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At Least 25 Million Americans Pirate Movies 392

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the you-or-someone-you-know dept.
ThinSkin writes "Roughly 18 percent of the U.S. online population has illegally downloaded a full-length movie at some point in the past, according to a telephone and online study of 2,600 Americans. A typical movie downloader is 29 years of age, while 63 percent of all downloaders are male, and 37 percent are female. Kaan Yigit, director of the study, observes, 'There is a Robin Hood effect — most people perceive celebrities and studios to be rich already and as a result don't think of movie downloading as a big deal. The current crop of 'download to own' movie services and the new ones coming into the market will need to offer greater flexibility of use, selection and low prices to convert the current users to their services — otherwise file-sharing will continue to thrive.'"
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At Least 25 Million Americans Pirate Movies

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  • 18%? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cdrguru (88047) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:32PM (#17760300) Homepage
    I suspect the number is higher. Free is very attractive. Doing something that is perceived as "criminal" and getting away with it is also very attractive.

    Combine these two and you have a huge motivation for people to do this, regardless of their ever watching the movie.

    It may be too late to stuff the genii back in the bottle. The result is that this becomes an "entitlement" that people expect. We are looking at a lot of people being out of work as a result. Not the "stars" but the studio grunts and the folks in the promotions and marketing departments.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:36PM (#17760350)
    we are FREEDOM fighters.

    Movies are binary encoded Information.

    And Information Wants To Be Free.

    It is our right and our duty.
  • by FellowConspirator (882908) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:36PM (#17760364)
    Are these folks just too lazy to go to the library and rip DVDs from there? Young people today!
  • Smart (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Monoliath (738369) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:39PM (#17760404)
    The current crop of 'download to own' movie services and the new ones coming into the market will need to offer greater flexibility of use, selection and low prices to convert the current users to their services

    That's the smartest thing I've read throughout this entire entertainment industry / piracy fiasco. Treating the root problem, instead of the symptoms is sheer brilliance.
  • Sampling Frame? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FST (766202) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:39PM (#17760414) Journal

    In a study of 2,600 Americans polled via telephone and online


    The sampling frame would have an inherent bias towards a higher percentage, as those without internet (ie. those who weren't part of the sampling frame, and those who are very unlikely to pirate) weren't even asked. No mention of accounting for this in TFA. Flawed study. Nothing to see here, please move along.
  • by naoursla (99850) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:39PM (#17760418) Homepage Journal
    And it has absolutely nothing to do with $10 tickets at the theater.
  • Re:It's easier! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Archangel Michael (180766) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:41PM (#17760432) Journal
    "Why ever would I goto the cinema"

    Why? To enjoy the theater experience. You know, flying popcorn, being kicked by the idiot behind you, cell phones ringing, babies crying, people talking endlessly.

    Thats why!
  • by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:41PM (#17760434) Homepage

    I doubt that any significant fraction of these 25 million people also shoplift movies out of Best Buy, which is what this is tantamount to.

    Not at all. When you take something from Best Buy, you are removing a physical object that the store can no longer sell to someone. When you download a movie, no physical object is involved.

  • by davidc (91400) <davidc.ccmi@salk@edu> on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:41PM (#17760440)
    I really can't believe a figure of 18% of the US population. That's something like 60 million people. Considering scads of folks are still on dial-up, they must have been downloading the darned things for DAYS (only to find the crc is bad at the end of the download anyway...)
  • Re:18%? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by eln (21727) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:42PM (#17760454) Homepage
    18% actually seems a little high to me. I don't download full-length movies because it takes too damn long (unless the quality is really crappy), and when I decide I want a movie, I don't want to wait all day for it to download. If DVDs cost 50 bucks a pop, maybe things would be different. Maybe I'm the only geek who thinks like this, I dunno.

    I'd really like to know more about the way this study was conducted. It says it was at least partially done online, which opens up the possibility of a selection bias toward people who spend a lot of time online, who would naturally be more prone to this sort of activity.
  • Eighteen Percent?! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Odin_Tiger (585113) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:43PM (#17760462) Journal
    Unless the phone poll was conducted exclusively in Silicon Valley, this seems way too high if you ask me. Last I had heard, the U.S. was at about 60% coverage of the population having broadband. I think it's reasonably to say that, bar a few insanely patient people, only broadband users download movies. That breaks down to 30% of the people that reasonably can download movies, have, and I think it's totally absurd to say that a little under 1 in 3 broadband users have pirated a full-length movie.
  • Re:18%? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:45PM (#17760492) Homepage

    Not the "stars" but the studio grunts and the folks in the promotions and marketing departments.

