Does Piracy Actually Hurt Companies?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by AP_piano295, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. AP_piano295 macrumors 65816

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    #1
    Alright so SOPA and PIPA are dead-ish. But the constant appearance of bills like these always make me wonder how much damage does piracy ACTUALLY do to different industries?

    I can't find much which empirically shows that piracy has actually caused any reduction in film viewership, or music purchasing.

    BBC Article:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/technology/2009/05/how_damaging_is_illegal_filesh.html

    Can you think of the last time you didn't go an see a movie with friends or the gf because you could watch in grainy low def on your laptop? You might watch a film like that because your bored, and just want something to watch, not because your "GETTING IT FREEEEE!!!".

    As for music/tv I can see more evidence that this would be damaging. But given the option between affordable legal methods to listen to music and watch shows (Hulu, Spotify, Netflix etc.) I think most people will chose the legal method.

    I personally am quite willing to watch commercials on Hulu because I know that this helps pay for the continuation of shows that I like. I'm fine with commercials on spotify because it helps pay for the music I like. And Netflix simply offers a product at a rate which I have no problem paying.

    I know piracy is supposed to be running all the media companies into the ground. But I'm not buying it, sure stuff gets shared:

    Shared, not stolen because nothing is taken which cannot be sold due to its absence.

    So yes files are shared, but it is yet to be adequately proven to me that those shared items are actually directly linked to a decrease in sales. For all I know the sharing of copyrighted materials might eventually lead to improved sales and/or box office success.

    Anyone have some strong causal data?
     
  2. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #2
    Notwithstanding your points, I'm sure that the lobbyists for the media, in Washington, continually stress the loss of tax revenue caused by the piracy of Intellectual Property.

    And politicians/bureaucrats can hear a dollar bill hit the floor at 10 paces.
     
  3. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    #3
    The amount of media consumed has gone up, but the total amount of money spent on entertainment has remained the same. It's simply shifted over time from CDs, DVD's, and Movie theaters to video games, cellphones, iTouches, TV shoes, and even marijuana as well.

    Given that no tax money is being lost, we need to ask, does it harm the individual companies' bottom lines?

    Well, Microsoft is arguably one of the largest victim's of pirates and they routinely have record quarters. Apple's flagship device - the iPod - would require $30,000 (give or take) to fill legally via iTunes. Video game companies are still turning a profit, so who exactly is losing?

    The music industry is losing. So is the video industry. Hollywood's profits aren't where they "should" be. Music profits are down too. So those companies are "losing" money to piracy. Of course "losing" is subjective. Without file-sharing, would anyone buy more music, as their argument goes? The answer is no. People would listen to the radio, and continue to buy what they really, really want: Video games, Cellphones, and yes, even marijuana.

    Since it's obvious that piracy ≠ lost sale, and the government still winds up with their tax money at the end of the day, and the only companies that are losing are in industries that are less relevant than they were 20 or 30 years ago, no, there's no big loss. Or rather, piracy hurts in the same way that file-sharing is stealing (it's not).

    I'll finish with this gem of a quote:
     
  4. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #4
    To say that piracy does not hurt the bottom line of company is not only wrong but stupid.

    The real question is how much. Even the most conservative estimates are going to be in multi billion range per year. The real argument is how much and the range is huge. I have seen some some where north of 100 billion and the more conservative number in the 1-10 billion range.

    There are plenty of people on this board who have stated that they never will pay for anything they can just download for free. No matter what. Also it effects people who yes would pay to own a movie that is ok but since they can download it they will not bother buying or renting the movie. They got it watched it and are done. I know there are some thing I would of bought later on but ended up already downloading it so not worth it.

    Now of course their are the things that are nice to watch but i would never buy in a million years so that stolen copy has no effect either way.

    The question is to what degree are the stolen copies effecting the sells.
    Photoshop pirated copies would have a much large effect on the cheaper version of Photoshop and some of smaller less powerful version made because why buy a weaker version when one has the full power one.
     
  5. Happybunny macrumors 68000

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    #5
    The Media gave us the Kardashians.:eek:

    For that they must PAY.:D
     
  6. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

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    #6
    those wacky pirates:

     
  7. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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    #7
    Piracy definitely hurts companies like Microsoft that depend on software licensing as it's main source of income.
     
  8. thewitt macrumors 68020

    thewitt

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    #8
    People who steal will always justify their theft so they feel better about it.... Just pay for it...

    Piracy in the movie industry is estimated to be in the billions of dollars. If you don't think it's hurting because no one who buys a pirated DVD would go see the movie in the theatre you are simply mistaken. Would they see EVERY movie they steal or buy for $1? No, but no one is saying that.

    The same goes for software. The guy who steals first will not buy. If the option is not there to steal, he may not install 100 apps, but the 10 he does install, he will pay for.

    A good friend of mine runs the server farm for a game with 200,000 users who have purchased the software that hits their servers. They have over 1,000,000 active users on their servers. Hurts? You bet. They have had to significantly upgrade their capacity so their legal users performance is acceptable. Their next release will require proof of purchase to register.
     
