 20 million but again make a better movie and people will buy it. Do you think this movie would have been profitable in 1990 before people could have downloaded it? Did this movie flop because it was pirated or because it wasnt well advertised, wasnt well written, was released against movies that were well written and or had huge advertising budgets, and was pulled from theaters prematurely?

              Lets flip the question how about a Sundance movie that is made for under a million (because somebody really hustled to raise that money)then a studio buys it for 3 million. The studio now owns all rights to that movie and any profit it makes FOREVER go to the studio not the artist. Should I still feel bad if I make a 5 dollar donation to the creator at his website and copy the fuck out of that movie? And the music industry is even worse on snatching up money that should go to the creator, see the Janis Ian link below for some great examples.

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 2:29pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Mars Needs Moms is an even better example: 180 million dollar budget + advertising and it earns a paltry 6 million on it's first weekend.

              Ouch. I would feel bad fro Disney except I don't.

               

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                HothMonster, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 2:56pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Don't worry Disney will release it make decent money off the DVDs then lock it in there secret vault so no one can buy it then rerelease it, then 2 months later release the special directors edition. Then pull it from print again, then re release it in theaters for the 7 year anniversary with a special collectors edition version being sold in stores w/ plush .50 cent toy. Then they will make the 4d version (or whatver replaces HD/3D) then a new release for the format that replaces blue-ray. On and on until its profitable or they can just release HD bambi instead to make up for it.

                 

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                HothMonster, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 2:58pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Also shitty movies not making money is not a good example of why pirating is bad, unless your an MPAA stooge.

                 

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                BigKeithO (profile), Mar 16th, 2011 @ 3:15pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Who cares? The movie must suck or the content of the movie doesn't interest anyone. How is that a consumer problem? Just because Hollywood puts out a movie doesn't mean it should be guaranteed to make a profit.

                How in the hell does an animated movie cost $180 million anyway?!

                 

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                  HothMonster, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 3:25pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Because they animated over motion capture. The entire movie was mo-capped. Some disney exec said avatar was popular and pixar is popular so if we use avatar tech to make a pixarish movie we get PROFIT, he was probably given a raise.

                   

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 3:48pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Can you prove that plastic disc's sales are that important to them?

          Further I here the mastering and special effects are all done in Asia today, so giving money to people who outsourced the work to far away countries is also reducing jobs and the local economy not encouraging it.

           

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            HothMonster, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 3:52pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Plastic disc are important because they are more profitable then selling songs online at a reasonable cost. I was going to go on but my train is coming to my stop.

             

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          Coward Anonymous, Mar 17th, 2011 @ 6:23am

          Re: Re: Re:

          First off you are an IDIOT!

          You argue that the actual value of the transactions dont matter...fair enough I will go with that.

          You talk about cycles of buying and the more cycles or the more times money changes hands the better...fair enough I will go with that too.

          Then you go of the deep end majorly by not considering both sides of cycle.

          Sure when people don't buy music all the people in that industry suffer and there "power" to add to the economy is dimished.

          However all those people that didn't buy music then buy something else which increases other parts of the economy and increases the people within those industries ability to added to the economy.


          As an example:

          Person A and Person B trade back on forth a million times life is good. Person C has nothing.
          PA PB

          PC = :(

          However Person A decides he doesnt want anything from B anymore and starts trading with Person C.

          PA PC

          PB = :(

          So in this example everything that PB was providing PA is replaced by PC. Nothing is actually lost overall just replaced.

           

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      MrWilson, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 10:57am

      Re:

      Everything you said makes perfect sense, up until your last two paragraphs in which you draw conclusions that have nothing to do with what you said before it.

      Not buying music doesn't decrease the number of times the money you might have spent circulates in the economy. It just changes the path the money takes through the economy.

      Paying large corporations money is more likely to take money out of (local) circulation because the people who make the most money, the executives and shareholders, don't live in your neighborhood and they spend money in other markets.

      Paying money to local businesses will likely lead to better circulation since small businesses aren't able to save as much as large corporations.

       

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      Colin, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 12:26pm

      Re:

      Quite simply, done right, the money moves in a manner that the end user can buy the movie today, and get paid for working and also be able to buy the McMeal tomorrow. He can do it because the local people he is buying from also end up buying from the company he works from and so on.

