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Old 01-27-2012, 04:47 PM   #1
BeccaPrice
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the cost of piracy is vastly overrated

http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/how-c...-con-congress/

"The $200–250 billion number had originated in a 1991 sidebar in Forbes, but it was not a measurement of the cost of “piracy” to the U.S. economy. It was an unsourced estimate of the total size of the global market in counterfeit goods. "

"The 750,000 jobs number had originated in a 1986 speech (yes, 1986) by the secretary of commerce estimating that counterfeiting could cost the United States “anywhere from 130,000 to 750,000″ jobs. Nobody in the Commerce Department was able to identify where those figures had come from."
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Old 01-27-2012, 05:13 PM   #2
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I'd be interested in seeing how their claimed losses relate to their taxes and writeoffs.
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Old 01-27-2012, 05:22 PM   #3
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Selling counterfeit goods and downloading copyrighted material are two very different things.

I have a feeling that the cost of this SOPA fiasco was far far more than the "cost" of any lost sales of illegally downloaded content. How many man-hours have been spent on: lobbying, drafting, discussing, proposing, finalizing, site blackouts, etc for SOPA?
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:18 PM   #4
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In any debate on the costs of piracy, the only thing you'll be able to conclude is that it's somewhere between 0 and infinity dollars.
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:28 PM   #5
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I have always thought the extent was well out of kilter, they just seemed so ludicrous.
But then so were the figures produced by the music industry - I recall some "suit" stating that an album (sorry can't recall which, may have been Pink Floyd) had been pirated a zillion times - and it later became clear it hadn't even been recorded at that date .

Last edited by carpetmojo; 01-27-2012 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:32 PM   #6
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Even if they were talking about illegal downloading, the numbers are still fantastical. The industry reaches its estimates by doing something like taking the total estimated number of downloads in a given category, and multiplying by an average retail price for the item. So, if there were 100 movie downloads (keeping the numbers low for simplicity), and the average DVD has an MSRP of $24.99, they would say they've lost $2500 due to piracy.

Never mind the fact that each download does not represent a lost sale, as many people would not buy if they couldn't download, but rent, wait until the movie's on free TV, borrow it from the library, or whatever. Nor does it take into account that only morons pay full retail price for DVDs and music CDs. That's the way they calculate their "losses" and end up with the ridiculous numbers they whine about.
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Ninjalawyer View Post
In any debate on the costs of piracy, the only thing you'll be able to conclude is that it's somewhere between 0 and infinity dollars.
Bingo! Both sides will overstate the numbers to better support their argument.
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:15 PM   #8
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Even if they were talking about illegal downloading, the numbers are still fantastical. The industry reaches its estimates by doing something like taking the total estimated number of downloads in a given category, and multiplying by an average retail price for the item. So, if there were 100 movie downloads (keeping the numbers low for simplicity), and the average DVD has an MSRP of $24.99, they would say they've lost $2500 due to piracy.

Never mind the fact that each download does not represent a lost sale, as many people would not buy if they couldn't download, but rent, wait until the movie's on free TV, borrow it from the library, or whatever. Nor does it take into account that only morons pay full retail price for DVDs and music CDs. That's the way they calculate their "losses" and end up with the ridiculous numbers they whine about.
The issue is not really a lost sale, the issue is consuming without paying. People who don't pay for it (a) are avoiding the assumed risk of liking/disliking something after you've already paid for it and (b)should be perfectly fine with simply waiting for it as you say. Early adoption, or paying for it so you can see it way before people who wait to see it for free on TV, has good and bad sides for whichever group you fall into.
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:36 PM   #9
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I keep seeing the numbers, and I can't help but wonder how they come up with them. I would love to see the think-tank get-togethers where they actually come up with these figures.

I imagine it's like the witch trial scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

"If each download could possibly result in a $24 'loss,' and we saw that Pirate Bay had 3,452,000 downloads... How much money did we potentially lose?"

"A DUCK!"
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Old 01-28-2012, 03:18 AM   #10
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I keep seeing the numbers, and I can't help but wonder how they come up with them. I would love to see the think-tank get-togethers where they actually come up with these figures.

I imagine it's like the witch trial scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

"If each download could possibly result in a $24 'loss,' and we saw that Pirate Bay had 3,452,000 downloads... How much money did we potentially lose?"

"A DUCK!"
Who cares how much money is actually lost? People should just stop taking what doesn't belong to them.
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Old 01-28-2012, 03:25 AM   #11
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Who cares how much money is actually lost? People should just stop taking what doesn't belong to them.
People might, if their media barons captains of industry actually had ethics to start with.

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Old 01-28-2012, 03:31 AM   #12
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People might, if their media barons captains of industry actually had ethics to start with.

And you really believe that?? Independent authors are being copied just the same as those from the big publishing houses.
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Old 01-28-2012, 03:33 AM   #13
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I don't believe it would stop it, no, but it would lessen it, certainly. He who lives in glass houses, etc.
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Old 01-28-2012, 03:56 AM   #14
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And you really believe that?? Independent authors are being copied just the same as those from the big publishing houses.
And they also generate more sales based on that...just ask Scott Sigler...he made the new york times bestseller list by giving his stuff away and communicating with his fan base.
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Old 01-28-2012, 04:00 AM   #15
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And they also generate more sales based on that...just ask Scott Sigler...he made the new york times bestseller list by giving his stuff away and communicating with his fan base.
That may well be so --- but it should be the authors decision, and his alone.
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