NZ Study Yet Again Concludes That Piracy Is A Function Of Price And Ease Of Access

from the no-kidding dept

With rates of copyright infringement fluctuating year by year, and country by country, the end result is a debate that goes on as how to best keep rates trending downward. One side of this argument urges a never ending ratcheting up of enforcement efforts, with penalties and repercussions for infringement becoming more and more severe. The other side of the argument suggests that when content is made available in a way that is both convenient and reasonably priced, piracy rates will drop. A decent number of studies have been done that show the latter is the actual answer in this argument, including a study done last summer, which showed innovative business models fare far better than enforcement efforts.

Yet it seems it's going to take a compounding series of these studies to get the point across, so it's worth highlighting yet another study that has come out of New Zealand that concludes that piracy rates are a function of pricing and ease of access to content.

According to a new study commissioned by New Zealand telecoms group Vocus Group NZ and conducted in December 2018, this enhanced availability is having a positive effect.

“Legitimate streaming content providers are achieving what was impossible for Hollywood to get right: they are stamping out piracy by making available the shows people want to enjoy at reasonable cost and with maximum convenience,” Vocus announced this morning.

The company believes that “piracy is dying a natural death” as more locals choose to access content legitimately, via legal services that are both accessible and easier to use than pirate options.

“In short, the reason people are moving away from piracy is that it’s simply more hassle than it’s worth,” says Taryn Hamilton, Consumer General Manager at Vocus Group. “The research confirms something many internet pundits have long instinctively believed to be true: piracy isn’t driven by law-breakers, it’s driven by people who can’t easily or affordably get the content they want.”

We internet pundits have also speculated in past discussions that piracy rates probably have some sort of natural floor to them. In other words, rates aren't going to be 0% and it would be unreasonable both to expect them to be, or to attempt to conjure such fantasy rates into existence through legislative efforts. Instead, content providers need to figure out the sweet spot in pricing and ease of access that reaches or approaches that natural floor. Once they have done so, the job is complete. And, rather than having to worry about which enforcement effort to attempt next, content makers can spend their time instead both creating more content and counting all of their money.

And, as Vocus points out, this is already beginning to occur organically.

“The big findings are that whilst about half of people have pirated some content in their lives, the vast majority no longer do so because of the amount of paid streaming sites that they have access to,” Hamilton added in a video interview with NZHerald.

Indeed, the company’s study shows that 11% of consumers now obtain copyrighted content via illegal streaming platforms, with around 10% downloading infringing content via torrent and similar services.

“Generally the survey has said that the vast minority of people are undertaking piracy – it’s just too hard. People prefer to pay for good quality, cheap, legal content, so we think that’s the best way forward,” Hamilton said.

That convenience is the "RtB" portion of the Cwf+RtB equation. Convenience is worth paying for, as demonstrated by thousands of people that are demonized as just wanting something for free, but who nevertheless subscribe to all kinds of content services and otherwise buy all kinds of content. It's a contradiction worth noticing, assuming that creators want payment above control.

Meanwhile, Hollywood's New Zealand representatives instead want to pretend that none of this data even exists.

In January 2018, the Motion Picture Distributors’ Association, which represents the major Hollywood studios in New Zealand, said that “nothing” can be done to tackle piracy in the country other than site-blocking. Vocus, however, is opposed to this type of action.

That's the kind of lazy attitude only government lobbying could allow. In the real world, there is a great deal that Hollywood could do to tackle piracy, if only they were willing to try.

Filed Under: access, convenience, copyright, innovation, licensed services, price, studies


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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Dean Archer Armstead, Lackawanna Research Station, 1 Mar 2019 @ 3:54pm

    Yup. For all cases where Price > 0 and Ease < Impossible.

    In other words, pirates won't pay a cent, nor even tolerate advertising, nor any more difficulty than the content owners putting it openly on unlimited bandwidth site -- oh, and NOW, not after any "release window".

