back to article Net downloads cause 'millions of lost jobs'

A study for the international chamber of commerce reckons 2.7 million jobs have been lost since 2004 in Europe because of unlicensed internet downloads, and warns economic losses could treble to €32bn by 2015. The report is backed by trade unions, including the TUC. The work was led by Patrice Geffon, an economist at Paris …


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  1. Dirk Vandenheuvel

    Then again...

    I am sure trying to prevent downloading also creates quite a big amount of jobs.

    1. Mark Boothroyd Silver badge


      Yup, I would expect so...

      Software companies that provide copy protection to games etc. SecuROM etc that wouldn't even exist if it wasn't for Piracy.

      Hardware companies that provide hardware dongles that unlock software.

      Many legal firms, some now specialising in piracy.

      All the politicians and their henchmen that seem to be always involved.

      on line file hosting services making money out of subscriptions and advertising.

      etc. etc.

  2. hplasm Silver badge


    What will they blame when (if) all 'illegal downloads' are somehow stopped, and the decline continues?

    1. Anonymous Coward


      I'm sure they won't blame it on bland, formulaic, uninpsireing music, coupled with endless hollywood rehashes of old classics would they.

      Nah they'll blame it on Global warming....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      re: But-

      ...a very surprised expression?

    3. Captain Save-a-ho

      Like duh?!

      Everyone knows that the real source of all these problems is ManBearPig...

  3. ElFatbob

    One wonders if..

    these are the same guys who write the IPCC reports?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      You could easy find out

      Climatetards can simply check the IPCC website and find the CORE CABAL OF THE JEWISH^H^H^H^H^H^HCLIMATE CONSPIRACY easily.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down


      Thousands write the IPCC reports, which is why it's no great shock if an odd (but minor) error creeps in.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Loss of sales...

    26 per cent decline in the retail value of music between 2004 and 2008. This was probably due to latest releases being shit!

    I only download illegally because it's free. If it wasn't free, I wouldn't pay for it. I just wouldn't bother to own it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Poor quality

      If its so bad why download it at all, it only gives the record industry a reason to do nothing but blame it on downloaders.

      If its worth the money to you and you want it buy it, but if not leave it alone.

      When the downloading goes down and the sales still do not rise maybe they will understand that their price is too high or the quality too poor.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I read 39,000 in the Metro today.

    That's still bollocks. There's jobs created in stopping people downloading. And to be honest I spend more money on products through downloading. Box sets, blurays, cds... I probably download between 10 and 30 albums to listen to, and I'll buy 2-5. That's albums I'd previously never heard of and would never have heard of were it not for the internet.

    I've bought films, bought series for myself and friends, travelled vast distances to see bands I'd only found out about the week before all thanks to so-called illegal downloads. It's almost like a massive free trial for me, one which costs me most of my spare cash :/

  6. Gary 23
    Thumb Up

    The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

    They'll probably blame radio stations - MTV and the like.

    We'll probably end up in a situation where you can only listen to music if you actually buy it.

  7. Neal 5

    Not really a surprise

    and I'm sure that many don't see a connection with the internet and job losses in the real world, however, I'm sure that almost any postman will be able to tell you the pressures that email has had on their jobs. Not that email is an unlicensed download, but that the internet in general has had a downwards pressure on employment for a long time.

    Mind you, i also can't see the difference between an unlicensed download and one bought from iTunes to be fair, delivery method is exactly the same, 'ceptin of course, Mr Jobs doesn't get his nickel or dime or whatever it is, and Big Music really should have got it's house in order by now instead of pursuing the occassional downloader through their minions in the House forcing the "MandyBill" down our throats..

    In fact, i am now going to directly dispiute the claims made, by extolling the fact that the Black market economy has flourished, and continues to do so, creating jobs for errant teenagers who would instead be selling drugs, or pimping their sisters on street corners.

    I'm afraid the unions and the chamber Of Commerce, can't have their cake and eat it, this time anyway.

    El Reg hacks should be used to how the Black economy works, all those undisclosed back handers and stuffed brown envelopes from this weeks in favour evil empire. Or not as the case may be.

    Still the pubs have been open for the last half hour, maybe some solace for all in there.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Not really a surprise

      Lots of black economies become legitimate economies eventually, and so will P2P.

      It's just taking a bit longer, that's all.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not really a surprise

      "I'm sure that many don't see a connection with the internet and job losses in the real world, however, I'm sure that almost any postman will be able to tell you the pressures that email has had on their jobs."

      Yeah, they don't get any work from all the internet purchases that Britons make (more than any other Europeans ISTR).

    3. Les Matthew

      @Neal 5

      "I'm sure that almost any postman will be able to tell you the pressures that email has had on their jobs."

      I think you may be surprised by the answer.

      It's a long read but the bit about how the management calculate the volume of mail is interesting.

      Search down for:

      "The truth is that the figures aren’t down at all"

      and read on.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: Not really a surprise

      "I'm sure that almost any postman will be able to tell you the pressures that email has had on their jobs."

      Probably not the best example you could have chosen. Judging by the amount of unsolicited junk-mail that gets shovelled through my letterbox I would say that my local postie is seriously overworked.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Agree with post #1

    True, true but the system then loses its taxation revenues and for a bankrupt nation tax revenue streams are mission critical.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Let's play Freetard Bingo!

    Of the next ten comments eight will say one of the following:

    * I'll start buying it when they take off DRM, honest I will

    * Digital music should be free because the marginal cost is almost zero

    * Only pop stars get the money I'm not buying Bill Gates / Cliff Richard another yacht.

    Then the freetard will go and buy a £3.49 Starbucks Latte and feel very smug.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Let's play Paytard Bingo!

      Of the next ten comments, eight will say one of the following:

      * You're all thieves

      * My mate can't make a living because of the freetards

      * Piracy is a crime

      Then the paytard will go and tell his mate that the reason he can't make a living is because of the nasty file-sharers, instead of that his music is bollocks and that he should get a proper job.

    2. Gordon is not a Moron

      well a quick count tells us...

      that the next 10 posts after yours (11 if you included this one) contain absolutely of those phrases.

      So instead lets play Asshat bingo! Oh look I won you're there already.

    3. seanj

      Let's play "useless comment" Bingo.

      I predict that the comment I reply to will be someone thinking they're really smart by trying to put down any argument they don't personally agree with, and they'll hide behind the Anonymous Coward button to do it.

      I wasn't even going to comment in this topic today - I'm worn out from saying the same things over and over again, but your attempt to belittle anyone who doesn't agree with your way of thinking just riled me up.

      Besides, my latte costs me £2.95, moron.

      1. NB


        my latte costs 90p. But then my employer has a restaurant and 2 cafes on site...

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "* I'll start buying it when they take off DRM, honest I will"

      Yes iTunes grew substantially when they removed the DRM. It did turn out to be a big reason for no sales from the previous FAILED DRM stores the record companies created.

      "* Digital music should be free because the marginal cost is almost zero"

      No, but without the 80% retail margin it can be cheaper and more plentiful.

