back to article What kind of pirate are you: Justified, transgressor or just honest?

New research commissioned by UK uber-regulator Ofcom confirms that a tiny number of Brits are responsible for most of the copyright piracy in Blighty - and they're predominantly male and wealthy. But you knew that already. However, the ambitious study has tried something new. It attempted for the first time to create a field …


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  1. Andrew Moore
    Thumb Up

    They missed "Impatient Bastard"

    I'll usually order a CD online and then fire up bitTorrent and download it. I know I could probably use a service like iTunes for more instant gratification, but I do prefer having a physical backup of my property.

    1. Gerard Krupa

      Re: They missed "Impatient Bastard"

      I could understand that if you'd said you wanted the bundled artwork or the higher quality uncompressed audio on the CD but the hardware and software required to produce your own more permanent media is all but ubiquitous.

      1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        Re: They missed "Impatient Bastard"

        "but the hardware and software required to produce your own more permanent media is all but ubiquitous"

        But what about the time I will have to spend on doing it? When somebody else has already pressed the CD, put it in the box and is willing to mail it directly to me?

        As you said, that's apart from pressed CD's being of better quality/longevity and the cost of equipment amortisation and consumables...

    2. Busby

      Re: They missed "Impatient Bastard"

      Same here, not so much for music but TV and Movies, typically high quality rips of films are available well before retail release here. Same goes foreign (read US mainly with the odd Canadian show for good measure) TV shows.

      So I will usually watch once a high quality version is online but then buy once the boxset is available here. Spend more than 168 quid in six months on content as well I can tell you. Would have spent far less without piracy as I would not have discovered most of the stuff I buy without it.

    3. Tapeador

      Re: They missed "Impatient Bastard"

      "I'll usually order a CD online and then fire up bitTorrent and download it. I know I could probably use a service like iTunes for more instant gratification, but I do prefer having a physical backup of my property."

      The "honesty-box" market model you describe, i.e. individuals voluntarily deciding to pay for things, is not a market model at all. Markets require individuals to have to pay if they want their desire to be fulfilled.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How on earth is the average person supposed to be able to determine what is infringement and what isn't?Obviously downloading a newly released film is breaking the law, and there are other obvious no-no's, but there are a huge number of series online, for example, which could fall into any one of 20 categories. Is watching a BBC series outside of iPlayer infringement if I pay a TV license. Is watching a series online that I previous purchased and owned on DVD infringement, given that I've already purchased the right to watch it. Is watching an HBO series online which isn't commercially available on any format in my country infringement? What about a series that is 25 years old?

    1. Joseph Lord

      @ac 10:18

      Yes they are ALL infringement in almost all cases (basically everything you list unless the rights owners have granted the rights explicitly). I'm also assuming that by watching "online" you mean torrenting or other unlicensed services rather than paying Netflix/Lovefilm who have negotiated (in most cases limited and restricted) licenses to distribute the content. Stuff on Youtube and similar sites may be a mixed bag with some content licensed legally or uploaded by the rights holders, some stuff has a deliberate blind eye turned and other content is straight infringing content. I don't think that by watching streamed stuff you could be deemed to be infringing provided you were not copying, distributing or publicly performing the work but I am not a lawyer.

      I believe (only checked with a quick Google and the top items are all about government intention to change the law not that it has actually been done) that it is still copyright infringement to rip your CDs onto your computer and another infringing act to copy them to your phone/media player.

      Now whether you or I agree that the moral situation is not as binary or clearcut and that not all acts of infringement are equal is a separate question.

      1. Daniel B.

        @Joseph Lord

        I think the AC's point is that copyright law is too complex to be understood by the common person. Those of us who lived through the VCR era are used to having our time-shifting rights protected; the idea of taping a show to watch later, or months/years later is a given. So downloading a series that was on air 1 or 2 days ago, or weeks ago, whatever, will usually be classified as an equivalent action. Even if the MAFIAA says it isn't.d

        Mind you, the problem isn't that people have misconceptions; the actual copyright laws and rights are broken. There's a good chance that if you "buy" the boxed series edition, you'll end up with a series that has its entire soundtrack swapped for something crappier because of rights stupidity. Hell, if you look for the earlier Beavis & Butthead episodes, chances are that you'll see 'em with the whole video segments cut out for the same stupid reason.

        And then there's the stuff that just doesn't make it into official distribution. MST3K was, for years, unavailable. Invader Zim, being hated by Nickelodeon so much they cancelled it while still being a big hit, suffered also a long time of being unavailable. Older series that pre-date VCRs have been completely lost as their producers just don't release 'em. Why should they have the rights to exploit something that you *aren't* exploiting???

        1. Joseph Lord

          Re: @Joseph Lord

          Agree that current law is too complex and also divorced from current practice and reasonable expectations.

          Did you know that TV recording is specifically exempted for temporary short term private copies? If you are recording stuff to keep more than a week or two you are infringing copyright. In a way this makes the iPlayer's limited window logical although it probably puts most homes with a PVR or VCR outside the law.

          I think if the current law was understood and enforced it would have less support than it currently does. Most people think their actions are reasonable and many don't realise they are infringing.

      2. Tom 13

        Wrong: it is still copyright infringement to rip your CDs onto your computer

        That's covered under personal use, which is allowed in the US if it isn't in the UK. The exception is if there is a DCMA electronic means enabled to prevent copying, which is of itself a dubious exception.

        1. Joseph Lord

          Re: Wrong: it is still copyright infringement to rip your CDs onto your computer

          There is no personal use exemption in the UK. There if Fair Dealing aspect that is similar but not so strong as the US Fair Use. On the plus side we don't have a DMCA or other legal restictions on reverse engineering access to copyright material (although pay TV access controls have some protections I believe.

    2. Oninoshiko

      Clearly you didn't read the article

      You just look at the ads! Penis pills and crack-whores, bad.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      @AC 10:18

      I've paid my BBC licence fee for 24 years (yes I'm an old git) which at current prices is £3,480.

      That's a nice tidy sum the media industry has extracted from my pockets over the years for having the pleasure of having their films and records constantly plugged at my expense.

      Radio 1 and Top of the Pops are nothing but big advertising channels for the music industry subsided by me the licence fee payer.

      As far as BBC produced stuff goes, I consider as a UK citizen the content belongs to me as I bloody well pay their wages.

  3. tentimes

    I "Pirate" what I have already paid for - I bet most "Pirates" are like me

    MY torrent downloads are nearly all of Series that I already get on Sky. For example, I download Game of Thrones even though I have a Sky subscription and it's on every Monday and I can download it to y box.