    This is just another "study" with pre-set conclusion to the researcher's piratey opinion, and utterly ignoring that without some money and time being paid somewhere, no content production would occur.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Mar 2019 @ 4:23pm

      pirates won't pay a cent

      Hi, I paid to watch The Dark Knight twice in theaters and paid to own a DVD copy of the film, and inbetween the theatrical run and the DVD release, I illicitly downloaded a copy of the film because I wanted to see it again. I disprove your absolutist statement. Come back with something original next time, Blue.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2019 @ 4:24pm

      Re: Yup. For all cases where Price > 0 and Ease < Impossible.

      and utterly ignoring that without some money and time being paid somewhere,

      You are ignoring the main point of the article, which is make content available and at a reasonable price and people will pay for it. Also, according to your logic, putting content up for free, and looking for patronage to be able to generate more content should be suicide, but many self publishers will tell you that you are wrong, because that is how they make their living.

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2019 @ 8:36pm

        Re: Re: Yup. For all cases where Price > 0 and Ease < Impossible

        That's called "hope labor," this time under threat of piracy:

        http://www.polecom.org/index.php/polecom/article/view/9

        It's not up to the audience to set prices OR to steal the work. If they don't like it, they can play those games from the Game Jam!

        We have free television in this country and you can get Hulu for $11.99 a month, Netflix for a dollar or so more, and other streams that include lots of these allegedly overpriced works.

        Piracy robs the producer of its distribution list, putting it in the hands of the pirates. That these pirates say they'd buy at a "reasonable price" means they'd either buy or do without in the absence of piracy. Since some would buy, those are lost sales. If these people wouldn't buy anyway then piracy doesn't help sales.

        Porn actresses who are pirated now "connect with fans" as HOOKERS.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Mar 2019 @ 8:54pm

          hope labor

          …what

          Piracy robs the producer of its distribution list, putting it in the hands of the pirates.

          …fucking what

          That these pirates say they'd buy at a "reasonable price" means they'd either buy or do without in the absence of piracy.

          Yes, that would be the idea.

          Since some would buy, those are lost sales.

          “Would buy” is not the same thing as “promise to buy”. And a potential sale that does not turn into an actual sale is not a “lost sale” because you cannot lose something you did not have in the first place.

          If these people wouldn't buy anyway then piracy doesn't help sales.

          If some people who illicitly download movies eventually buy a legal copy of a given movie, piracy did help sales.

          Porn actresses who are pirated now "connect with fans" as HOOKERS.

          Um…I…uh…th’fuck does that have to do with anything.

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

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2019 @ 8:58pm

            Re:

            Nothing in the article justifies any type of piracy, which is why we still need Article 13.

            Those companies who want to do the "freemium" thing are free to.

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

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Mar 2019 @ 9:52pm

              Re: Re:

              What specific language in Article 13 directly addresses illicit filesharing in particular and copyright infringement in general, such that the implementation of Article 13 will directly target “piracy” without going after activities that are currently legal under EU law?

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

              • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2019 @ 10:16am

                Re: Re: Re:

                Pirates will run afoul of the licensing provisions of Article 13.

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

                • identicon
                  TFG, 2 Mar 2019 @ 10:33am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  You are apparently incapable of answering questions. Let's try again, with added emphasis for the slow class:

                  "What specific language in Article 13 directly addresses illicit filesharing in particular and copyright infringement in general, such that the implementation of Article 13 will directly target 'piracy' without going after activities that are currently legal under EU law?"

                  I expect you will again respond with some generalizing non-answer, thereby once again displaying your inability to be a product member of a conversation, but I look forward to potentially being proven wrong.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2019 @ 11:17am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  How wrong you are, the big problem with article 13 is that it makes websites liable for the actions of their users.

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

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2019 @ 10:20am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Websites are already liable under Copyright law and the DMCA for the conduct of their users, as it should be.

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

                    • icon
                      PaulT (profile), 4 Mar 2019 @ 12:30am

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

                      You're wrong, but either way - why should websites be held responsible for things they did . not do. Do you also support going after AT&T whenever someone uses their phones in the process of committing a crime? if not, how do you resolve the obvious hypocrisy?

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

                  • icon
                    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 5 Mar 2019 @ 6:49am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    "...the big problem with article 13 is that it makes websites liable for the actions of their users."

                    Actually it makes websites liable for the alleged actions of their users. With nothing like a safe harbor to be found.

                    Still won't impact torrent index links and even if it did that still wouldn't affect pirates much.

                    Not that common sense would put the brakes on Blue/bobmail who is apparently immune to factual reality.

