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45% of Dutch Media-Buying Population Are "Pirates" 307

Posted by timothy
from the dutch-treat dept.
Anonymous writes "A non-government study in the Netherlands found that 4.7 million Dutch Internet users 15 years and older downloaded hacked and pirated DVDs, games, and music in the last 12 months — or, about 25 percent of the Dutch population. But there may be an upside to this unauthorized sharing/distribution: 'The average [Dutch] downloader buys more DVDs, music, and games than people who never download,' with illegal downloaders representing 45 percent of consumers who purchase content legally, according to the Institute For Information Law, which administered the study."
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45% of Dutch Media-Buying Population Are "Pirates"

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  • "Content" buzzword (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mylakovich (1101285) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @03:36AM (#26650671)
    I can't stand this one. Just describe what it is you are talking about. If it's a video, just say "Video", not "Video Content". Nothing is being "contained".
  • by Thanshin (1188877) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @03:36AM (#26650673)

    ARRRRRRR!

    • by davester666 (731373) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @04:22AM (#26650893) Journal

      Just think how much more would have been purchased if all these criminals didn't have ready access to illegal material? Obviously, they would have purchased a copy of every single illegal download.

      Because of they didn't actually make these purchases, millions of puppies in California had to be killed, because their owners couldn't afford to keep them into adulthood.

      • Just think how much more would have been purchased if all these criminals didn't have ready access to illegal material? Obviously, they would have purchased a copy of every single illegal download.

        Because of they didn't actually make these purchases, millions of puppies in California had to be killed, because their owners couldn't afford to keep them into adulthood.

        I can't tell if you are being serious or not (good job if you aren't!)

        I live in Canada so I guess this study does not include me... but I occasi

        • by johanw (1001493) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @05:32AM (#26651217)
          According to Dutch law, downloading of music and video is NOT illegal. Only uploading is illegal, and downloading of software without permission is illegal. Not that anyone here cares, no private person here has ever been sued for doing any of the not legal things.
  • by AlterRNow (1215236) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @03:36AM (#26650679)
    Also selling well: eyepatches, wooden legs and stuffed parrots. Arrrrr!
  • by HungryHobo (1314109) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @03:37AM (#26650683)

    Stricter legislation! Harsher punishments! Bigger fines! Public whippings!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 29, 2009 @04:07AM (#26650811)

      Exactly. And don't forget, more draconian DRM.

      Case in point. I just bought an LG DN898 Upconverting DVD player (not HD, not BluRay). Per LG and the Best Buy rep it would upconvert to 1080i on the component (Analog) output. In reality? "Copyrighted" movies play at 480p (non-upconverted), copied, pirated, and other DVDs will play at the full upconverted 1080i.

      Yes, they made it more appealing for the customer to get pirated movies now.

      So thanks to this encouragement I have bought my last DVD and look forward to only expanding my library through pirating, as pirated movies will now look *better* on my TV! (Oh and no more commercials, FBI notice, or other crap I can't skip).

      * If you don't believe me btw, just check here [lge.com] (Warning PDF), page 5 under component connection:

      "For 720p and 1080p resolution on the component video output, only non-copy protected discs can be played back. If the disc is copy protected, it will be displayed at the 480p resolution."

      • by HungryHobo (1314109) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @04:18AM (#26650865)

        That really is insane...
        I wonder what the logic was.
        "Perhaps if we make sure our paying customers get lower quality products than those who pirate perhaps they won't want pirated moveies any more!"

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by HungryHobo (1314109)

        Forgot to add.
        Expect one of the RIAA advertising drones that seem to have been hanging out on slashdot to turn up and tell you that you're just being an evil thief who wants to justify his actions.

        You see by complaining about DRM and stupid DRM features like you have experienced you're a "Pirate enabler" and since DRM is purely about stopping pirates you should really stop complaining, take it up the ass,let your hardware downgrade the video stream, sit through the unskippable advertisments quietly, feel gr

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by hobbit (5915)

          You forgot to mention terrorists. Selling pirate DVDs is one of the main income sources for terrorists. If you pirate DVDs you might as well be killing your own family, or raping children or whatever it is that terrorists do on the weekend.