    Why? So that I can watch it MY way. I download it, stick it on the NAS, then I can watch it in bed, using a remote control, with XBMC. It also means I can organise the media I want to watch the way I want to and have it segmented in folders. I think I am the majority case.

    The other thing I do is download MP3/FLAC of my favourite music. The reason? Again, so I can upload it to Google Music and listen to what I have already bought on CD, but in a more convenient way. I don't want iTunes/Spotify and twenty different ways of listening to my music - I want it in one place, with one interface.

    I am pretty sure that I am the Majority type of "Pirate". It frustrates the hell out of me, and I want to slap people who say it, when you get self righteous fools saying I should be extradited to the US and put behind bars / fined £100k etc via our outrageous extradition laws.

    Movie and Music companies have only themselves to blame for this mess. If they just made stuff available in one place, like Steam does (even if you buy it elsewhere you can still integrate it into Steam) then most of this "piracy" would not happen. But they are lazy ad stupid and so prefer legal nonsense to defend their failures.

    I don't download game torrents and that is purely because Steam has got it right and I can keep my games all in one place with easy access everywhere, even in my bedroom with the Steam Big Picture.

    I loathe and despise the "Media Mafia" and they deserve every bit of abuse they get.

    1. Andraž 'ruskie' Levstik

      Re: I "Pirate" what I have already paid for - I bet most "Pirates" are like me

      I must say I'm the same. I pay for a cable subscription and download stuff I get there(tv shows that can take a while to show up here). As for music I'll buy a CD when I find a place that has it or I'll get the legaly free stuff(ocremix, jamendo) or even buy from some places that I know won't force anything down my throat(bandcamp, humble bundle, music bundle, similar).

      Games I buy(PS3, 3DS, Linux stuff(almost all the humble bundles so far, FTL, KSP, GameDevTycoon)).

      Anime as well but the lack of having some dedicated anime chans on my cable subscription is annoying. And no don't really plan on buying BOX sets much of anything simply because once I watch it I delete it.

      One day they'll figure out a system where I can declare what I watch and pay a subscription but will be able to download wherever I want how I want it(i.e. grabbing the latest fansub of the latest anime but at the same declaring I got this and you get a bit of my money for it). And no Hulu and similar(region locked) ideas don't count.

    2. N2 Silver badge

      Re: I "Pirate" what I have already paid for - I bet most "Pirates" are like me

      Ahoy there, thumbs up just for your title.

      Agree entirely, & you dont see those silly warnings at the start of a film, me hearty.

    3. Salts

      Re: I "Pirate" what I have already paid for - I bet most "Pirates" are like me

      Just what I wanted to say, plus I can skip the adverts, I do hate paying for premium content and then being forced to pay again via advertisements.

      One more gripe, when you buy media, cd, cassette, vinyl records, we own the right to listen to that content, ok hands up how many people have bought the same album 4 or 5 times as media changed, move forward pay for download of new content but really give me grandfather rights on Fleetwood Mac Rumors!

      I am one of the 'justifies' to bl*&^y right, month of dial up speed? use one of my 50 quid a week purchases for an additional internet connection and alternate?

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: I "Pirate" what I have already paid for - I bet most "Pirates" are like me

        >I pay for a cable subscription and download stuff I get there(tv shows that can take a while to show up here)

        That's another area in which pressure from 'pirates' has benefited everybody: In early series of both Mad Men and Battlestar Gallactica, episodes were aired in the US weeks ahead of the UK... a few series later, and the gap in the air date had reduced dramatically. This benefited legitimate viewers, as they were less likely to stumble across spoilers on the internet.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What sort am I ?

    Why I freetard ?


    Because by just going through 3 primary sources (TheBox, TPB, and Usenet) I can easily find whatever I want. If some enterprising entrepreneur could deliver that level of service for - say £20/month - then I'd freetard no more.


    Because I like to get my favourite shows US asap. Not wait for Sky or whoever to decide to show them in the UK.


    Because anything downloaded doesn't have adverts.

    1. Gerard Krupa

      Re: What sort am I ?

      So essentially what you're saying is that you have a right to these items and therefore you'll obtain them by whatever means are available. When did luxury entertainment media turn from a luxury into a basic human right? Most telling is how your point 3 craps on your excuse in point 1 though. You'd be willing to pay for a service providing this level of this choice but you're happy that the primary alternative means of paying for media isn't available to you.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: What sort am I ?

        > So essentially what you're saying is that you have a right to these items and therefore you'll obtain them by whatever means are available.

        That's called the "market" and it is driven by "market forces". Trouble is, copyright is a direct contradiction to the way everything else that is bought and sold works. That's why it is having such a hard time at the moment.

    2. Shrimpling

      Re: What sort am I ?

      I think I am mostly in number 3... I watched something on ITV player this weekend and about half way through the 3rd ad break I started thinking that I should download the next episode illegally to avoid the pointless adverts for things I will never buy.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What sort am I ?

        When i watch the Aquabats Super Show on ITV player I let the advert at the end run just to bump up the revenue for that show. I think this is a great way to allow them to make a little money for itv without me having to dig in my own pocket! But then I'd like them to be able to afford to make some more episodes, something that a lot of free downloaders don't seem to consider....

  5. P. Lee Silver badge

    So if great infringement is done by a tiny number infringers...

    Piracy isn't widespread and doesn't translate to much lost income, unless those infringers are fabulously wealthy.

    1. Pat 11
      Thumb Up

      Re: So if great infringement is done by a tiny number infringers...

      It's not quite that straightforward:

      "3.2 per cent of the over-12 internet-connected population, who are responsible for 88 per cent of infringements."

      this tells us nothing about what proportion of copies of a given title are pirated, or what % of the population do actually buy stuff. that 3.2% might be half the users of content or it might be a tiny proportion.

      Still, it does suggest that it might not be worth chasing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So if great infringement is done by a tiny number infringers...

        "3.2 per cent of the over-12 internet-connected population, who are responsible for 88 per cent of infringements."

        Hang on a minute....

        3.2 of the population do 88% of the piracy. OK.

        That still leaves 96.8% who pay up or don't buy the product. So what's the problem?

        But wait, who does the other 12% of the piracy? The under 12's? Probably just 1Direction songs...

  6. Jack Project

    Concert spending

    I think it is relevant to include it, as being a freetard can make it possible to be exposed to music you might not have otherwise listened to and then on becoming a fan gone to concerts etc.

