back to article Ofcom grills pirates, loses report under fridge for two years

On Monday Ofcom published two studies it commissioned into digital piracy: one attempting to quantify the level of piracy, the other a smaller study collecting pirates' opinions. Oddly, the 'new' quantitative research is old - almost as old as the Norman Domesday Book. The field work was conducted by Kantar Media in March 2010 …


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  1. NoneSuch Silver badge

    It is not the price, it is the overall lack of quality.

    How many times have you watched a trailer, then seen the film only to realize the best bits were all in the trailer?

    I buy quality footwear, trousers and suits because they last and are value for money. Movies today are mostly forgettable.

    1. Inachu

      HEAR HEAR!!!!!!

      I so totally agree with your statements of fact.

      What I miss the most about quality are the 1980's style polo shirts.

      That is when they still had a tail to tuck in so nobody has to look at your cheeks and now today the tail of the shirt is just as long as the front! Then when you wash it the xtra large becomes a medium within 2 months of washing. So I stopped buying american stuff 100% just out of spite. The things they sell in USA are for short stubby people who have tow thumbs and wabble around the stores like ducks. I do not mind a shirt that is properly made then I do not mind spending an extra $10 for quality. My stores in my area used to sell nice high quality winter jackets costing $600. The type used to trek up Mt. Everest. But they stopped selling them and now nobody sells decent jackets that fit me and no I do not weigh 500 stones/pounds.

      Clothing/car/video manufacturers no longer respect the vast varity people and sell only cookie cutter chinese size clothing. Funny enough I now only buy chinese videos the past 15 years. I just watch kungfu movies as they have more depth than todays movies besides that of the triology of JR TOLKIEN.


    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Who'd of thought that the best bits of the film were put into the trailer. Next you'll be telling me that they use models in underwear commercials.

      And: If you object to the quality, don't consume it in any way. If you pirate it, the producers think you like it and are just tight.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "There was a feeling that if a file sharing application had offered paid-­for, high quality content at low prices at this time then legal file sharing would not have taken off ....."

    Oh bollocks, that argument has always been complete and utter cods-wallop! There's only one reason people help themselves, because it's free and they can get away with it! As the other guy said, no one really ever gets caught or punished. You could say each album or movie will cost 5p and people would still avoid paying and simply rip off from a torrent! Add to that the convenience of being able to simply pull down a torrent rather than all that tedious setting up an account, registering your bank card, etc and torrents are piece of piss to get something for nothing.

    1. Mad Mike

      Some yes, most no.

      I agree with your statement to a limited extent. Yes, some people will download regardless of the cost and these you will never deal with. However, most people have some moral code and generally believe in paying for things provided the price is right and sensible. Lower down someone says how can an old album cost more than new material. Well, if purchased on CDs, the manufacturer might need to allow for a production run that either doesn't get fully sold or takes a long time. The beauty of downloads, is that this simply doesn't matter. You're talking about a few meg of disk space........nothing in terms of cost.

      It would be a better service, with more available whenever the customer wants at a better price. Sheet music is an interesting area as well. Unpopular and old pieces are generally hard to get because they can't justify the print run. They either won't get sold or the price will be so high that people will photocopy it. Obviously answer? Downloads. Cost would reduce dramatically, all for the cost of a few meg of disk. Problem solved. Again, better customer experience, lower overheads, easier life for suppliers etc.etc.

      However, all the industries have one thing in common................they have unrealistically high expectations of profit. Therefore, they can't support this model as they can't milk the customer. Eventually they will might takes years, but they will. The genie is out the bottle and the first to offer a really good service might well take out all the others. If only the company execs had the brains to think beyond the next 12 months and into the medium/long term and see their companies fading away.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      AC for obvious reasons

      I have a niche taste (no, not porn, nothing like that) and more or less the only way I can obtain the stuff I like is mail order where the postage would triple the cost and take it to nearly three digits, or a download. If the stuff was available reasonably over on this side of the world, I'd buy. Maybe not all, but most. But it isn't. So I can't. Perhaps it might be time for distributors to look beyond their country's borders and consider monetizing the international market. That the stuff is downloaded at all internationally suggests that some people at least are interested.

    3. John I'm only dancing
      Thumb Down


      The only reason I download music for free, I don't bother with films, is because, I have already bought it on vinyl, then on cassette and then they wanted more money for cds...

      I'll be damned if I'm paying for the same thing over and over again. All my new music is bought and paid for. I'm a punk so I buy band cds straight off those I like at gigs.

      At least that way my money is not paying for some corporate turd at the likes of BGM, Universal, Sony, to buy himself another big fat bifter.

    4. Joel 1

      Au contraire, mon capitaine

      Actually, I beg to disagree. was doing very well by charging small amounts based upon the size of the files you were downloading. I took the opportunity to get mp3s of a load of albums I have on vinyl. From my point of view, it was far more convenient paying reasonable amounts than to go through the effort of creating the mp3s myself.

      As far as the copyright infringement issue goes (it isn't theft), the artist has already been recompensed for the intellectual property rights, and I was paying for the convenience of someone else converting analogue to digital for me.

      The problem with legal downloads is that the rights holders have inflated ideas about the value of the content. With content on plastic discs, the likes of Amazon will discount them when they wish to shift old stock. However, the download cost remains high. And you can't sell it on ebay when you are done with it.

      Pricing at the Allofmp3 end of the scale might well get people to increase their legal downloads. It it was £1 for a downloaded album, rather than a track, we might well see a lot more sold. Me, I go for the physical disk anyway...

  3. Mad Mike

    Which laws have been broken

    The issue here is who is prosecuted and for what. Yes, people who download illegal copies of whatever are guilty of copyright theft whether you think in a legal or moral sense. However, there are also laws against cartels and such like that the industries were undoubtedly in breach of and yet there were no prosecutions. From a moral stance (and should be legal), if you prosecute one, you should prosecute the other. Unfortunately, from a legal standpoint, the industries are rich enough to effectively buy the law.

    So, the moral argument for prosecuting illegal file sharers is almost impossible to justify on the grounds that those calling for the prosecutions are guilty of crimes as well, and some might consider them more serious!! Nobody expects any person, company or industry to be whiter than white and never make a mistake, but the wholesale profiteering, cartels etc. in the music, film and software industries are so obvious and so large, you can hardly consider them a minor wobble in an otherwise decent life.

    As the writer has said, if the companies had taken notice of what was obviously happening at the time, they would have created their own online sources, charging a reduced amount (no CD production etc. needed) and could have avoided all this. Instead they tried to carry on profiteering etc. and got what was coming to them. Morally, the companies don't have a leg to stand on, but as they own the law, legally they do.

