Yet Another Study Shows You Beat Piracy Through Innovation, Rather Than Enforcement

from the water-is-wet,-except-to-hollywood dept

Three years ago we released our Carrot or the Stick? paper, in which we explored piracy rates in a bunch of different countries, and looked at what appeared to be most effective in reducing piracy: greater legal enforcement or innovative new services. Time and time again our research highlighted how it was innovation -- in the form of user friendly licensed services (the user friendly part is important...) would lead to a noticeable reduction in piracy (sometimes in dramatic ways). On the other hand, increased legal enforcement appeared to have (if anything) only a temporary effect.

It appears that others are now exploring the same area, and doing quite an incredible job with it. A group of Dutch researchers at the Institute for Information Law at the University of Amsterdam have just released a Global Online Piracy Study that does an incredible job looking at the same questions with even more thorough data and analysis. They surveyed 35,000 people and looked at situations in 13 different countries (larger than our sample). The conclusions of the report appear notably similar to our own research, which is great to see (as it certainly helps to confirm what we found):

Still, despite the abundance of enforcement measures, their perceived effectiveness is uncertain. Therefore, it is questionable whether the answer to successfully tackling online copyright infringement lies in additional rights or enforcement measures, especially if these will not lead to additional revenue for copyright holders and risk coming into conflict with fundamental rights of users and intermediaries. Instead, it might be sensible to search for the answer to piracy elsewhere – in the provision of affordable and convenient legal access to copyright-protected content.

The report also found the following, suggesting that the trend that we saw clearly demonstrated back in 2015 has continued:

Between 2014 and 2017, the number of pirates decreased in all European countries except Germany.

As with our report that found enforcement actions had little to do with decreasing piracy rates, this report found similar things:

It might be tempting to argue that an increase in the use of certain enforcement measures against obviously illegal platforms has contributed to the decreasing number of pirates in Europe. However, a lack of evidence concerning the effectiveness of most enforcement measures and the strong link between piracy and the availability and affordability of content suggests otherwise: at a country level, online piracy correlates remarkably strongly with a lack of purchasing power. Higher per capita income coincides with a lower number of pirates per legal users.

Moreover, pirates and legal users are largely the same people: demographically, pirates resemble legal users quite closely, although on average they tend to be somewhat younger and more often male. More importantly, for each content type and country, 95% or more of pirates also consume content legally and their median legal consumption is typically twice that of non-pirating legal users.

That latter point has been shown in over a dozen studies previously, and it's incredible that it still needs to be repeated: pirates are often the best customers.

One interesting question might be why did Germany not see piracy decrease in the same manner as other countries. One reason might be that of the various countries studied, it already had one of the lowest piracy rates (29% of respondents claimed to have accessed some unauthorized content in the previous year). Only Japan was lower at 23%. So there's some argument that there may be a natural floor on this sort of thing, below which you can't go much lower. There are some other potential reasons hinted at within the report, including that the population of Germany is older than in most of those other countries, and it's one of the very rare cases of a country where physical sales of music still is ahead of digital sales. In short: there may be a lot of people in Germany who aren't that internet savvy.

Either way this is a really useful addition to the economic literature on this issue, suggesting (yet again) as we've argued for years, that focusing on greater enforcement has always been a huge waste of time, resources and money -- and comes at tremendous costs to free speech and innovation. Incredibly, that's likely been massively counterproductive to the goal of reducing piracy, since we need that innovation in licensed services to help reduce piracy. Of course, those who live in the world of the legacy industries have spent so many decades living and breathing the idea that enforcement is the only answer that I doubt this particular study will move the needle in convincing them to maybe start approaching things differently.


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  • identicon
    John Smith, 6 Aug 2018 @ 4:17am

    Without enforcement there's no point in having the laws, and ithout the laws, the good guys can break the same rules that only the bad guys will break now.

    Substitute "UPL statutes" for "copyright" and A"obseolete law firm model" with "obsolete media model" and I wonder how many attorneys would support ending the Bar Association's monopoly on legal services with "innovation" like billing at paralegal rates for work that can easily be done by paralegals. I mean, they ant to steal MY paycheck so they shouldn't have a problem with sacrificing their own.

    What you call "innovation" hurts the consumer. it supports a patronage/whale model where "free" contnt is little more than advertising for premium services targeting whales, and out of the reach of the masses.s Meanwhjile, the government loses tax revenue, while entire industries lose jobs, all so someone can steal stuff over the internet.

    You're basically advocating turning what used to be a profession into a hobby, because you dont' seem to think people should have to pay for it. Enforcement would work but we are immunitizng those who are clearly aiding and abetting, including credit-card companies who process payments for pirated content.

    The whole point of copyright was to avoid the need for publishers to make individual contracts with their patrons, but if they force that model on the world, the artists will adapt. I'm not going to write for a bunch of thieves/pirates when I can write for a single rich person and make a living that way.

    The public doesn't know what it's missing, like with the good music that is no longer produced, so life will go on.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2018 @ 5:40am

      Re:

      The public doesn't know what it's missing, like with the good music that is no longer produced.

      Try going to Jamendo and Bandcamp, and whatever your tastes in music, you will find a lot of music that you find good.

      There has never been an era in which a musician or anybody producing copyrighted works has been guaranteed to be able to make a living from those works. Pre-Internet, the fate of most creative types was to be ignored by the Gatekeeper publishers, as they had thousands of submissions for every artists they chose to promote, and profit from.

      With the Internet, and by letting works circulate for free, anybody can self publish, and try and build an audience and income from their creativity, almost always by patronage, which is being paid to produce new works.