      "* Only pop stars get the money I'm not buying Bill Gates / Cliff Richard another yacht."

      Music: the long tail means fewer people are buying from more artists.

      Software: Most of the apps sold through iTunes could not be commercially sold through retail at 80% margin, that created a market for them. XBox market also a success, Android market will be a success, PC continues to be a problem, no single online market for it.

      "Then the freetard will go and buy a £3.49 Starbucks Latte and feel very smug"

      Look, you can attack your market or you can attack your customers. What the BPI et al are doing is attacking their customers, what others are doing is attacking the market. iTunes *sales* shoot up, while ageing rock stars just shoot up.

      It's no good pretending they can't sell in this market, because others are selling and taking their market from them.

      1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        Bingo Schmingo

        If your industry refuses to provide what customers want in the form they want it and at a reasonable price - you can't complain that other (e.g. catering) industries can. STFU and find yourself something useful to do that has a demand that you can meet.

        1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: Bingo Schmingo

          But only a fool pays money for something when an identical copy is easily available, risk- free, for zero. It's irrational to pay.

          So the money is spent elsewhere.

          1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

            Not so simple.

            I know, I heard this argument before - you can't compete with free.

            I often buy food at my local Waitrose. About 200 meters from it's entrance is a soup kitchen. Yet, Waitrose's shelves are full of canned soup and Baxters are doing just fine.

            AllofMP3s was also doing quite well notwithstanding the already existing and prospering P2P.

            People will pay for a product if it's what they need (quality, unrestricted use etc.) or, if they won't pay for product itself they will pay for the service of that product being delivered to them in a convenient way (if you make it easy for them to find, get, pay for).

            I can't say anything about music - I don't think new music is being produced anymore therefore I neither buy nor download anything. But if I am looking for a movie I will first check if I can buy a proper DVD (either from HMV or through a reputable online seller) before even thinking of downloading. Why?

            Because I want reasonable quality, I prefer to keep a physical copy and I don't want to spend any DIY time on encoding, authoring and burning a D/L'ed file. And the quality of D/Ls is mostly well below what I want. And bandwidth is not free either.

            So, in fact, I incur a cost (both direct and indirect) while using a "free" download, which, to me, usually exceeds the cost of buying a ready-made product.

            I would be prepared to pay for DL-ble pre-authored DVDs (no CSS of course) but I will expect to pay much less than for ready-made, replicated ones.

            I would be also prepared to pay for DL-ble pre-encoded DVD-compliant streams for home-authoring and burning.

            But will I be prepared to pay for a DRM'ed overcompressed download or, worse, a streaming video? Never. Don't even ask for it.

  10. blackworx
    Thumb Up

    Thank you Reg

    For the balanced writeup. The polly-wants-a-cracker drivel that even the broadsheets are printing on this is frankly shameful.

  11. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Jobs lost because people don't use horse carriages anymore

    "2.7 million jobs have been lost since 2004 in Europe"

    Well, that means 2.7 million people are free to pile into other, more productive industries.

    I always barf when a study considers the economy as a steady state system in which any change is problematic or the number of jobs and jobs-per-sector is a God-Given Constant.

    Excuse me while a put out my order for additional CDs on amazon though they _do_ look a bit pricey lately.

  12. Gordon is not a Moron

    Of those 2.7 million lost jobs

    how many have been "lost" due to outsourcing to India etc.?

    "Well, we would have liked to have kept the jobs in the EU, but due to piracy our profits have declined and we had to cut costs by moving all the work to a different continent"

  13. g e

    Secondhand market

    So, how did they take the secondhand market into account in their figures?

    I buy most of my XBOX/PS3 games from Ebay after they owner has completed them, hence I get a £40 game for 10-25 quid depending how lucky I get. My Assassin's Creed II even had an unused redeemy codey thing which I was able to enter for goodies, too.

    My guess is they ignored the flourishing secondhand market entirely and lumped it's figures into pirate freetard downloading terrorist supporters... It's no better than MS claiming 20 gajillion Windows 7 sales without stating how many people ASKED for it.

    This, in all fairness, renders their report complete cock until they address it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      wouldn't surprise me if they see 2nd hand market as bad, illegal and would love to criminalize it too.

      1. Dante

        Not you? Log in here

        "wouldn't surprise me if they see 2nd hand market as bad, illegal and would love to criminalize it too."

        They do see it that way. Some bloke from one of the big publishers (could of been EA or Activision can't rememeber) was having a cry about it a little while ago.

  14. Anonymous Coward


    "for every ten CD downloads, the consumer typically forgoes one legitimate purchase"

    That's bullshit. I'd like to see the evidence for that.

    On the other hand, there is hard evidence (and not just the study referenced - interesting that you provide a link to that one but not to the supposed weight of contrary evidence!) that filesharers do actually on average buy more CDs than non-filesharers.

    I reckon my 1 purchase out of every 5 downloaded (the other four being dumped as a waste of disk space) is much more typical of customers who file share. I'm not foregoing 4 purchases - if the option to download them wasn't available, I would still not buy them - I simply would never have heard them in the first place - however, I would also have not made the 1 purchase either.

    So which would the industry prefer?

    1 sale out of 5?


    0 sales out of 0?

    Because like it or not, that's the choice...

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Let me get this right

      So if you were a diabetic, would you also extrapolate that 100 per cent of internet males are diabetic too?

      I'm beginning to see the problem with you freetards - almost all anonymous to a man.






      1. Anonymous Coward

        Oh dear...

        "I'm beginning to see the problem with you freetards - almost all anonymous to a man"

        The last A\C has possibly the worst case of irony deficency I've seen in a while

      2. Rod MacLean

        RE: Let me get this right

        I'll clear the matter up for you:

        1, If I listen to music on the radio and like it then I'll buy it.

        2, The music on the radio is almost 100% saccharin coated pap

        3, I need to look somewhere else for music, so I download it.

        4, If I like something I've downloaded, I'll buy it. If not, I'll delete it.

        Without the internet, I would buy about 1 album per year. At the moment, the floor in my flat is groaning underneath the huge piles of CDs.

        "I'm beginning to see the problem with you freetards - almost all anonymous to a man."

        I chose not to go anonymous. I see you didn't. That's the problem with you paytards - amost all anonymous to a man ;)

        1. Mme.Mynkoff

          OK so you don't like music

          You like music enough to buy ONE ALBUM A YEAR?

          So, either you're very tight (living with parents?) or just you don't like music. I suspect you don't like music.

          In which case i'm not sure what you're doing here. You just like the sound of your own voice, I guess.

          1. J 3


            OK, so you don't like reading, or at least thinking about what you read. In which case I'm not sure what you're doing here. Try again. Or you just like the sound of your own voice, I guess.

            See, I will write the important bits in shouty letters just for the benefit of the hard of reading. You're welcome.