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

    • icon
      morganwick (profile), 1 Mar 2019 @ 4:25pm

      Re: Yup. For all cases where Price > 0 and Ease < Impossible.

      As trolly as this is, it does underscore that people that don’t want to accept the facts will always find ways to dismiss them, so you can’t just expect “moar facts” to somehow change their mind.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2019 @ 5:07pm

      Re: Why you still here bro?

      That’s rich coming from someone who defended extorting a terminal cancer patient. Now go play in traffic while the adults talk.

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

  • icon
    morganwick (profile), 1 Mar 2019 @ 4:24pm

    “Yet it seems it's going to take a compounding series of these studies to get the point across” No it’s not. You are once again falling for the all-too-common notion that all we need is to throw more facts onto the pile to overcome existing forces despite how rarely that pans out. If all we needed were facts the fight over piracy would have ended long ago. What’s needed is mobilizing citizens with those facts and figuring out how to overcome the legacy media industries with them, because getting people that have internalized those facts into positions of power at legacy media companies is a far taller order.

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

    • icon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 1 Mar 2019 @ 6:15pm

      Re:

      If by mobilizing citizens with the facts actually turns into consumer and legacy media industries behavior, then you might have a point. Getting the legacy media industries to provide content at a reasonable price is the issue. It will take some time, but the current silo'd method of distribution will likely fail, in the end, even though it is clear that they want the Internet to be broadcast only, and on their terms.

      They (the legacy media industries) are, well I won't say happy, but are satiated (at least partly) with the current situation. But how long will consumers put up with having to subscribe with 3 or 5 or 10 different silos to get the mix they want? How long will it take (with another few years of cord cutting) for the legacy media industries to understand that we want one reasonable payment, without bogus add-on charges, to see what we want while at the same time have access to everything available? And, at that, we probably want some competition in that area. What the value added is between competitors that offer everything is something the marketing people should be working on now.

      The thing is, if I am not a part of your silo, and you produce something I might want to see, my choice is subscribe or do without. At some point my budget says do without, or use the euphemistic 'pirate' option. But that leaves money on the table. They could satisfy me, and get my money if they weren't so, let us say, margin oriented. They could be more traffic oriented and, down the road, if the gross margins aren't producing enough, try upping the prices because they want to make multi million dollar blockbusters with lots of explosions and wrecked new model cars rather than something less expensive but at least entertaining. That might or might now work. Some folks like the explosions and wrecked new model cars, other might be more interested in a believable story line with a complex climax and some really good acting and direction.

      All sides of the equation must be looked at. In the end, it will come down to the consumer. The sooner the legacy media industries start to consider the consumer rather than their production budget, the sooner this will come to a more satisfactory conclusion, for both sides.

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2019 @ 8:38pm

        Re: Re:

        If it were profitable to cater to you, they would.

        They are not obligated to cater to pirates.

        The internet companies ARE obligated not to enable piracy, hence Article 13, SOPA, etc.

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2019 @ 9:10pm

        Re: Re:

        Multibilliondollar companies don't need your advice.

        They need copyright enforcement to stop thieves. If the thieves don't buy, nothing is lost. If a company wants to put something on the internet for free it can do that, and often does, but on ITS OWN SITE.

        Criminals make money off piracy and commit other criminal acts with more money behind them. It's not a victimless crime.

        Artists are not "screwed" because their unions and guilds won't allow that. They are protected on the front end to the point of not even needing to participate in the profits, which need to go to the producers who pay these very high scale wages, payroll taxes, consumption taxes, and who create jobs rather than stealing people's work.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2019 @ 9:47pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yeah, the artists don't participate in the profits because your heroes at Fox steal them from the artists.

          Yet instead of asking for the money from the executives you'd rather demand the money from people regardless of whether they watch Bones.

          You want another diamond-studded swimming pool, go scam somebody else with your mythical mailing list.

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

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2019 @ 10:15am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Artists are paid up front as per SAG-AFTRA and other union rules.

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

            • identicon
              TFG, 2 Mar 2019 @ 10:35am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You know, you lie so frequently, that even when you might be telling the truth, I can't take your word for it.