    Dwindling profits for Hollywood's major studios is probably for the best. Obviously Hollywood has been incapable of producing--among popular blockbusters--a decent percentage of truly fine artistic achievements in spite of their huge profits. Meanwhile, in Europe studios haven't always been capable of turning a profit, but have been supported by private patronage or government subsidies for the arts, and look at the results: such money turns out to be enough to keep workers employed, and in spite of limited budgets it has given us monuments of world cinema. Just look at most of Ingmar Bergman's films, for example.

  • Bullpuckies (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pla (258480) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:46PM (#17760506) Journal
    Roughly 18 percent of the U.S. online population has illegally downloaded a full-length movie at some point in the past, according to a telephone and online study of 2,600 Americans.

    Absolutely, positively false.

    Any not because I consider people more honest than that - If you include people copying DVDs or even back in the days of copying VHS tapes, I'd put the figure closer to 70-80% that have pirated a movie.

    But to specifically say "downloaded"?

    18% of the US population either doesn't have a net connection anywhere near fast enough to download a full-length movie, or has no clue how to actually do so. The most inflated figures available only put roughly a third of the country as having "broadband", which includes quite a bit of the "anything faster than dialup" you see in rural areas, usually under 384kbps. And of those households with "real" broadband, fewer than half of the occupants actually have a clue on how to use the internet (either young parents with kids too young to pirate, or older parents who only have it for the teenager kids).

    So no. 18% of respondants in an almost certainly urban area (much higher broadband penetration) have downloaded a pirated movie. The MPAA, however, needs to learn the meanings of "external validity" and "sample bias".
  • Re:18%? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by argoff (142580) * on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:48PM (#17760540)
    "Doing something that is perceived as "criminal" and getting away with it is also very attractive."

    It is even more attractive when doing something that is legally criminal is morally the high ground. Then you are not only gaining, but protecting others too.

    "We are looking at a lot of people being out of work as a result. Not the stars, but ..."

    I disagree. The need for people in media will always be there. When you kill the copyright cartel, that will force the market to center around information services instead of information controls. It's just like Linux. Linux taking over the datacenter space caused all that money that was being directed toward Microsoft, to be directed toward software related services. It was a painfull adjustment, but it still caused a boom for developer demand in that sector.
  • by CatConnoisseur (1001802) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:51PM (#17760602)
    I think the reason people pirate (new) movies is not because that they think celebrities are already rich. Going to the theater is usually a not-so-great experience. Not only do you have to drive there, but you have to deal with annoying people, pay $8 a ticket, and suffer through ten minutes of bad trailers. Then, once you finally think you are going to enjoy the movie, the people behind you talk or chomp annoyingly loud on their popcorn. Not to mention that it seems the best movies these days often are a limited release, so your *only* option is to pirate it. Somebody needs to offer a nice service where you can buy theatrical releases for $5, that become unplayable in 24 hours.
  • Re:It's easier! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Abcd1234 (188840) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:51PM (#17760608) Homepage
    Funny, I find downloading movies to be way more work than it's worth. Trying to find a functional torrent, alone, is a huge pain, and then you have to wait hours for the damn thing to arrive. And all so you can get a crappy Xvid transcode of something I could've gone to Futureshop and bought for $15, or gone to the video store and rented for $5.
  • Re:Sampling Frame? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Volante3192 (953645) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:53PM (#17760624)
    Hence why the summary starts out with "Roughly 18 percent of the U.S. [b]online[/b] population..."
  • by benhocking (724439) <benjaminhockingNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:54PM (#17760654) Homepage Journal
    What I love is that they called it the "Robin Hood" effect. Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor - not to himself.
  • by countSudoku() (1047544) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:54PM (#17760656) Homepage
    I've never downloaded a single movie or song... I just copy them from friends, family and co-workers. Let's see the MPAA stop me! Come on you pussies I TRIPPLE-DOG dare you to stop me from copying DVDs. Asshats.
    I just counted a few days ago and estimate I have around 850 individual DVD discs, with about 60%-70% being real store purchased DVDs, the others being copies of movies, shows and the MST3K DVD collection project (every MST3K episode ever, all going to DVD).