      • As a Slashdot reader, I'm sure you are tech-savvy enough to rip any discs you legally purchase.
        • by Cowmonaut (989226)
          One, that's naive. Two, the whole point to DRM is to prevent you from doing that. It doesn't work very well, but that's the point. So on principal I can't fault his logic all that much. He can either pirate so he can continue to use his DVD player he bought so he could legally buy movies, or stop buying them at all. Either way they've shafted him and it doesn't actually cost them anything either way since they're not going to get any money until they ditch the DRM.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Briareos (21163) *

        Yes, they made it more appealing for the customer to get pirated movies now.

        Looks more like they made it more appealing to get an HDMI cable (which costs around 5 EUR for 2-3 meters) - upconverting to 1080i works fine on my LG DVD recorder via HDMI. Plus there's no hassle with having to juggle multiple cables...

        • by Neil (7455) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @07:56AM (#26651983) Homepage

          What if the original poster has an high definition display which doesn't have HDMI inputs (many such "HD ready" TV sets were sold before HDMI was standardised a couple of years go)? The fact that he/she checked the capabilities of the analogue component output with the manufacturer and the seller before purchasing suggests this might well be the case ...

      • by Weedlekin (836313) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @06:46AM (#26651585)

        I've got a set-top DVR / DVD burner / etc. that also encourages using pirated stuff, although for a different reason.

        I wanted to copy my boxed DVD set of extended LOTR disks to the HD to (a) avoid having to swap them half way through the movies, and (b) keep the originals in pristine condition. This seemed to me to be very reasonable use for a DVR, but the film studios don't agree with me, so the machine won't let me do this for copy-protected stuff because the manufacturers can't obtain the relevant licenses and trademarks otherwise.

        Fortunately, the box has in-built DIVX support and a USB port that can read thumb drives directly, so the solution is obvious: download a pirated DIVX version of each movie, stick it on a thumb drive, and then copy that to the HD, an operation that will also save me lots of HD space, and let me make backup DVDs of my LOTR disks with an entire 2-DVD movie on each. Score: Pirates 2, Genuine Version 0.

        It should be noted that I haven't actually downloaded a pirate version yet because I haven't previously pirated anything unless it's the only alternative (e.g. I want something that's no longer available commercially), but this short-sighted policy has made me think about it seriously for the first time. I paid quite a lot of money for what amounts to a crippled product that prevents me from using it in a legitimate way that doesn't carry even the potential for any lost sales by the copyright owners, and if that's the way they treat their paying customers, then I can see no benefit in being one. I will not therefore be buying any more of their products unless they're in a bargain bin for price that's low enough to offset the fact that I'm buying a crippled POS whose true value is lower than that of a free version I can easily find on the Internet.

    • by b4upoo (166390)

      I'll wager that the pirates have a higher IQ than those that fail to pirate. Therefore beating them down is the right thing to do. Woe unto the nation that fails to beat down the intelligent among them! Let the dullards rule. It's natural law!

  • by 91degrees (207121) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @03:49AM (#26650723) Journal
    An unscientific look at my friends seems to suggest that the people who buy the most also pirate the most. There actually seems to be a fairly consistent ration between amount downloaded and amount purchased.

    On the face of it, it's illogical for them to buy anything but clearly there's some good reason for them to do so.
    • by mcvos (645701) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @04:13AM (#26650847)

      An unscientific look at my friends seems to suggest that the people who buy the most also pirate the most. There actually seems to be a fairly consistent ration between amount downloaded and amount purchased.

      It's been common knowledge for quite some time now. Only the industry insists on ignoring it.

      On the face of it, it's illogical for them to buy anything but clearly there's some good reason for them to do so.

      A lot of downloaders have surprisingly high ethical standards. Some purchase a legal copy, don't install it (because of DRM) and download the cracked version instead.