            The poster above said that HE BUYS A LOT OF CDs. He WOULD buy about one a year IF he hadn't PREVIOUSLY DOWNLOADED stuff to try BEFORE. You know, because of what he wrote earlier, that radio only plays STUFF HE DOESN'T LIKE. Got it now? If you don't agree with his general approach to it all, that's a different story, but you got to at least understand English to begin with (it's easy, even I can do it and I haven't been doing it for long!)

      3. Anonymous Coward

        @Let me get this right

        Firstly, I actually AM a diabetic.

        Secondly, if they can make wild extrapolations, so can I.

        Thirdly "you freetards - almost all anonymous to a man." You posted anonymously, thus I must assume the lack of intelligence is yours.

  15. Cameron Colley

    Being a "freetard" isn't free though.

    For example, a colleague of mine has the fastest broadband available to him (currently topping out at around 19MB/s with truly unlimited data transfers) and also pays fro a VPN connection and top-of-the range Usenet subscription -- he's probably paying for a few other things I don't know about too. If he wasn't a "freetard" he could halve his broadband costs and not notice and he could do without the subscriptions to VPN and Usenet and likely as not he'd need less hard drives.

    So, I have to ask myself why someone is paying the price of a Sky movies subscription or a few DVDs from Play per month to be a "freetard"?

    The answer I come up with is that it's more convenient -- you want to see, say, Dexter so you download it and watch it. Or, you pay Amazon and wait for it to arrive.

    Or, in my case, wait for a year or more for a series of QI to come out on DVD because I want to pay the content creator.

    The fail is still with these industries who think that consumers want restrictions and inconvenience.

  16. Nuke

    Pigeons come Home to Roost

    "The UK bears the brunt of unlicensed downloads, reckon the academics, because of its high proportion of jobs in creative industries."

    Mrs Thatcher and her stooges decided to destroy Britain's manufacturing industries (largely leaving manufacturing to Europe and the Far East) and switching the economy to service and information industries. It was assumed that Britain had an unassailable advantages in these sectors, such as banking and film-making.

    But then the internet and other improved communications came along, allowing services to be outsourced across the world to cheaper labour and also allowing information and entertainment to be reproduced and distributed at negligable cost.

    Of course, manufacturing can be outsourced and copied too, but not as readily as servcices and information can. It is much easier and cheaper to make and sell a copy of "Lord of the Rings" than a copy of a Land Rover.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm all this loss...

    ...yet nobody is offering me anything.

    Music... I've bought all the Nightwish albums I want to own(everything pre-Nemo), My next run will be Vanessa Mae and possibly Alizee but beyond that nobody really produces anything I might like. The few interesting bits I get are from jamendo or game music. As for legal options well Nokia/Ovi music store is not available, and frankly nobody really seems to care much in the way of getting a simple open a browser -> put music to cart -> pay -> download your purchases no drm or special software involved that I have seen so far.

    TV - let's see... programs on the tube here - soaps, soaps, more soaps ow and let's not forget even more soaps. The only stuff I can generally watch more or less not 10 years out of date are the various CSI shows. And since I already get those from torrents with no serious delay. Well I still pay the cable bill and so no. Frankly haven't seen any TV show I enjoy from torrents(and there aren't many I think 7-8 shows in total(csi,csi:ny,csi:m,ncis,ncis:la,house,sgu). Ow and anime nobody really runs them here or on cable. What they do run is some dubed crap I can't listen to.

    Movies - haven't been to a cinema in ages and frankly haven't downloaded a movie in ages as well. It's all crap so I don't even bother with it.

    Software - gave up on that 5 or so years ago now running GNU/Linux and OpenBSD so have absolutely no need for pirating any PC software. As for games PS3 last I checked still wasn't cracked and even if it is I won't pirate simply because I see no need. I can generally watch a playthrough of a game on youtube and decide if I like it or not. Infact I watch a lot of full playthroughs since I enjoy them while I might not enjoy playing the game myself. But yes I actually buy games.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    iTunes grew 100% year-on-year, sold 10 billion songs

    "For music, the academics suggest that "the decline in recorded music sales across the EU is too dramatic to imply a simple coincidence" - a 36 per cent in gross physical sales from 2004 to 2008 was barely compensated by the rise in licensed digital sales, leading to a 26 per cent decline in the retail value of music."

    iTunes sold 4 billion songs THIS year alone, doubling the 2 billion it sold in the previous year:

    They've sold 3 billion applications so far too.

    So yes BPI members may have experienced a 26% decline in their sales, but that loss was more than offset by the online sales of the long tail. Sure their market share may be declining, but their market share was only huge because they controlled the distribution channel.

    It follows that if the MOST PIRATED ITEM on the internet (music) has not killed the legal market, and videos, software and so on can follow the music model.

    Retail jobs, will inevitably go. But who needs the shiny disc now?

    So this claim is false, it does not match the evidence available to MPs.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      You can't read

      The 36 per cent decline in physical, after digital is included, resulted in a 26 per cent decline.

      "So this claim is false, it does not match the evidence available to MPs."

      Are you this thick for a living?

    2. Tom 35


      The average album has 2 or 3 good tracks if your lucky. So if people buying from iTunes only buy 2 tracks and skip the filler crap that they would have got (and payed for) on a CD. That is going to cut the money they make. It's too bad that they can't make money by bundling crap and forcing people to buy it to get what they want anymore. I'm sure this "loss" makes up a good part of their decline in sales.

      Now if we could just get cable TV companies to stop bundling so you only have to pay for the channels you want to watch. Lots of cable stations would go tits up and their staff out of work because no one actually watches them, they only get paid because they are in a bundle with something people do want to watch.

  19. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Drink and clothes

    Surely people will buy more clothes, go out more and improve their house with the spare cash?

    People are also not using credit cards, trying to pay back what they owe. So they arent buying media or overpriced software.

    Photoshop is overpriced, windows and office are overpriced. These applicationd are a goof example of how to remain a one product shop. Adobe is lazy and Microsoft cant make money elsewhere.

    Why can film studios pay multimillion fees to actors and spend £100m on a film if things are so tough?

    I think the real problem is DRM, people will pay for legal downloads if they can choose to play it on any device.

    1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

      RE: Drick and clothes

      Giles Jones is the first to point out one very obvious point that is overloooked. If someone has (say) £100 to spend in total, then they may decide to spend some of that on music purchases - but if they don't then it will be spent on something else. So the total spend is no different, but where it is spent is - so jobs may shift, but the losses will be nothing like the headline figure once you take that into account.

      And as Giles points out, we've been through (and are still in) hard times, so many people are spending less and trying to clear their debts. Since the banking collapse started in the US and was largely due to US bankers greed, then the real headline should be "US causes millions of lost jobs" - so round up the US and put it in prison !

      PS - I don't freeload anyway - I buy my music on nice shiny silver disks (but only when they are on sale or otherwise cheap). No doubt the same liars will claim that me doing this, and listeing on my computer, is also costing their jobs.

      1. Ceiling Cat

        letters and/or digits.

        "If someone has (say) £100 to spend in total, then they may decide to spend some of that on music purchases - but if they don't then it will be spent on something else."