    1. It'sa Mea... Mario
      Thumb Up


      And it doesn't matter how you try and spin it Andrew, or how the survey questions were worded... Charging 'nearly the same', 'the same' or 'even more' for digital copies (with no physical product required) is morally wrong and totally unjustifiable. Anybody who does not agree with that clearly has more money than common sense or is a greedy c**t record company rep.

      Thumbs up is for Mad Mike.

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: Morally wrong and totally unjustifiable

        Is it wrong to charge the same for the same product? CDs are just a transport medium for me. If I buy one, it's going to end up encoded as a high quality MP3 on my hard drive just the same as if I buy a download. The difference being that the download I can get immediately, don't have to bother ripping and I don't end up with the clutter of a CD around the place. Other people for various might prefer the CD, but to most of us, they are actually the same product delivered in two separate ways. Maybe people stuck in the past get hung up on thinking that they have been cheated by missing out on the bits of plastic, but I don't.

        I hear the same outrage about ebooks sometimes - how dare they charge the same for an ebook as a physical copy? Well, the eBook is infinitely lighter and more convenient to me, so if anything I'm lucky I'm not charged more. We all have our preferences, but it's not "morally wrong" and "totally unjustifiable" to charge the same or nearly the same cost for what is effectively the same product or, in the case of ebooks, where there are plusses and minuses on both sides that cancel each other out.

        1. Magnus_Pym


          A download is just not the same as a CD. Yes I can encode it if I want and make it the same as the download (except for the DRM). BUT I can also:

          play it as a CD.

          encode it as many times as I want.

          play it on as many different devices as I want.

          re encode when my mac/ipod get nicked.

          convert it later into some as yet uninvented format.

          be sure that the rights owner will not be able to take away my ability to play it.

          give it to someone else or sell it.

          take it back to the shop if doesn't work on my player.

          peruse the sleeve notes long years after the website has been shut down

        2. Just Thinking

          I would disagree. When you buy a CD in a shop, a significant part of that cost is associated with the physical object - artwork design, manufacture, transport, renting and staffing the shop, the risk that some of the CDs you mass produce won't sell etc.

          All these costs disappear with a download. Most of the remaining costs (producing the music, marketing etc) are fixed costs rather than per unit costs.

          Of course anything is worth what the market will bear, but if you take away a large chunk of the production costs and the price doesn't change it is surely an indication that the market isn't free and fair.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            The internet is not free...

            Running a service on the Internet is not free - especially a media and payment based service.

            Storage, Bandwidth and payment processing are some of the most expensive things that you can do in modern IT.

            1. snellasaurus

              Quite! But it is never that simple...

              CD and download are different but there are delivery/fulfilment costs associated with both. What they are per unit I have no idea but lets not pretend that it is free to provide downloads.

              I notice that when I buy SW licenses from M$ the download is always cheaper than shipping a physical copy so I assume download is a saving.

              What skews this argument slightly is the availability of FREE software that lets me generate my own digital copy from the CD and other flexibility that a download does not allow. If you had to pay for encoders then I could see a good argument for the cost of downloads.

              Digi downloads were an opportunity for the biz to reduce price whilst maintaining margin. Instead they tried to use it to increase margin and people can see through that.

          2. h4rm0ny

            "if you take away a large chunk of the production costs and the price doesn't change it is surely an indication that the market isn't free and fair."

            As both products are available side by side (download and CD) and the price is similar, in this case it's an indication that most people didn't care much about the things that have changed. I personally can do without the clutter of the plastic. As people aren't flocking to buy CDs instead of MP3s (and in fact, the other way around), it's an indication that the convenience of instant gratification far trumps inlays and artwork. So as people's purchasing habits clearly demonstrate that they don't value the product less, and in fact seem to be preferring it, then why should seller's lower their prices? Keep in mind with inflation the way it is, any price staying where it is (and albums are slightly cheaper than they were I think), is actually a reduction in real terms.

            1. Just Thinking


              It's a matter of opinion whether it is better to buy a CD or download a track, but I absolutely accept that some people find it more convenient to download music.

              But it is also undoubtedly much cheaper to distribute music as downloads. There are costs, but they are much lower than distributing CDs.

              In other industries, competition ensures that digital technology benefits the consumer in terms of price *and* convenience. I have just bought some leaflets, banners and printed CDRs for a trade show - really easy to submit the artwork online, quick turnaround, good quality ... and a really good price too. I didn't have to pay extra for the convenience, I actually paid a lot less than it would have been 20 years ago because technology has made the process cheaper.

              So yes, some people will pay the same for a download as a CD because they want the song on their phone and they want it now. But a lot of people see the download price as a blatant rip off and feel perfectly justified in downloading it for free.

      2. Steve Renouf
        Thumb Up


        And note also, it's the "greedy c**t record company reps." getting the money - not the creative artists!

    2. MacGyver

      Something to think about.


      I looked up the definition, and to my amazement, they are real places, and the don't charge to let you watch movies on DVD, TV shows on DVD, and you can read books for free too.

      Every comment on here keeps going on about freetards, so tomorrow I'm going down to my local library and call everyone one I see just that. Aren't they freetards too? I called my grandmother a freetard, and she just looked at me quixotically. I'm not sure about how far physically you need to be away from a library before one starts being a "freetard". Does anyone have any data on this?

      I also found out that these "libraries" have been around for as long as people have been. How is that possible, should we get together and burn these places now? Don't they know people should only be allowed to enjoy books and media AFTER they pay, and if they can't pay, why should they get to see/read it. What I don't understand is how artists and writers have been able to eek out a existence all these years (3,000 years) with these houses of piracy in every town (some even have 2 or 3)?

      /end of sarcasm/

      Hopefully that was the equivalent of a "divide by zero" to your media company brainwashing.

      1. Kool-Aid drinker


        Libraries are not free; I believe they're paid for by council tax, of which I and most others on here pay copious amounts.

  4. mark 63 Silver badge

    "They felt that when sites like Napster and Kazaa had begun, the industry had had a chance to develop high quality, legal file sharing"

    If the music indusrty had got their shit together in time...

    It wouldnt need to be done by dirty , virus ridden peer to peer sharing , if people were paying for the music, the sellers would just host it on their servers.

  5. Pen-y-gors

    <pedantic rant mode>

    I really wish people wouldn't keep using inaccurate terms like 'Piracy' and 'Theft' when referring to un-authorised downloading of digital material. Yep, it's probably some form of offence, but it is NOT Theft or Piracy.