      • by lorenzo.boccaccia (1263310) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @04:18AM (#26650867)
        the real question is: if the majority of the population would be pirates (50%+), shouldn't a government from the people for the people abolish copyright and be done with it?
        • by mcvos (645701) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @04:33AM (#26650947)

          I don't think 50+% of the people are actually opposed to copyright. They're just opposed to it being used as an excuse for harmful DRM and other complications. They want to see their movies and play their games, and don't mind paying for them if they're any good, but paying lots of money for crap that doesn't work gets tired really fast.

          • Yes,
            I download a great deal of material, why? Because it's easier.

            I pay a subscription but I doubt the money is going to the artists, if the copyright holders could get their heads out of their asses and provide a single place where I could get everything I wanted- movies, music, ebooks, games from all studios and all providers without DRM and at a similar price then I'd be quite happy to pay them instead.

            I do think copyright is broken, the lengh of time is insane for one thing but copyrights and patents ha

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by vux984 (928602)

        It's been common knowledge for quite some time now. Only the industry insists on ignoring it.

        Yes, its common knowledge that there is a correlation, but are they in anyway meaningfully linked. I mean, the pro-infringement camp like to point to this and say, look infringement is actually increasing sales... the more people download the more they buy.

        But is that true?

        Here, for example, is a simple hypothesis that explains the correlation:

        People who aren't particularly interested in music aren't buying or downl

        • by mcvos (645701) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @04:53AM (#26651029)

          Yes, its common knowledge that there is a correlation, but are they in anyway meaningfully linked. I mean, the pro-infringement camp like to point to this and say, look infringement is actually increasing sales... the more people download the more they buy.

          Pro-infringement camp? Your choice of words exposes your biased world view. Few people are pro-infringement. Sure, they exist, but most people are simply pro-being able to use stuff. How much they insist on paying money for that varies, but it's all about the content, not the infringement. That's just a by-product of getting at the content.

          Does downloading music actually increase the amount you buy, or is it simply the case that the people who are most interested in music download and buy the most.

          ...

          The only question is what percentage of those that chose to infringe it would have bought it if that was the only way to get it. Obviously, a huge swathe of them would simply have done without.

          You seem to live in a fairy tale land where there's a magical dial to regulate the number of downloads. Illegal downloads don't cause stuff, they are caused by stuff. If you don't like illegal downloads, you need to look at the real causes.

          Even more so, illegal downloads aren't even an interesting statistic to producers. They should only care about the number of sales. If sales and downloads both go up, they're still doing something right. If sales and downloads both go down, they're still doing something wrong. The downloads don't matter, the sales do.

          A situation where downloads are impossible is simply not going to happen outside magical fairyland. All that matters is: how do you get people to buy your stuff. Stop seeing downloads as missed sales. Many of them are sales, many others would never have been sales.

        • Well we could look at IP owners who saw sense and tried putting everything online for free.

          Now if you're right then there would be no effect on their sales of DVD's and such.
          If you're right then they would gain little from it and might even loose sales.

          Now lets look at an example...
          http://www.youtube.com/user/MontyPython [youtube.com]

          http://entertainment.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/01/25/0041202 [slashdot.org]

          Now to be fair they only experienced a marginal increase in DVD sales... barely enough to notice but still.

        • I was surprised that this news item didn't have the causation=!correlation tag. I wish I had the points to mod up your appraisal.
      • by camcorder (759720)

        A lot of downloaders have surprisingly high ethical standards. Some purchase a legal copy, don't install it (because of DRM) and download the cracked version instead.

        I'm not supporting DRM, but isn't the illegal sharing of copyrighted materials is the cause of DRM at first place? I don't believe content creators woke up one day and thought making sharing their copyrighted materials harder is needed without any reason. If downloaders don't like DRM, then they should instead find legal ways to get over with DRM (ie. boycott, complain, sue) instead of giving a good claim to those using DRM on their products.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mcvos (645701)

          I'm not supporting DRM, but isn't the illegal sharing of copyrighted materials is the cause of DRM at first place?