    The reason I copy is so I can take my time with the "borrowed" DVDs and to watch stuff I would never be purchasing anyway. Nor would I rent them. How the MPAA can claim that they lost a purchase from someone like myself just goes to show what a bunch of useless, greedy douchebags they are. F them, I make plenty of real purchases. Perhaps I should just copy everything and never pay for it. Their tactics make a good case for me to just go all bootleg. *Then* what? Can they ever stop sneakernet?

    no.

  • Re:18%? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jenkin sear (28765) * on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:55PM (#17760668) Homepage Journal
    No frickin way is it 18%.

    Broadband reports [websiteoptimization.com] has US broadband penetration at 47%.

    You're saying that half of all broadband users are capable of downloading a bit torrent client, running it, finding divx, installing it, and getting the movie to run... sure, they could be downloading quicktime movies or WMV files, but any of these combinations is equally challenging to your mom, your grandpa, and your brother in law- 1 person out of 5 is a hell of a lot of people.

    The US population is roughly 300MM. 18% of this is 54 million people. There's no way that there are 54 million people actively downloading 4GB movie files...

    Free is attractive, but it founders on the seas of technical illiteracy.
  • by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:57PM (#17760698)
    These results are meaningless! The article states that the "researcher" estimates the error rate to be plus or minus 2.4%. If it was a statistical sample, there would be no estimate of error rate, but instead an actual error rate. If this wasn't a statistical sample, then all that can be stated is 20% of the 2600 people surveyed.

    It's also interesting that a survey that was taken via telephone and online is used to extrapolate to the entire population. Since not everyone has a computer, then they could hardly be included in the population (statistical not US). Furthermore, telephone surveys only include people with listed telephone numbers, so again, your statistical population is skewed. Online surveys do not work if they are voluntary (ie would you like to fill out our survey?) Since there is no indication of how many people who chose not to fill out the survey.

    Based on the limited information given, it appears that this is another example of using statistics to get them to say what you want. Since most people are functionally illiterate when it comes to statistics, it's very easy for people to use bogus statistical methods to manipulate the data and ultimately the readers of the article.

    For any sample to be legit and extrapolated to an entire population it has to be random and representative. If it's not both of those, then the extrapolated data is meaningless.
  • by mandelbr0t (1015855) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @08:02PM (#17760778) Journal
    I've mostly curbed my blatantly piratical activities and gone back into grey-area piracy (television, backing up my own DVDs, copying CDs to my iPod, etc.), but I think that's because the novelty has worn off. Yes, I can download using a torrent, but the quality is usually not as good as what I can rip myself from the original, so I give preference to buying/renting the media. BitTorrent is useful; it is unquestionably the best distribution network available today. My initial experience with it was basically "whoa! magic!", and I'm sure that's a major factor today. Everyone I've introduced to BitTorrent is equally enthralled.

    People are curious about what you can get on the wide-open Internet. Free stuff is all over the place. Downloading gives near-instant gratification (well, unless you're on a modem) without leaving your house. There is practically no competition to the ubiquity and convenience of P2P file sharing. Satellite and Digital Cable aren't IP-based solutions, so it's an extra service on top of your Internet fee. None of the major television networks allow you to pay them directly and get an Internet-based feed, nor do any of the major motion picture production houses.

    I think a more sane approach to P2P piracy is to increase the rate at which people get bored with BitTorrent. Offer competing, low-cost alternatives to buying or renting the media. Provide television service on the Internet. I'm certain that I would pay money for high-quality Internet-based content delivery. I *really* want to watch live sports on the Internet. I'd love to log into my local television network and download archived copies of stuff they aired. And I'm quite willing to pay for it. I've already chosen my distribution medium, and the pirates are the only guys catering to it. Don't complain about the piracy, offer an alternative.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 25, 2007 @08:03PM (#17760786)
    "That's the smartest thing I've read throughout this entire entertainment industry / piracy fiasco. Treating the root problem, instead of the symptoms is sheer brilliance."

    Is it? People demanded "try before they buy", and that still didn't stop people from pirating. The problem with your proclemation is that everyone both on and off this forum will quickly forget how "brilliant" it was when the problem still continues, and we move on to the next "well you should have done this". Maybe we'll be that "wise" species that we like to think we are, when the blame game runs out of "victums" and we're forced to look within for the "root" problem.
  • Good Start (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gatesvp (957062) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @08:04PM (#17760810)

    18% sounds like a good start, I'd expect this number to increase to about 35-40% before the studios finally release non-DRMed versions for downloads (at lower than DVD prices).

