In the press today is a report that says “The growth of illegal file-sharing could cost European countries 1.2m jobs and 240bn euros (£215bn) by 2015”.
“the UK’s creative industries experienced losses of 1.4bn euros in 2008 because of piracy.”
Really, so where did that 1.4bn go? It certainly didn’t go into bank accounts (otherwise the ratios would be really healthy), it hasn’t been spent in the shops (or they wouldn’t be suffering) and its not been invested in anything (because that amount of investment would have been noticed?).
The basic maths works something like this:
1. Somebody downloads something ‘illegally’ – more accurately without paying the appropriate copyright holder[s] ‘the correct’ amount of money
2. Assume this is a direct lost sales because if they hadn’t done it illegally the would have paid for it
3. Lets work out how many downloads there were (using end user self surveys that tend to ‘glamorize’ the act by calling it piracy) last year
4. Multiply lost opportunity cost by number of exaggerated download claims
5. Final figure is a research generated total that we can use in a press release prefixed by the immortal words “a recent study has shown that the cost to the creative industries was….”
If there was the technical means to block ALL forms of copyright infringement online the creative industries would NOT see £1.4bn suddenly flowing into their coffers – I doubt that there is that much spare change rattling around in the economy.
The creative industries need to wake up and change their business models to provide end users with what they want.
Classic example: ‘Pacific’ (the follow-up to ‘Band of Brothers’) is airing in the States at the minute. It starts in the UK on April 1st (and only on Sky Movies channel) so anyone who wants to get the content today (even if they are happy to pay) can only get it from a torrent site after its US screening. I know of a few people who are doing this even though the fully intend to buy the DVDs later when they are released. It’s the sort of thing they are into and their motivation is not one of theft but of availability.
If someone could provide the content in a streamed on-demand way only 1-2 days after the US then large numbers of people would be happy to pay, although since the rights are owned by Sky for the UK I assume that negotiating this would be near impossible.
You can download the report by Consultancy TERA here -> TERA_Report
Clearly as we approach the week in which the last 70% of the work on the Digital Economy Bill is rushed through the publicity machines are reaching a frenetical pitch.
Thanks go to “boggits” for the input to this post.
PS don’t understand this Hollywood movie thing. I spend all my spare time writing blog posts! 🙂