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Crowd Sourced Problem: How Many Pirates?

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  • Crowd Sourced Problem: How Many Pirates?

    Greetings,

    The first three chapters of my new book (in progress) discuss various forms of digital (online) piracy. The industry produces highly suspect piracy figures. Given that obstacle, I am trying to determine, from existing research, what percentage of the population participates in online piracy. This will naturally vary country to country.

    There is a ton of research on piracy, but stuff that is five or more years old is, well, old.

    Any help in getting a solid picture on piracy rates, particularly in the US/Canada/UK/Europe/China is appreciated.

    Keep in mind that I am not here to promote piracy.

    Just the facts, Ma'ma.


    Excerpt:

    "We simply do not have a clear picture of the total number of digital pirates or whether or not online piracy is declining. A 2010 study suggested that P2P piracy decreased from 16 to 9 percent of all U.S. Internet users since 2007. But this study just measured P2P piracy and did not account for the rise of newer methods of illegal downloading or illicit streaming. Warner Music claims that 13 percent of the population is avowed pirates. But this is just the United States. China has a piracy rate of around 90 percent and the worldwide piracy rate (average) is 42 per cent. The music industry is not out of the woods just yet."
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  • #2
    Re: Crowd Sourced Problem: How Many Pirates?

    I don't know if I can help in this, but one thing I do know is that piracy will always exist as long as the internet exists the way it does now. Right now in Holland one of the providers(Ziggo) prohibited access to thepiratebay but you can still easily get around it by masking your ip. Also, a lot of people download things first to see if they like it, then they buy it. I do this extensively. Most of my DVD collection I have downloaded from a torrent site before I went out and bought it, because I am not going to put money into something that I have only seen a trailer of.

    In holland I do not know of a single one of my friends that do not torrent their movies or shows. Some because they have no television or some that just plainly want to get it for free or you have missed the show and you download and watch it after, which I do a lot because I miss the majority of my shows when i'm busy. It is especially easier in Holland(europe) because the internet speeds are so much greater in the most part than in the Americas(U.S included), that a BLURAY movie can be downloaded in like 10 min or less.

    I think it is as simple as this: More internet access around the world > more "pirates".

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Crowd Sourced Problem: How Many Pirates?

      Thank you Kwalc.

      Indeed, piracy is not likely to be eliminated.

      E-Male

      When providing answers here please take care to NOT disclose specific details of how you may pirate, in keeping with TG's policy of not promoting piracy.
      sigpic

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      • #4
        Re: Crowd Sourced Problem: How Many Pirates?

        When I went on my second deployment and had internet access, I attempted to watch TV shows, movies, and other forms of digital media in a legal manner. But if your not in the US, you wont have access to this media. And thus started my piracy days. Almost ten years later, and living in the states, it is still difficult to gain access to TV shows, movies, and other digital media unless you download five different programs or subscribe to a half dozen websites with monthly fees or some networks just dont allow access to their shows until that show is several months or weeks old. Are they that slow on the uptake? Netflix used to be a great source of movies, now it is mostly TV shows or movies I didnt want to watch when they were released. Hulu was looking nice for a second, but some of the networks are shutting that down. You would think cable companies would want to get in on the ground floor of this, but they are just as hesitant as the network. That makes sense, seeing as how most of the cable companies are either owned by the networks or the networks are owned by a cable provider. Say what you will, but entertainment industry is looking more and more like a West Virginia family reunion. Alot of inbreeding and cross breeding. The competition in our free market is lost when the companies that should be competing are price fixing or stagnating growth, on purpose.

        |TG-IRR|

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Crowd Sourced Problem: How Many Pirates?

          Thank you Beinseth, I have added your account to the manuscript.

          Your account made me think about the consequences of the overseas deployment on emerging viewing habits. Could it be that 10,000s of servicemen/women living overseas learned the practice of illicit online television viewing and then brought these habits home with them?

          Do you have any observations on the way your friends watched TV online while overseas? This is an entirely undocumented aspect of the online audience an merits scholarly attention.

          E-Male

          Edit: From the New York Times today -- somewhat related!
          Last edited by E-Male; 04-27-2012, 12:13 PM.
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          • #6
            Re: Crowd Sourced Problem: How Many Pirates?

            Beinseth,

            I cleaned up your quote a bit as follows:

            I attempted to watch TV shows, movies, and other forms of digital media in a legal manner. But if you are not in the US, you won’t have access to this media. And thus started my piracy days. Almost ten years later, and living in the States, it is still difficult to gain access to TV shows, movies, and other digital media unless you download five different programs or subscribe to a half dozen websites with monthly fees. Some networks just don’t allow access to their shows until that show is several months or weeks old. Are they that slow on the uptake? Netflix used to be a great source of movies, now it is mostly TV shows or movies I didn’t want to watch when they were released. Hulu was looking nice for a while, but some of the networks are pulling their content.
            It is interesting that you found that Netflix and Hulu are no longer as good as they once were -- I am hearing that a lot.
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            • #7
              Re: Crowd Sourced Problem: How Many Pirates?