    This board (Slashdot) is filled with a virtual panoply of views on this subject. As is usual though, I think the truth of the matter lies in the nebulous neutral zone.

    Let's face it, neither side has really taken the high road on this. People download and distribute movies like they were free commodities and the MPAA bullies people unreasonably and tries to make us all thieves.

    I have to sit in theatre with my $12 ticket and watch the stunt double talk about his belief that stealing movies is wrong (I just paid $12 for this, talk about preaching to the choir). And then I blow 20+ minutes watching advertisements for other movies (AKA: previews). When I take a movie home, I have to watch the trailers (they lock out the buttons) for movies I may already have seen or in fact may already own. And then I can't complain and return the video b/c it's already open.

    However, the vast load of downloaders are some mix of vigilantes and free-loaders, collectors and connoisseurs. So every solution proposed by the MPAA (i.e.: DRM) effectively blocks the good downloaders as well as the free-loaders.

    In the end really, both sides are too stuck up to take the high road and fix the problem. So we'll just end up with 40% of people stealing music before the studios just give in. After which we'll be flooded with 5 years of low-quality movies until people start anteing up again.

    Why not just skip the whole process, stop bad-mouthing everyone and figure out something that works. If I want to buy newly-released Italian movies for my family and I can't find them, then who can I lean on to get them out here? If I can't stand previews, then how can I organize around them? Can I show up late with a dozen friends and walk in near the estimated end of the previews? Can I take cell phone calls during the previews, I mean, it's not really the movie is it? You know the stunt double guy? I just stopped going to the theatre that showed him. Maybe I should start asking sales clerks about return policies on DVDs, or refusing to buy DVDs that are "not quite DVDs".

    I'm a basketball fan, but I don't have cable. Once they start posting my Raptors games to the Net, then I will start buying them (so that I can watch them on the bus to work). But until then, I just don't watch them. I don't download them illegally out of some self-righteous belief that I can, I'm taking the high road and waiting for them to catch up.

  • Re:18%? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by QRDeNameland (873957) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @08:08PM (#17760848)
    18% actually seems a little high to me.

    I'd say so, too...unless they are counting porn.

    I think the movie industry is really overstating their case here. A recent study [npd.com] claims that P2P downloads are 60% porn, 20% TV shows, and only 5% full-length movies.

    So what are they so worried about? Consider the fact that porn is by far the most downloaded copyrighted content, and it's probably safe to assume that pirated porn represents a much, much larger percentage of porn consumed in comparison to "legitimate" movies, and thus their "losses" are far higher. Can anyone honestly claim that porn is dying from piracy?

  • by Jazz-Masta (240659) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @08:13PM (#17760906)
    Most people believe that pirating movies and music does not hurt the big stars. Well, realistically it probably doesn't. But there are hundreds or thousands more people that work in/on movies than the big name stars and I'm sure their salary will be the first to be cut if the studios feel the pinch. You can save a few million by cutting salaries of all the other workers while keeping the stars' paychecks high.

    Same deal when a company falls on hard times, the lowly employees get canned, raises are suspended, some salary reductions may occur if voted in (sometimes employees are given this choice instead of being laid off), but the CEO and the high-ups still make a crapload of money.

    Not to say I'm a Saint or anything. Sometimes I get to thinking and realize I may be getting that one key grip laid off.
  • Re:18%? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by soft_guy (534437) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @08:13PM (#17760908)

    You're saying that half of all broadband users are capable of downloading a bit torrent client, running it, finding divx, installing it, and getting the movie to run...
    Why would you pay actual money for broadband if you didn't know how to use it?
  • by Weaselmancer (533834) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @08:21PM (#17761032)

    Will you people please for the love of all that is holy get it straight.

    Theft is theft, and copyright violation is copyright violation. If they were the same thing, we wouldn't need two different laws to handle them each.

    To make it super simple:

    Theft: The act of stealing; the wrongful taking and carrying away of the personal goods or property of another; larceny. [reference.com]

    Copyright Violation: The unauthorized use of material that is protected by intellectual property rights law particularly the copyright in a manner that violates one of the original copyright owner's exclusive rights, such as the right to reproduce or perform the copyrighted work, or to make derivative works that build upon it. [wikipedia.org]

    Quit buying into the idiotic *AA party line that copyright violation is the same thing as theft. It is not!