        For quite a few years, I pumped all my disposable income into the music industry. Then, gaming caught my attention, and my money went to the gaming companies and computer hardware manufacturers/retailers. I still purchase music on occasion, but nowadays I prefer to buy concert DVDs by older bands ('60s and '70s rock, mostly).

        When I was younger, I used to attend a lot of small all-ages concerts at local community halls. I bought a lot of LPs and 45s from small bands, many of whom were actually running their own merchandise table. One band was even encouraging copying their albums - supplies were short, and they wanted as much word-of-mouth exposure as they could get, because they sure as hell couldn't afford advertising AND record duplication costs.

        Badgers! icon... because.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Adobe love it, really.

    "One counter example may be the widespread home use of Adobe Photoshop, one of the most popular Bittorrent downloads, and a $500 purchase. If Photoshop wasn't so easily available, many users may use a cheaper photo editing program. Is it therefore fair to say $500 has been lost?"

    One could argue that without millions of illegal downloads by home and hobby users, it would not have become such a widely used piece of software, and the centre-point of so many CVs. Illegal downloads -IMHO- go a big way towards keeping the software industry standard.

    1. Citizen Kaned

      not to mention....

      why adobe software costs more in £ than $. they are greedy bastards. they sued to be good once upon a time. but since they bought the only competition (macromedia) they are just really lazy now. some problems have been in PS for years.

      i learnt PS on a bootleg copy (how was a college leaver supposed to find £500?) of course now i use legit versions at work and have done for 10 years. plenty of £$$£ to adobe then.

      as has been said before just because someone downloads a torrent doesnt mean they would have bought it. i used to hammer torrents when i hard up years ago. now i buy plenty of media as i can afford it. i have a massive DVD and a ever growing blu-ray library so they have done bloody well out of me!

  21. Chris Collins

    different releases

    one of my colleagues wants a Tv show only available on Itunes's US web site. She has spent some time trying to twist her arse to shit straight on this one and go legit. She can't get hold of it unless she uses the torrents.

  22. Gulfie

    In general terms...

    ... how do you spot a legal download from an illegal one? Putting aside the protocol argument for one moment, I regularly download large, completely innocuous files from the internet. Some are via bittorrent, some via FTP client and some as clickable download links in my browser. If current actions are successful in pushing people away from bittorrent it will simply mean that they are using different means to share. File sharing only receives attention because bittorrent has (a) made it easy and (b) therefore become the number one choice and by extrapolation the number one channel for illegal sharing.

    Short of turning off the internet, banning memory sticks, CD/DVD/Blueray writers and networking, sharing will carry on (and even then we can return to the good old days of C90 cassettes, one album each site). The muppets in the trade haven't thought this far ahead and don't have a business model ready for when they do.

    There are solutions, but the potential business models are so different from what we have now, I dispair that big business will ever consider them. I guess its easier to carry on with existing behaviour and become close friends with key home office ministers...

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    'If Photoshop wasn't so easily available, many users may use a cheaper photo editing program. Is it therefore fair to say $500 has been lost?'

    'lost' means 'no longer have' - surely the word to use here is 'missed'

    That's the trouble with software (and IP in general) - it may take a lot of effort creating it in the first place, but the replication is so easy compared to a solid item e.g. car/toaster/fridge that it is difficult to see the value in it sometimes.

    Also, I know people who have tons of pirated software which they never use and never 'share' so the software companies here in not really missing out as the users would not have bought it if it had been only available (somehow) at a nominal price.

    Anon as I have a hooky copy of MS Office somewhere though use Open Office if required most of the time.

  24. lukewarmdog


    My brother reccomended a band to me, I listened to them on their myspace, five of us then went to see them and I've just got tickets to see them again. The outcome isn't materially any different from if he'd given me their CD, mp3s, a tape etc.

    If you extrapolate to the whole country, as reports are wont to do, my brother is single handedly saving the music industry.

  25. Red Bren

    Dinosaur death rattle

    When the general public will pay for the infrastructure to take a product you sell for a dollar, and copy and distribute it for free, then you're charging too much.

    Of the 99c/79p charged for a legal mp3, how much goes back to the artist? How much is spent on delivery? How much is just profiteering?

    "Illegal" downloads are really a free marketing shot. Use them to promote bands/films and people will pay to see the good stuff.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I confess, I bought Photoshop.

    Perhaps if Photoshop were cheaper, people would pirate it less and buy it more often. The differential pricing used for UK/US versions is also a bit of a rip-off, as is lack of printed manuals. But that's the software business.

    1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov


      They say most of the Photoshop piracy is "friends and family".

      I don't use Photoshop but, you know what? When I buy any software I expect my family to be able to use it as well. And install it on any computer I have at home. And if Adobe seriously believes that any family will pay to purchase a separate copy of Photoshop for each of mum, dad and all the little spine-nibblers they'd better check their pulse and go to see a psychiatrist.

      But better would be if they just relax and accept that their product may be bought for use by a household.

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge
        Thumb Up


        Well said, Vladimir! The "one copy, one computer" model is so f***ing insane that you have to wonder a) how anyone came up with it in the first place (okay, I do know - hefty self-medication and booze of choice), b) why they weren't laughed out of the room when they presented it (okay, see a)), and c), why, since it has proved to be a failed model, anyone continues with it (I'm not sure that all the Bolivian marching powder in the world, combined with Russia's entire annual output of vodka could manage that!).

        For the record, I don't download anything but open-source software, don't know how to download from torrents (seriously), and buy anything I want to see/hear on sealed commercial media, but only when I can find it seriously marked down from the RRP.

  27. lIsRT

    Sample size of 1 here.

    When I was in my late teens (with a disposable income of about 5% of what I have now), I'd buy maybe 50-60 CDs a year, mainly stuff I'd been hearing on the radio all my life and had got a taste for - with a little bit of contemporary mixed in.

    Then it seems that music started getting shit. I'd bought and ripped most of the "old" stuff that I wanted so now 10 years later I'm buying CDs at a rate of about 2-4 per year (with no downloads, legal or otherwise - I like getting a shiny disc + the other stuff that comes with it).

    Those 2-4 are completely accounted for by the very little "new" music I hear that I actually like.

    I don't think I'm *that* indie, so there are probably a lot of people in my position who stopped buying when the music started dying - which was coincident with the rise in music downloads.

    In the unlikely event of anyone in the music business reading this - make it better and I'll buy like I used to - I don't care about your download services or P2P, just stop churning out shit.

    1. Jerome 0


      "I don't think I'm *that* indie"

      No, because if you were *that* indie you'd know there's a ridiculous amount of good new music out there, and you'd not be expecting any of it to come from the major labels.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's progress that causes lost jobs

    I didn't see industry and politicians teaming up to prevent cheap microprocessors and memory putting all the assembly language programmers and mainframe computer operators (amongst others) out of a job.

    My heart bleeds for the record producers NOT. Any truly talented artists will be able to make money despite free digital copying. The cat is out of the bag - live with it.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: It's progress that causes lost jobs

      I don't think people were downloading microprocessors from Bittorrent, risk free, that were functionally identical to the real thing. If they were, there would not have been a market for microprocessors.