      But isn't that the same thing? If I choose to spend my $20 elsewhere, then the people at ______ "end up buying from the company he works from and so on." How is that shrinking the economy? I either buy from A and they spend the money, or I buy from B and they do the same thing. You're saying the conclusion Mike arrives at is wrong, but yours is the same.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 2:31pm

      Re:

      so in other words, we should break windows to create more loops in the economy? katrina expanded the american economy by providing all kinds of clean-up and construction loops?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 3:24pm

      Re:

      When you remove money loops from the economy, you shrink the economy. The same number of dollars are out there, they are just passing through fewer hands. The more people involved in the economy, the more people trading money, the bigger the economy becomes.


      That is wrong the correct phrase is "removing money loops without creating any new ones shrink the economy", for it to shrink it needs to not create new, which is not what happens, if let to their own devices people will naturally find new ways to monetize anything even free, that is the nature of the beast, but in a monopoly one entity that can't supply everyone will actually shrink the market and the economy because they will leave other sources of money from being created,

      Take for example the "aparelhagems"(Devices) in Brazil they give away the music even go so far as to burn the music to CD's and distribute it for free to street vendors so they create enough buzz about to bring people to what really brings in the money and that is the live performances they do, and apparently that is profitable because they buy trucks and equipment to create intricate moving stages, so you see the street vendor gets something for free but he builds the right environment for other parts of the business to flourish, destroy that channel and nobody would show up at those aparelhagem parties, and that is basically what labels and other big entertainment groups are doing it right now they are destroying their own revenue stream.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 10:41am

    Breaking news...alert! shock! screen crawl! in red bold type!

    BSA just makes stuff up.

     

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    pixelpusher220 (profile), Mar 16th, 2011 @ 10:59am

    Princess Bride

    "They all seem to make the same 'mistakes'"

    You keep saying that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. ;-)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 11:22am

    "Since it's making up a number for what the total jobs "should" be"

    because if it weren't for infringement, 8 billion Americans would be employed and we'll have a negative unemployment rate.

     

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    charliebrown (profile), Mar 16th, 2011 @ 11:32am

    A FACT or two

    AFACT: AUSTRALIAN FEDERATION AGAINST COPYRIGHT THEFT. Let's break it down shall we?

    AUSTRALIAN: Bullshit! That research was conducted by firms in the UK. Thank you for taking research jobs from Australia and giving it to the British. And your ad has voice-overs with English accents. That again is jobs taken out of the Australian economy by a company that is so worried about money and jobs being lost in Australia. Hypocrites.

    FEDERATION: What, is this "Star Trek"? A federation of who, anyway? OK, there's not much I can say here really. Though just to pad it out, I will add that they used to be called "The Australasian Film And Video Securities Office" which sounded much more serious than AFACT.

    AGAINST: Who are you guys against? You used to say "Have YOU ever bought or rented a video tape that wasn't quite right? It may have been a pirate copy, an illegal and inferior copy for which you paid good money." Yep. The consumer was as much the victim of piracy as the studios were in the old ad. Now you, in your English accents, tell us that piracy supports terrorism and that copyright is cool and that "if you buy a pirate DVD then you are a pirate"? That's funny, in the 1990's you said we were the victims of piracy as well as you but now we're criminals if we buy a pirate product? It's not always clear if a DVD is a pirated copy. Heck, you had a whole campaign trying to explain it to consumers, thus pointing out that many consumers didn't know what a pirated product was but we're still criminals if we accidentally buy a pirate DVD?

    1990's Advert http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FNqBZ9n-A8
    Note the voice is Australian in that one.

    2000's Advert http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTMIz0_Iij8
    Oh, so Australia's not good enough to have our own anti-piracy ads anymore?

    "Accidental Pirate" - Yes, I saw this on TV! It is a REAL ad!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJL22f5sgDE

    COPYRIGHT THEFT: Well nobody is stealing your copyright. You still have your copyright. People are downloading movies and television, AFACT, not downloading your copyright.

    In case you haven't worked it out yet, by the way, I'm an Australian living in Australia.

    At this point I would now like to take issue with what you guys get the DVD companies to print on the back covers. From the copyright warning on the back of a DVD released by Roadshow Entertainment, it reads "Any unauthorised copying, editing, exhibition, renting, exchanging, hiring, lending, public performances, diffusion, and/or broadcasts of this digital video disc or any part thereof is strictly prohibited." Unauthorised EXCHANGING? Unauthorised LENDING? Why not? Seriously, if I wanna lend my friend a DVD then I bloody well will and you can't stop me! And if I wanna take a couple of DVD's down to the pawn shop and swap them for a CD or two, I'm bloody well gonna do that too!

