Originally Posted by BoldlyDubious
Let's assume that in the future buyers will continue to give away more or less the same number of media files to other people (actually my system tends to reduce this number), so the amount of files that are given from media buyers to someone else will remain the same. In the future where my social DRM is the standard, most of the shared files will retain the embedded data, while today all of the files that get shared are DRM-stripped.
Emphasis mine. This does not compute. The average person doesn't currently give them away at all.
Why? They don't know how and aren't interested enough to learn. Most people don't strip DRM as a matter of course. The majority of their purchases are DRM-protected and can't just be shared except within the systems currently provided for that purpose (lending, multiple devices, etc). On top of this, the average person isn't interested in sharing because it's currently illegal
. While it may be hard to see in today's world, this really does matter to most people.
I fail to see how there can be a reduction in casual sharing when you go from "sharing takes effort, requires doing stuff and breaking the law" to "easy to legally share just by handing off a copy of the file". Yes, there will be some people (like me and catlady) who won't, likely because they refuse to take on responsibility for other people's actions, and so will bow out of the whole deal. But others will eagerly share under the new system, at least until the first time someone screws up and it comes back on them, at which point it's too late because it's already out there.
While I was off playing Skyrim and New Vegas, it was pointed out that you seem to have an inaccurate impression of how piracy starts. The Point of Origin is usually a purchase, bought for the purpose of stripping and uploading. Everything follows from there. That first copy
was bought (or scanned or what have you) by the person doing the uploading. Reducing the free copies roaming in the wild from "the casuals" won't reduce the likelihood of something being pirated because it only takes that first one, and that first one had to come from somewhere
But, in fairness, you have since revised your proposal to note that damage by "professional pirates" (for which numbers are in question anyway) may be unchanged under your system. However, reducing piracy was one of your initial selling points, and it's now not.
I see nothing in your plan that will realistically reduce lost sales in any form. I see casual sharing (now legitimized under your plan) increasing
, thereby directly affecting actual sales (as opposed to the mythical "every copy is a lost sale!" that the pubs think piracy must be causing them but are impossible to actually quantify at the moment).
As I have said before, I don't usually side with the publishers, and I'm really not in this case either - when you do something that reduces overall revenues from book sales, it has a negative affect on the market, which then affects the buyers. I'm not just talking about damaging the big pubs - the small pubs and self-pubs would be the most immediately affected. Not everyone thinks about the author in the equation. They liked a book, it's legal to share, so they do. I think that few would stop and compute the income the author won't be getting, then decide it would be better to recommend that others *buy* the book instead of sharing it. It's not that they hold any ill will or don't think the author deserves it, they just don't think about it at all.