              Thanks for the NYT article!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Crowd Sourced Problem: How Many Pirates?

                Originally posted by E-Male View Post

                It is interesting that you found that Netflix and Hulu are no longer as good as they once were -- I am hearing that a lot.
                Timely...I was on the verge of purchase...now reconsidering.

                ....Hulu...that is...
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                |TG-1st|Grunt
                ARMA Admin (retired)
                Pathfinder-Spartan 5

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                • #9
                  Re: Crowd Sourced Problem: How Many Pirates?

                  E-Male could you post how you define Piracy? To me it's a thin line between simple Copyright Infringement and actual piracy and I view media outlets consistently confusing the two.

                  As for my thoughts, I'd like to use a quote from Gabe Newell,
                  In general, we think there is a fundamental misconception about piracy. Piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem. For example, if a pirate offers a product anywhere in the world, 24 x 7, purchasable from the convenience of your personal computer, and the legal provider says the product is region-locked, will come to your country 3 months after the US release, and can only be purchased at a brick and mortar store, then the pirate's service is more valuable. Most DRM solutions diminish the value of the product by either directly restricting a customers use or by creating uncertainty.
                  Source: http://www.tcs.cam.ac.uk/story_type/...w-gabe-newell/

                  Personally I detest a lot of digital distribution services. Music for the longest time simply was a headache on where I could find it, and how it would best serve me. Can I play it on any of my devices? Will I have access to it 5 years from now? Are there restrictions on how many times I can download it? How good is the service in general? The question often least on my mind was price. If I am forced to buy an album from a digital service I detest that does not live up to my standards of service, I won't buy it there. Sometimes I buy music from the likes of iTunes or Google and the restrictions on use stop me from legitimately using the digital good I legally paid for. I'm not shy about the fact that I have committed Copyright Infringement, but to me that is not piracy and is ethically the right thing for me to do as a consumer exercising my rights.

                  Personally I love Netflix and I see enough value in it to keep me as a subscriber for years to come (whether it be George Carlin, Law and Order, etc.). However there are shows that are missing from it in the name of greedy corporations. I had no interest in the show Dexter for instance until I saw it on Netflix (I had heard friends talk of it but until it showed up in Netflix as a recommendation I did not care to watch it). I got hooked and was 3 episodes into the show when all of sudden Showtime pulled it from Netflix. No explanation it just happened. I wrote an e-mail asking Showtime why they had removed it and if they had plans to bring it back. They did not and thus I downloaded the show and started watching in less time than it took to write the e-mail.

                  That's another angle with Piracy I don't understand how they qualify it. If 200 people pirate software, that doesn't necessarily mean 200 lost sales. In fact I had no desire to watch Dexter if it hadn't been on Netflix already. If Showtime hadn't pulled shenanigans with their service by removing it from Netflix I would have been an honest paying customer. I have no desire to order Showtime for an extremely inflated price to watch one show. I have no desire to order DVDs for a show I'm mildly interested in at best, and will likely never watch again. I am willing to simply watch a show that Showtime happened to produce and pay them appropriately. Showtime and other such corporations are intent on prohibiting their customer from legal transactions. It's impossible to say that their behavior is justified because supply and demand doesn't exist in the digital era. It costs them nothing to produce more copies of the digital goods but they are willing just the same to punish their customers so they can charge each individual more even if it means less money in the long run.

                  My personal view is that what these corporations are doing is unethical from a business perspective. I'm not trying to justify Piracy because it does hurt the industry but in some cases it is necessary.

                  Edit: I'm sorry for the long rant. Hopefully you can make some use of it E-male.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Crowd Sourced Problem: How Many Pirates?

                    Sirusblk, normally we are at odds on opinions here. This is not one of those times.

                    E-Male, you mentioned 10,000s Soldiers. Just to add a little weight to the number of Soldiers, try closer to 100,000s that were rotated in and out of Iraq alone...yearly. Now add the 10,000s of contractors, mostly longer terms in Iraq. Two to three year rotations. Although I did meet one contractor that had been in theater for over 7 years. And this is just in Iraq. Add Afghanastan, Kosovo, most of Europe (as service members run into the same issues as they do in Iraq and Afgan) Japan, Korea, and just about any other developed country where we have Service Members stationed for extended periods. You talking millions of US Service Members.

                    On top of that, its almost an SOP in the military for Soldiers to travel with large external hard drives, filled to the brim with movies, music, tv shows, and of course porn. It is the norm during the first few weeks and months for Soldiers to swap external hdd and cross level this media. I have seem barracks networked with a central "media server" where media was openly shared. I knew a Major that travel with 7 TBs of external hdd, filled with just about anything you could want. Knew a senior NCO that had 2TB of just adult material.

                    |TG-IRR|

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                    • #11
                      Re: Crowd Sourced Problem: How Many Pirates?