    I know many freetards who download stuff and buy legit copies of stuff they really like. I think for a lot of people it's less about paying for something and more about searching for value.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Concert spending

      You're not really following the arguments or the evidence. There are many studies of this, discovery is an element but the overall effect is negative.

      Which is what we'd expect. Why pay for something when the alternative is substitutable and there's no risk? That's a rational economic decision.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Marcelo Rodrigues

          Re: Concert spending

          No! No! Never! Since is a "rational decision", "freetard" will be, henceforth, known as "freesmart"!

      2. Gerhard Mack

        Re: Concert spending

        There is a missing category: people like me who download what they can't buy. I'm here in Spain and where can I even pay for the shows I like to watch? Most video streaming services lock me out for being in Spain. anything on TV will be badly dubbed into Spanish (Spanish voice actors are terrible).

        And here is the best part. I believe authors should be compensated. I have an extensive DVD/Blue-Ray/CD collection and I try to grab whatever series I like that come out on DVD but more than half the time there is no one willing to even take my money.

        1. gribbler

          Re: @Gerhard Mack

          I'm with you mate. I'm also based in Spain, I'd happily pay the Beeb a license fee just to get (legit) access to iPlayer, instead of paying for a proxy service. The license fee would cost me more, but I believe that the fee is worth it for the great content they produce. If only they'd take my money!

          For the rest, I download a lot of US shows so that I can watch the English versions. There's nobody here I can pay for them, or I would.

        2. Daniel B.

          Re: Concert spending @Gerhard Mack

          If you're in Spain, I can feel your pain. The only thing worse than Mexican Spanish-dubbed movies are Spaniard-dubbed movies. Not only do they sound awful, they start calling computers "sorting machines", files turn into "index cards" and they change most swearing to something to do about gilled chickens. Gah!

          Also, to those who aren't aware of how stuff goes down in Spain: *everything* is dubbed. EVERYTHING. EVERYWHERE. I know people who were there in student exchange programs who would save up for a short UK trip just to watch the current movies instead of suffering the "gallego dub edition"!

      3. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        Re: Concert spending

        "but the overall effect is negative."

        Oh, says who?

        1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: Re: Concert spending

          About a dozen studies. I know of one that says otherwise, the effect is neutral.

          But I wonder which you'll choose to believe? With "copyfighters" it's all about choosing the evidence to back up your prejudice. You must reject all evidence that doesn't.

          "Copyfighting" is really creationism's twin brother.

          1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

            Re: Concert spending

            Wait a second, Andrew!

            ""Copyfighting" is really creationism's twin brother."

            In that case copyright must be the equivalent of Darwinism, right? Darwinism relies on natural selection and competition. Copyright is by definition anti-competitive. Problem? ;-)

          2. Killraven

            Re: Concert spending

            "But I wonder which you'll choose to believe?"

            Yes, yes, yes. Just like with the multiple reports that show that heavy downloaders actually support the entertainment industries financially more overall, with actual purchases, and you keep ignoring those.

            Because, don'tcha know, 500 quid in sales from honest customers helps the industry more than 600 quid from dishonest customers.

          3. This post has been deleted by its author

            1. Tom 13

              Re: Concert spending

              You're right about The Mouse being at the root of the problem with US copyright laws.

              Although you've at least misconstructed the private vs public tradeoff for IP rights. Yes, at some point IP needs to pass into the public domain. But if individuals can't make money from creating IP, there will be less of it created. So to generate those ideas we give an exclusive but limited time license to the person who created the IP. If the goal posts hadn't moved so frequently for The Mouse, I think we'd probably be where we ought to be on copyright. I'm doubtful software ought to fall under copyright and think it more properly belongs in the sorts of time frames we associate with patents. I would make exceptions for software that is book like in its creativity (such as Civ or a digital encylopedia) as opposed to software that is machine like (such as word processors and spreadsheets).

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Often Stated

                'But if individuals can't make money from creating IP, there will be less of it created. So to generate those ideas we give an exclusive but limited time license to the person who created the IP'

                Once again during a discussion about copyright someone makes this statement, can anybody offer evidence in favour ?

                This paper offers evidence against.


                ( overview of paper here )

          4. Andrew Norton

            Re: Concert spending

            "With "copyfighters" it's all about choosing the evidence to back up your prejudice. You must reject all evidence that doesn't."

            While 'copyrighters' don't have any evidence to back up their claims, and thus just make it up. They just reject all evidence.

            Come on Andrew, this isn't a new issue. If every 'chicken little' prophecy of the damage of 'piracy' was true, and evidentially based, they'd have gone bankrupt a dozen times over by now. Kinda reminds me of the meetings/conferences I had to go to when I was a copyright infringement investigator for a UK record label in the late 90s.

            And who can forget the lovely slapping down the IPO gave to industry claims with a request that claims be made WITH EVIDENCE (, thanks to the Hargreaves review's call that policy be evidentially made, not lobbyist made.

            You know, like that 'democratically mandated' law you mentioned, which got a major boost (and mired in 'wash up') after the head of UMG has a private meeting with Darth Mandy and feeds him a load of lies ('revenue down by half this year' - actually was up slightly)

            By the way, I didn't notice any source for the 'under 10k/15k earnings figures on page 2. However, I *DO* recall a similar figure and claim being used by Fergal Sharkey a few years back (also unsubstantiated) to push for the 20 year EU extension of copyright terms for recorded music. Is that where you got it from, or has there been some 'evidence' behind it too?

          5. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Concert spending

            Just like you've chosen the 'evidence' of the poor sub-10k musicians. There's a reason they don't earn much and it's not piracy. They're just crap that isn't worth the effort to buy or to even download for free. I think you'll find that the most pirated artists still manage to earn enough to keep their drug suppliers in the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed.

      4. Killraven

        Re: Concert spending

        The overall effect can only be negative if one assumes that every download would have been a sale. That also assumes that everything downloaded is, in some form, available to purchase by everybody doing said downloading.

      5. Afflicted.John

        Re: Concert spending

        Well tell that to the musicians I have spoken to such as Toby Jepson of the Little Angels. Had a great conversation with him at a gig and he seemed to have the most forward thinking viewpoint I have heard. He basically said that gigs are the money spinner, to the point where you will now pay more for a gig or concert and an album is merely a way of getting people through the door - an advert for services rendered in a music hall. True fans will buy physical media in most cases, but the bonus of a t-shirt and beanie hat means they will have spent 4 or 5 times the amount over one copy of an album in terms of merchandise and tickets.

