More Research Again Shows: Good, Authorized Services Compete With Piracy

from the well-duh! dept

We've been arguing this for years, but the best and so far only way that's been shown to effectively deal with the "challenge" of piracy is to figure out ways to compete against it. We've highlighted this point for quite some time, but people still try to argue against it. However, the evidence keeps coming in. We just posted about some data on unauthorized file sharing in the US and attitudes towards it. Those showed that it was a mainstream activity, especially between friends and family. Furthermore, it showed that "enforcement" campaigns targeted at trying to make people think that "piracy is theft" were almost certainly going to fail for not taking context into account.

Instead, focusing on new and useful legitimate services has to be the way forward... and the data from that same Musicmetric study seems to confirm that. It showed that there was a notable dip in BitTorrent usage in countries that had good authorized offerings:
Musicmetric found that music file downloads using BitTorrent tend to increase in countries that don't have legal music streaming services such as Spotify. Among the top 10 countries with the fastest growing BitTorrent market share in the first half of 2012, only one, France, had Spotify.

Conversely, in the top 10 countries where BitTorrent activity has decreased fastest, five have access to Spotify.
Of course, it also seems worth noting that the one country that has Spotify and shows increasing BitTorrent market share is France... which has Hadopi, one of the strictest "enforcement and education" plans out there. I'm sure it's just a total coincidence...

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 10:07am

    absolute rubbish! just ask Chris Dodd and his ilk. they'll tell you the true way to 'compete with piracy' is to sue, fine and imprison as many people in as many countries as possible!

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

  2. icon
    DannyB (profile), Oct 5th, 2012 @ 10:29am

    You're missing some MPAA logic here

    Yes, authorized services compete with piracy.

    Bu, bu, but . . . Piracy!

    Piracy is bad.

    Therefore piracy's competition, authorized services, is also bad because it does the same thing -- deliver content to users in a 21st century way.

    Therefore, we should go back to the old ways.

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

  3. icon
    DannyB (profile), Oct 5th, 2012 @ 10:35am

    Re: You're missing some MPAA logic here

    Authorized services compete with the old way of doing things.

    The old way of doing things is profitable, and can be kept profitable forever as long as the correct laws and levies are enacted.

    Competing with what is profitable "devalues" it. (Actually it causes prices to reflect greater efficiency.)

    Therefore, authorized services are bad.

    Authorized Services == Piracy. Both are streaming. Both compete with the old way of doing things.

    And the most powerful argument that you cannot refute is: sticking to the old ways doesn't require any action on the part of the dinosaurs. Besides, the dinosaurs have invested substantially to buy a significant part of the government. That's a large capital investment that would go to waste if they were to embrace authorized services which compete with piracy.

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

  4. identicon
    Michael, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 10:40am

    Re: Re: You're missing some MPAA logic here


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

  5. identicon
    T, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 10:53am


    A month after the Avengers was released in theaters a...friend found a copy online to download and watch at home. I was also with him the day he bought the Avengers BD/DVD comboat Target. Getting unauthorized copies does not preclude people from buying it as just wanted to watch it sooner. ;)

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

  6. icon
    Rikuo (profile), Oct 5th, 2012 @ 11:10am

    On my PC, I've got over 600 gigabytes worth of games installed (please note, this is installed, it doesn't count the isos and other formats of disc images I also have). Of that 600+ gigabytes, over 550+ gigabytes are legitimately purchased games (a few though are free to play, but still count).
    Yes, there are some I infringed copyright on, but the vast amount of games I have installed I have legitimate licences for and have paid for in one way or another.

    So Average_Joe and other trolls...still want to call me a pirate?

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

  7. icon
    Chosen Reject (profile), Oct 5th, 2012 @ 11:11am

    Convenience and Sharing with Family

    It's insightful to combine the previous article and this one. People like to share the stuff they watch, listen to, read, etc with their friends and family and other people considered in their social circle. Normally, the most convenient way to do that is to lend them what you have. In ye olden days, that was to lend them a book, a record, or a VHS cassette. When things went digital, rather than lending, it became giving them copies. But now the most convenient way is to point them to a service they already have. For example, rather than copying a DVD, tell them it's on Netflix or Amazon Prime Instant Video if they already have those services. For songs, send them to Pandora or Spotify. For books, there's the library which may have an ebook, or even better, Amazon's Kindle Lending Library or Barne's a Noble's Lend Me program.

    If the studios, labels and publishers would only realize this, they'd be making it that much easier for new services to exist. Rather than copying, everyone would most likely be connected to some service or other and the studios, labels and publishers could get paid for every view which is their wet dream. The problem though, is they want the $15 they were getting for a DVD purchase to translate into $15 for every view. There might be an "analog dollars to digital dimes" transition, but we're talking making analog dollars once versus digital dimes over and over and over again.

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

  8. identicon
    Casey, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 11:31am

    I think the growth of piracy in countries without spotify has more to do with the fact that internet access is growing in those countries, not the lack of spotify. France probably has more to do with people finding ways around the 3 strikes law.

    The countries with a decrease in piracy could be related to spotify. But probably just services in general.

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

  9. icon
    Zakida Paul (profile), Oct 5th, 2012 @ 1:04pm

    Spotify, Last FM, Amazon, Itunes, 7Digital, Grooveshark, Jamendo.

    All legitimate downloading or streaming sites that compete with 'piracy' and every one of them are doing bloody well for themselves despite ridiculous restrictions place on them by record labels/RIAA/BPI etc.

    Those are just a few of the music services, there are also TV and movie services like Netflix, Love Film, Hulu etc who also compete with 'piracy' and who also do bloody well despite even more ridiculous restrictions.