      Becoming filthy rich from creative endevours has always been something achieved by very few authors and musicians, because it requires works that attract a large audience, and so those that do so are lottery winners and o not represent the reality of life for most authors and musicians, which is keep the day job and enjoy creating works for a small audience, or performing in the local pubs and clubs for a little extra income.

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      • identicon
        John Smith, 6 Aug 2018 @ 10:24am

        Re: Re:

        There have been eras where artists knew that whether or not they made a living was based on market forces, and not someone stealing their money.

        Read the comments on YT videos of 1980s and 1990s music, from kids today who wonder why music stinks. Someone else said that $5,000 for a song that can be written in "a few hours" was a good paycheck, ignoring not only the risk of failure, but the costs of studio time, video sets, union help all the way up and down, etc.

        The big media companies still get people to buy their work because they have insular distribution. it's the indies who are starved by this. You're right: artists have adapted. Note how many now get rich on YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2018 @ 11:31am

          Re: Re: Re:

          >There have been eras where artists knew that whether or not they made a living was based on market forces, and not someone stealing their money.

          The only people who could and can steal an artists money are the legacy publishers, their agents and the collecting societies, on and PayPal if they think there is something wrong with an account.

          A lot of so called piracy is people trying to decide which artists they spend their money supporting. Obviously they do not buy from every musician they listen to, but they do buy more music from more musicians than people who stick to the few musicians that they trust.

          Borrowing albums, or getting cassettes, along with the Old Grey Whistle test is how I decided what to buy back in the day.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2018 @ 12:41pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          And those goddamn kids won’t get off your lawn no matter how much you yell and yell.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2018 @ 5:50am

      Re:

      Substitute "UPL statutes" for "copyright" and A"obseolete law firm model" with "obsolete media model" and I wonder how many attorneys would support ending the Bar Association's monopoly on legal services with "innovation" like billing at paralegal rates for work that can easily be done by paralegals. I mean, they ant to steal MY paycheck so they shouldn't have a problem with sacrificing their own.

      I don't see how the Bar Association is analogous to the entertainment industry. Could you please elaborate on this?

      What you call "innovation" hurts the consumer. it supports a patronage/whale model where "free" contnt is little more than advertising for premium services targeting whales, and out of the reach of the masses.s Meanwhjile, the government loses tax revenue, while entire industries lose jobs, all so someone can steal stuff over the internet.

      An interesting point. Again, elaboration, please. How does increased, convenient, user-friendly, legal, paid-for access across multiple platforms and pricing schemes to the content the publishers are already attempting to sell hurt the consumer?

      Which industries are losing job? How much has tax revenue been hit? Has there been a counter-balance in the increase of jobs and revenue from supplanting industries? I would like to know more.

      You're basically advocating turning what used to be a profession into a hobby, because you dont' seem to think people should have to pay for it. Enforcement would work but we are immunitizng those who are clearly aiding and abetting, including credit-card companies who process payments for pirated content.

      I was not aware that credit card companies process payment for pirated content. To my knowledge, pirated content is free, which is why is it pirated. Can you elaborate and point to examples of paid-for pirated content?

      Can you provide examples of others who have been immunized that should not have been, and why?

      The whole point of copyright was to avoid the need for publishers to make individual contracts with their patrons, but if they force that model on the world, the artists will adapt. I'm not going to write for a bunch of thieves/pirates when I can write for a single rich person and make a living that way.

      Can you provide evidence, metrics, or studies supporting the assertion of incentivization of the Single Patron model?

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    • identicon
      me, 6 Aug 2018 @ 6:14am

      Re:

      But you can't do that, because that bloated, sleazy, useless middlemen can't sue their own customers to stay greedy and relevant.

      Music is an artform, not an industry, and the Music Industry as it exists today, NEEDS. TO. DIE. And be replaced with actual innovation.

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      • identicon
        John Smith, 6 Aug 2018 @ 11:29am

        Re: Re:

        The same could be said about the practice of law, which originally required licensing only to tax them, and to ensure someone literate was in court on behalf of those not literate.

        We already let nonattorneys practice in numerous settings insome states. Why should the public have to pay the bloated student loan debts of the greedy, monopolistic attorneys.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2018 @ 6:28am

      Re:

      Without enforcement there's no point in having the laws

      And with the ways they are currently enforced it's as good as not having any. Funny how grandparents and children are pursued relentlessly but when the RIAA uses a photographer's image without permission it's a free pass!

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2018 @ 6:38am

      Re:

      Show us where the mean lawyer upset you.

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

      • identicon
        John Smith, 6 Aug 2018 @ 11:30am

        Re: Re:

        Third-garde, ad-homniem insults are irrelevant to a debate.

        It'd be like asking if being so weak has made you see every position one takes in a debate as a result of emotional harm that only you aren't strong enough to prevent.

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    • icon
      Bergman (profile), 6 Aug 2018 @ 6:59am

      Re:

      Perhaps it's time that someone starts a business to produce whale oil lighting, buggy whips and coal-fired furnaces, so they can whine just as much as you do about new innovations.

      Just because you've become a grouchy old man who hates everything the 'kids' these days listen to -- just like your elders did with the music you like -- doesn't mean that music today sucks.

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      • icon
        Madd the Sane (profile), 6 Aug 2018 @ 3:42pm

        Re: Re:

        Bleh, can't find the video where a political group snarked that since the UK government were giving cab drivers hand-outs, they should be giving them to other old jobs like town criers.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2018 @ 7:47am

      Re:

      "Without enforcement there's no point in having the laws, and ithout the laws, the good guys can break the same rules that only the bad guys will break now."

      LOL - good guys/bad guys - right outta a hollywood movie
      You can tell the good guys because they wear the white hats

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  • identicon
    David, 6 Aug 2018 @ 5:59am

    So?