  • Re:Bullpuckies (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ultramk (470198) <ultramk AT pacbell DOT net> on Thursday January 25, 2007 @08:22PM (#17761042)
    The report says "the U.S. online population", not the overall population.

    I'm willing to bet that a majority of the people in whatever "the U.S. online population" is, have broadband.

    Most people with dial-up don't sit there for hours surfing, looking for online surveys to fill out. I suspect that there are some flawed assumptions in this study, but adding more flawed assumptions doesn't help.

    M-
  • Re:18%? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Achoi77 (669484) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @08:22PM (#17761050)

    we're talking about the majority of the US population, you know: the people that type in their search queries in their browser URL field because they can't tell the difference. These are the people that are confused by the big blue lowercase 'e', when internet is spelled with an 'i' ("I want to get on the internet - what? click on the lowercase e? That's totally retarded!"). They don't know how to check their hotmail account. They don't know how whether or not their computer is already hijacked. They can't tell the difference between the internet and American Online. You expect these people to start installing p2p software and start downloading files for their use (nevermind the fact that to go looking for the stuff in the first place)?

    I'm suprised by the age bracket, I totally suspected it would be lower, mostly consisting of teenagers and college kids, ages 13-22. I'm 29 myself, and to be honest, with my current lifestyle, I really don't have the time to fuck around with semi-corrupt files and the arduous process of assembling multiple files from different sources, just to get a cracked copy of a computer game or a movie file. It's much more convenient to take a few bucks and buy the stuff. Why go thru all that hassle? Especially at 29 years old? Sure, when I was in college I had all the time in the world to wait for that ultra-rare mp3 to finish downloading from Germany. But I'm used to fast now and more importantly if it costs a few more bucks for the convenience, I don't mind shelling out. I've got income, and I will pay for my fast-paced (or some would just call it lazy) lifestyle. So sue me. I pay for the service, not the art.

  • by Mr2001 (90979) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @08:36PM (#17761270) Homepage Journal

    Here let me point it out for you. Regardless of physicality, the attitude behind both acts is the same. It's about benefitting at the expense* of others.
    Nope. One is about taking something away from someone else in order to have it yourself. The other is about benefitting by making a new copy, without harming anyone else. One requires a willingness to harm others; the other doesn't. That's why these 25 million people aren't out stealing DVDs from store shelves - they're different acts requiring a completely different attitude.

    Try this on for size. Invite over to your house all the people you've "borrowed" from, and download in front of them. See how well that works out.
    Without performing that experiment, I can predict how it'll turn out: they'll be upset. They'd prefer that I buy a copy from them, but unfortunately for them, they aren't morally entitled to make a sale, nor to keep me from downloading bits.

    Perhaps you should try this one: go down to the Ford dealership, get a few salesmen to talk to you about their most expensive truck, and then invite them to come watch you buy a Chevrolet down the street instead. They'll be upset too, but that doesn't mean you should buy a Ford just to make the salesmen happy. They'd like to make a sale, but that doesn't mean you owe it to them.
  • Re:18%? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shmlco (594907) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @08:45PM (#17761398) Homepage
    From TFA: "The study's authors didn't clarify whether "downloaded" implied illegal downloads or participation in legal services such as CinemaNow!"

    It seems that the rather sensationalistic headline is contradicted by the article itself.

    Not to mention that this seems like a typical Slashdot bias. Picture the reaction if one were to prefix the article with: "In a study conducted by the MPAA..." People would be falling all over themselves pointing out how the numbers have to be grossly overstated.

    Either way, since the article didn't provide any information about how the study was conducted, how the 2,600 people were found, demographics, et.al., I have to believe the numbers are simply bogus. Cherry pick your starting group, and you can extrapolate to any absurd number.
  • Re:Convenience (Score:2, Insightful)

    by AcidPenguin9873 (911493) on Friday January 26, 2007 @12:44AM (#17763970)
    Going to the theater, for me, is exactly what you said in the first sentence. I want other people to cook, bring me beer, watch the kids, and above all I want to go somewhere other than my living room. I don't want to make dinner, try to watch a movie with distractions all over the place, and then have to clean up later. It's an activity, something to do to get away from work and home. And if I can do that in an atmosphere that doesn't have sticky floors, screaming kids, and lets me eat reasonably good food that I didn't have to prepare, not to mention the beer, I would do it there. I'm proposing the Drafthouse as an alternative to regular theaters for the over-21 crowd that wants to go out to a movie. If you don't want to go out, then by all means downloading movies sounds great. But to me they seem like orthogonal problems.
  • by Mr2001 (90979) on Friday January 26, 2007 @01:31AM (#17764426) Homepage Journal