    Seriously, I am certain that there have been plenty of times when people have lent their DVD's to their friends for them to watch. I know I borrow DVD's from my Dad and he borrows mine. And before anybody says that's probably OK because he's family, we live about 2,200 miles apart and we lend them to each other via post. Would I have bought those DVD's myself? More than likely not as he lends me stuff I've never seen before. Would I buy them after I've borrowed them? That depends on if I like it or not. Same with my Dad.

    But what exactly is piracy anyway? According to Australian law, it is illegal to record a program off TV and watch that recording more than once. You must delete or erase it after you have watched it one time. It is illegal to rip a DVD and convert the video to a format which will work on your iPod or iPhone or any other device. Music you can but video you can not. So you could say that many people in Australia pirate a lot just to watch their favourite DVD's while on the move.

    One last thing: I bought all six volumes of the cartoon "Fairly Odd Parents" on DVD from Magna Pacific, a DVD company in Australia. I took them home, started watching them, then half way through disc 1 I took them to my computer and ripped them. Why? Each disc had a three and a half minute commercial for Nickelodeon's section at the Dreamworld amusement park that you could not skip or fast forward through (after the un-shippable copyright warning and company logos) which if I accidentally hit the "back" button to try to find the menu, it was back to the start of the disc! Four episodes on one disc and I had to sit through that commercial three times just to get through two episodes! I couldn't care less about what's legal and what's illegal when I am forced to watch a commercial for a place that is at one ONE amusement park in a HUGE country like Australia that I can't go to, just to watch the TV show that I paid to own a legitimate copy of!

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 3:36pm

      Re: A FACT or two

      Quote:
      Each disc had a three and a half minute commercial for Nickelodeon's section at the Dreamworld amusement park that you could not skip or fast forward through (after the un-shippable copyright warning and company logos) which if I accidentally hit the "back" button to try to find the menu, it was back to the start of the disc!

      K9Copy(Open Source DVD Backup program) can rip those adverts from the DVD, you end up with a copy that have no ads and play nice on the DVD player :)

       

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      charliebrown (profile), Mar 17th, 2011 @ 7:28am

      Re: A FACT or two

      You know, I don't think I'll post any more comments here at TechDirt if the topic is about copyright. If I don't have the first comment then my comments tend to get buried under a hundred comments/replies of people squabbling over whether or not copying something is right or wrong (which is pointless because I'm yet to see a TechDirt article that says copying is right!)

       

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        Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Mar 17th, 2011 @ 12:11pm

        Re: Re: A FACT or two

        I'm with you and I'm beginning to suspect that may be exactly this AC's plan - to stop reasonable debate about hte subject at hand with panto-type arguments. After all none can be that...... oh never mind.

         

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        G Thompson (profile), Mar 17th, 2011 @ 8:23pm

        Re: Re: A FACT or two

        It's because most posts and then comments on the volatile topics are done in the wee hours before sparrow fart for us here in Australia.

        So unless you want to start posting at around 1am (Sydney) it will always be the way.

        I thought your comment was highly informative, and persuasive, and having been actually been in meetings with AFACT and explained that there Organisation name could be construed as False and Misleading I absolutely agree with your attitude.

         

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    identicon
    coldbrew, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 11:41am

    thieves

    Most comments here are from people that owe hollywood a bajillion dollars collectively. It's as simple as that. Screw the Constitution, pay them, or else we will have martial law!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 12:10pm

    The same number of dollars are out there, they are just passing through fewer hands.
    -----------

    Actually, no that isn't right. The same amount of money is never static due to the government printing presses on full speed ahead.

    As far as fewer hands, with the dollar being the world currency at present, there are a lot of hands out of the economy in other countries holding on to dollars so that they have backing for trades and purchases elsewhere that never really return to the economy. As a result you have money that leaves the economy and stays out of it in a sort of holding room.

    You should ask China about promised paybacks for government bonds held in lieu of money which at some point will be cashed in for that money. Even then it is questionable it will ever return to the US for the US's economy. Basically that money for the present and for the near unforeseeable future is out of the economy and will remain that way for an unspecified time.

    This will do nothing to grow the economy but it certainly has an effect on it, especially if China demands payment for all in one lump sum. They hold more in those bonds than we have money in circulation at present. Cashing in a lump sum would have the effect of removing the money from the economy, especially considering the interest rate for maturing.

    Your argument of fewer hands shrinking the economy doesn't hold water under today's realities.

     

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      Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Mar 16th, 2011 @ 12:54pm

      Re:

      If this isn't a reason to keep your money away from the MPAA/RIAA, I don't know what is.