    That's like saying studies have shown that theft in supermarket can be reduced by offering different package sizes and other pricing models, like renting out magazines instead of selling them.

    If you want to prescribe a particular business model, that would not be "copyright" any more but basically compensated confiscation. But a "right" implies being able to make your own choices, whether or not they appear stupid on the surface or actually turn out to be stupid to the core.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2018 @ 6:20am

      Re: So?

      The supermarket analogy is only barely applicable, because you can't simply instantly and with minimal cost replicate a head of cabbage.

      It also fails on the comparison of shop-lifting to piracy, in terms of the logistics of it and realities of it.

      Shop-lifting, as a physical action, also denies the ability of a different consumer from purchasing the item that was shop-lifted. The downloading of a copied song does not have this effect.

      Shop-lifting, as a physical action, can be caught and stopped by enforcement with a very, very, very low degree of false positive, and for those cases with a false positive, there is an immediate and costless method of redress for the accused (show the receipt, be let go). Preventing shop-lifting has a cost footprint in and of itself ... and even with enforcement, the big players actually account for projected loss of revenue to theft in their annual planning. Even with enforcement, the physical action of shop-lifting is accepted as something that cannot be 100% stamped out, and the amount of enforcement and the focus on enforcement gets balanced against the cost-effectiveness of it, and whether or not it will drive people away.

      From the perspective of person hoping to profit off their creative work, there would be no reason not to view piracy through a similar lens - what is the most cost-effective method to reduce it? If enforcement is proven to not be cost-effective, and to potentially actually hurt your bottom line, why would you want to continue with it?

      Why not instead pursue tactics that will bring in money rather than drive it away?

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      • identicon
        David, 6 Aug 2018 @ 7:17am

        Re: Re: So?

        You lost it. You think the analogy sucks but react with victim blaming either way, spelling out what kind of measures the victim should have taken in order not to get bereft of his rights.

        Thinking like is what saddles honest customers with DRM in the first place.

        Basically, you consider boycotting software and obtaining illicitly copied software perfect equivalents since neither tampers with a copy in the possession of the creator.

        If they were perfectly equivalent, copyright would be nonsensical rather than worth of improvement.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2018 @ 7:27am

          Re: Re: Re: So?

          Yes, I think the analogy is flawed (or in the language you've chosen to use, sucks). If you disagree, please explain. I've made points that explain why I don't think it's a good one. Do you have rebuttals? I would like to hear them.

          Victim blaming? Since we're going down this confrontational path, please explain to me how the MPAA or RIAA, who regularly victimize both their customers and their content creators, are themselves victims.

          If you consider them to not be the victims, please tell me who the victims are, who is victimizing them, how they are being victimized, and what part of what I said blames them.

          Next, please explain the following:

          _Basically, you consider boycotting software and obtaining illicitly copied software perfect equivalents since neither tampers with a copy in the possession of the creator._

          I want to know what I said that made you think that, and why it made you think that. If that's explained, then maybe we can continue to discuss, but I can't actually see the logical link, and I'd rather not guess.

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        • icon
          James Burkhardt (profile), 6 Aug 2018 @ 9:14am

          Re: Re: Re: So?

          David, "Basically, you consider boycotting software and obtaining illicitly copied software perfect equivalents since neither tampers with a copy in the possession of the creator." You fail to address the premise of the AC's comment, which is reflected in the article above.

          A copyright Maximalist will consider every pirated copy a lost sale. No pirated copies are equivalent to a boycott, financially, because they could have gotten those funds absent piracy. The primary reaction from rights holders has been to lean toward enforcement of their rights, dumping large amounts of money into enforcement despite a lack of ROI in an effort to capture every lost sale.

          The position you assert AC holds is that no piracy occurs when a sale may have. Therefore there is no value in attempting to covert piracy into sales in any form, and all piracy has the same financial value as a boycott, that is none. The pirate would not have spent the funds even if piracy is not an option.

          The truth is somewhere in the middle. Some level of piracy occurs that could have been a sale, though potentially not all. This plays out in the various studies we have seen, concluding that those priates who both pay and pirate pay for more content then non-pirates, and often pay for and pirate the same content. If you assume that you can get most of the potential sales, but that you can not covert pirates who would not otherwise purchase your content and that the goal is maximizing revenue, not units sold, traditional legal threats might not be the best option. Instead, you may see better long term ROI if you improve and innovate your distribution, to encourage not just conversion of this sale, but future sales.

          We see the effectiveness of this kind of strategy in the marketplace. When Netflix enters a country with a solid catalogue, Movie piracy decreases dramatically. Similar with spotify style services and music. CD Projekt Red sees far lower piracy rates than other publishers, because its DRM-free stance eliminates one of the major causes of piracy: the inconvenience, performance issues and security risks associated with DRM which does little to impact pirates and has the most impact on paying customers.

          If you accept that you can't covert all pirates, but that you can covert some pirates, and look at the financial bottom line (which is what this is supposedly all about), the current market data suggests that conversion of those pirates who will pay is not about indiscriminately enforcing your rights, but about providing the service a pirate can not, with convenience, not hoops. And at a far cheaper cost than enforcing your legal rights. Save your legal rights for mass distributors or those attempting to provide that service. It only make financial sense.

          Also, the grocery example is actually used as an example of an industry accepting theft for greater profit. The Piggly Wiggly is the first known grocery to use a self service model in 1916. They accepted some level of theft (shrinkage or loss is the term used in retail) in return for the higher volume of sales that came from a number of factors that the self service model supported, including impulsed purchasing and labor efficiencies. Why we shouldn't accept a similar trade off in the media market where there is little cost to the production of the 'shrinkage' is a mystery to me.

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          • icon
            Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 6 Aug 2018 @ 9:35am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: So?