    Theft is clearly defined in English law:

    "A person is guilty of theft, if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it; and "thief" and "steal" shall be construed accordingly." Clearly the owner of the original downloaded material is still in possession, so no theft. Money may be owed to them, or contract terms may have been breached, but theft has not occurred.

    Similarly Piracy specifically refers to acts of robbery or violence on the high seas, or outside the jurisdiction of any state. Again, nothing to do with copyright violations.

    </pedantic rant mode>

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Unauthorised duplication or infringement of copyright.

      Theft is walking into a record store and walking out with the product.

      1. we all know how irritating it is having to interact with the shopkeeper in any way Silver badge

        Record store?

        What's a record store?

        Indeed, what's a record?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I don't know which dictionary you have but my OED makes the following definitions (paraphrased):

      Theft - to steal

      Stealing - ... take (another person's property) without permission or *legal right*... Dishonestly pass off *someone else's ideas* as their own...

      (My emphasis)

      I also notice that you don't quote a dictionary for the definition of Piracy. Is that because it gives two definitions, one for the thing done on the high seas with the stealing of ships, etc, and the other bing the thing with taking copies of copyrighted material without payment. At least, that's what my OED says.

      1. Stephen 10

        Hey AC

        And the definition of theft you thoughtfully provided absolutely doesn't apply - unless you abstract theft to potential earnings in which case anyone who is preferred for a job over you is also stealing your money.

        Also under most countries laws prior to now copyright violation was about 'making available' - that is, the providers - now uploaders, selling or giving out works that they did not have the right to, usually for profit. Now they've moved to demonising the recipients, much the same as the war on drugs (another resounding success story). Hell, they've even created an industry ot of enforcement.

        As a composer/writer I'm strongly for protection of creative rights. I would argue that what the various 'rights organisations', their lobby-groups and the politicians they buy are not interested in artist rights at all, merely protecting their established business model.

        The current model is broken, protects neither consumer nor creator and only really benefits the parasitic businesses that have grown up around it.

        And Andrew, it's nice finding myself agreeing with much of what you wrote for a change.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Stephen 10

          In what way does stealing an idea not apply to copyright?

          A classic argument for copying copyright material without paying for it is that the producer of the material doesn't loose anything - ie: You have only taken the idea, not the physical object.

          1. MacGyver

            @AC 09:42

            So I take an idea, if I don't act upon it to make money, how is it relevant that I "have it".

            Where do you think we would be as a society if we horded knowledge like you suggest? We live in a world, built on the knowledge of those that came before us.

            So if I download an e-book for free because I can't find a DRM-free version for my Sony device, and they only sell a Kindle version, I'm a douche freetard? But if I go to the library and check it out for free, then read it, I am not a douche freetard? Where is the money transfer with either? There isn't any, they are the same. You judge one of those two scenarios differently, even though the end-result to all parties is the exact same. And you are defensive about it, because deep-down you know it's irrational.

            The music studios have managed to subvert the one thing that has made us humans great, sharing. Digital media is a infinite quantity object, until recently we called those types of things stories or folk-songs, and we shared them.

            It's great that people can make money from writing, singing, and painting, but they have been able to make money doing it long before the idea of recordings came about.

            The problem seems to be that they expect to be millionaires and to be paid for the rest of their lives for a performance or two. That's swell, but don't for one second think that anyone that has to wake up everyday and work 40+ hours a week for the rest of our lives is going to shed a tear when you don't get your wish.

            Artist of all types would make plenty of money from the people willing to pay (previously called benefactors), if you got rid of the parasites between the two. It's not the artists suing people, it's the parasites, and the artists should be furious because the amount of money being spent is insane, and could be paying the artists, but instead is going to lawyers, to keep their niche positions they have made for themselves, as parasites.

            If you want to be an artist, and don't want people to download your stuff, then don't record it. Perform at venues, and charge at the door. You might have to work more than once, but then so do we.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward


              Libraries pay rights holders to lend books.

              1. MacGyver

                Oh, so they pay $49 per DVD for everyone, everytime? Right.

                I wonder how they kept track in the year 30 AD, did they send out checks, or was it gold, and did they pay out yearly? What about 1960, was it weekly then?

      2. Pen-y-gors

        Don't trust dictionaries...

        Definition of theft is from Section 1(1) of the Theft Act 1968, which beats the OED definition as far as UK law is concerned.

        Definition of Piracy is a slight editing of Article 101 of the UN Convention on the law of the sea.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          If I want to know what a word means, I'll go to the OED. I am not a lawyer, neither are any other people here, AFAICT. The law may well have specific need to use particular words in different ways to those which are used and understood by the general public. I am an IT expert, I would not argue that a mouse is a tool for moving a pointer and not a small rodent, just because that's the definition my industry uses of that word,.

          Taking a definition of piracy from the law of the sea would suggest that you're deliberately cherry picking where you get your definitions from in order that they fit your worldview.

          The OED is a official definition of (UK) English, these semantic arguments people make to justify their actions are, frankly, tedious. Either way, you don't change the moral implications that because you have taken someone's intellectual property and not paid for it, they have less money that if you had paid for it. Dress it up how you like, it's not right and you know it, otherwise you wouldn't make such arguments to try to justify it.

    3. veti Silver badge

      I've done some research into this, and use of "piracy" to describe copyright infringement goes back at least to Charles Dickens. Take a look at his 'Proclamation' regarding Nicholas Nickleby:

      That was published in 1838. So if you think use of the word "piracy" to describe copyright infringment is some hideous probably-transatlantic coinage, you couldn't be much further from the mark.

      Just FYI.

  6. Dr. Mouse

    Obvious answer (in my oppinion)

    "Well, chaps, here's an idea. Why not choose a representative sample of 2,000 broadband users, grant them immunity for a couple of months, and do a silent double-blind test? Perhaps with some of the sample you could experiment with new ideas. The ISP knows exactly what's going on, so speculating on speculation should become superfluous."

    This research would have to be conducted by (or with the express consent of) the industry (music/film/software producers working together) to allow them to offer immunity. However, these are the exact same people who do not want this research conducted: they want to be able to maintain their archaic business models, and this research would likely (IMHO) force them into doing something new.

    1. Ellie

      yes and don't choose Kantar.

      and be scrupulous with the questions!

      1. Andrew Harvey

        The original survey was evaluating research methods NOT piracy itself

        Having taken a look (at the Kantar survey at least)...

        The primary brief of the Kantar Survey was to evaluate different methods of questioning individuals about file sharing NOT to evaluate file sharing issues themselves.

        This was a pilot survey for the purpose of understanding differences between Online, Face to Face and Telephone interviews for this area of research (yes, even more boring than the original topic).