      That's the argument.

  29. A B 3

    Sorry not available in your country

    We'd still be paying $2000+ for a ho hum computer if it wasn't for competition from the more aggressive little computer shops.

    There is no enthusiasm for digital downloads because they're making money already. Sorry, but there is no input from the consumer as to what they sell.

    If you want to get their attention hit em in the hip pocket.

  30. Identity

    Some things missing from the discussion...

    I note that printing is one of the creative industries. Since the advent of the laser printer, many printers (people) have found their bread and butter moving to former customers' desktops. Further, (as alluded to), email and the web have replaced printed items, from business financials to advertising, to charity and political appeals (not to mention the loss in the personal stationery and postcard industries).

    One man's savings is another's loss of income.

    As we seek the lowest price —like good capitalists—jobs, industries, currencies, economies go down the tube.

    There's far, far more to this than just the substitution/unearned income (in both senses)/value of IP/etc. so far discussed.

    [Shameless plug] Read my book at

  31. Rod MacLean

    X Factor

    "In the unlikely event of anyone in the music business reading this - make it better and I'll buy like I used to... just stop churning out shit."

    That means Simon Cowell and his ilk...!

    Cowell wonders why people buy the X Factor single straight after the show has been on air for 10 weeks but have forgotten all about the artists 2 months later when the album has been released.

    It's because it's crap and the public only bought the single because of the ten week long advert on prime-time TV! Once the public have heard the single, they don't need to hear the album - it's more of the same! (People still share them on torrent sites though - no idea why!)

  32. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    Some sense needed

    A reasonable article, but few comments have addressed what this means to the UK.

    As one person has pointed out, what happens to the claimed billions not spent on legal downloads? Other industries benefit of course, so while it may not be fair to those in the copyright industry, its hardly so bad UK-wide.

    Secondly, what is this to local software and UK balance of trade? A large proportion of the complaints are from US companies (films, software) so if they had their way its just a bigger drain on our already poor balance of trade.

    While not so good for UK film & music, I can't see software downloads of windows, photoshop, etc, having much negative impact on the UK creative software industry. As a LINUX fan I would be happy to see windows pirated copies being turned off and folk having to weigh up the costs and trade off there...

    Ultimately there is a problem with assuming you can force high charges for easy-to-duplicate material and simply threaten your way to getting it. A more holistic approach to the market is needed, and while games have shown this, music has not.

    Finally, has anyone assessed up how much of the 'disposable income' formally spent on music (e.g. when I were a lad) that is now going to mobile phone contracts, games, etc, in recent years?

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Some sense needed

      For Paul and other new readers, music's wallet share" has been discussed a few times, most recently here:

  33. Anonymous Coward

    How can you measure business you "didn't get"?

    You can't its the most idiotic claim to ever make. There can be any number of reasons for a decline in business that has nothing to do with piracy.

    For software piracy, look at the overpriced nature of many products, ms office, autocad and photoshop to name a few that will happily rip your heart out through your wallet. I also noticed the pc games section in a gamestation store is puny now, how can I hope to buy the game I was looking for if they never stock it?? last game I bought was Overlord and I had to order it on-line as nobody stocked it.

    Films? I used to buy loads of them but of late all Hollywood seems to make is awful products and remakes, which has no appeal any more. I already own the films I have interest in owning and yes I will buy one if a real good one comes out (and I will see it at the cinema first).

    Music? Majority of the music is terrible, and most people already own the albums they WANT to own. Besides there is still money to be made just take a look at itunes and tell me its doing badly.

  34. JP19

    Economic loss

    FFS there are no losses. I if pirate photoshop Adobe loose $500, I gain $500 and I get the value of using photoshop. A net economic gain whichever way you look at it.

    That doesn't mean piracy isn't a problem, it does mean claims about economic and especially job losses are irrelevant drivel. If twice as many people paid for photoshop would Adobe suddenly need twice as many programmers to write it?

    1. Solomon Grundy

      Odd Logic

      JP19 - You're applying the same faulty logic as the software and record companies. If you pirate Photoshop you have not gained $500, you have saved $500. There's a big difference you know.

      You're spot on in your second point though. More legitimate purchases does not mean a liner increase in developer employment.

  35. j-g-faustus

    Are jobs lost?

    I'm not convinced. I agree that downloads probably hurt the music industry, but does this cause a net job loss for society, or merely a restructuring where the music industry gets a smaller slice of the GDP pie?

    I am not an economist, but my best understanding of the economy is that it's a closed system: If people spend less money on music, they will have more left to spend on something else.

    Unless people put the money they save in their pension fund (thereby withdrawing it from the economy), something else will sell more when music sells less, presumably creating a similar number of jobs elsewhere in society. So I would imagine that the net effect on jobs is close to zero.

    How is this different from manufacturing jobs lost to outsourcing, or buggy whip makers forced to change their business model with the arrival of cars? Circumstances change, and what it is possible to make money on changes with them.

    I can easily imagine a future where it is harder to make a living on making and selling music. On the other hand, lower price generally leads to more consumption, it might be easier for new bands to enter the scene, and it might be possible to make money on live performances and selling related stuff like mugs and t-shirts. (I seem to remember reading that movies like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter generated more money from selling movie-related souvenirs than from the movie itself. This is presumably possible for the most popular musicians as well.)

    If music becomes a free or almost-free commodity, the music business will certainly suffer.

    It is less obvious how it will affect music and musicians, outside the tiny fraction that are mega-stars and currently make millions.

    But I can't see any scenario where the potential death of the music industry will actually hurt society in the long term. There would certainly be short term job and capital losses and painful adjustments for the industry. But how is that different from job losses in manufacturing or the roughly analogous troubles of printed newspapers?

    The music industry will obviously fight to keep its revenue and business model. Whether they will succeed remains to be seen, but I think the industry has the odds stacked against it.

  36. bexley


    I have a pirated copy of windows 7 on my netbook. All of the software on in is either open source, freeware or pirated.

    i dual boot with ubuntu which is my main and preferred operating system.

    I dont feel great about occasionally using a pirated operating system but i dont feel bad about it either since i would never pay for it in the first place.

    If an update comes out that detects the crack or whatever and i cant find a new working crack i just wont use windows anymore- it does not mean i will rush out and spend a lot of money on a legal version.

    i'm not just saying that either, i really would ever buy it.

    so aside from the morality issue, have they lost any money from me?

    On a windows7 crack site i got my crack from, i noted that there have been 2million downloads of the crack. Does that mean that microsoft have lost 2 million sales? i dont think so.

    Besides, everybody knows that microsoft dont really mind unlicensed copies being used since it serves them in the long run to have as many people using their products as possible.,

    The 50 year anomaly that is the music industry has had it's time, artists dont need them anymore, music can be marketed and distributed without them. Look at myspace.