            "...and look at the financial bottom line (which is what this is supposedly all about)..."

            Except when it's about control. The entertainment industry has, via their behavior, in no uncertain terms told us that they want the Internet to be some form of TV or Cable where they decide what we consume, when we consume it, where we consume it, and how dear that consumption is to us. They want to be in the position to monetize every usage times every consumer present, all the time, whether that is reasonable or not. They would be happy with someone buying a DVD and then be able to effect some incremental charge every time that DVD is inserted in a player.

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            • icon
              James Burkhardt (profile), 6 Aug 2018 @ 10:10am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So?

              That is why my statement is phrased in the way it is, utilizing the word supposedly, which is traditionally used to indicate that I question the veracity of the statement as a whole. I am arguing on the merits of the arguments presented by the entertainment industry, and when arguing my conclusion indicating that the reason I can eviscerate their argument is that they are not being truthful in their motives. My argument is designed to ask for a response from Dave, addressing his argument on its face, allowing him to expose his insincere motives by further dismissing the value of a market-research based strategy to earn maximum ROI.

              My word choice is explicitly designed to question the financial motive central to his arguments, and you are now questioning that I really doubt the statements I indicated I doubted, which I really have to ask....Why?

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      • identicon
        bob, 6 Aug 2018 @ 8:49am

        Re: Re: So?

        If a store becomes too aggressive in enforcing anti-theft policies people will stop trying to steal as much. However you also will drive away potential customers because they dont want to be treated like potential shoplifters every time they try to purchase something. Also listening to someone else's music is not critical to life. While eating or having clothes tends to be a neccesity for people.

        As was already pointed out shoplifting deprives all others of that thing while piracy of digital goods does not.

        No one ever said just give it all away for free, what thw article is saying is that the copyright holders are trying to hard to enforce and instead need to rethink how they manage their business models.

        If a supermarket was run in a similar manner to how the MPAA and RIAA run their businesses then more people would shop somewhere else or even go to the extreme of growing their own food.

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        • identicon
          bob, 6 Aug 2018 @ 9:09am

          Re: Re: Re: So?

          To expand on my last paragraph.

          When people start to grow their own food they may even start their own farmer's market because the rates the supermarkets pays for produce are terrible. Now that people have a choice they decide to stop shopping at the supermarket where they are treated as criminals until proven not-guilty every time they shop.

          But instead of changing how the supermarket is run, the RIAA/MPAA supermarket will go the local government and try to outlaw selling if your produce even looks similar to the brand the supermarket sells or they might try to outlaw the farmer's market because it is not a supermarket or some other reason. Maybe the city already has some law against selling on the street or from a home that the supermarket abuses to try and force people back into their store.

          Meanwhile the same people are not suddenly shopping at the supermarket and instead find a different way to sell or trade goods when the farmer's market is shutdown.

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        • icon
          Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 6 Aug 2018 @ 9:21am

          Re: Re: Re: So?

          There are a few stores where they want to search me on exit, after paying for my purchases. My first reaction is, no you may not search me, and I continue on my way. My second reaction is to never go to that store, or any other of the same chain, ever again. Their aggression equals their loss.

          The entertainment industries have had a similar effect.

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          • icon
            James Burkhardt (profile), 6 Aug 2018 @ 9:27am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: So?

            When in comes to searches leaving a store, I only accept receipt checking behavior from 2 stores, Costco where it is part of the membership agreement, and Fry's, because they chose that method over other electronic security measures (which would be ineffective...many cables can cause the same reaction as the security tags)

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            • icon
              James Burkhardt (profile), 6 Aug 2018 @ 9:29am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So?

              I certainly am not accepting that behavior from Walmart with their electronic security measures where I am just looking to get in and get out with my gallon of milk.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2018 @ 1:20pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So?

                I'm not OK with Fry's doing it, but I let them do it anyway because that's not a bridge I'm willing to burn (they're the only real brick-and-mortar game in town with a decent stock). Walmart, on the other hand, I smile and shake my head with a 'no thanks' as I walk out. At most they get confused, but never try to force the subject.

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      • identicon
        John Smith, 6 Aug 2018 @ 11:40am

        Re: Re: So?

        Third-garde, ad-homniem insults are irrelevant to a debate.

        It'd be like asking if being so weak has made you see every position one takes in a debate as a result of emotional harm that only you aren't strong enough to prevent.


        The how-to industry has been destroyed by piracy. Once upon a time, someone with valuable information could publish that information, sell to the masses, and make a good living. Now that person is forced to exploit that information for personal gain, or sell it to a wealthy patron. The exception, of course, are celebrities and big media networks, who can market directly to their audience, who will still go out and by from them while justifying ripping off the indies (who actually need the money) because they are second-class creators, in their minds.

        You won't mind if that book on how to properly fund your retirement is never written, because no one knows anything you can't find for free, right? The author who didn't write that book doesn't mind your ignorance, since he'll just tqke your money in the stock market. Same for home repair, building a ham radio, or ANYTHING that used to be profitable to write books about, but which piracy destroyed.

        If you believe that no one has information which may be of value to you, or that those who do are foolish enough to give away the store, piracy doesn't matter. Moreoever, if you're going to say piracy is okay, let's abolish ALL copyright protection and create a true "free-for-all" where everyone has to innovate from a level playing field, and only the big tech companies get rich, a the "arms dealer" of the bandwidth.

        Applied to television, TV Guide would make more money than any show in its listings, just like Google makes more than any site in its. People go online to be dazzled by search engines, right? The other free content you see will be distguised marketing copy for premium services that the authors want "stolen."

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2018 @ 11:55am

          Re: Re: Re: So?

          The how-to industry has been destroyed by piracy.