        Whilst "I find music and video files that you pay for on the internet expensive" is somewhat leading, it is the difference in response that was of interest not the responses themselves. Often there are reasons for leading questions.

        Take a look at the survey (@Ellie) and see if you're really appreciating what it's purpose was.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The question they should ask is

    "If all media companies got together, made a portal like the piratebay and stuck all their media on there for either an all-you-can-eat or pay-by-download basis, would you subscribe?"

    I'd bet that nearly everyone would say yes, but the fact is to consume media legally you need 50 million accounts to a thousand different companies, all of whom want your credit card details (who'll then lose them obviously) and it's too much effort.

    Why can't the MAFIAs see this? Piracy offers simplicity and a complete, unrestricted catalogue. Build that and they will come.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Aug 2011 report is based on interviews of 36 people!!!!! What did they do pass it around the ofcom office, FFS, I could get more than that just by asking my son’s school friends.

    “Kantar also tried to mitigate against the "leading question".”

    It would seem to me that if the conclusion of the report is that that downloaders are "Self-serving consumers" downloading what they can because they can, or were "collectors" and "cyber-techies" then there leading questions asked. I have asked my son’s school friends why they download and they will say the same thing, they can't afford to buy music and videos. And having just handed over over 60 notes for what I consider stocking fillers for Christmas, I think they have a point.

    My own son wanted to buy me the remastered DSOM as a Christmas present but was shocked when he found out that the remastered 38 year old record cost 40% more that the current chart offerings.

    Out of the mouth of babes……

  9. Chad H.

    If those most likely to download are cash poor..

    Then it just simply proves that DRM is nothing but snake oil. DRM exists supposedly to encourage them to buy (by presumably slowing down the release of pirated copies). Since these folk won't buy anyway spending money to dissuade piracy just results in lower overall profit thanks to the cost of DRM in the first place.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Logical theory

      In reality, though, the cash-strapped are less guilty of thieving than one would think, and if they do start stealing, it will be to acquire things they actually need, not useless stuff they can do without.

      I think that the people most guilty of copyright infringement are people who could very well pay for it, but choose not to for various reasons (some that can actually be valid from their point of view).

      After all, we're not talking about survival here, but about entertainment. When you've reached that level of preoccupation, you've most likely done away with more basic issues like where do you sleep and do you have enough to eat.

  10. Jacqui

    DRM puts off legit customers

    We got rid of our DVD players when new format disks wrecked both of them. We also stopped playing DVD's on our living room PC when they also started trying to infect our systems and damaged the drives.

    We used to buy a DVD a week - we have not bought any DVD's for well over 18 months, since the very last one we bought cost us a new drive and a system reformat.

    Instead we wait until films appear on freesat(HD) and download to the portable hard drive attached to this - better quality than DVD and we can prune the advs :-) Also no stupid forced-to-watch trailers or threats etc and the files can be ffmpeg'd down to fit on a phone if anything was actually worth watching more than once. IMHO most stuff today is not even worth watching - if you have seen the trailer you ave probably seen the best bits - the rest is padding.

    I would be very happy to buy boxed sets etc and buy mpeg audio books etc but DVD's no longer play on anything I own.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Damn true that !

      I am sick to death of being forced to watch that stupid FBI warning.


      Do they really think that their bloody warning will be kept by pirates ?

      Not counting the idiots that make film trailers mandatory before being able to watch the film. Yeah, as if six years after the DVD has been sold I'll still be interested in trailers for films that I either have the DVD for, or have decided that I am totally not interested.

      Still, could be good for some laughs (hey, remember that turkey ? Man was that film stupid !).

      But no. These days I buy my DVDs when I'm interested, and rip the film to keep only the film. That way I can watch what I want, when I want, which is something I find perfectly normal to do in my own house.

  11. Bassey

    Lies, damned lies and more lies

    Surely last weeks "sexual partners" survey proved once and for all that asking the public in order to ascertain the truth is entirely pointless. For those that missed it that survey published results last week in which the average man claimed to have had 15 sexual partners and the average woman claimed to have had just six. Which proved that either the vast majority of men are homosexual or everyone lies in surveys, particularly on moral issues.

  12. Paul 37


    If downloading copyrighted material requires a payment to the owner of the copyright (which all reasonable standards of logic would suggest is true). Why are you coming after me for the payment ?

    I'm currently paying my ISP circa 20 quid a month for somthing that, on the face of it, should be a low or no-charge add-on to my already extortionate phone rental contract....Surely if Mistra Performing Rights wants his pound of flesh he should be looking at the man making the money out of providing me with the means, motive and opportunity ?

    1. PyLETS
      Thumb Up

      private and public performances

      Musicians have rights in respect of music played in public perfomances, but not in private ones. As an Internet user I also don't consider my private use of content readily available any of the business of the music industry for the same kind of reason they don't get to know what is played and sung around the piano in my home. But given the ISPs claim my Internet connection is capable of downloading 100 movies and 2000 songs/month etc. as part of their advertising and selling my connection, I wouldn't mind the content providers getting a sales commission, as the ISP's business is carried out within the public domain.

      This is not a tax as has sometimes been claimed - it's as legitimate a sales commission as the rights payments work in broadcasting, as without the content the means of transforming or transporting it would not be bought and sold. This could be done without intimidation or interfering with listener/viewer privacy, and in much the same way as with broadcasting.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What if I connect a recorder to a radio or tv or computer and record the output?

    It's happened for years and years and will continue to happen regardless of what DRM etc.. systems "they" try to impose.

    The whole industry needs to change or utlimately die!

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      HDCP was intended to stop this happening

      In my experience, the primary effect of HDCP and similar has been to piss off business CEOs who want to show their home videos at conferences, but can't because it won't show on the secondary monitor. We had to set up some rather convoluted video paths to get around it.

      - Amusingly, the biggest effect Windows Genuine Advantage has had on my life was to delay the launch of Intel Centrino/Windows XP Media Centre edition, forcing Microsoft to pay up for a satellite broadband link just to verify the computers they provided!

      (They would not log on without WGA sorting itself out, and we couldn't use the manual method or even connect to WiFi without logging in. Well done!)

  14. Dibbles

    This is somewhat disingenuous; research completed in May 2010 is not regarded as 'old' in the research industry, indeed anything under 2 years old is generally seen as quite fresh. I wouldn't be surprised if the report had taken until December of that year to be released, as it would have had to wend its way from vendor to client, then from client to client's boss, and onwards and upwards. Something as politically sensitive as this would take longer to release.

    That said, that still leaves 12 months unaccounted for by Ofcom, and the suspicion has to be that they were waiting for an opportune moment to release it.

