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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  1. 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:

    "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]


    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.

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