          Wrong, it has lost out to the competition from YouTube, forums and other Internet resources where there are lots of competent people passing on a lifetimes knowledge of how to do things. Often when somebody needs how to infomation, they need it now, which give the Internet a huge advantage over real world or online bookshops, where gaining the knowledge needed is delayed. Also video, or conversations on forums makes knowledge more accessible than it is in books.

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        • icon
          Toom1275 (profile), 6 Aug 2018 @ 12:25pm

          Re: Re: Re: So?

          >Third-garde, ad-homniem insults are irrelevant to a debate.

          Throwing out baseless accusations like that doesn't really help your argument.

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        • identicon
          bob, 6 Aug 2018 @ 12:53pm

          Re: Re: Re: So?

          So go write a book that has helpful images, links to youtube videos by you the author, or innovate a way to make the pages of the physical book show video for a competitive price.

          Despite knowledge being free on the web people still need ways to link that information together into something useful as well as have accurate source material. The same benefit that information is immediate is also a weakness because wrong information can be posted just as quickly.

          I have more confidence in Wikipedia today than when it first started but having a physical book that I can read without electricity or web access can also be beneficial. Also the author might link together information or present it in a more helpful organization than stuff on the web.

          Its true that the information age isn't solely found in physical books anymore but that doesn't negate the need for book publishers. We just don't need as many publishers as we once did. The same people that did work for the publisher can find other things to do as well. I hate the feeling of being out of work. It can be a degrading destructive feeling. But the answer is to adapt (innovate) not force others to keep things how they were.

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          • identicon
            John Smith, 6 Aug 2018 @ 10:42pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: So?

            It still isn't clear why I need to abandon book publishing to make money when simple enforcement of the law would fix that.

            Some people want to turn this into a hobby, by literally invalidating a constitutional right because...um, it's easy to download files? Why is this right to steal my work so important that *I* am the one who needs to adapt?

            What's next: expelling a kid who is beaten up by four or more of his classmates?

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            • identicon
              bob, 7 Aug 2018 @ 7:25am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So?

              Its very simple really, technology has progressed to the point that the world economy won't support as large a number of book publishers as it used to need to satisfy demand.

              The law doesn't say people must buy physical books the law says if you create something you have exclusive rights to sell it for a predefined time period. Nowhere does it say people must purchase your creation. Only that if people pirate your creation you can prosecute them.

              But you forget that just because people aren't buying your book it doesn't mean they pirated it too. It means that what they perceive as the value of your creation is lower than what you set as a selling price. So people chose to not buy your creation. Hence if you innovate or do something new instead of creating the same thing over and over again people will raise their valuation of your creation and possibly start purchasing it.

              Since the value of physical books has decreased with the advent of the Internet it means either you as a publisher need to provide something your competitors don't/can't/won't, or you will go bankrupt.

              Now this concept applies to all goods and services. Instead of as you stated "why should I change instead of the consumer" you have to ask yourself why should the consumer buy your product?

              No one is saying it is right to steal your product but piracy, theft, etc. are all part of this world and no matter how much you put towards policing it, some people will find a way to do it regardless of the great risk in doing so. The enforcement of laws can decrease the likehood of crimes but there is still a cost associated with the enforcement.

              If the cost is too high you lose money, if the enforcement is too little you lose money. The study is saying the enforcement level is not at it's equilibrium point yet and has swung too far towards enforcement resulting in lost profits due to the cost of enforcement, not the cost of piracy. It even shows that some piracy of certain creative works will result in increased sales until a better alternative is available to the consumers.

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

        • identicon
          bob, 6 Aug 2018 @ 12:59pm

          Re: Re: Re: So?

          Are you saying you paid money for a tv guide?

          A search engine is not like a tv guide.

          A tv guide is a very limited search engine. That is why satellite TV companies have a built-in guide of channels with the ability to do a search of future shows. They innovated so people will use their service instead of the old TV guide.

          Yes you could use the search engine for lookimg up show times but most people will just use the built-in guide to do that specific job.

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

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 6 Aug 2018 @ 11:05am

      Re: So?

      That's like saying studies have shown that theft in supermarket can be reduced by offering different package sizes and other pricing models, like renting out magazines instead of selling them.

      If a study came out that showed that supermarkets could have a better bottom line by not wasting money on excessive enforcement, wouldn't that be useful? Indeed, many stores now have an official policy of basically ignoring petty shoplifting and letting perpetrators go, because the cost of intervention is too high.

      Indeed, at one point, Walmart studied the issue and decided they were better off ignoring people who shoplifted items worth less than $25. https://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/13/business/worldbusiness/13iht-wal-mart.2190898.html

      This study is something akin to that: saying that everyone is better off when you focus on the innovation side (giving people a reason to pay) rather than the enforcement side, which can turn people off from paying.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2018 @ 9:42pm

        Re: Re: So?

        You are so thoroughly disconnected from reality that it’s comical.

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

      • identicon
        John Smith, 6 Aug 2018 @ 10:48pm

        Re: Re: So?

        Even if the supermarket has a better "alternative" business model, destruction of the old model by invalidating or not enforcing the law has yet to be justified.

        Is the underlying argument that copyright infringement is so impossible to stop it shouldn't be illegal, or that the law qgainst it is just no longer necessary? Snice copyright was built into the Constitution (you know, even before the first amendment), it would take an amendment to the constitution to abolish.

        Exactly which part of the law is being abused? I've said that if downloading were treated as a retail-price violation or ASCAP violation rather than infringement, this would solve a lot: steal someone's book and they can sue you for $19.95 or whatever. Download a song and it's the same thing. Format-shifting I could see banning.

        Actual "copyright infringement" should be a creative violation, when another work violates it, not when mine is copied. I'd be fine with a law that gives a pirate the chance to mitigate a lawsu9it by paying triple the price of something, etc.