    Oh, and qual research is NEVER representative, that's the point. As a professional research nerd, this is one of those incredibly difficult - yet remarkably intriguing - subject areas for which there isn't a perfect research methodology. The idea of granting 2,000 people immunity is interesting, but would quickly be ruled out for a) logistical (could it even be done legally?!) and b) behavioural (it's going to affect behaviour) reasons.

    </research geekery> Still an interesting read, though; I'd like to see this not being brushed over in future policy decisions on piracy.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      "could it even be done legally?"

      If there is a written agreement between the media cartel and the subjects of the research specifying that nothing the subjects can do will be the subject of a lawsuit during the length of the study, then the law will not be brought into the equation.

      Simple as that.

      As long as murder is not involved, of course.

  15. ElReg!comments!Pierre


    "And digital prices are typically lower than physical prices."

    Maybe in lalaland. 'Round here in the real world, the per-song price usually makes the digital album a tad more expensive than the physical one. And then you add the data transfer costs, and then the storage. And most of the time it comes with idiotic "anti-piracy" systems that do nothing to deter pirates but do hinder legitimate use -a lot.

    So, quite a bit more expensive, and less convenient to use.

    That doesn't excuse anything, of course, and it's not relevant really. Joe Bloggs has a fixed budget for that kind of things usually. Piracy or not, Ms and Mr 50 quids WILL spend their 50 quids. The amount of music/movies/etc they will have access to is what varies.

    The "an illegal download is a lost sale" argument assumes that

    1. households have an unlimited budget.

    2. People don't buy what they like if they already have a crappy version of it.

    Both assumptions are stupid; the first one for obvious reasons, and as for the second one, would you please look at the Star Wars fans, for example? The ones who own 5 physical copies of every movie, and went to see each at least twice in a theatre? (and probably have a few ripped copies around for convenience, too).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Prices, credit and B.S.

      3. Most 'developed country' households have probably been buying stuff on (mortgage, card and HP) credit because their earning have not kept pace with significant prices rises (much higher than official RPI and CPI, and caused by government and private bank (fractional reserve debt) currency inflation (theft)), so people go into debt at least maintain their 'standard of living'. This was never sustainable, as we now see.

      4. All of this IP 'law' is just legalistic state issued privilege which has no basis in Common Law, given no real property was stolen, no one was hurt getting it, and no valid contracts are involved; it is all B.S., so should be treated as such.

      1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Prices, credit and B.S.

        "no real property was stolen, no one was hurt getting it, and no valid contracts are involved; it is all B.S., so should be treated as such."

        No harm done?

        I think Ellen Siedler might disagree:

  16. Paw Bokenfohr

    See, this is my annoyance...

    "they charged £7.99 on iTunes and £7.49 on Amazon - both higher than the £7.32 average CD cost in 2010"

    I'm not advocating piracy (and can't we get a better name for it than that - it's not the same as real piracy in any way) of course, but I frequently go on to iTunes looking to buy a CD, often not a new release, and find it for x amount. If I then look for an actual physical CD, I can often find it on Amazon or any number of other outlets (even high street ones) for less than x, including shipping. Often for half of x as I did recently for an (out of embarassment) unnamed 70s/80s "best of" CD..

    In what world is it worth paying double for music that is of technically lower audio quality with no physical backup?

    Yes, I could burn the AACs to a CD, but then that costs me more to make the backup. And yes, I know that the iTunes 256kbps AACs sound fine, and I can't actually tell the difference between them and CD-ripped WAVs, but what happens in 10 years time when we all decide a new audio format is needed, and we have to transcode? I'd rather have the CD and re-rip than have to transocde, so for me, the digital download content has LESS value than the physical product.

    You can repeat this exercise with movie content, eg: Harry Potter 7 part 2:

    £10 to download on iTunes or

    £14 for 3D BluRay, (seperate) 2D BluRay, DVD copy, *and* a digital copy from iTunes

    Seriously, what is better value there? I don't think it's the iTunes route.

    Seems to me that the legal methods would get more traction if they actually looked at the real value of the offering. It's less than a physical equivalent, and it costs them a lot less than a physical equivalent, and so they should sell it for less than the physical equivalent.

    I'm not saying it has no value - I don't think many (sane) people would argue that, but really, it's not worth MORE than it was when it was a "real" thing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Paw Bokenfohr - I'm not saying it has no value...

      If it has no resale value, then its value should be close to zero.

      1. h4rm0ny

        Does food you eat have a "resale value" once you're done with it? No, then by your logic, food has no value to you.

        A statement is not an argument.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Not the AC above

          Food (and other consumable and perishable items) do have a resale value. Tesco buys milk from farmer, resells it in shop.

          Does your television have a resale value if you smash it to pieces?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Before and after?

    Has there ever been a before and after study of piracy? By before and after I mean before the widespread use of the Internet and after it became popular.

    It's simply not easy to determine the levels before the Internet took off since it wasn't so centralised. People used to use BBS, snail mail and sneakernet to swap files and discs.

    Prior to the Internet and WW video tapes were copied, albums and CDs were taped. The first cinema recording of a film I heard about was ET and that came out in 1982!

  18. the-it-slayer

    Common sense prevails the balls of research

    It really isn't that difficult to figure out why piracy is so common:

    1) The transition between analogue and digital technology was poorly executed in most platforms during the early 2000s. You only have to look at Sony's digital MD technology pre-MP3 player days. Sony had the market in perfect reach until they pissed off the joe blogg consumer with slow and restricted MD players. The trust was disappearing rapidly when the ability to record a TV show, audio, radio on tape and pass it around to a few mates.

    2) The film and music industries played dumb and ignorance that digital was the holy-grail. Ignored the likes of licensing Naspter/Torrents to capture the digital age and still tried to sell CDs at a ridiculous price when we could all buy a box of 50 CDs for the same price as a cased CD and burn music ourselves.

    Value for money is key and free pirated downloads (which are of high quality due to broadband) currently offer value for money, however illegal it is.

    3) High street retailers played dumb as well and didn't push the high-order (record companies, move studios) to adapt. They are now suffering the consequences of DRM protection (lame attempts) on DVDs/Blu-Rays. The online retailers (bar the few elite like Apple, Amazon) cannot fight for sales by driving costs down as the high-order think they're entitled to a mega-forture by excessively charging the public.

    I really don't think the piracy snowball will ever stop now the hacker/programmer elite are out there to always win over DRM protection and developing new ways of distributing content. Sacrafices would have to be made in the way content is copyrighted or allowing people more rights in how they use media they purchase.

    Oh I forgot the computer games industry. Shame really because 50 quid for a game that can be completed in the matter of days and getting bored of online play is value for money?