          The fear that illegal sharing is hurting sales, certainly. Let's face it, copying software is as old as software itself, and trying to prevent that is almost as old. The problem is, it doesn't work. By its very nature, you can't prevent software from being copied, and invasive DRM is certainly the wrong answer.

          If downloaders don't like DRM, then they should instead find legal ways to get over with DRM (ie. boycott, complain, sue) instead of giving a good claim to those using DRM on their products.

          The downloaders aren't harmed by the DRM, the paying customers are (many of whom resort to downloading the crack despite having a legal copy). That's the entire reason why DRM is the wrong solution. I

    • In other news, people who consume more content acquire more of it to, by whatever means. That's the grand conclusion I reached, at least.
  • Small detail (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 29, 2009 @03:50AM (#26650731)

    In the Netherlands downloading music and movies is not illegal (yet). Uploading is another story...

  • by roalt (534265) <slashdot@org.roalt@com> on Thursday January 29, 2009 @04:04AM (#26650795) Homepage Journal
    ... studies found that people not interested in listening, playing or watching any media are not buying it, nor downloading it illegally.
    • Mod parent funny or insightful depending on your mood. I smiled.

    • ...other studies found that of those disinterested in buying mainstream Blu-Rays, less than 50% were Dutch. These Dutch extremists must be brought to justice!
  • Are they correlated or one causes the other? I don't think its clear.
    • by mcvos (645701)

      Are they correlated or one causes the other? I don't think its clear.

      They are quite clearly correlated. The causation isn't so obvious, but my guess is they're both caused by a desire for games, music and movies, and possibly a desire to get the best experience from them.

  • 25% can't be wrong (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 29, 2009 @04:08AM (#26650817)

    25% are "pirates".

    So 25% of the population are criminals and should be in jail?
    Sounds like the law needs changing to me..

    (Anonymous Dutchman)

  • by Stroot (223139) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @04:30AM (#26650931)
    Don't worry, I'm one of the other 55% Dutch people, the ninjas. We will beat those pesky pirates.
  • Go figure. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anachragnome (1008495) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @04:31AM (#26650937)

    Amazing what a test drive can do for consumer confidence.

  • It's a dup (Score:5, Informative)

    by El_Muerte_TDS (592157) <elmuerte.drunksnipers@com> on Thursday January 29, 2009 @04:32AM (#26650943) Homepage

    It was previously covered here:
    http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/01/19/1440254 [slashdot.org]

  • And remember (Score:2, Informative)

    by Freud (5279)

    downloading (only downloading, not uploading) is legal in The Netherlands.

  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @04:46AM (#26651009)
    94% of Dutch drivers who usually obey the speed limit admit exceeding it at least once per month. Obviously, the Dutch are a nation of scofflaws. The good part of that being of course that the scofflaws do obey the rules... most of the time.

    In other words, the average speeder uses the road legally far more than the driver who only brings the car out of the garage to go to church on Sunday.

    We should all be surprised by this, because the media tells us so. Please, everyone raise their eyebrows for the photograph.
  • by camcorder (759720) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @05:07AM (#26651105)
    Indeed that research justifies claims of the movie and music industry. Those downloading a copyrighted material illegally are prospective customers, and easier they can be able to get things free, less they would buy them. Not more.

    There are always excuses for illegally downloading these stuff. Overpriced materials, willing to preview before buy, outdated media etc. But those are not valid excuses at least these days. You can *live* without listening to every single tune. You can *live* without watching every single movie. If you enjoy watching a movie, and if you enjoy listening to a tune, go buy it. Just like you enjoy eating snacks and need to buy them.

    For sure you can be ideologically against policies of movie studios, or labels. Then boycot them by making their products less popular, not by illegally download their content. If you do you're one way or another both infringe laws and making those you're against good.

    There're more liberal licenses for distributing copyrighted materials like Creative Commons. Instead support artists releasing content in such a way. But if you don't do that, nothing can be an excuse of infringing copyright of others.