        If your utopia becomes law, I won't be impacted, other than to make my work unavailable on the internet (so that any copy on there is illegal), and to require readers to sign nondisclosure agreements, while also marketing to very rich people, ignoring the very market you claim to want to protect. The bigger outfits don't suffer piracy because they have a credibility with their audience that will make them go out and buy some talk-show host's book for $24.95 simply because s/he's a celebrity.

        What is never made clear is why theft is tolerable in the first place, or why those from whom they steal are the ones who need to change their behavior.

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

        • icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), 7 Aug 2018 @ 12:04am

          Re: Re: Re: So?

          Even if the supermarket has a better "alternative" business model, destruction of the old model by invalidating or not enforcing the law has yet to be justified.

          What do you mean by "justified"? That's not how the world works. What is justified is what works. What this study showed is that what works is greater innovation, not enforcement. Don't you want something that ACTUALLY reduces piracy? Or do you just want to push enforcement even though it's been shown not to work. Strange.

          Is the underlying argument that copyright infringement is so impossible to stop it shouldn't be illegal, or that the law qgainst it is just no longer necessary?

          No, the underlying argument is look at what actually works. And the answer is not enforcement. IT's innovation.

          Snice copyright was built into the Constitution (you know, even before the first amendment), it would take an amendment to the constitution to abolish.

          I'm not calling for abolition so this is a total non sequitur, especially considering that this entire article is about REDUCING INFRINGEMENT. But, even so, your statement here is so wrong it's laughable. Copyright is not built into the Constitution: the power for Congress to create copyright law if it helps promote the progress is. If Congress were to decide to get rid of copyright, under the existing Constitution, that would be totally legit (to be clear: I'm not advocating for that, though I expect you'll twist my words to pretend otherwise -- I'm just noting that nothing in the Constitution requires Congress to create a copyright law).

          Exactly which part of the law is being abused? I've said that if downloading were treated as a retail-price violation or ASCAP violation rather than infringement, this would solve a lot: steal someone's book and they can sue you for $19.95 or whatever. Download a song and it's the same thing. Format-shifting I could see banning.

          This is weird because I didn't say anything in the comment you're responding to about the law being abused. Indeed, nothing in this post is about changing copyright law. So why are you bringing that up? Though, if you want to go down that road, we've got hundreds upon hundreds of posts with examples of copyright law being abused.

          If your utopia becomes law,

          Again, nothing in my post or comment was about changing the law in any way. I'm also not at all sure what you think my "utopia" is?

          I won't be impacted, other than to make my work unavailable on the internet (so that any copy on there is illegal), and to require readers to sign nondisclosure agreements, while also marketing to very rich people, ignoring the very market you claim to want to protect.

          That, of course, is your own business decision. Though I imagine that would do much more to harm your business than any piracy. But, you get to make such a self-destructive choice if you'd like to do so.

          What is never made clear is why theft is tolerable in the first place, or why those from whom they steal are the ones who need to change their behavior.

          No one said it's "tolerable." We're just describing reality -- and reality is that piracy exists and to stop it (which you seem to agree is a reasonable goal) you should focus on innovation.

          So I'm perplexed at your complaint here, other than if you are trolling/willfully misreading what we said. You seem to be against evidence that shows how to reduce piracy. And, because we've posted it, you're claiming, falsely, that we're advocating for piracy. So bizarre.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2018 @ 6:00am

    everybody in the world knows this including the complete spectrum of the entertainment industries. the problem is, those industries refuse to accept it, refuse to give customers what they ask for and refuse to give in as it takes away some of their control! that is the most important thing to them, keeping control, even if/when it costs them customers and sales! look at the shit that's just started in Aussie. the industries refuse to include sub titles in movies, tv series etc, so they wont to shut down the internet because SOME sites and SOME people, FOR FREE make subtitles available in various languages. this is only done because the industries refuse and it is typical of this crap attitude they have! what the hell do they expect to happen when what is wanted isn't made available by the various distributors? what do the people who make these decisions do when they go to a store to get something and find it is incomplete or not available? do they just accept it? of course not! those who fuck things up for others are the biggest whingers and moaners when they cant get what they want! serves them right!!

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

    • identicon
      me, 6 Aug 2018 @ 6:24am

      Re:

      But you can't do that, because that bloated, sleazy, useless middlemen can't sue their own customers to stay greedy and relevant.

      Music is an artform, not an industry, and the Music Industry as it exists today, NEEDS. TO. DIE. And be replaced with actual innovation.

      Two points validly made here as examples:

      1) The homogenized crap the "Industry" calls music, and the need to control distribution, as in gatekeepers providing only homogenized crap, thereby slowly killing the artform in favor of Corporate greed.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2018 @ 6:12am

    I hate "studies"...

    when they don't come out the way I want.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2018 @ 6:17am

    That’s right folks, enforcing laws is a waste of time!

    So run some red lights and go rob yourself a bank today!

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2018 @ 6:26am

      Re:

      Traffic laws exist to create a safe environment for travel, and establish a set of rules and guidelines so that we will not endanger ourselves and others with our actions, provided we follow them.

      The reason to not run the red light is so that I don't plow into another vehicle, thereby injuring or killing myself and/or other people. The penalties associated with breaking traffic law exist to incentivise people to follow the rules of the road when they might otherwise not because they haven't thought of, or simply don't consider, the danger present in breaking the rule.

      Copyright, on the other hand, is not about keeping people safe. It's about ensuring that people have an incentive to produce entertainment and further the development of culture, or at least, it's supposed to be about that. There's not really a link between the two.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2018 @ 6:30am

        Re: Re:

        Additionally, when looking at enforcement, the question of effectiveness is valid. Enforcement costs money, time, and effort. One should consider if that money, time, and effort is actually having an effect.