       

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      G Thompson (profile), Mar 16th, 2011 @ 7:43pm

      Re:

      Your argument might be correct (highly unlikely), if you are talking about the current economy of the USA, EU, UK, etc... but this report is specifically for , even though it erroneously uses European data, about Australia.

      Have you actually looked at our current economic state? When you have and you notice that ours is one of the most stable in the developed world at the moment (the GFC barely touched us) then come back and you can talk.

      Also:
      * Unemployment 5.0% (Mar 2011)
      * Economy grows by 0.7% in the December quarter 2010 (seasonally adjusted) and by 2.7% through the year [Mar 2011]
      * Retail turnover rose 0.4% in January 2011 [ ABS,Jan 2011]


      Since this report was supposedly about our Economy and should be talked about using our economy Only [which in one way is the whole problem with the other hal of the report making assumptions re Europe] you need to actually have an understanding on our Economic indicators and strenghts.

      Until then, in the Australian vernacular, "bugger off"

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 12:55pm

    Piracy?

    Irrelevant comparison. People stopped wanting buggy whips. People haven't stopped wanting the contents of the discs.

    You need to amend your statement: People haven't stopped wanting SELECTED contents of the discs.

    People stopped wanting buggy whips because the method of transportation that used buggy whips was replaced with other methods that were easier, cheaper and more accessible to everyone. The same can be said of today's music industry and movie industry.

    People have long complained of discs containing less than 20% of the content they really want. And now the content is available on line so they can get exactly the content they want. Discs are a thing of the past (I don't say this lightly as I first collected 45's, then LP's, then 8-tracks, then cassettes, then CD's, then DVD's.) It's not the media delivery method that people want, it's the media content. When businesses find an easy method to deliver exactly the content people are looking for (like iTunes, Amazon, etc.) they flock to that method. I submit to you as iTunes and other services like it have delivered exactly the content that people want has increased, the physical media delivery (CD's, DVD's, etc.) has decreased.

    I also believe that these delivery methods are best left open to the public and not closed, so we can get exactly the content we desire. For a more informed position on internet piracy, you could try reading Janis Ian's take: http://www.janisian.com/reading/internet.php After all, who better to ask than the artists themselves?

     

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      TDR, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 1:18pm

      Re: Piracy?

      A few things you don't seem to grasp: Price and value are not the same thing. Also, while people still want the contents of the discs, they largely no longer want the discs themselves. So why should they continue to be forced to be sold when more and more people don't want them anymore? Think about that for a while.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2011 @ 9:26am

        Re: Re: Piracy?

        I just want the content of the 0s and 1s, not the 0s and 1s.

        See? I can play your silly game too.

         

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      HothMonster, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 1:20pm

      Re: Piracy?

      Thanks for the link. I love people that get it and double points to Janis for being an insider, and triple points for her being old.

       

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      The eejit (profile), Mar 16th, 2011 @ 2:23pm

      Re: Piracy?

      Wow, a reasoned argument based on both personal experience AND previous incidents. And from around the same time as Napster, explaining Mike's concept with the ease of someone wise enough to try the label's way.

       

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      charliebrown (profile), Mar 17th, 2011 @ 8:31am

      Re: Piracy?

      BEST ARTICLE ON DOWNLOADING EVER! Thanks for bringing it to my attention by sharing the link here :)

       

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    identicon
    HothMonster, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 1:30pm

    Problem Solved

    I figured it out!!!

    The RIAA takes all the money they spend trying to change the laws and buys dvds

    The MPAA takes all the money it wastes trying to stop the future and buys cds

    Repeat till infinity, problem solved.

    And frankly the upper levels executives who make 1.5 million or more a year are not buying there fair share of music and dvds I think a third of their salary should be diverted.

     

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    alaskaguy (profile), Mar 17th, 2011 @ 8:15am

    Ripple Effect

    So, when do the Aussie lawsuits against Apple, et al, start happening? How many jobs were lost when sales shifted from store fronts to an American INTERNET based company!! What about the clerks children? Someone needs to defend the children!

     

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    hmm (profile), Mar 17th, 2011 @ 5:43pm

    if you can't beat em, join em..

    found this interesting link:

    http://www.techradar.com/news/internet/paramount-horror-film-to-debut-on-bittorrent-936453

    apparently paramount is experimenting with giving away the main movie for free, to see if people will pay for the dvd + extras......
    someone at the mpaa is spinning in their grave....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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