    Most responsible party in this long going problem is those distributing content. I blame those download illegal content less than those sharing this stuff. Distributing does not serve any purpose. As I said it does not serve your mission of protesting policies of the movie studios or music labels in case that's what you want in first place. It even helps their domination.

    Harm of this illegal sharing of copyrighted material is very huge in developing countries. Their government and public don't understand importance of intellectual property. If developed countries did not have good protection of intellectual properties they would not be able to produce quality music, movies or even software. Developing countries don't give importance to this and at the end of day they don't/can't produce rival products with their own resources, they instead stay addicted to copyrighted products of others.

    In my country, Turkey, illegal copying is rampant. And I'll give example not from soft copies, but hard copies, like books. Over here there're lots of universities giving education in English. But you hardly find original books written by professors of local universities. Almost all universities use textbooks from US and/or UK. I'm not talking about grad level courses, but basic physics, mathematics, biology etc. Since most of these books are photocopied by students, professors don't *waste* their time to produce more suitable materials to be used by the local universites and probably rest of the World. They can write better books for their own students. They can give more local examples and students would understand topics better. But students buy illegal copies and somehow manage to pass courses. If they instead complain about expensive books or authority enforce them not to use illegal copies and make them complain anyways, some local professor would produce cheaper and even better materials. Inevitably this not only harm education also make those educated people lazy.

    Illegal copying is like using drugs. You don't foresee any problem eary times and even feel good about it. But eventually it harms your body and future.
    • Illegal copying is like using drugs.

      i really can't see why this is modded funny.

    • Illegal copying is like using drugs. You don't foresee any problem eary times and even feel good about it. But eventually it harms your body and future.

      I do very little copying, but I'm pretty sure, if it's harming your body, you're doing something very, very wrong.

    • by radja (58949)

      funny thing is... copying music and movies isn't illegal in the netherlands. the 'excuse' for legally downloading movies and music is that I want to see or hear it.

  • Maybe it's because of in Belgium and Holland DVD are regularly prefixed with a clip - 2 to 3 minutes long - that warns that downloading or buying copied DVDs is illegal.

    You can't skip these warnings, and very often when the end credits are done you get another text-only warning in 200 languages you can't skip either. And don't get me started on trailers for other movies before DVD menu's!

    I bought the stupid DVDs, please don't annoy me with not skippable content and you-are-a-thieve warnings!
    Or maybe it's be

    • "that warns that downloading or buying copied DVDs is illegal." On the Dutch version this would be a blatant lie as copying media for your own use is perfectly legal here.
  • Wow. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by The Cisco Kid (31490) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @07:35AM (#26651869)

    I'd have never thought that many Dutch went out on the sea and forcibly seized ships and stole their cargo. Seems rather high, are you sure you got your numbers right? Or perhaps you are using the wrong word?

    http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/words-to-avoid.html#Piracy [gnu.org]

    • Actually... Since most people think that the Netherlands is a small island of the coast of Somalia, I think the word piracy is fitting.
  • IANAL but I am Dutch (Score:3, Informative)

    by WoollyMittens (1065278) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @07:45AM (#26651919)
    According to the Dutch "Authors Law" of 1912 [overheid.nl], copying of books, music and movies for your own personal use and study is legal. It was decided that it also applies to downloads.
  • by CAPSLOCK2000 (27149) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @08:11AM (#26652087) Homepage

    The most interesting conclusion of this report has been left out of the summary.

    The cost of downloading to society as a whole is estimated at 100 milion euros in 2008.

    The profit (in cultural en social well-being) is estimated at 200 million euros.

    Even though some suffer (e.g. the music industry), society as a whole makes a profit.

  • by davecb (6526) * <davec-b@rogers.com> on Thursday January 29, 2009 @08:46AM (#26652375) Homepage Journal
    Back when 286s were bleeding-edge technology, my employer noticed that locked or gelded software didn't sell. They sold their product (a competitor to Lotus 1-2-3) without any locks, and found that businesses who borrowed copies then tended to call us us and but copied. So we worked with the local high schools and colleges to maximize the "trying".

    --dave

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