    The internet brings artists and the public infinite choice and opportunities for new music,new music that does not fit a small music company's narrow minded "it has to be like this or it wont sell" criteria for signing new talent.

    I say screw them, music has been around an awful lot longer than EMI, Sony etc.... it will be around longer than whichever the popular medium for the times is too.

    Piracy is not killing music,it's arguably killing the music "industry", music will be around for as long as humans have emotions. that is the simple fact.

    Making money in my opinion is not what music is for, it is a form of artistic expression. For something to be art, it must have no other purpose other than to be art.

    Unfortunately our government's are staffed by businessmen and women who are trained in making money and law, not much else. Therefore those that speak the language of business are those that will be listened to.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: sigh

      Matt, I'm not sure how many NuLab MPs have been in business, but it's not many at all. MPs of all parties now have little experience beyond the party machinery.

      "music has been around an awful lot longer than EMI, Sony etc.... it will be around longer than whichever the popular medium for the times is too."

      Indeed, but in feudal times artists depended upon charity. Thanks to copyright, they gained some economic independence. As old models go down, they should gain even more independence and autonomy - able to choose their middlemen.

      I would have thought that would be something everyone can support, rather than viewing the poor buggers as collateral damage.

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        @Andrew Orlowski

        You have once again pointed to something that I do not understand at all, i.e. the way the performers have failed to capitalise on the internet to free themselves from the existing business model. Is it so ingrained that "success" = "being signed by a label" that few people think beyond it?

    2. J 3

      Look at myspace

      I did, and now my eyes hurt, damn you!

      Make it stop, please!

  37. danny_0x98

    Funny Thing About Job Losses - Can Be Checked

    Why bother estimating job losses? Take a look at job counts from 1997 and 2009. A little subtraction, type up the result, and break for lunch. Now if one is estimating, I hope one adds back the folks who are shooting and selling the $2 camcorder in cinema DVD. It's a job. Sure, it's underground. It doesn't give the pennies to the creators and the big bucks to the publisher they deserve. It's unsavory and unethical, but it's a living.

    There are so many reasons why these studies - many of which are funded specifically to create the case for technology hobbling and absolutist every performance is compensated legislation - have flaws. First, can unlicensed internet downloading truly be isolated? There are significant demographic changes. Other media have arisen.

    And, what about the "value" of a hit song? Every year there are more. One can hear them on the radio, in the movies, on music video channels, in the grocery store, in the restaurants, etc. There are so many ways to hear music without direct payment, who can really blame the youngsters who see the internet as one more, even as we adults understand that someone has to make money somewhere for things to happen and continue.

    It used to be that a record company was the only entity that would have the capital to correctly record, market, and distribute a recording. Really, only marketing is left. If the record company offers less, can it really expect to not suffer revenue losses? As I look at where the record companies have been putting their best efforts, I see it as maximizing licensing revenues for catalog. That is flat-out not sustainable. The industry needed Elvis Presley because Frank Sinatra's fans were in their 30s. Who's there to replace Led Zeppelin now that those fans are around 60? Guitar Hero?

  38. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  39. bennett_1357

    Simple fact is

    I'll only stop downloading illegal content when one of three things happen:

    1) The government figures out a way to stop me (highly unlikely!).

    2) The risk of actually getting caught becomes so high that it's not worth the risk (again highly unlikely).

    3) The content industry moves with the times and provides content at a fair price with no differing region release dates!

    e.g. I download "desperate housewives" for the GF (honest!) and in the US they are close to 15 episodes ahead of the UK. Lost is the same I watched S06E08 on Wednesday evening and it's not aired in the UK until Friday. O.K many will say what's the problem in waiting 2 days, but why should we? In a supposed "Global economy" there is simply no excuse for differing regions getting differing release dates!

    1. Solomon Grundy
      Big Brother

      Highly Likely

      Sorry bennett_1357, you are wrong. We already know who you are and where you live, we are just waiting for you to download something popular.

  40. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Anonymous Coward


      That no record label has announced record profits in five years.

      Gosh, we read about how well EMI is doing every day. Warners is completely short sold. Universal Music and Sony Music are the sick men of their groups.

      You chose your name well, Mr RegisterFail, because your argument fails epically. Thickie.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  41. Citizen Kaned

    1 last thought from me....

    something else people fail to mention....

    you can now download TRACKS from ALBUMS. this means i go onto (no drm, no bullshit itunes crap on my pc, 320kbps) and give the album a listen. sometimes i just buy the track i like, sometimes i buy the album. the fact i can now give the album a quick listen and i mostly find 1 decent track and loads of crap. this has always been the case but before you bought the album and then found out it was 80% crap. now you find out in advance. musicians need to realise that you cant make 1 good song and stick it on an album full of shit (or just really 'samey'(?) music)

    maybe its time that mediocre musicians and media types earned a similar wage to the rest of us? how many musicians REALLY deserve to be multimillionnaires? i certainly wouldnt feel sorry for any hiphop that i bootlegged since most rappers just bang on about how much cash they have.

    also, i live about 30 mins drive away from a place that does massive sunday markets. at LEAST 10 stalls selling bootleg sw/music and movies & tobaccco! yet ive never seen any of the mutitude of coppers do anything about it.

    i also agree with the previous people that have stated that if people download sw/music/movies that we arent really losing out as country. most people spend to their means meaning if they dont spend £1000 year on cds then they might spend it on other things. maybe if we didnt waste millions on all this anti-pirate bullshit we might benefit as an economy

  42. Adam Williamson 1

    Another problem with the economics

    There's yet another problem with the substitution question, Andrew. Even if people spend less or no money buying music because they can illegally download it for free, that's not enough to conclude that economic activity - and hence jobs - are truly being lost.

    If people take the money they'd otherwise have spent on music and use it to buy video games instead, no economic activity or jobs have really been 'lost'; they just get moved about a bit. Fewer jobs making music, more jobs making video games. Is this Good? Well, good for who? Good for record companies? No. Good for music? Questionable. Good for the economy in general? It doesn't really care, as long as the money gets moved around somehow. Good For Society? Well, there's a debate. But either way, the jobs haven't been 'lost'.

    Hell, that holds if people take the money they'd have spent on music and spend it on skinny lattes instead. Fewer jobs making music, more jobs making coffee.

    There's only really an impact on the overall economy if people either just save the money up instead of spending it, or if they think 'well, I don't have to buy music any more, so I'll just work less hard and make less money'. Both of which, in modern Western cultures, are fairly unlikely. There's a question about whether the music industry is different from whatever people spend their money on instead in terms of, say, where it's based - so possibly America and the UK would lose out a bit if people transferred their custom from the music industry to somewhere else - but that's still a much more complex question.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      This must be third comment here about net employment in the economy.

      Which is interesting but not what the report is about. With more piracy less money comes in, so unemployment rises in creative areas . You're not denying any of this, I see.

      It's funny how Freetards ALWAYS want to change the subject.

  43. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One rule for you....