                      Sirusblk,

                      I am not using any formal definition of piracy -- as one scholarly noted all extant definitions are so loaded as it is. I use the term as it is commonly understood in the vernacular -- not as a legal def. What is fair use is seen by the industry as piracy. Shift the term to Copyright Infringement still leaves it in the domain of capitalism's notion of property, which is merely one more social construction and set of power relations. Most piracy is not really piracy as people DL stuff they would NEVER buy and in other cases, DL stuff they have ALREADY bought in one format or another. Finally, market relations are not merely set by property definitions -- what constitutes a fair exchange is always changing throughout history -- the current problem is one of oligopolistic market power that also acts as US foreign policy. The industry itself is borderline criminal in its behaviour (and often outrightly so) yet seeks to change the common culture.

                      This is an issue of power and its abuse, not property.

                      Beinseth -- awesome clarification (I assumed it was in the 100,000s as well -- we used to call this sneakerware back in the 80s). This Military aspect is, as far as I am aware, completely undocumented in the academic literature on piracy. I'll have to find a way to include the phenomenon in my book.
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                      • #12
                        Re: Crowd Sourced Problem: How Many Pirates?

                        See, I'm old fashioned, and view piracy as being something that someone, somewhere makes money from. Or at least where there's money involved. So if I manage to download something completely for free, without paying anything, that's not piracy (IMO), 'cause there's not money changing hands. All those adverts, "Piracy funds terrorism!" and "Piracy funds organised crime!" on DVDs. I just sit and laugh at those - yes, my downloading of stuff without paying is somehow funding stuff. Unless they're hacking my computer and getting at bank details that way (and I certainly don't store those on my computer).

                        But anyway! That's me going off topic.

                        I'm one of those people that actually can't torrent stuff, due to a pathetic bandwidth (250 kbps). The increasing download market has left me behind, and it's rather irritating. It's at the point where I'd get a game installed at the same speed if I downloaded it or if I ordered it from Amazon and waited for it to arrive in the post - except with one of those I can at least still browse the internet / play existing games online while I wait (and not choke the internet for the other 3 people in the house). So, to me, the digiti-- the downloadification (a word, totally) of games and other things is killing games for me, actually. For example, I bought RAGE on Steam. It took 3 days to download. 24 hours to complete, first play through, all missions. For me, downlaoding stuff just isn't worth it - I'll drive to a shop and buy it, or order it off the internet and save myself the fuss.

                        Pepper

                        "If you find yourself in a fair fight, you didn't plan your mission properly." David Hackworth

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                        • #13
                          Re: Crowd Sourced Problem: How Many Pirates?

                          According to the Social science Research Council (and the 35 scholars who did the research in question), the terrorism=piracy link is a complete industry fabircation, pure propaganda.

                          Downloading that copy of Rick Ashley's Never Gonna Give You Up did not buy lunch for a sleeper cell.

                          As to bandwidth speeds, America is in a bit of a cyber-backwater and is behind some 18 other nations that have higher bandwidth speeds.

                          The Japanese sit at the top of the pipe with the faster and least expensive network -- a testimony to effective central government planning.

                          Socialism generates the fastest bandwidth nations.
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                          • #14
                            Re: Crowd Sourced Problem: How Many Pirates?

                            Originally posted by E-Male View Post
                            As to bandwidth speeds, America is in a bit of a cyber-backwater and is behind some 18 other nations that have higher bandwidth speeds.
                            I'm British. ;_;

                            Pepper

                            "If you find yourself in a fair fight, you didn't plan your mission properly." David Hackworth

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Crowd Sourced Problem: How Many Pirates?

                              In the opinion of this Canadian, I dont think piracy is even the right word for downloading stuff legal or illegally. I download TV shows like "How I Met Your Mother" and a few others because my stupid TV provider has like 40 channels of crap.

                              As for the music/movie industry being destroyed by piracy...I call bullcrap. They are just upset because instead of making 500 billion, they made 475 billion (not accurate figures, just an example). There is so much wealth in those industries that even if 100,000 people pirated a bands album, the other 900,000 bought it. Thats still a TON of money! They are just being greedy SOBs as per usual and over exaggerate their losses. So they put pressure on governments to close down torrent sites. There has to be some kind of exchange or benefits to the government to shut down sites for the music industries because if it didnt have some kind of pay off for them, I guarantee it wouldnt happen.

                              For example, the pirate bay was just in the news and banned in the UK. If someone told me that the music/movie industry had NOTHING to do with that Id laugh in their face. There is no crisis for the industries that people download from. The biggest crisis is that their bonus cheques are slightly lower.

                              So, to recap...not only will "piracy" (id like to call it justice) continue to exist, I hope that it does.
                              sigpic


                              Do you really want invincible bears running around raping your churches and burning your women?

                              Intel i7 3930k @ 4.4ghz, 8gb RAM, 2x GTX 570 1gb, OCZ Vertex 3 120 gig SSD

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