        There is an elusive drug like quality to the merchandise stall at a concert and I have spent more money there, more easily than when sitting in front of my monitor thinking "Do I really need another Weezer t-shirt?".

        This argument will not fit all musicians, and the likes of Billy Bragg have a belief that is distinctly different from Toby, but there is no denying that this school of thought poo-pooed by the article has weight.

      6. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: Concert spending

        "You're not really following the arguments or the evidence. There are many studies of this, discovery is an element but the overall effect is negative."

        I'd be interested in seeing such studies. I'd be willing to bet that they are funded by an 'interested party' and are heavily biased. I'd also be willing to bet that if they didn't come to the conclusion that the 'interested party' wanted, they would not be published.

        Remember, the plural of anecdote is not data.

        You have to weigh up the benefits of discovery along with the negatives; if someone stumbles across something they would otherwise not have heard of, they might buy it. If someone downloads something they otherwise might have bought, they may still buy it (this is not an outrageous supposition, I have done this, and I know many others who have too).

        On the other hand, if someone downloads something they might have bought, only to find out it is crap, they then will not buy it (again, I can think of at least one film I was going to get on DVD before downloading it and finding out it was utter tripe - see if you can guess which Nicolas Cage film it was).

        Then again, the thesis that a download is a lost sale is also a massive fallacy - people don't have infinite disposable income, and if something is obtainable for free it does not mean that that person would have paid for it if it wasn't.

        I'd suggest that the OP may well be following the arguments and the evidence, just not your arguments, or your 'evidence'.

      7. JP19

        Re: Concert spending

        "overall effect is negative"

        Or positive depending on your position being screwing more money out of people for some stuff is a plus or more people getting to consume that stuff for the same amount of money is a plus.

      8. Tom 13

        Re: Why pay for something when the alternative is substitutable

        Because the person who pays for it isn't an amoral bastage.

        I know both types. One guy who downloads a bunch of stuff to find what he likes then looks for the best deal online (he's never be caught dead buying DVD/Blueray in a brick and mortar store). The other guy downloads gobs of torrents because he can. Interestingly, the first is doing so because the fan subbers release stuff more quickly than it is officially released where as the second guy who started for the same reasons, now routinely downloads stuff that originates in the US.

        As for me, the things I'm most likely to go looking for in the future are things that I've already paid for at least twice, once on vinyl and once on CD. Frankly, I'm getting tired of getting ripped off for replacement copies.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Concert spending

      How about:


      When the entertainment industry pulls little stunts like DVD regionalisation then they deserve all they get.

      Three companies control over 70% of the world music market !

      Get real Andrew and stop thinking all Megacorp CEOs are Guardian reading, flip-flop wearing gentile hippies. They are ruthless business men who will sell their own grandmother for $1 and quite happily shaft "artistes" just for the fun of it.

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oatmeal best describes why I download stuff:

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Exactly my thought, I think when it comes to music, there IS no real excuse for piracy, it is all easily available at many locations without DRM, but when it comes to TV, often the delays between broadcast in the USA and in the UK is so long, there is NO alternative except waiting, and then you need to keep away from ANY discussions on that topic...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where do I stand?

    I don't know where I fit into the demographic. Typically, I don't download illegal content, unless I've got the dreaded 'PART REC' on Sky, and it's not on Catch Up (yes, I'm looking at you, BBC.) I buy 95% of my music on CD (insert audio quality argument here) and only download the odd album of a band I'm not sure of and want to try-before-I-buy - typically I'll backfill with the CD within 12 months. I don't download movies, as it is more hassle to download, unrar, and stream a a 15Gb 1080p mkv, than it is to just wait 3 months and buy it on Blu-Ray, or for stuff I'm not that bothered about, 6 months, and watch on Sky - It's not like there's nothing else to watch in the interim, is there?

    So, am I a pirate? by the letter of the law, Yes, however, I'm pretty sure I can justify almost all of it if I had to.

  10. Gordon Pryra

    Same old rubbish

    They are equating a pirated item with a sale. Their "bread basket" of concert tickets and t-shirts means nothing. After all for them to "pirate" these the infringee (sic) would need to either grab the t-shirt and run or jump over a fence.

    The majority of downloaded stuff is only downloaded because its free, the moment someone has to make a choice and actually pay for something, they decide whether its got some value to them. (a component lacking in 90% of films and music (and to a lesser extent e-books))

    on top of that the numbers they give show just how few people actually are pirating and that those who are pirating are the ones who would not be paying for the stuff anyway. And on the back of these numbers, these organisations seem to be able to dictate legislation to the UK Government?

    By the way, i'm not a freetard, I have just paid for my own licensed copy of office. But it seems that all the numbers for the whole pirating thing are lies and half truths

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Interesting, however...

    I think the reason most people "pirate" stuff is that they don't see it as hurting the recording artist. The view does seem to be that the artist gets so little from each legal download it doesn't really matter. Maybe if the record labels paid the artist significantly more (or perhaps was more honest in detailing how much does get paid - maybe something akin to the food labelling where there's a breakdown of ingredient - 5% to the artist, 5% packaging etc etc).

    Another reason people do download illegally is simply because it is free - if they had to pay for it, then they simply wouldn't download. It's a bit like the argument that fake Gucci handbags take sales from Gucci themselves. The reality is, of course, that someone who pays£25 for a knock-off knows it's fake and would *never* pay £1500 for the genuine article. And the same applies to illegal downloads, they download stuff they'd never otherwise pay their hard-earned for simply because it is free.

  12. cheveron

    Everyone loves a bargain

    I'm told it's really trivial to torrent movies in HD before they are released. People I know who do this think I'm mad for waiting until the DVD is massively discounted and paying £3 for a film. I'm no saint though. I'll hold my hands up to using a VPN to watch region-restricted content like iPlayer (when I'm out of the UK) and Hulu (when I'm out of the US).

  13. Dr. Mouse

    "Contrast this with the lot of the creator, who makes the stuff that Justified Bloke downloads for free. 80 per cent of musicians in the UK earn less than £10,000 a year, while 95 per cent of songwriters and composers earn less than £15,000 in royalty income."

    This is where the problem lies.

    I don't download much music for free. I have bought the vast majority of what I want, and there is very little out there now that I would want to buy.

    However, while I may download a new track from a big artist (mainly because it's what other people want to hear at parties or similar but I would not want to listen to myself), I would never pirate a track from a smaller, unsigned artist/band. These are the people who drag that figure down: The ones who go out playing gigs at pubs every weekend and scrape a crust, probably having to do another job as well to keep their heads above the water. They sell their CDs at gigs, and I will buy them.