    So its ok for you, me and everyone else to pay out of pocket to bail out the real thieves of this world, the bankers, who incidentally thanks to their 5 finger discounting have cost umpteen millions of jobs over the past couple of years alone, but god damn if you download an mp3 you're the evil one?

    Maybe, just maybe, if we were not ourselves being screwed on a daily basis we might just have more disposable income to waste on manufactured samey sounding pop cd's and film remakes.

    Then again, maybe not.

  45. Richard 31
    Paris Hilton

    More jobs elsewhere?

    If all these jobs in the creative industry have been lost as a result of piracy because people are not spending money on CDs/DVDs/downloads/whatever.

    People must keep that money, and spend it elsewhere pumping it into an industry where stealing the output of that industry isn't as trivial.

    So does this not mean that other industry's are being kept alive and used more as a result of the creative industry's loss?

    So have 2.7 million jobs really been lost?

  46. Richard Porter

    Re: Are jobs lost?

    Yes of course jobs are lost because of new technology. You don't need to manufacture CDs, print inlays, have warehouses and van drivers, so you don't need to have people maintaining the vans or the warehouse computer systems. You don't need big shops stocked with thousands of CDs and DVDs many of which won't be sold. So jobs are being lost but not because of illegal downloads.

    Btw if I put money in my pension fund it isn't lost to the economy, as it would be if I stuffed it in the mattress. The fund managers invest my savings thereby providing capital for new enterprises.

    But what the article doesn't mention (and others above have) is live music and radio. Digital music isn't a closed economic system. If people don't pay for downloads they'll be able to attend live events so the performers benefit that way.

    The switch to digital broadcasting means many more channels, so it's possible to listen to your kind of music (if you have limited tastes) 24 by 7 without having to download it paid for or otherwise. And of course you can record off the radio as people have done since the invention of the tape recorder.

    Incidentally I don't use Photoshop; I use Photodesk which I bought.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Butter is the Devil's spunk.

    Published on behalf of the Margarine Marketing Board.

  48. MattWPBS

    The music industry vs the musicians.

    Interesting analysis from the Times. Music industry revenues pretty much steady overall from 2004 to 2008 (in terms of live, recorded, etc), but with revenue shifting from the record companies to the artists themselves. The problem for the labels is that the costs of production and entry to the market have plummeted - you can get a good record sorted without having to spend tens of thousands on it, but they've still got the large structure costs. Used to be that live performances were almost a promotional support for the records, now it's more that the recorded output is promotional for the live performances.

  49. Anonymous Coward

    while we're at it

    Let's bring in licensing for books (you don't own it, we give you permission to use it) then we can ban all second hand bookshops, thereby abolishing unemployment at a stroke.


  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I read another report on this that mentioned they were using a growth rate in the extrapolation model that was above 20% increase per year in internet downloading/usage.

    In EU countries and the UK in particular which are more mature markets that seems pretty significant, I'd be more inclined to say it had plateaued as pretty much everyone is aware of the downloading options.

    Once again very dodgy statistics, I was always taught that statistical correlation is just that, sets of numbers that match up and does not mean there really is correlation.

  51. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Thats about 1/10th the jobs lost

    due to these parasites making us pay 79p for a tune that the musician gets (if they're really lucky) 7p for. They just happen to be genuinely creative jobs and not the sort that pays for politicians lunches etc so they don't count.

  52. Yes Me Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Reel-to-reel tape recorders cause 'millions of lost jobs'

    The only thing was, I never found a news story from the music "industry" about this when I switched on my Telefunken in 1965 to listen to a pirate tape of The Times They Are A'Changing. What the heck is new?

  53. John Sanders

    Cost of replication 0

    Why does the software industry still makes the equation download = lost sale?, the reality is download = customer does not buy competing product.

    Balmer said so once, it doesn't matter if pirate as long as it is a copy of our product.

  54. b166er

    by the by

    It still should be Aeron chairs if the companies involved looked after them. Herman Miller supply them with a 10 year on-site warranty.

    Design of the decade award, don't you know. The material for the back and squab was invented for the chair.

  55. Nebulo

    Same ...

    tired old bollix we've heard ever since the 70's "Home taping is killing music" bollix.

    There is still music.

    There is still also the fact that the people who copy the most are also the people who buy the most. Why don't these fools just shut up, go away and let people get on with enjoying thenselves? Life isn't all about commercial activity, you know, whatever the commercial activity addicts might think.

    The icon's for the commercial activity addicts.

  56. RW

    The drop in CD sales

    Using myself as a data point, the drop in CD sales has next to nothing to do with downloads.

    I have a very large CD collection, but in recent years the number of CDs I buy has dropped to almost nothing. Why? Because I am a classical enthusiast, and I already have pretty much everything I am interested in. I do, indeed, have two downloads, but they were purchased quite legally by a friend from a Russian site. I wasn't sure of the music being worth the $60⁺ price in the case of the faux Popol Vuh album "Yoga" or the $1200 price in the case of the American Gramavision recording of LaMonte Young's "Well-tempered Piano". As it happened, my intuition was right.

    Every so often, I do log onto Amazon or CD Universe and buy a few CDs but not often and not many.

    Admittedly my situation is probably quite different from mass market pop music lovers, but I doubt I'm unique.

  57. Anonymous Coward

    Horse and carriage sales down

    The decline in music sales can be compared to the decline in horse and carriage sales when cars became available. It isn't because people needed less transportation but because there was alternative uses for the money.

    Same applies to music. It's part of entertainment sector which has expanded with computer games, computers, phones, satellite tv etc. There's only so much entertainment people consume, and are willing to spend money for, or have time. In america the tv viewing time is all time high. That might have something to do with declining sales.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Horse and carriage sales down

      If nobody listened to music on computers, and there were no iPods, I would be inclined to agree. That would be evidence there is no market for digital music.

      But the demand shows the value is there, but is not being realised by the creators.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Horse and carriage sales down...

        I wasn't saying that there isn't a market for music. I was saying that music market isn't a separate market but a part of the etertainment market, like horse and carriage is part of trasportation market. They still sell horse and carriages, but less so with the invent of car.

        And like horse and carriage are part of transportation market, music is a part of entertainment market, and it is competing against other forms of entertainment like computer games, tv, movies etc. People have only so much free time for entertainment, and if they use a bigger part of it to for example computer games there isn't that much time to use for listening to music. And if you don't have time to listen to music why would you buy records?

        The researchers that say "the decline in recorded music sales across the EU is too dramatic to imply a simple coincidence" might be right, but for the wrong reasons. Better computers and better internet connections mean better games which take bigger part of peoples free time.

        And tv eats more time too. I haven't found englands statistics but in finland the viewing time of tv has increased 37 mins in the last 15 years. It probably has increased the sale of snacks, and stomachs. And whatever people used to do for those 37 mins, that market has gone. And I'd bet a big part of that was listening to music at home.

        So the view that music sales are down for p2p downloads is a simplified view of market that looks only at netsales. I'd bet that if you don't count radio, the decline in music listening time is even biger than the decline in netsales. And that's where the music market war is lost, not in money but for time spent.

