Copyright, Music

Creative Accounting = Piracy Losses

There is an excellent post over at the excellent Techdirt that talks about DRM’s in gaming and how it really doesn’t stop people from copying the game, however what it does do is hinder the real paying customers.

The part that got my attention is the comments about the losses due to piracy.  I am one of those people who doesn’t believe the crap the MPAA, RIAA and others spin on losses due to piracy.  If a movie comes out that i really want to watch, i will take my family and pay $80 to watch it.  If a band releases a song or an album that is worth buying, i will buy it.  There are also the bands that i buy before i even listen to a song.  I have a PAY TV subscription, that doesn’t cater for my needs and timetable, however i still keep it.

The reason why I am mentioning all of this, is that there are millions of others that are just like me.  Fans of art.  Fans of culture.  However, we the FANS of art are ignored by the legacy industries and their stupid lobby groups.  We the FANS are the PEOPLE and we form the PUBLIC.  We the PUBLIC are not mentioned when the legacy industries try to extend copyright or pass stupid far-reaching bills like SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, CISPA, etc…

In the post, the Super Meat Boy developer mentions that, “Team Meat shows no loss in our year end totals due to piracy and neither should any other developer.”

That’s the whole argument in a nutshell.  How many profit and loss statements or balance sheets are issued that show a loss due to piracy.   How can the record labels or movie studios quantify accurately what a piracy loss is, so that it can be an audited item on a balance sheet.

Commentor Josef Anvil suggested the following;

Since lawmakers have swallowed the “loss” argument from the content industry and want to pass more enforcement, then they should walk the walk.  They should begin allowing companies to write off their piracy losses on their taxes every year. One year of that and we would see if governments actually believed in those “losses”.

Can you imagine that?  A few years back the MPAA stated that piracy losses amounted to $58 billion.  Imagine the taxman seeing that amount as a loss on a profit and loss statement from Disney.  I am sure it will raise a few eyebrows.  Do you reckon the losses that Bon Jovi will get on their new album What About Now is due to piracy or due to a really bad album? 

What about the losses Disney suffered on John Carter?  It’s funny that when a movie is really bad the talk about piracy disappears.  $200 million is a lot of money to lose.  Let’s blame piracy.  The money that EA Games is going to lose over its stupid DRM on Sim City. Let’s blame piracy.  The money that Bon Jovi is going to lose over its crap album.  Let’s blame the pirates.

I remember seeing that Transformers 1 (T1) and (T2) where the most pirated movies over Bit Torrent.  Guess what T1 made $710M and T2 made $840M.  T3 wasn’t even on any all time torrent list and it made $1.3 Billion.  Why is that?

Maybe because the people that downloaded a torrent of T1 and T2 became fans and paid to watch T3.  Maybe those little kids that downloaded T1 and T2 because their parents wouldn’t take them to watch it, became fans and are now old enough to go to the cinema on their own and watch it.

One thing is certain, piracy is a load of bullshit, designed by the lobby groups so that they can get stupid legislation passed that puts them back in control of the distribution.

 

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