    If you excluded these from the income figure (and there are a huge number of them), the figure would be much higher than you are suggesting, much higher than the income of those who are downloading the music.

    As always, there is a South Park episode which describes this perfectly: Series 7 Episode 9 - Christian Rock Hard.

    1. b166er

      'These are well-paid gigs. Contrast this with the lot of the creator, who makes the stuff that Justified Bloke downloads for free. 80 per cent of musicians in the UK earn less than £10,000 a year, while 95 per cent of songwriters and composers earn less than £15,000 in royalty income.'

      Except that ABC1 bloke isn't taking bread off the tables of the aforementioned artists, he's taking bread off the table of the multi-millon dollar music executives and spoilt, air-theiving, prima donnas.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Evolution of naughty pirate

    I never downloaded to stick it to the man, I did it because it was convenient and there were no consequences. Buying digital music, series and films has been such a pain in the past - some of the time I downloaded a copy of something I already owned as it was easier than ripping it myself.

    Haven't bothered illegally downloading music since easy legal alternatives came along (iTunes etc). Same with films and other things really - I'm happy to pay a reasonable price (which I deem to be a little less than buying the physical product) as long as its convenient.

    The only time I visit newsgroups or bit torrent now is to catch the latest episode of a series I'm watching that I've missed (probably because the sky box screwed the series link) that I can't catch legally instead.

    It's not a moral position, but it is a pragmatic one. Make it easy for me and charge me a sensible price and I won't be tempted to go illegal. Not true for everyone, but those it doesn't cover won't buy anyway so it's not a true lost sale.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Evolution of naughty pirate

      Of the stuff I've pirated, I find I have watched or listened to it "a couple of times". Mostly, the reason I downloaded it was to have unimpeded access to it whenever I wanted. The videos are mostly on Netflix, to which I have a subscription, the audio is mostly mp3 versions of stuff I used to own on vinyl. The pdf books are used once or twice for reference, but the ones I use a lot are purchased used. Often, I'll puchase a book, then download the pdf so I can have it with me at work.

      I see this as not so much pirating, but more media shifting. If the content industry was more adaptable, they could figure out how to monetize this behavior (kind of like architects who wait a year before building the footpaths over the muddy paths in the lawn). But when the Kindle version of a book costs more than the paper version, I go looking for a torrent. Same thing with old films. If they're on Netflix, I'll watch 'em there. If not, I'll look for a torrent. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason about what's on Netflix and what's not. I think my torrenting is more out of frustration -- it's not that I don't want to pay a reasonable amount, it's that I'm not even given the oppoortunity.

  15. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    No mention of CC

    I download a lot of music and the occasional vid that is licensed Creative Commons. In fact that is all I download. How does that figure in the calculations? (I bet it doesn't).

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: No mention of CC

      Of course it doesn't figure in the stats.

      Somebody who "only downloads Creative Commons music and videos" is either telling a porkie, or is so unusual they deserve to be on the Fourth Plinth at Trafalgar Square.

      1. Winkypop Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: No mention of CC

        "they deserve to be on the Fourth Plinth at Trafalgar Square."

        That made me laugh!

      2. Will Godfrey Silver badge

        Re: No mention of CC

        I got news for you. There are thousands of people who do just that - many of them are also the uploaders of CC material. For starters try:




  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Service matters

    If it's something I think I'll want to keep, I simply buy it (e.g. Game of Thrones, Black Adder; and many, many movies). Why the hell would I want to infringe and (effectively) prevent them from making more of what I like? Of course, I'm lucky that what I want is generally available here without too much hassle, often at a fair price and I have a player that ignores region-lock.

    I'm also paying, all-told, about £65 a month for TV etc.

    Where the provider's service works well (e.g. iPlayer) I use it. Why wouldn't I? It's the easiest way to get at the content and I have to say, I find iPlayer the cow's conkers. It works on the PC (Windows, GNU/Linux, OS X), Android, Wii, reason not to use it really.

    Where the provider's service does not work, restricts the content of third parties or is platform restricted so I can't view what I want, I try to make sure I record it on the PVR.

    Where that all fails (e.g. due to the programme guide being shite and not flagging series correctly), and the PVR not allowing network streaming from the PVR then I'll consider...other avenues of access.

    Often this ends up in me recording something, watching it elsewhere because when I want to watch it I'm not in front of the TV, and then deleting the recording.

    Or (shock-a-roonie) I just go without.

    Infringement isn't always a case of "sticking to the man", it's a case of "I have paid you for access, give me what I have paid for". I'm not asking for the world, just don't DRM and restrict services to the point they become unusable. Seriously, their PVRs have Ethernet and run BusyBox...streaming over the local network is not rocket engineering.

    It's getting to the stage that paying for just the decent connection, and then for other specific services (e.g. VoIP, Netflix/LoveFilm etc) is the way to go. Or would be if they weren't locked to certain platforms.

    Am I an infringer? Sometimes. What pigeon hole? How about "Infringer of last resort"?

  17. The Nazz

    "Who's getting paid a decent wage? Hint: Not the musician"

    "Kantar/Ofcom are keen to promote........ I bet they are, *themselves* is my guess, i bet their employees are hardly struggling by on £10k a year.

    And why not play the politicians at their own game on these Gov't backed surveys?

    Mr Punter/Freetard : "Have you ever made any unauthorised download?"

    Punter : "I don't use e-mule, no"

    ps whenever i read "Kantar" in an article my belief in the credibility of the data plummets to near zero.

  18. Radbruch1929

    "The music and film industries made a catastrophic error a few years ago when they began to sue individual file sharers indiscriminately. Evidence of a handful of unlicensed downloads was enough to earn a lawsuit - and in the US system, the threat of punitive damages. It simply made the industries look like bullies, and they later acknowledged the mistake, introducing a graduated response to digital pirating instead. Under such a system, only serial piss-takers earn a counter measure."

    So this is essentially a backswing to past excesses? It is an interesting point to ponder whether acceptance of copyrights would be higher if they had not expanded so much in the past.

    Copyrights offer:

    * the longest protection for any work (with the exception of trademarks that do not expire while used, but they are not really "IP" in that sense)

    * were the first to abolish world wide exhaustion so that you can regionalise markets

    * have the lowest threshold to be acquired (they come into existence with creation, no registration required)

    * are the only IP you can infringe by private use

    And apparently they are the most entrenched IP.

    I wonder if a more limited protection (20 years, you can use anything you bought in some place in the world, registration required, infringement by private use is limited) that is stringently enforced would result in a larger acceptance.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)


      It doesn't matter if copyright lasts 2 or 2,000,000 years - if it can't be enforced.

