MPAA's Bogus 'Piracy' Numbers Mean It Thinks Downloaders Would Buy 200 More DVDs Per Year
from the fictional dept
Now, you may have seen an MPAA inforgraphic (pdf) that's been making the rounds for a couple weeks now. It's so chock full of debunked stats, they should throw themselves a party for how much falseness they can shove into a single graphic. Going through and debunking the various numbers yet again (most have already been debunked in the past) didn't seem worth it, but furdlog points us to a wonderful debunking on a movie review site, where someone actually does the math, and realizes that if the MPAA's numbers for "losses" are accurate, it means that your average downloader would be buying 200 more DVDs per year. Yeah, for the MPAA's numbers to make even a tiny bit of sense, downloaders would be buying new DVDs more than every other day.
So according to the MPAA, piracy cost them $58 billion last year, making movie piracy a bigger industry than the GDPs of 10 American states. To put it even starker perspective, look at it this way. The film industry gets about $10 billion from the box office, and about $30 billion from the after market of DVDs, streaming, etc. So they’re claiming that piracy costs them almost two-thirds of their business. At $10 per DVD, every household in the United States would be buying an additional 50 DVDs per year if they weren’t so busy downloading. The technical term for a statistic like that is “fictional.”And yet, the press and politicians still quote these numbers as accurate.
See, they also claim that 29 million adults have ever illegally downloaded a film. But since that’s only 13% of the adult population, it makes the figure even more absurd. By their own estimate, those adults in question would have on average purchased an additional 200 DVDs each year if only they were still on dial-up. The problem with these absurd figures pulled out of the air, is that even if they are an accurate measure of how many movies are being illegally downloaded, it is not a measure of loss. As has been argued countless times, a bunch of zeros and ones do not cost the industry a dime unless they actually represent something that would have been bought otherwise. Anyone think the average downloader would actually have bought 200 more DVDs? Hell, are there even 200 new DVDs released per year?