        If the end goal is to stop as much piracy as possible, and enforcement fails to stop it in any measurable way, is the enforcement worth it?

        If the end goal is to stop as much piracy as possible, and creating wide-spread, user-friendly availability of the content that might have been pirated actually does stop piracy in a significant and measurable way, is it not worth considering going down this road (especially since a wider consumer base, handled intelligently, can result in increased revenue)?

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

        • identicon
          John Smith, 6 Aug 2018 @ 1:17pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Except you want me to create that content as part of a very tiny, price-fixed pie rather than set my own rates and expect those who find no value in my work to not steal it. The act of stealing it says clearly that it IS of value to the pirate, who is free to simply not purchase that which they do not deem of value.

          If you want to stop the RIAA, treat downloading as an ASCAP violation, and define "infringement" only as someone creating a plagiaristic work.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2018 @ 1:58pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You are ignoring that most people will not buy a pig in a poke, and if the only way to see whether you like a creator or author is to buy first, then many people will pass. That is why piracy is often associated with people who buy a lot of creative works, they try first to see which works are worth paying for, and they buy what they already obtained for free if they like the work.

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

            • identicon
              John Smith, 6 Aug 2018 @ 10:54pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Passing is legal.
              Stealing is not.

              As the creator, I'm saying that I'm fine with people4 passing on my work. It's up to me to give out free excerpts, and I often have, specifically so people can judge my work? Guess what? Parasites will never acknowledge value anyway because they want to justify stealing.

              What this means for you is that investment wizard who could have gotten rich by publishing a winning investment method instead writes daily about the stock market, because perishable media is less difficult to steal. he can prove himself by picking a efw winners and then let customer greed take over, demanding large amounts of money up front for something that cannot be pirated.

              These adaptations, which I should not have to make in the first place, destroy creator control over content with an argument that says I'm supposed to be concerned that some freeloaders will pass on my work when I'm not.

              What exactly is the justification for telling the creator of content to change his ways but not the thief?

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2018 @ 1:57am

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

                There is this thing with printed books, they can and usually are read by more than one person, and can be given to somebody else, or sold in the second hand market, or even lent to many people by a library.

                It has never been the case that every reader of a book bough a new copy, and usually the case that there were many more readers than buyers. Also, it is sometimes the case that people who would not buy a book blind, will buy their own copy after reading it for free.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2018 @ 3:32am

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

                people
                infringe*
                infringer*

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

          • identicon
            bob, 6 Aug 2018 @ 2:15pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Value is arbitrary. You might think something is worth a lot but it really depends on what you and the buyer agree to on price. The study showed one of the reasons people pirate is because they want to test out something before they come to their own conclusion on its value. If the pirate thought it was worth having, they pay for it as well as future works by the same creator. Obviously that doesn't happen all the time.

            Personally I hate games and other software that don't let me try before I buy. So I may skip over a video game, especially from an unknown publisher or developer, because I don't think it will be worth my money to purchase, even though it might be the coolest new thing. If a creator has demos I am more informed on what I'm buying. That's why I like Steam's return policy, it lets me take more risk with my money instead of requiring that I just blindly trust every publisher's set price. Which provides enough incentive for me not need or want to pirate anything.

            No one here is saying you should produce works for free. What they are saying is that the heavy handed tactics of the music companies is causing too much collateral damage for perfectly legitimate content. And the worn out reason those companies use to justify their heavy handedness is that piracy is stealing all their sales when in fact piracy helps to sell their product and if the companies create a reason to buy the product people usually will.

            There will always be some lost potential profit when people steal your created works, but the financial impact is grossly over exagerated.

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

            • identicon
              John Smith, 6 Aug 2018 @ 10:56pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              So because someone wants to override my decision NOT to give a free trial, they should be allowed to steal my work rather than letting the market drive them to someone who will give them a pacifier?

              Boolean logic:

              I want a free trial
              You won't give me a free trial; therefore
              I will steal your work and it's your fault

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

              • icon
                That One Guy (profile), 6 Aug 2018 @ 11:37pm

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

                I want a free trial. You won't give me a free trial; therefore I will steal your work and it's your fault

                That's a nice strawman you threw together there, however even if it were accurate it would still be the better option than the alternative.

                'I want a free trial. You won't give me a free trial. Therefore I will move on to someone else who will give me a free trial and you get neither my time or attention, with zero chance of getting my money now or in the future.'

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2018 @ 3:31am

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

                not*
                commit copyright infringement against*

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2018 @ 4:26pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            infringement*

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2018 @ 3:29am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            infringed*

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2018 @ 6:33am

      Re:

      Nah, we just need to get of bad laws. Like copyright.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2018 @ 7:51am

      Re:

      Yes, copyright infringement (a civil matter) is exactly the same as running a red light (traffic offense) and robbing a bank (felony). Thanks you for pointing this out because it would've escaped me otherwise.

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 6 Aug 2018 @ 6:21am

    For half the billions of dollars they have poured into enforcement schemes, they could have built a platform making all content available legally.

    They think they are entitled to be paid again if you have more than 3 people over to watch a movie, and only on every other thursday, on a tablet...

    They are so obsessed with control over the content, they ignore those willing to pay them & those who really just want to watch a movie where & when they want without getting super special clearance from 47 rights management servers that rarely can keep up... and they wonder why those consumers might prefer to just watch the movie.

    Everytime they try to lock it down more, there is more piracy... they can not connect their actions to the outcome, it is just a matter for more enforcement to win the unwinnable.