  9. nagromme macrumors G5

    nagromme

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    #9
    I doubt piracy hurts the “big guys” much at all, but anecdotally, it can put small companies/artists out of business. I say, if someone’s creative work isn’t worth the price to you, leave it alone and go find something better that IS worth the price!

    SOPA/PIPA are clearly not the answer, regardless.
     
  10. wonderspark macrumors 68030

    wonderspark

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    #10
    My stats don't mean much compared to the masses, but there was a period where I stopped buying music because I was getting annoyed with how much garbage was coming out, and I liked my huge CD collection.

    Then Napster came along, and I found a bunch of great stuff people had, which motivated me to buy a whole lot of music again, since I like having the CD as a backup to my perfect rips of it as opposed to the mixed quality of other people's rips.

    So for me, the whole movement got me spending more money on music than I ever had before. Yes, they made *more* money from me because of pirates.

    Sure, there are those that won't pay anything as long as they can help it, but by spreading the music to more ears, I think it brings in sales that would not have been made otherwise. Maybe it evens out, or not. Nobody will know for sure.
     
  11. kavika411 macrumors 6502a

    kavika411

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    #11
    Please don't interrupt a perfecting good rhetorical OP "question."

    Such is not favored in the PRSI.
     
  12. quasinormal macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    http://http://blogs.computerworld.com/node/2803

     
  13. MorphingDragon macrumors 603

    MorphingDragon

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    #13
    Either the game needs to be more compelling or how they register users is flawed. Punishing your legit users will drive more to piracy.
     
  14. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #14
    I doubt photoshop piracy has much of any negative effect on Adobe, I'd actually guess it helps them. People pirate Photoshop and most of them don't have the money to actually buy it anyway, but if they decide to do something professionally that requires it the people who pirated it in college or high school will buy the legal version since they already know how to use it so Adobe gets a sale that might have gone to someone else.
     
  15. MorphingDragon macrumors 603

    MorphingDragon

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    #15
    The GIMP is a bigger threat to Adobe than Piracy.
     
  16. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    #16
    This is incorrect and a gross generalization.
     
  17. RHatton macrumors regular

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    #17
    The answer is yes but personally in some cases I feel it to be justified. Let me explain.

    Microsoft, Adobe and other software driven companies are certainly plagued by piracy that eats into their profits. They do however price gouge more so than other companies in my opinion. This doesn't justify piracy however keep it in mind.

    Record companies need to be ripped off. They are a business model of the past that supplied musicians with recording studios, marketing and tours. These are no longer necessary with the digital age where individuals with a Macbook, Keyboard, Microphone, Mixer, Instruments and half a brain can create music without the help of others in the location of their choice and share it themselves via youtube etc. The money from the marketing and tours never makes it to the artist, simply the merchandise sold at the show is their profit. This means these record companies are exploiting these artists for money when in reality the artists don't need them in the first place.

    Movie studios are a different story however I personally believe they have too much money anyway. Movie piracy is a real problem and these studios rely on the profits to pay for the distribution of their content legally alongside making the movies themselves. I do however think if they want to complain about shrinking profits, they should try not paying celebrities massive amounts of money to not be contributing members of society.

    The truth is piracy is very real but I hate that the United States feels the need to play world police and impose their laws on others. The Pirate Bay for example operates out of Sweden. They are not currently breaking any copyright laws within their country and therefore have done nothing wrong. Megaupload.com was similar however they provided file storage for the copyrighted content and thus were an easier target with servers all over the world. I do however disagree with the seeking of the individuals that run it in other countries and arresting them in the US for breaking US laws. You have to ask yourself where is the line between stopping piracy and censoring the internet. Its a very gray area.
     
  18. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #18
    I believe that Indie artists have figured this out for themselves. :)

    Any music artist that signs with a record label these days, fully deserves what happens to them.

    Times change, and the Industry better hurry up and change with them.
     
  19. MorphingDragon macrumors 603

    MorphingDragon

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    #19
    Well I say let do.

    Indie seems to be where the only good music is now days anyway.
     
  20. RHatton macrumors regular

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    #20
    Agreed 100%

    I believe artists need to take it upon themselves to distribute their music legally through iTunes etc. so they see the actual success of their music. Sometimes you have to break the system to fix it, this is one of those cases.
     
  21. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #21
    And GIMP is just an example of one of the programs that I could be referring to.

    As I pointed out GIMP gets hurt. Yes GIMP is free but it does not get as much support by the public and people who really could make use of it because they are stealing Photoshop and as such do not want to go in and get involved with some open source project. But it is just one example as while it does not hurt Adobe it hurts the guys the sales could of gone to.
     
  22. BreakGuy macrumors 6502a

    BreakGuy

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    #22
    I think it goes beyond whether or not it hurts the industry (which it does) and becomes a matter of morality and ethics.
     
  23. RHatton macrumors regular

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    #23
    What's worse, a corporation exploiting an artist and depriving them of the profits or pirating the music from the exploiter?
     
  24. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

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    #24
    since the pirate gives NO money to the artist and the corporation gives a tiny bit to the artist, the answer could be that the pirate is actually a worse exploiter than the corporation
     
  25. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #25
    Well, a Republican would say "A deal is a deal", and a Democrat would say, "WTF, that's tantamount to usury".

    Potatoes, potatoes. ;)
     

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