              Please provide a source, so that your claim has something verifiable to stand on.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2019 @ 10:18am

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

                Someone seems to be confusing their own ignorance with dishonesty on the part of those who know basic facts. I suppose their ignorance would lend itself to their anger and inaccurate, snide remarks:

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screen_Actors_Guild

                "SAG contracts with producers contained a variety of protections for Guild performers. Among these provisions were: minimum rates of pay, adequate working conditions, special protection and education requirements for minors, arbitration of disputes and grievances, and affirmative action in auditions and hiring.

                Standardized pay and work conditions[edit]

                All members of the Guild agreed to work only for producers who had signed contracts with SAG. These contracts spelled out in detail the responsibilities that producers must assume when hiring SAG performers. Specifically, the SAG basic contract specified: the number of hours performers may work, the frequency of meal breaks required, the minimum wages or "scale" at which performers must be compensated for their work, overtime pay, travel accommodations, wardrobe allowances, stunt pay, private dressing rooms, and adequate rest periods between performances. When applicable, and with due regard to the safety of the individuals, cast and crew, women and minorities were to be considered for doubling roles and for descript and non-descript stunts on a functional, non-discriminatory basis.

                The Producers and the Pension and Health Plans[edit]

                Performers who meet the eligibility criteria of working a certain number of days or attaining a certain threshold in income derived from SAG productions could join the Producers Pension and Health Plans offered by the Guild. The eligibility requirements varied by age of the performer and the desired plan chosen (there were two health plans). There were also Dental, Vision, and Life & Disability coverage included as part of the two plans.[16]

                Residuals[edit]

                The Guild secured residuals payments in perpetuity to its members for broadcast and re-broadcast of films, TV shows, and TV commercials through clauses in the basic SAG agreements with producers."

                With rules like this, it's impossible to "screw over" any performers, since they are paid on the front end, and guaranteed residuals. YouTube creators don't hire people, don't have a union, don't provide benefits, don't have to carry insurance, etc.

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

                • icon
                  PaulT (profile), 4 Mar 2019 @ 12:35am

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

                  "With rules like this, it's impossible to "screw over" any performers"

                  Then why do we constantly see stories of how they're being screwed over?

                  "guaranteed residuals"

                  They're only "guaranteed" when the film reaches a certain level of profitability, which according to Fox hasn't happened yet, for films like Return Of The Jedi.

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

                • identicon
                  TFG, 4 Mar 2019 @ 8:45am

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

                  Someone seems to be confusing their own ignorance with dishonesty on the part of those who know basic facts. I suppose their ignorance would lend itself to their anger and inaccurate, snide remarks

                  Yes - your ignorance is very easily confused with dishonesty. Thus, why a link was needed to verify your claims. Thank you for providing one.

                  However, this upfront payment only ensures that some compensation is provided to actors. It does not in any way mean that actors are not getting screwed out of the long-tail profits that they would be due per their specific contracts. It does not in any way obviate the dishonesty of Hollywood Accounting, nor does it mean those perpetrating the numbers magic to ensure that people who should be paid percentages of profit get none of that profit are not worthy of contempt.

                  All it means is that at least someone made sure that everybody gets paid something. Props to those people. Props to those who actually pay what the contracts say they should. Fie on the rest.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2019 @ 3:51am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Ask US citizens about the the problems of switching from cable to alternative paid alternatives like Netflix, the face broadband only bills that are higher than a package including cable, and also data caps and arbitrary throttling of Internet connections. Those combined cable broadband companies sure do not want to let people do without cable.

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

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 5 Mar 2019 @ 6:54am

      Re:

      "No it’s not. You are once again falling for the all-too-common notion that all we need is to throw more facts onto the pile to overcome existing forces despite how rarely that pans out."

      All too true. Everyone who keeps using common sense, logic, or empirical fact in a debate with a copyright cultist has failed to realize that the copyright cultist in question relies on not understanding the facts for their living. Whether it's being paid 50 cents per troll post, having a vested interest in someone giving them money in exchange for some badly written self-help book, or being paid an hourly rate writing legal briefs we are talking about people whose jobs and livelihoods rely on never understanding.

      Copyright is a faith-based system. You might as well be discussing agnosticism with a 13th century catholic priest.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2019 @ 3:15am

    Bullshit study again concludes what it was paid to conclude

    Who falls for this bullshit?