    1. Ru

      £50 games bad value for money?

      Depends on the game, no? If you can squeeze, say, 20 hours gameplay out of it, £2.50/hour for your leisure time isn't exactly breaking the bank. Cheaper than a night out, cheaper than a trip to the cinema... its probably even cheaper than a night in with a pizza and some booze. Even under 20 hours its price competetive, assuming you play enough games to amortize the cost of your console or whatever.

      The fact you feel that you're being ripped off is just a matter of your perception, given the sheer number of things that people will happily engage in that burn through just as much cash in much less than half the time and leave you with nothing to show for it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Ru - £50 games bad value for money?

        The fact that people feel ripped of is the whole point - despite RIAA/MAFIAA/games industry propaganda, only the customer defines value. If the supplier doesn't provide that, unless he's in a monopoly position, he doesn't have a business model. Period.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Paris Hilton

        £2.50 per hour IS a rip off

        Especially if you go back 10 years or more and look at how much play time you got out of a game released then.

        Go try to complete Lemmings in a couple of days (without cheating)

        See hoe long it takes to get bored with Worms.

        My all time best value game is Harpoon, which I first bought in1990, updated in 2008, and I STILL havent finished playing all the levels!!!

        Modern games are more like modern films, all the good stuff is in the trailer, eye-candy to hide the lack of gameplay or depth.

        Paris, because at least SHE has staying power!!!!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Get a life

      Premier League football lasts 90 minutes for £35. If you don't think it's value for money, don't buy it, and quit whining.

      The Piracy "snowball" will stop very quickly once the Freetards realise they now have to wait days for their manga and porn to download - or have to show themselves in court to get it downloading quickly again.

      Then the pathetic whining will stop.

      Bring it on, I say.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Get a life

        You asked for it.

        A Snowball is an apt metaphor for this phenomenon, but not the way you think, because this 'Snowball' is still growing in volume as it rolls down an endless snow covered slope; so it will become increasingly hard to slow down, let-alone stop!

        Now that residential FTC is being progressively rolled out, a growing number of households are on fibre broadband, so the barriers to transferring huge files are collapsing rapidly.

        I have FTC now, after ADSL, and the frankly astonishing download speeds I'm seeing completely void your "wait" arguments; these accelerating speeds combined with easy to set-up IP blocking software (PeerBlock), enabling built-in P2P security (e.g. in uTorrent and Vuze), and IP address rotation, effectively block IP contractors from pairing P2P users and shared content.

        Even full Blu-Ray images (already on P2P) could be downloaded in under a day now!

        It is a buyers market now (thanks to the corporate and state caused Depression), so the media companies better make their wares worth buying to the consumers point-of-view (not their point-of-view) or suffer the consequences, while consumer ability and willingness to purchase non-essentials keeps shrinking!

        I now only buy media without first looking at P2P, when I think a product is worth the price, the hassle to shop for the best price, the hassle to buy it, any proprietary restrictions, and the loss of privacy (pervasive CRM systems) to buy it.

        IP is just state privilege, an obsolete crutch for stagnant old business models; any decent adaptive system always looks for ways around obstacles, especially in private.

        When 3D printers and 3D Laser scanners come down in price, even physical products will become vulnerable; stagnant old business models won't be able to stop this for long.

        I suggest you read the books "Daemon" and "Freedom" by Daniel Suarez to see why the Status Quo is nonsense; I paid for these books because I thought them worth the price.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Paul37 RE:ISP's

    So... The next time I get a speeding ticket, I should ask them to charge it either to the automaker or the Oil company for giving me the means, opportunity and desire to drive fast? After all, I did pay them a lot of money for my car and way more than 20 quid a month for the petrol

  20. jai


    "more aware that what they were doing was legitimate, but had more justifications for it"

    If it is a legitimate activity, why would they need to justify it?

    "then legal file sharing would not have taken off"

    I thought legal file sharing didn't take off and it's the illegal kind that is the most popular?

    Also, can't believe someone got paid to conduct "research" on only 36 people and then have the audacity to publish the results as if they mean anything at all.

    Even your suggestion of using a sample set of 2000 seems a bit small to get decent results.

  21. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    I can't see...

    ...anyone making the obvious point.

    That we are happy to pay the creators of music, films and the like. But we are NOT happy to pay middlemen who buy up the rights and then try to soak us for as much as possible.

    When will Micky Mouse be out of copyright? All the creators of those early films are long dead. Why should someone be able to keep earing money from them?

    1. h4rm0ny


      So what you're saying is that the reason you pirate a movie is because you're "not happy" to pay the middle men and would only be happy to go around the director, the actors, the camera men, the catering staff, the studio owners, etc. and give them their appropriate share of your £10. (Hope you have a sharp knife to cut up all those fractions of a penny). And of course they will then go off and give an appropriate share of their earnings to the people who made the cameras, provided the studio space, ad infinitem. And for music, you want to go around giving your money to the artists, the sound engineers, the advertising people they employed to publicize their album, etc.

      Or maybe you think the creators should handle every aspect of delivering their product themselves, from commissioning the CDs and arranging distributors to signing deals with digiral resellers? All sounds like a lot of work. It would probably be better for the creators if someone created a business handling this stuff for them. They could come to a mutually agreed arrangement with the creators to share the profits via some sort of contract.

      Oh wait, you're not happy to pay "middle men", you are only happy to pay the "creators" of the film?

      I expect an answer along the lines of proposing some sort of body that fulfills the role of the studios but which you choose to call something else.

      1. Mad Mike


        I think what he was really saying is that he's willing to pay the "middle men" a reasonable amount for their efforts, but not be ripped off by them. He's saying that the "creator" should control the industry and release what they want, when they want using "middle men" as a route. Some music is released this way by big bands with enough clout to do it. However, in reality, the "middle men" are not really providing a service as such, but running the entire business and own the "creators". They then jack up the price stupidly and rip people off, which is actually an offence in this country!! They have been shown to have run cartels (another offence), they produce (Sony) devices which cannot be legally used, but are quite happy to turn a blind eye to peoples use of them if it makes them a profit (that's called aiding).

        People would be quite happy to pay a reasonable amount that allows each party in the business to make a reasonable profit. But, in reality, some parties are seriously profiteering and often playing both sides. They are engaged in illegal actions, but don't get prosecuted. Peoples morals get affected by what they see going on around them. When they see companies who are morally bankrupt and treating people with contempt and as a cash cow, the individuals moral compass also tends to become askew.