        1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: Re: Horse and carriage sales down...

          I can see why you want to change the subject, but you're avoiding the issue. There is strong demand for recorded music, and disposable income willingly given up for it. It's valued.

          If the value is not being captured then the supply chain needs to be reformed, with new ways of capturing the value offered to the market.

  58. Alain Moran

    Aeron chairs

    Somebody has been reading Make Magazine :D

  59. rhdunn

    In adition to the other comments

    We have had this little thing called a *recession* that nearly turned into a depression. I personally have switched to saving (with the odd gadget purchase and a few CDs/DVDs every now and then) and some subscriptions/services.

    With the film industry constantly pushing new technologies on consumers (we've had HDMI/Hi-Def compatible vs compliant; we've had HD-DVD vs BluRay; and now we've got 3D that's set to push people to buy more technology). These changes have happened (and are happening) over a lot shorter pace than happened previously -- you upgrade everything to find that you are promptly out of date. If you get burned once, you are less likely to upgrade in the future.

    Spending fortunes on everything (food, mortgage/rent, clothes, devices, hardware, services/subscriptions, bills, cinema, travel/petrol, dvds/cds, games, ...) all adds up. So you end up choosing what to spend it on, or save it to help survive in the future (or for a bigger investment, like a house).

    People are also spending less because we are not as cavalier about debt as we were at the height of the spending boom (adding debt to spend on consumables and entertainment). It is now the morning after, and the world (UK, US and others especially) is suffering a major hangover.

  60. A J Stiles

    Missed sales but not where you think

    From the article: "One counter example may be the widespread home use of Adobe Photoshop, one of the most popular Bittorrent downloads, and a $500 purchase. If Photoshop wasn't so easily available, many users may use a cheaper photo editing program. Is it therefore fair to say $500 has been lost?"

    Nope. It's a £50 (or whatever) sale that has been missed, by the hypothetical vendor of the cheaper program. (Except that, in real life, there isn't anybody selling £50 photo editing programs; they've all gone out of business, because it's human instinct to prefer saving £500 with a pirate copy of Photoshop over saving £450 with a paid-up copy of something else.)

    And Adobe aren't going to do much, if anything, about all this; because they know full well that they could end up missing sales if businesses found a supply of recruits already well-versed in some other photo-editing package, a tenth of the price of Photoshop, and which worked well enough for their needs. They are quite happy to have ordinary users learning how to use a pirate copy of Photoshop, which they can potentially persuade future employers to buy. Also dependent upon rampant piracy are third-party publishers of books explaining how to use illegally copied software in the absence of the vendor's official printed manuals.

    Adobe aren't losing anything, but that doesn't mean piracy is a victimless crime. The *real* victims of rampant piracy of expensive software are the vendors of inexpensive software and the Open Source community, who can't shift units because people are taking pirate copies of more expensive software.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Apple likes piracy

      Yes, poor Paint Shop Pro... :(

      Other beneficiaries of piracy are MP3 player and storage manufacturers. Few people would buy all these GB of music or TB of film storage if they had to pay to fill them. May I hazard that while the music industry may be hurting a bit (extend of losses due to piracy unknown as 1) even they don't want to know [or let us know] 2) whinging while sitting on one's hands is not a good business model, they can thank Apple for forcing them into iTunes), the overall effect of increased content availability *might* be beneficial to the economy when all is taken into account? Not that it is a justification etc, but the economic sky is not falling either.

      Also, when copyrights are for ever extended to ensure these fat cats ongoing revenues, pity is not the first reaction to their supposed plight. Are they about to file for bankrupcy? Thought so.

      Sorry arguments a bit disorganised, but no time to rewrite this.

  61. Watashi

    one side of the coin

    The other side of the coin is to ask how many jobs have been lost as a result of aggressive patent enforcement and restrictive copyright rules. By restricting innovation, copyright legislation restricts the growth of the sector. By encouraging cartels and monopolistic behaviour, overprotection of intellectual property rights leads to a stagnant industry where product quality drops, prices rise and everyone loses except the shareholders of the big corporations. Not only this, but because small companies find it hard to compete, innovators usually end up as employees, rather that company owners, and actually make LESS money from their ideas, the bulk of the profit going to the shareholders of the big companies. This is the big secret the corporations don't want us to think about - overly harsh intellectual property rights harm the consumer and the sector.

  62. Richard Porter

    Free walking is killing transport

    Walking for free is killing the transport industry. People who walk to work or school are causing millions of jobs to be lost in the bus and rail industries, and by the manufacturers of excessively large 4x4s. And of course there's the oil companies and road builders to consider too. People who disregard warning letters telling them not to walk should have their shoes confiscated and their doors restricted so they can no longer get out.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Free walking is killing transport

      An incredibly poor analogy. But I'm afraid freetards don't get much better than this.

  63. Alan Plastow

    Flawed studies tend to lack credibility...

    After reading through the actual Chamber "study" I find it difficult to take it seriously. As usual, the Chamber (along with way too many legislators) has used the BSA/IDC Global Piracy research to support their observations. As long as we continue to use software industry (or music industry) generated or sponsored statistics the quality of these studies will always be suspect. (Doubt me? Do a search on the wide range of "defects" in this type of research.) Another serious foundation problem? There are virtually no independent checks and balances on accuracy to encourage credibility or ensure the absence of hidden agendas in either study methodology or in the interpreted findings.

    The keys to reducing the instances of copyright non compliance (especially in developed countries) will not be found in alienating primary consumers with threatened punitive litigation but in a re-invention of wooing those consumers with lower prices and higher value. As long as enforcement industry players continue to equate anti piracy with consumer value, not much will happen on the positive side. Go after the genuine pirates with the threats – NOT the people and companies who have made honest licensing mistakes or who have unknowingly purchased incorrectly licensed products.

    Reducing non compliance is an empty option. There is literally no value in it for the consumer. However, there IS solid value in helping consumers (specifically business consumers) establish cost-effective and supplier-neutral processes for taking control of technology investments and increasing tech life cycle ROI - the actual business value we SHOULD be getting from these products & services. Unfortunately, these life cycle management initiatives are distinctly NOT profitable for the software industry players, so the possibility of a majority of those players supporting the idea is rather slim.

    Change the current trend. Deliver serious value at a reasonable price and the frequency of copyright non compliance will reduce itself. I'm not referring to music or video issues in this comment AND I'm certainly not labeling every teenager or small business with the ridiculously over-blown and inappropriate PIRATE moniker. Instead, I'm suggesting that abusing the intelligence of customers with carefully spun research and highly scripted PR work is simply no longer going to work.

    Need help with compliance assurance? Use your head and get that help from people who do not profit from your honest mistakes. Interested in increasing the ROI on tech spending? Take back internal control of your entire technology environment, manage it efficiently, and demand genuine measurable value for your money. These are not difficult issues (though plenty of industry players want to convince you they are...). It's ALL brain work. You do NOT need to buy more software; or more hardware; and you certainly don't need to hire yet another pot load of consultants.

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