      That includes the same copyright that gives you ownership of your photos, by the way. Which Instagram and the UK Gov want to grab.

      1. The BigYin

        Re: @Radbruch1929

        Yeah, the whole "orphan works" thing has never really sat well with me. Just because one doesn't know who made it (and under what license it was released) should not give one the right to use it; unless one knows for a fact it's so old as to be out of copyright.

        Imagine if the argument were (sort of) flipped:

        "Why did you Torrent that film?"

        "Well, m'lud, there were no opening or closing credits and my best efforts could not identify the owner."

        "Fair enough. Case dismissed. NEXT!"


      2. Joseph Lord

        Re: @Radbruch1929


        Copyright duration does matter - to those who want to obey the law and act fairly. Also anyone wanting to commercially use the material to create something new and interesting derived from the original. It is a separate issue from the photo ownership issue.

        Are you saying that if copyright could be enforced then and only then would you and the copyright lobbyists of the major labels/studios agree to reasonable copyright durations? Anyway enforcement is the wrong point, what is really needed is public acceptance and compliance so steps towards a fairer balance could be a step to achieving that.

        Copyright should be a balance between the interests of the public and creators. It should enable opportunity for profit to encourage production and also for control over the commercial exploitation at least to the extent that implied endorsements have to be agreed (moral rights sort of issues - maybe these should extend longer than the commercial right). However there should be a recognition that when works are published they become part of the culture and that there should be a type of public right to them at least after a relevant time (maybe 20-30 years).

        For reference I a am paytard and have been with very few exceptions at least since University. I am also however a copyright infringer as I rip my CDs for playback on portable devices.

      3. Radbruch1929

        Re: @Radbruch1929

        @Mr. Orlowski:

        I agree with your idea that the right needs to be stringently enforced. Otherwise it is not worth granting it and only a purely moral acknowledgement. As IP rights are (mostly) both moral and commercial rights, not enforcing them properly is just limiting them to another extreme.

        But allow me to point to this part of your text:

        "This demographic is not so dissimilar to the slightly older "Fifty Quid A Week Bloke", a demographic tagged a few years ago as someone with discretionary spending who loves splurging it at the weekend on CDs and DVD box sets. Someone who places a high value on cultural stuff and has a high willingness to pay. Buying stuff is a way of treating yourself, a bit of retail therapy. Keep this in mind as it will become relevant as we continue."

        In short: Copyright holders now need to resort to enforce their rights against their target market. This is different from other IP rights that mostly see enforcement against the holder's competitors although you *can* sue the customers. Suing your customer is however bad for business and is going to provoke some backlash.

        That is what seems to have happened with copyright: suing filesharers en masse apparently was not good for the copyright holders' image and erodes acceptance of copyright in general. Would it then not be better to have a more stringent right to be enforced against the large corporate copyright infringers (and small infringers on a more limited scale) than having a very broad right that is not really being enforced at all? Is fighting against filesharers with ever longer lasting copyrights that are difficult to enforce while at the same time civil liberties are thrown overboard worth the effort while not going after the large corporate infringers?

        I agree with your assessment that moving the goal posts for "orphaned works" looks problematic. However, the general opposition against a registered copyright needs explaining as it is well accepted to require registration for all the other IP rights. Why not bring this in line and at the same time strengthen enforcement and acceptance?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Grey edge leading to infringing others rights?

    I use a program to record BBC Radio programmes that are on at an inconvenient time (work, middle of night) and then load them onto the mp3 playing device of my choosing to listen to at an inconvenient hour.

    So far so good, not a million miles away from using a VCR/PVR. Some of these programmes I delete post listening - I've done my time-shift and free up the space. What an honest chap, I congratulate myself.

    But some I retain to listen to again. By the third or fourth re-listening it doesn't seem so honest. Fortunately for the artists/rights/holder/BBC (and my conscience) some of these programmes are available for purchase (eg AudioGo) and I can replace my illicit downloads with paid for higher quality ones. And at less than a fiver for 3 hours or so of comedy or drama, they can be very good value ( I have modest means and probably spend about £10 per month on average on books, magazines, DVDs, the aforementioned downloads).

    Still I seem to have a large number of programmes that I could legitimize or delete but haven't. Not even sure I'll get round to listening to them again - might just be an aspect of hoarding....

  20. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Why not study the downloaders' excuses?

    An interesting report would contain:

    Percentage of downloads promptly deleted because the downloader never wants to hear that again.

    Percentage of downloads that resulted in a sale.

    Percentage of downloads used for format shifting previously bought material.

    Percentage of downloads that are of material that is not for sale.

    Percentage of downloads distributed for free by the author (as in advertising for the T-shirts).

    Percentage of downloads that are from someone who listens to the music, could pay for it but doesn't want to.

    I like A.N Other's proposal for publishing the percentage that goes to the musician/artist/author. After all, where does the money come from to buy these laws, studies and articles in The Register?

    (Personal choice: I buy DVD's when the price becomes reasonable.)

  21. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    There's an interesting disparity between fair, moral and the letter of the outdated (or caught out) law.

    For example, I've downloaded ebook copies of the series "A Song of Ice and Fire" (Game of Thrones). Why? A friend lent me the physical books, in the way that we've borrowed and lent books for years, however I really didn't want to lug a dead tree or two around when I can have the convenience of them on my mobile device. I still have the (lent) pile of books on my shelves, I'm not lending them out to anyone else... but I'm still a pirate.

    Likewise I've downloaded copies of most the movies that I own. An entire floor to ceiling cupboard of DVD size boxes takes up a lot of space and having them all on one central media server (XBMC) makes a lot of sense and we've watched some great movies that we'd previously forgotten that we owned as a result of losing them in the piles. It's interesting to remember that the whole point of creative media is to be consumed, it's no good sitting there on a shelf - although the media cartels seem to think that it's all about making them richer. Why download? it's quicker and less hassle to download than rip them myself and I can usually download them in better quality than I can rip them myself as well. Once ripped we don't have to sit through the unskippable "piracy is theft" lies that are fronted on all the DVDs (and unskippable adverts on Disney films) and can go straight to the movie itself - who really cares about the extras? To extend this there's the annoyance of Blu-Ray and the useless further extra features and the extreme tedium of waiting to get the disc to the point where you can actually start watching what you bought it for. But technically I'm still a pirate.