    So it's perfectly ok, huh? I hate the **AA, but it's still taking someone else's work and not giving anything in return...just not right, is it?
    It's not especially nice, but it's not wrong per se. You see, that work was already done for free, without anyone promising to pay for it.

    Suppose you're in your car, stopped at a red light, when someone walks up and washes your windshield. You never asked him to do it, and he never made an offer; he just starts doing it. Then, when he's done, he demands $10 for this service. Do you owe him $10?

    I say no. That's not how working works - you don't do the work first, unsolicited and without a promise of payment, and then demand that whoever benefitted from it has to pay you.

    If you want to be a janitor for the city, you can't just go pick up some garbage at the park, and then march down to city hall demanding to get paid for the hours you put in. You have to offer them your services first and come to an agreement as to what they want you to do and how much you want to get paid for it. You have to face the possibility that maybe they aren't willing to pay you as much as you think your time is worth, and if that's the case, you can choose to spend your time doing something else.

    It's the same with this. If you want to get paid for writing a song, it's stupid to write the song first, for free, and then demand payment from everyone who listens to it or downloads it. You can't demand payment later for unsolicited work you did earlier. If you want to get paid, you should find someone who'll agree to pay you for your time, then start working.

    Or are you ok working hard all day and someone else using it without paying you?
    Just curious...
    See, I don't have that problem, because my employer and I have an understanding: if I do X hours of work, I'm entitled to Y dollars. If my employer doesn't want to pay me anymore, then I don't have to do the work anymore. (Of course, he still has to compensate me for the work I did while the promise to pay was still in effect.)

    A person downloading music, however, has not made any promises to the artist. An artist is not morally entitled to payment just because the downloader listened to his song, or made a copy of it, or shared that copy with a friend. The downloader didn't ask him to write it; the artist made that choice on his own, perhaps hoping to get paid, but knowing full well that he can't control what other people do with his song once they hear it.
  • by ThePengwin (934031) on Friday January 26, 2007 @02:13AM (#17764828) Homepage
    I think its worthwhile outlaying pros and cons to piracy :)
    Pros
    • Free
    • Ad Free
    • Versatile
    • Distributable
    • Modifiable
    • Abundance (I love this one the most. I know what its like to hear "Sorry no-one but you listens to/watches that, so we don't stock it")
    Cons:
    • Illegal
    • No nice packaging (I love a good box that i can display, but sadly this is fading away a lot)
    Did i miss anything?
  • Re:18%? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by grumble_au (1041604) on Friday January 26, 2007 @07:15AM (#17766374)

    arduous process of assembling multiple files from different sources, just to get a cracked copy of a computer game or a movie file
    I can see you haven't downloaded anything in the last 5 years if you think this is still the case. We have things like bittorrent and broadband now you know?

    An example to clarify: My other half wanted to watch a particular movie the other night. We didn't have it already so I did a quick search in my favourite torrent site (isohunt - yes, it's back) and had a torrent with lots of seeds within 30 seconds. 20 minutes later it had downloaded and we watched it.

    That's a similar amount of time to head off to the local video rental shop, find it (assuming they had it), bring it home then take it back again except I did other things for those 20 minutes. And it was "free" and I now have it permanently on my hard disk (900MB DivX). If I could have paid a nominal fee for this service I would, only I don't have that opportunity. So I saved time, saved money, got a more convenient service and now have the movie for later. Wow, that really sucks huh?

    I am happy to "steal" content like this until the distributors learn that the horse has bolted and they would be better off to get a couple of bucks from me to do this than the absolutely nothing they get now. I still go to the cinema, still buy DVDs that I think are worth it but most movies nowadays are not.

    And to head off the FUD groups, divx movies look and sound just great on my 36" TV with 5.1 sound, just avoid screeners because they suck. If you really can't wait for the latest movie to be ripped from a DVD go to the damn cinema!

       

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