    Fansub sites teach them there is an unserved market, their plan is to crush them... not offer better subtitles. Not look at these markets they have ignored & serve them. Nope blame subtitles for costing them billions in lost money, not the huge thicket of rights & clearances they created that make it nearly impossible to release a movie to the global market at the same time.

    So afraid of pirates they stripped closed captions from releases for rental... screwing those with hearing impairment out of entertainment without paying full price... and they are shocked sales haven't jumped?

    It is well past time we remind the cartels they have one job, selling content to consumers... everything they do to make it harder for consumers to pay them & enjoy the content they bought how they want makes more pirates. They are the cause & the solution to the problem, but they would rather pour more money into buying stupid laws & snake-oil dreams of this time the magic rock will end all piracy.

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

    • identicon
      John Smith, 6 Aug 2018 @ 1:18pm

      Re:

      Except you want me to create that content as part of a very tiny, price-fixed pie rather than set my own rates and expect those who find no value in my work to not steal it. The act of stealing it says clearly that it IS of value to the pirate, who is free to simply not purchase that which they do not deem of value.

      If you want to stop the RIAA, treat downloading as an ASCAP violation, and define "infringement" only as someone creating a plagiaristic work.

      So *I* shouldn't control my content....*you* should.

      Got it.

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

      • icon
        James Burkhardt (profile), 6 Aug 2018 @ 3:19pm

        Re: Re:

        Except, no. Your unwillingness to address the article on its merits is telling.

        The article does not dispute the value of your work, and it does not assert the necessity of a price fixed pie. What it argues is that if you want to reduce piracy of your works and maximize revenue, the introduction of competitively priced, convenient services is a better investment then indiscriminate automated assertions of your rights.

        You have earlier blamed the 'death' of the DIY industry on piracy, when it seems clear to me the industry is doing well. The for profit DIY industry is doing poorly. Youtube, iFixit, How to, ect. fill the gap with people whose goal isn't profit, at least not by traditional means. I personally know Youtubers who do DIY costuming tutorials not for money, but a love of cosplay, and DIY woodworking for the love of the art, not profit. I personally know anti-corpratists who give DIY repair advice not for money, but to stick it to the man.

        DIY publishing is an industry built out of A) the difficulties of publishing information en mass pre internet, B) long term decline in DIY skills as a lack of demand reduced pass down of these skills, C) stagnant wages lead to an increased desire for homemade items and repairs to defray modern living costs.

        However, with the internet, A) publication costs are low, B) the industry itself has revived DIY Culture, which now spreads itself, down through to the next generation, and outward as the lower and middle classes share their information, and C) the DIY market largely is built on sharing well established techniques and information that fell out of general knowlege, limiting the copyright to the specific presentation. Now that people are willing to share this information for free, you can choose to continue to sell at the old rate, however without a brand to hang on, the likelyhood you have a presentation style valuable enough to continue to charge for facts that are being shared for free is low. That isn't the fault of piracy. Its due to a shift in the market as the fundamental underlying information is shared more widely, in a more convenient place. It would be ridiculous to sanction the growing Youtube DIY demographic, who just wants to share their passion, because pre-internet the difficulty of sharing that information created a scarcity you could exploit.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2018 @ 4:27pm

        Re: Re:

        No matter how many times you repeat yourself old man, you’re still wrong.

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

  • icon
    Gary (profile), 6 Aug 2018 @ 7:18am

    Enforcement

    Enforcement of Shoplifting laws:
    Watching shoppers to see if they stuff a ham under their shirt.
    "Hey buddy, did you pay for that ham?"

    Enforcement of IP law:
    Monitoring/filtering all my uploads/downloads.
    Loading spy software on my PC. (Sony Rootkits?)
    Loading DRM on my PC.
    Censoring my websearches.

    Some might see IP enforcement to be more invasive. You can say, "Sure but it's necessary" but it's still too invasive.

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

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 6 Aug 2018 @ 7:39am

    Shhh. Are you crazy Masnick? Are you trying to get us fired and closed down? - MAFIAA

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

  • identicon
    bob, 6 Aug 2018 @ 8:54am

    to use a "stick" please purchase a license from the RIAA/MPAA

    For years the studies have shown the carrot to the RIAA and MPAA, it is time to start showing those people the stick?

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

  • icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 6 Aug 2018 @ 11:59am

    Whodathunk that making piracy obsolete would be a more effective way to fight it than making it necessary?

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

  • identicon
    Nils, 6 Aug 2018 @ 12:54pm

    Why Germany may be different

    An additional thing in Germany is that a lot of Movies and TV shows are only released months after the release in other countries, since very often the material is dubbed in German. So your choice is either wait or download it for free. Guess what people who prefer to watch their content in English will do.

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

    • identicon
      David, 6 Aug 2018 @ 1:22pm

      Re: Why Germany may be different

      "Very often" is a mischaracterization. It's pretty much exclusively. There may be the occasional "original language" track in a movie theatre but few people go there. And the sound tracks are completely replaced with voice actors, not just overdubbed (like typical in Poland, for example). People associate actors with their (permanently assigned) voice actor. Really good voice actors will be responsible for covering about a dozen well-known people (and a number of one-shot ones) and you'll be able to tell all of the major ones apart without thinking.

      Dubbing is big in Germany.

      The only picture with significant showings I can think of right now that has never been dubbed is "Down by Law". Absolutely no idea why it would be considered sacrilegious for this particular movie.

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

      • identicon
        Nils, 13 Aug 2018 @ 1:11pm

        Re: Re: Why Germany may be different

        Well with the more international streaming services (Netflix and Amazon, and if you're looking for a terrible experience Sky) you usually get additional audio tracks. TV is a lost cause.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2018 @ 5:13pm

    "Piracy decreased" = people started using VPNs and/or changed their download habits.

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


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