        To use history, look at the cassette tape. Sony (amongst others) made lots of money selling cassette recorders knowing full well they were being used to rip off other companies music. Did hear a whimper from them then. How, that their music is being ripped off (often with their own products!!), they suddenly get all moral about it!! Simple answer, stop selling MP3 players!! Can't do that though, they make too much money out of them!!

        1. h4rm0ny

          So people are happy to pay a "reasonable price". And the buyer gets to decide what is a reasonable price and the seller has no voice. If you don't give it to them cheap as they want it to be, they'll just take it anyway. That, essentially, is what it comes down.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is the process I use to determine if I will pirate a movie/TV show or not:

    1. Is it on Netflix? If so, watch it. Else...

    2.Can I get it from RedBox? If so, rent it. Else...

    3. Pirate.

    I don't download movies to keep*; it's download, watch, and then gone. But I will absolutely try the two most popular legal methods of obtaining them on the cheap before downloading a copy. If I wanted to pay more than my monthly NetFlix subscription I would have seen it in the theater (and often DO).

    *OK OK, I've kept a few, but in my defense they were region specific titles which were otherwise unavailable to me (because it isn't like there's a global economy or anything.)

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wanna Bet?

    The Labour govt. of the time didnt want it published becasue Mandy was being entertained on yacht by the MAFIA and a deal was very much near for the bill to be passed post-haste in Parliament of the dying days of the Govt.

    The media hype about piracy was at its height and Michale Jackson died a pauper. Psychologically the MAFIA had the upper hand, hence OFCOM (The toothless kitten- not even a tiger) was winked to keep shut and carry on surveying meaninglessly.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "survey [...] drawn from interviewing 36 people"

    Errr, seriously? Waste of tax/licence payer's money, I'd say, because 36 is a ridiculously small number of people to draw any conclusions from. Is that even enough to have at least one person out of each of the typical demographical groups?

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    People don't like companies

    Don't forget that people are generally quite happy to help others who ask for their help, but relatively antagonistic to corporates. Hmm, I wonder why that is!

    The entertainment industry has destroyed all sense of what you hear/watch being linked to what I pay. We have radio pumping out the latest hits (the same hits/groups on most channels, at the same time each each day) with no payment required. The same is true for tv - I can watch films for free. If I could have seen Star Wars Episode 4 last week for free on the TV, why can't I watch it this week on the same screen for free? I'm just using the internet to time-shift. Catch-up tv pushes this further. I can stream from the internet to watch for free, so why not download? At least I can then watch without wanting to poke my eyes out. The legit version is quite horrible, the pirated version is better quality. I have mythtv with an RF-Ethernet converter. TV gets streamed to my server and stored for single or multiple streamings. This blurs the lines too, between what is legit and what is not. I can download from my rf device, store for free and restream whenever. How is a torrent different? It is not an easy distinction to make and it is all wrapped up in legalise written by lawyers most people despise.

    I know advertising is usually the difference, but no-one watches adverts do they? Fast forward on the VCR/PVR, make a cup of tea or go to the loo and no-one calls that behaviour "piracy" or compares it to stealing an old ladies handbag.

    Recently while staying in a holiday house the kids found some children's dvds and put one in the player. Up comes the "copying a film == grand theft auto" ad. We've taught them that they shouldn't watch things which are unpleasant, since that generally indicates (at their age) that the content is inappropriate. They ended up quite distressed by the ad and couldn't understand why they couldn't fast-forward the horrible bit. We also didn't particularly want them seeing the trailers since they may have been inappropriate or for films which we consider inappropriate, so we switched off the tv for 5 minutes to let the dvd run through all the gunk to the main menu. Well done Hollywood, you've made your main distribution mechanism quite unpleasant to use. Again.

    Now compare this experience with pirating material, even if all that means is renting a dvd and ripping it so the feature can be streamed to a tablet. How much handier would it be if DVD players came ethernet-enabled for streaming? This will become more of an issue as ultra-thin dvd-less devices grow in popularity. As for online streaming, my internet d/l allowance won't cover 8gb hd films and it isn't fast enough to stream anyway. Even if it did, neither itunes nor netflix are going to work with my webos tablet. 1.5gig which I can d/l off-peak and transcode is a far better proposition.

    Blue-ray copy protection is broken. Why not accept that stuff will be pirated and mandate BR players are streaming-enabled rather then DRM-enabled? Include various tablet-formatted versions of the film so I don't have to transcode. If I can go straight to a web page on my BR player and select HDMI, x264/HTTP, MPEG4/HTTP at a variety of resolutions, as output, I'm hardly going to be that interested in ripping it. Even if I were, at least the studio gets my money once, rather than getting nothing if I d/l from somewhere in Russia. Embed some value (rather than anti-features) in the hardware. Make it something I want and think is cool.

    In short, take the pirating environment as the base-line experience and see how you can improve on it. You aren't competing too much on price (determined freeloaders won't pay anyway) but there are plenty of other value-add options once you stop treating your customers like criminals. Most people try to live up to the expectations placed on them.

    </rant type=long_ramble>

  26. Purlieu


    What "pirate" worth his salt doesn't know how to quickly and easily remove DRM

  27. Purlieu

    Cost = £10 but Value = zero

    Downloaded "product" has zero value since it can not really be re-sold, therefore you burn your money when you buy it. Perhaps there's a business opportunity here for someone to set up a "second hand iTunes" legally, wish I'd thought of it ...

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The studios dont help themselves

    A few months back i found a mainstream film i wanted to watch, i have a dvd rental subscription with lovefilm, no problem i thought. think again. the studio behind that film have signed an exclusive agreement with a different dvd rental service, so lovefilm dont have it.

    My choices if i want to watch it? buy it? no chance. subscribe to the other service? that would cost as much as buying it. the only choice left to me is to get a pirate copy. so screw you studios, i tried to pay to watch it, but your too myopic and greedy.

    All too quickly it just becomes easier to download stuff, even when your willing and capable of paying.

  29. cs94njw

    Er... suggestive questioning is bad.. but granting someone immunity is fine?

    "Do you think games are expensive?" "Oh yes!"

    "What will you do if we give you immunity for 2 months?" "Try out downloading stuff, and see how much of isohunt I can mirror during that time."

  30. regorama

    Money is an exhaustible resource

    If they want to do a worthwhile study, find out how much copyright infringers pay for media, etc. compared to their snow white compatriots.

    I'd bet that the total spent is similar or more for those that annoy big media. Rather than taking and spending nothing, these people are simply enforcing an 'all you can eat' model onto an industry that habitually overvalues its product.

    People can't spend more than they have, and one way or another they tend to spend it in the end.