    So, trolls, please don't feed me your bollocks that "it is impossible to compete with free" because we all know it is a crock. You just don't want to compete with free and that will be your ultimate undoing.

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

  10. icon
    ethical (profile), Oct 5th, 2012 @ 5:16pm

    More fantasy from the piracy industry

    Piracy damages people lives. Period. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics says that musicians wages have decline 45% since 2002. What happened in 2002? Peer-to-peer was in its third year of massive growth. The US recording industry has been cut in half since then. A very small percentage of that loss has affected "fat cats." The great majority of that loss has been job loss and underemployment for tens of thousands of music professionals. That is why "filesharing" without the creator/owner's permission is against US Federal law. CNET has been sued and lost for its part in inducing people to commit copyright infringement. Keep misleading people that "filesharing" is a good and legal activity.

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

  11. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Oct 5th, 2012 @ 11:19pm

    Re: More fantasy from the piracy industry

    would you care to comment on what the salaries of those running the companies getting rich from the hard work of musicians have gone up during that period of time?

    Would you care to discuss that the copyright cartel has done everything that can to follow a business model that relies on selling plastic discs when they sell digital music that does not require the same manufacturing lead time?

    Would you care to comment on the copyright cartel leaving digital sales out of their earnings so they can bemoan the death of the music CD market? Did you notice that sales of CD players have plunged as well in the same timeframe?

    Would you care to comment on the copyright cartel using the definition of sale or license when it comes to digital sales based on which definition lets them keep more money?

    Would you care to comment on the collection societies collecting money on behalf of artists but then funneling all of the money to the "important" acts cutting other acts out of money collected in their name?

    Would you care to comment on the hysterical notion that Justin Beiber is a cash cow for an industry he was "ripping off" by performing and uploading infringing works on YouTube?

    Would you care to comment on the millions spend on the **AA's that did not come from profits but could explain the salary cuts visited upon those hard working underemployed drones?

    Would you care to comment on how much a musical professional gets from every track sold? Oh wait they get paid a flat fee and only the talent and management team get money from each sale.

    Would you care to run away now before I make more fun of you?

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

  12. icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 5th, 2012 @ 11:46pm

    Re: More fantasy from the piracy industry

    Keep misleading people that "filesharing" is a good and legal activity.

    Who said either of those things?

    It must get really tiresome standing out there in the fields yelling at all those strawmen, while the rest of us are over here talking about ways in which artists can make more money.

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

  13. icon
    The eejit (profile), Oct 6th, 2012 @ 2:29am

    Re: More fantasy from the piracy industry

    If you were truly willing to stand by your principles, you would be willing to post there under your actual name. After all, you have the luck of being abloe to attack Mike so much.

    I'm merely pointing out the flaws in your own logic here: that you keep parroting statistics for which the conclusions may be grey at best.

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

  14. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Oct 6th, 2012 @ 3:27am

    Re: Re: More fantasy from the piracy industry

    Hosts with Go Daddy, shows a certain lack of understanding of reality.
    Smart enough to hide behind domains by proxy, and has been ethical since April when it was registered.

    But then if I was going to hit a tech blog and babble, I'd hide my trail to.

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

  15. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2012 @ 6:32am

    An amusing story, but the study is not very conclusive, and assumes no other outside influences.

    An example: megaupload was very popular in certain European countries. Shutting it down may have driven pirates away from file lockers and back onto bit torrent.

    Also, short term growth is a misleading thing to look at. There is no indication if the growth or declines in these markets are after equally impressive changes the periods before that.

    As an example, with Hadopi around, did bit torrent traffic drop in France, and then get reversed when the government changed?

    My feeling is that this "study" is another case of trying to assign wishful thinking to something. It's almost like trying to justify piracy, by blaming the victims.

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

  16. identicon
    Sandysennin, Oct 6th, 2012 @ 7:13am

    YEAH, i'm a frakking pirate.
    If not for the possibility of a free download i'd not listen to 99% of the bands i do. And i'd not want to buy merchandise or CDS/DVDs when i do have a few extra money.
    I'd not watch most of the movies and tv shows.

    Maybe if labels would not ask for so much money for themselves, robbing artists so much, maybe piracy wouldn't seem so bad.

    YEAH, i do not have enough money to access culture. YEAH, i'm a pirate. Better than being an ignorant fool! Arrest me!

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

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2012 @ 9:34am

    Re: Re: More fantasy from the piracy industry

    He's like a hurricane head that could be arsed to get an account, but for the sake of hawking his own site skewed against the consumer.

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

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2012 @ 8:13pm


    Yes, and now we will teach you to think past your nose:

    What would you listen to if you didn't pirate? Radio? Sat? Would you spend your time differently?

    Your money wouldn't be lost in the economy, you would spend it on merch for bands you know, or buying movie tickets, or perhaps on other things.

    Your attempt to paint piracy as somehow noble just doesn't work out. It's not like you would turn yourself off for 99% of the time because you don't have pirated stuff to enjoy.

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

  19. identicon
    Sandysennin, Oct 7th, 2012 @ 1:40pm

    Re: Re:

    Taught me nothing...

    Why would i listen to radio if 99% of what it plays doesn't please me?
    Oh, i could just be like others and eat just what others tell me to. Ok.

    Yes, i'd spend my time differently. I could do many things as i do now, but with out music.
    I like to read with music. I like to run with music. I work with music. I shit listening to music. I'd just do evething without it.

    I'm not painting piracy as noble, but as a way for many to access culture in a free way.

    No, i'd not turn myself off. I'd just not give much into culture because i don't have enough money for it. I'd just be a ignorant fool.

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

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