  22. Neil Charles


    "It is possible somebody at Kantar Media, which conducted the study for Ofcom, or at the watchdog itself, aspires to higher things: perhaps a gig at a large advertising agency"

    Kantar is owned by WPP (world's largest advertising group). They're already bang in the middle of gigs with large advertising agencies.

  23. Jamie Kitson


    > But is it really so confusing? Here's a clue...

    Surely the biggest clue is whether you have to pay for it or not?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "claims people make about their future behaviour doesn't reflect real-life"

    I see this a lot.

    "If I could get all this music for like £20 a month, then I'd happily pay."

    Napster, Spotify, Deezer and more appear.

    "They don't have that 1 really obscure song I like."

    They rapidly get 20 million songs+, including stuff even the most song obsessive would be hearing for the first time.

    "Yeah, but I can't listen when I'm away from my PC."

    iOS and Android apps by the dozen.

    "Ah - it's a sound quality thing. Yeah. That's it. I know half my downloaded music is 96kbps WMA, and I listen to it through the stock iPhone earbuds, but I'm suddenly all about the sound quality."

    Spotify and Deezer are 320kbps

    "When I meant £20, I actually meant £10...."

    Spotify and Deezer are £9.99.


    The commenters on here are not typical - I've lived in enough student houses to see a more 'typical' freetard. One guy easily surpassed 250,000 songs, yet he listened to the same Linkin Park track on repeat in his room or a year.....

    1. MikeyD85

      Re: "claims people make about their future behaviour doesn't reflect real-life"

      Streaming music apps like Spotify are so close to being perfect it's untrue. All we need is properly decent, ubiquitous mobile broadband. Especially in the countryside when I'm thrashing the motorbike.

      When we have that (mainly because I listen to music either at home or on the go -rarely somewhere where I don't have either local storage or wifi), I'll happily sub to one of these.

      The question really is which bloody one! I had the same problem choosing between Netflix and LoveFilm.

  25. NaughtyButNice

    Arr, arr me harties!

    "Take what you can, give nothing back".

    Seriously though, when America was founded, the Founding Fathers set copyright at 14 years. I'm with the Founding Fathers on that one.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Try before you buy

    I have a limited budget for DVDs etc so I don't want to buy stuff which turns out to be crap. The problem being that a hell of a lot of it is exactly that.

    So I download some episodes and give it a spin. If it is good I'll buy it (like Spirals - I have all the available DVDs) but if it is rubbish (or I just don't like it) then I dump it. For example Chuck - the writeup suggested it might be amusing but it took me about 37 seconds to turn it off and delete the download. Sometimes I download it because it is not yet available in the UK but then I buy it as and when it shows up. All my video material sits on a server so I can watch it at my convenience and sometimes I download stuff I already own simply because it is easier than ripping (ultraviolet etc are not an alternative because it is encumbered and the quality is rubbish).

    Overall I spend just as much as I would if I didn't download, possibly more because I can buy without worrying about not liking the product. The only producers who lose out are those who choose not to release their wares in the form I want them - eg no HD versions despite HD being available via iTunes and thus rips being freely available to download (Castle I'm looking at you).

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I regularly use a VPN to watch region-restricted content.

    Quite often content that is not available on free to air nor to purchase here.

    Quite often not as well.

    Colour me as a baddun'

  28. heyrick Silver badge

    Hang on...

    "Spreading the net wider, the top 20 per cent of downloaders by volume is made up of 3.2 per cent of the over-12 internet-connected population, who are responsible for 88 per cent of infringements."

    Hang on - moist of the infringements are done by a mere 3.2%?

    Doesn't this kind of blow the whole "piracy is costing us beeeeeeeelions!" thing out of the water?

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Hang on...

      "Hang on - moist [sic] of the infringements are done by a mere 3.2%? Doesn't this kind of blow the whole "piracy is costing us beeeeeeeelions!" thing out of the water?"

      Only if you have a turnip for a brain. It means a) enforcement should be targeted at the wealthy few who do most of it and b) since they're generally wealthy, services should think about nice premium services.

      Rewarding people who actually pay for stuff would be nice, too. ("FREEZE! IT'S THE FBI")

      1. Joe Montana

        Re: Hang on...

        Rewarding people who pay?

        The current services punish those who pay with restricted availability, restricted platform support, onerous drm schemes etc.

        Those who pirate are rewarded with a better quality service, media in open formats and without arbitrary restrictions.

      2. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        Re: Hang on...

        "It means a) enforcement should be targeted at the wealthy few who do most of it and b) since they're generally wealthy, services should think about nice premium services."

        I think your solution sounds very much like an extortion racket - find out who's got some cash, make them an offer of "premium services" which they cannot refuse, otherwise "enforce" it on them.

        Anyway, regardless of the relative merits of turnips v brains, your numbers do show that if you eradicate 88% of piracy you will, at best, gain 3.2% of customers. That would be before you find out if any of the 3.2% will chose to remain your customers after being subjected to "eradication" and will not just find something else to entertain themselves.

    2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Hang on...

      Completely. But sanity has nothing to do with this, but every one of these 3.2% definitely, absolutely, cost the media industry $millions each. That's $millions in sales they'd never have got in the first place.

      Not to justify it, just to quantify against some form of reality.

  29. MJI Silver badge


    Well my downloads are almost all TV, often from BBC stuff I forgot to record, or not on Iplayer.

    But then there are series which never made the UK.

    There is ITV deliberately not showing episodes (Pushing Daisies).

    There is pay TV poaching the series off the FTA channels. In fact my first ever torrent was the Farscape final mini series which the BBC were outbid for, as I have the entire series on DVD I was not waiting for that, so USTV rip downloaded. No one lost out as I have the DVD of it a few months later on day of release.

    Oh then I wanted to watch a film in HD, no BluRay available so I downloaded the HD-DVD rip and played it off my BluRay players HDD, I just wish I had my burner then - that would have been much funnier. (I have the burner as I have HDV as well).

    BTW my media includes a few hundred DVDs, about 60 BluRays, about 50 Beta tapes, and I have never pirated a game, I have downloaded no CD patches but not pirated.

  30. james 68

    not really sure

    i download shows that i have missed on live UK tv but i do pay a tv license - not really sure where that leaves me on their freetard scale

    i have also in the past downloaded various pieces of software - the trial releases are so hampered that its pointless using them, there's no way you can find out if a product will suit your needs if the reason you want it is only available in the full versions, its just stupid - if said pirated versions suited my needs i then bought a legitimate copy, if not then i moved on to a product that did. where on the scale does this then leave me?

    frankly i'm all for piracy with the caveat that it is done to test the software and a full copy is then bought if the software is suitable, i am not however for piracy just to steal software - if the developers dont get paid then where is the incentive for them to release new products?

    music on the other hand i couldn't give a damn about, since sales don't go to the artists but to the producers and the artists get stiffed anyway, i don't download or buy it either way.