    Better for government to do something to break down the parasites in big media and ensure that the producers get more of the bottom line. Frankly, in a download world, there is no excuse for the creators cut to be less than 50%. Put that into a law and I'll believe you have the interests of promoting new production at heart.

  31. Mad Mike
    Paris Hilton

    Which laws do you enforce.

    The whole issue with this is simple and nothing to do with copyright and extends much further afield. The question is, which laws do you uphold. In this country (UK), it is still technically illegal to copy a CD onto a MP3 player.....even if you own it. Copying anything (even for private use) without the copyright owners permission is illegal.....period. How come then, that various corporates are quite happy for us to do this sometimes, but not others. You can use a VCR/PVR to record a film and watch it as many times as you like (technically illegal....copying) and yet try to watch the same film using streaming over the internet from a download site.....illegal (technically it is). Who chooses when to prosecute a crime and when not to.

    One of largest corporates complaining about copyright theft is actually the same corporate that created or took advantage of many of the mechanisms to break said copyright.....Sony. The VCR, PVR, cassette recorder, mini disk recorder, computers etc.etc. So, they've created and made money out of producing the means to break copyright and profiteered from people using them to break copyright and yet then complain about it??? How does that work?

    If you give someone a hammer knowing they are going to use it to commit a crime, maybe murder or breaking and entering, you can be prosecuted for aiding that crime. Maybe Sony should be prosecuted for aiding the crime of copyright theft. They can hardly claim they weren't aware of what people were doing with their products as they're the ones pointing it out!!

    So, the reality is, the corporates have lost any moral authority at all and the 'people' now have the ability to enforce their law. Corporations like Sony have broken the law to a far greater extent than any individual and yet they get away with it. They do so because the law works for those with the deepest pockets. Politicians are for sale, one way or another. Politicians create the laws businesses want and then the police/CPS etc. investigate and prosecute those the businesses want and leave alone those individuals who are providing a nice profit for the businesses through breaking the law. Wouldn't want to arrest one of your highest profit customers!!

    Paris? Because she has considerably more morals than these corporate, the judiciary and politicians.

  32. scrubber

    Is piracy the real problem?

    Why is piracy any worse than a second hand record sale? The original owner may, or may not, have taken a backup/rip and then sold the disk on, when the person comes to buy the original neither the record industry nor the artist get any royalties and that person can then repeat the process.

    The industry should have come up with some form of iTunes integrated service long before Apple and the movie industry must get it's house in order before broadband speed enable simple streaming/downloading of HD 3D films.

  33. Richard Lloyd

    Simple solutions (that will never happen)

    Three simple things the media companies could do, but never will because they're greedy:

    1. Don't use DRM - it inconveniences legitimate customers more than the pirates (who get the DRM-free version inevitably). Sadly, even today, DRM is still widely used and the media companies are losing sales because of it.

    2. Release worldwide simultaneously and "region-free". Having any significant delay between country releases can be damaging - it still happens to this day (witness some movies getting US DVD releases before their UK theatrical release). Region protection for media or downloads is an equally poor move that encourages piracy.

    3. Charge significantly less for digital downloads than the physical media. Pure greed has meant that a significant percentage of digital downloads cost the same or sometimes *more* than the physical equivalent. Witness the scandal of Amazon's #1 book of 2011 - the Steve Jobs biography - which costs *more* for its Kindle edition than the hardback (both Amazon US and UK are guilty of this atrocious pricing).

    I would pay for a subscription service (e.g. 10-15 quid a month - something around the cost of the UK TV licence) that offered me, say, all US TV shows for DRM-free hi-def downloads (not streaming - I want to watch them whenever I want) within a week of their US TV airing. It'll never happen because there's multiple greedy US media conglomorates involved and they can't see that selling their TV shows to a non-US audience that way could gain them tens of millions of subscribers. Because such a service doesn't exist, people outside the US find other ways to get their US TV shows within a week of US airing (hint: it's not by subscribing to Sky to get Sky Atlantic!).

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Im backing up the internet M'lord. Thats my defence. Someone has to.

    1. Chad H.


      I used to do that. Then I found out I can create art instead - one HDD full of Pirated stuff = 1 art gallery masterpiece.

  35. Burch

    Well done!

    A whole article on piracy without using the word 'freetards'.

  36. alister troup

    releases of CD

    I like Queen I have purchased over the years all their albums on CD (and got jazz with poster attached) they've released all the albums as a deluxe 2CD versions with Bonus material on the second CDS (5 songs/demos/mixes per album).

    I looked on amazon 17 albums at 12 each that's 200 notes! All I actually want is the bonus CDs So these could be condensed into 6 CDs of material, costing 30 quid? I'd buy that but shelling out 200 notes when I'm watching every pound? This is just rubbing my face in it.

  37. Staberinde

    Why I dunnit

    Why did / do I download copyrighted material without paying? The answers:

    * I wanted one song, not a whole album, and this was not available for individual purchase at the time [this is rarely the case now].

    * I already owned the CD and couldn't be bothered ripping it myself.

    * I wanted to watch an old TV show like Wild Palms, that wasn't available on DVD at the time.

    * I wanted to watch the latest episode of Battlestar Galactica, but it wouldn't be available in the UK for months, and even then only on Sky (which I don't subscribe to). Ages later, when it arrived on DVD, I bought them all.

    So for me, illegal downloading was and is largely a question of availability. When the AV I want to consume isn't available at the time and in the format I want, a torrent fills the void.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    DRM is a reason people dont pay for it

    Strip DRM, make the prices lower, raise quality and improve release times, and THEN you will get more legal downloads, actually I would purchase digital copies over physical if it was actually something I could do anything I want with!

    Add a digital watermark to each purchase and then you can track illegal distribution!

    DRM is the main reason I purchase physical disks and rip for movies and music

  39. austerusz


    "And digital prices are typically lower than physical prices" - have you looked at amazon recently?

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sometimes the companies themselves forces people to be pirates.

    For example i cannot buy many tv series (dvd) with greek subtitles because the studio doesn't include them . So what options do i have ?

    Buy the product > convert to other format and add subtitles from the internet > then reconvert to dvd?

    Or just download from the internet?

    Also 90 percent of the most popular tv series (game of thrones, walking dead, breaking bad etc) never going to be shown in free tv channel here in greece or it would be in after midnight hours and sometimes they stop before they play all the seasons.

    So again how can i view the tv series i like with greek subtitles without downloading?

    No other option from downloading

    The tv channels played here in greece lost ,24 etc because people that was downloading and sharing to their friends them made the series famous and "forced" the channels to buy them

  41. This Side Up

    "digital prices are typically lower than physical prices"

    What do you mean? Most physical media are digital.

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