    Anyone?

    "We internet pundits have also speculated in past discussions that ..."

    You mean you fake paid authors promoting a bullshit agenda constantly speculate that whatever you are paid to promote is maybe really good.

    OMG

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

    • identicon
      Drunk Uncle Sam, 2 Mar 2019 @ 10:55am

      Re: Bullshit study again concludes what it was paid to conclude

      Of course you have data to substantiate your claims.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2019 @ 10:04pm

      Re: Crybaby gonna cry like they do

      You got some proof there homeboy or are you just as full of shit as a port a potty at the end of a three day festival. I think we both know the answer, don’t we Mr. or Ms Liquid Feces?

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

  • identicon
    David, 2 Mar 2019 @ 6:06am

    Well, so what?

    NZ Study Yet Again Concludes That Piracy Is A Function Of Price And Ease Of Access

    Copyright was introduced exactly so that authorized distributors were not having to compete on price and ease of access against unauthorized distribution, leaving no actual margin (or necessity) for paying the creators.

    When copyright was introduced, tangible copies cost money even without paying authors. The problem was not people paying nothing for content (they just would not get any) but people paying for cheaper and easier access than copies printed according to a plan of recompensation for the author.

    This "news" is centuries old, except for the "but on the Internet" bit.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2019 @ 6:12am

    But nothing will change because it's more sbout the industries keeping control of their stuff and taking control of the Internet, so as to decide, for a payment to them, who can do what on it!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2019 @ 9:14am

    But this would mean the rights holders are wrong. I reject your facts, figures, and studies and replace them with my own distorted reality field.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2019 @ 11:24am

    For all the naysayers, Steam released in russia despite pundits saying it would be a horriblr choice because piracy was rampant over there and nobody would pay for anything.

    Guess what? People did pay, because a legal inexpensive alternative combined with the other features steam offers that people value that arent easily available when just pirating games brought them in in droves.

    This article just confirms what has already been done.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2019 @ 4:02pm

      Re:

      That's great for Steam, but has nothing to do with allowing piracy.

      Some of these inexpensive services lose money, btw.

      Many producers have YouTube channels with a good amount of free content. Companies who want to reap these benefits don't need help doing so from thieves.

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 2 Mar 2019 @ 12:12pm

    Always interesting..

    This has little to do with HARD products..
    No one is hacking/stealing toasters..
    this is all portable Data.
    Anyone go ove rthe Canada Border?? They seem to be looking for persons carrying EXTRA/EXCESS Music/movies..either way..
    Which is very funny, as BOTH are in REGION 1.. and it REALLY should not matter.
    But try to use a computer to watch Canada Online TV, and it wont happen..
    It will all be abused, because no one notices and THEN it will become a Regular thing they enforce..

    Allot of this comes from groups that DO NOT wish to fix things themselves. They would rather FORCE the issue to be a Federal prosecution, to show off what they can do, rather then find Some way to SLOW...what is happening. But in the end, anything that CAN be programmed can be UN-Programmed.
    Go look at your Computer Blue ray Players. Very few can/will copy your movies.. And thats WIth the DRM which has changed (I think) 2 times, and if your Screen/audio dont have the DRM ability it wont play...

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2019 @ 4:15pm

    Hmm
    I once paid for cable
    then it got too expensive
    So I went to the darknet and got what I wanted
    Then came Netflix and Prime and hulu too
    Got easier to pay a few bucks to see
    Then came a zillion little companies with each their own zone .
    Seems like the darkweb is calling me back once more

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

  • icon
    AEIO_ (profile), 2 Mar 2019 @ 9:36pm

    "Seems like the darkweb is calling me back once more"

    AND we have cookies.

    I would say I'm already there, but in truth I never left.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2019 @ 9:29am

      Re:

      I delete err eat my cookies .....with milk :)

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

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 5 Mar 2019 @ 6:59am

      Re:

      "AND we have cookies."

      We sure do. But you can't have any.

      That is the way of the Sith which happens online.

      Jokes aside, I suspect that given all the various forms of desperate and ill-advised legislation flying around the deep net will be tomorrow's regular household tool. I can't see any form of legal business taking place in an article 13 - or DMCA sans safe harbors paradigm. A few thousand copyright trolls will see to that.

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


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