  31. Hudges

    Creators should have to pay for the rights

    These are rights that the creators of the media obtain for free.

    What real justification was there behind the recent increase of music rights to 50 years?

    They should maybe have 10 years free rights and then pay for them in a similar manner to patents after that, with a similar 20 year maximum validity.

    Why is the "value" of a piece of media greater than that of an invention?

  32. Joe Montana

    Higher paid than artists?

    While 95% of artists may well earn under 10k, it is not their work that generally gets pirated...

    It is the work of those 5% (or less?) of artists who earn ridiculous amounts of money while often not being any more skilled at their trade than many of the other 95%.

    Not to mention the fact that the vast majority of money spent on media doesn't even go to the artists themselves and is instead embezzled by greedy middlemen.

    1. SirDigalot

      Re: Higher paid than artists?

      Give that man a cupie doll!

      I was about to mention that, if you hear a cute little indy band or something then you are more likely to buy their physical media, mainly because they probably do not have a large label backing them, they are not mainstream, once they get mainstream and start getting national or international recognition the idea that they are poor starving artists rapidly diminishes (it is not our fault if they do not negotiate contracts correctly or by 30ft smurfs!) many a small time artists has had my cash for their songs, and if by a strike of luck they are on a media provider like iTunes they get downloaded - The likes of the bands that are pirated (at least through my experience) are the mega popular groups, that said, it is usually just a lot easier to find the one song on the legal store and only pay a small amount for it and leave the other 10 or so crap songs off the list. - Unless they have a deal to only get the album, then they do not get my money, yes a la carte shopping is here, they have to move with the times.

      I also have some discographies of artists that do not or have not produced albums in years, finding their work at a second hand store is nigh on impossible especially if you are out of country, in any case even if I found their work at a second had store, they would not see any money from my purchase anyway.

      I do hate paying for cable and such and having tons of commercials, it is bad enough in the movie theatre when there is an hour of crap before the actual movie, but you sort of expect that... however at home you want to watch something now, not in an hours time

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No brainer

    I'll admit it, I'm a massive pirate. The last time I bought/sold a new DVD/CD/whatever must have been 2004ish. I'd bet that since then not a single penny of mine has found its way to whatever regional media cartel applies. New DVD? I would always wait a few weeks/months to buy cheaper second hand.

    The problem the media cartels have is that the internet has opened up a gigantic universal marketplace where pricing has become transparent, easy to verify, and everyone can now re-distribute goods as quickly as a conventional shop.

    Having said that, I don't actually buy much media from conventional labels/artists anyway, mostly specialist and independent download sites. If I did download something from the naughtyweb, it's not something I would attribute any sort of value to anyway. So there wouldn't be any lost sale in that respect either.

    The problem I now have with physical media (having recently moved flat again) is that it takes up valuable storage space, which is more expensive per square metre than the equivalent stored on a hard disk. I seriously think about any physical stuff I buy these days as to whether it's actually worth the space it will take up in my flat. It's highly unlikely I'd take physical media even for free as it still has a storage cost associated with it. In fact, film distributors or record labels should probably be paying me for storage of their old tat (joking of course... or am I?)! All the old DVDs that I paid money for one upon a time (2nd hand) have gone off to charity shops (because at 99p and compulsory free P&P it'll make a loss on ebay anyway) to be replaced by rips/download versions, not only because the storage cost is cheaper but also because it's easier to use.

    Want to watch it on a tablet/laptop/TV? Yep. On any OS I want? Yep. Generally the only time I have to watch/listen to anything is when I'm not connected to the internet (travelling). And the only format that gives me that flexibility is a digital file, not a stream. While streaming websites use plugins that aren't available for my primary OS (Silverlight, pfft, even Flash would be better), a standalone digital file will win every day of the week. Streaming services have to be significantly cheaper than they currently are to justify their restrictions in use.

    If there was a way of downloading a DRM-free digital file of a new film, legally, maybe people would pay money for that, given the fact that it's infinitely more flexible to use. Fancy giving it a try, media cartels?

  34. Crisp

    Kantar Media

    Sounds like a rock solid research group.

    What could go wrong with getting a bunch of marketing types to try using science?

  35. rcp27

    Music has it right, Film wrong

    The things I want to be able to do:

    If I have a physical copy, also have a digital copy on my tablet/phone. If I want a digital download, not be tied to any one device/app/website to watch/listen. If I want t a digital download, have a choice of a number of different sources that have large and largely overlapping selections (so that I genuinely believe there is a free market at work).

    The illegal version for both music and video satisfies all of these criteria. The legal version for music also satisfies all of these criteria. For film, the legal version satisfies none of these criteria. If I want some music and don't want to go to a physical store or wait for the postman, I pay for a legal download. I want that option for video. I have all my CD collection on my phone and my computer and my tablet, and I didn't have to buy it again. I want that option for my DVD collection. I can have all of these things right now, today, if I pirate. The illegal product is a better product for video in a way that it is not for music. All of my music is legally bought.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  36. Mr. Nobby

    I don't know about the rest of you

    But I pirate stuff because I'm cheap and it's easy.

    Less spent on DVDs is more spent on beer.

  37. Fading

    Has piracy saved the entertainment industry....

    from themselves?

    Hold fire on that downvote for a minute. Without piracy (well copyright infringement - though to be an infringer sounds a bit sordid) there is limited opportunity to demo a product (and even where demo's exist - you can't trust them: Colonial Marines anyone? and on a similar note every film trailer ever made). As such the more bum products people end up buying the less likely they are to buy from those sources (I'm never pre-ordering a game again).

    So whilst the entertainment industry is lamenting lost sales due to piracy, they are probably lucky as without piracy people would have given up on them years ago.......

  38. mIRCat

    What freetard are you:

    I hope I'm one of the good ones.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward



    Without them you'd still be paying ridiculous prices for crappy CDs that have no real value. Without the "freetard revolution" the push to download sales would still be being resisted by the major media companies today, and the face that most freetards have gone back to legally purchasing content now it's at a price that has value demonstrates its necessity. There's ALWAYS going to be people who steal stuff, you're never going to get rid of that, but the facts are there for all to see - price your stuff at a price that has actual value and people will buy it rather than steal it in the majority.

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