market data  

PURCHASING AND BORROWING E-BOOKS: EVIDENCE FOR ‘CANNIBALIZATION’? In developing e-lending models, the fear by rights holders of ‘cannibalization’ of sales by lending has been a factor of importance. The fear is based on a series of assumptions including at least these three: profit margins on a sold title are higher than on a title lent out persons borrowing a title will not buy the same title despite protection measures (‘digital rights management’, DRM), titles lent out might be stripped of that protect

Source: WareKennis

1 ReviewsReview ItThis was originally published as two separate blog posts at my blog: part 1 & part 2.If you’re following the world of academic publishing (and the paywalls that keep researchers from doing their jobs) you will have heard of Sci-Hub, which offers an elegant way to get around those paywalls. Often called the PirateBay of Academia, Sci-Hub gives you access to over 48 million paywalled articles, happily ignoring copyright. In my book that’s a great thing to do, after all it’s

Source: The Winnower | Correlating the Sci-Hub data with World Bank Indicators and Identifying Academic Use

In Table 1 the results are presented, both for the overall Utrecht dataset and broken down by publisher. In total, 2878 of 2968 unique DOIs could be resolved, the others giving error messages. Availability Utrecht Sci-Hub downloads through publishers Table 1 – Availability of Utrecht Sci-Hub downloads through publishers Overall, 75% of Utrecht Sci-Hub downloads would have been available either through our library subscriptions (60%) or as Gold Open Access/free from publisher (15%). In so far as thes

Source: Sci-Hub: access or convenience? A Utrecht case study (part 2) | I&M / I&O 2.0

Clearly, two decades of negotiations, talks and diplomacy have led us nowhere. In my opinion, the time to be inclusive has come and passed. Publishers have opted to remain outside of the scholarly community and work against it, rather than with it. Actions of civil disobedience like those of Aaron Swartz and Alexandra Elbakyan are a logical consequence of two decades of stalled negotiations and failed reform efforts.

Source: » Sci-Hub as necessary, effective civil disobedience

Just as spring arrived last month in Iran, Meysam Rahimi sat down at his university computer and immediately ran into a problem: how to get the scientific papers he needed. He had to write up a research proposal for his engineering Ph.D. at Amirkabir University of Technology in Tehran. His project straddles both operations management and behavioral economics, so Rahimi had a lot of ground to cover.

Source: Who’s downloading pirated papers? Everyone | Science | AAAS

Deeper thought and reflections will be much more evident in the many recent articles and posts I’ve linked to below. I’m also mostly concentrating on the most recent Sci-Hub flare up rather than older posts.

Source: The Sci-Hub story so far: Main event or sideshow? – Confessions of a Science Librarian

There’s been a lot of concern in some corners of the world about the Finch Report‘s preference for Gold open access, and the RCUK policy‘s similar leaning. Much of the complaining has focussed on the cost of Gold OA publishing: Article Processing Charges (APCs) are very offputting to researchers with limited budgets. I thought it would be useful to provide a page that I (and you) can link to when facing such concerns.This is long and (frankly) a bit boring. But I think it’s important and needs saying.

Source: What does it cost to publish a Gold Open Access article? | Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week

The majority of academic papers are scarcely cited while a few others are highly cited. A large number of studies indicate that there are many factors influencing the number of citations. An actual re

Source: Factors affecting number of citations: a comprehensive review of the l

STM Consultation on Article Sharing


To gain a better understanding of the current landscape of article sharing through scholarly collaboration networks and sites, STM conducted an open consultation across the scholarly community in early 2015. The aim of this consultation was to facilitate discussion by all stakeholders in order to establish a core set of principles that clarify how, where and what content should be shared using these networks and sites, and to improve this experience for all. Our hope for this initiative is for publishers and scholarly collaboration networks to work together to facilitate sharing, which benefits researchers, institutions, and society as a whole.

Source: SCN Article Sharing Consultation 2015 – STM

Two weeks ago, the entire editorial board of the journal Lingua quit and announced they would launch a new journal named Glossa. Lingua’s executive editor Johan Rooryck said the reason for the resignation was that Elsevier, which publishes Lingua, did not comply with the editors’ request to turn the journal into an open access publication. Lingua has existed since 1949 and is among the top-3 linguistic journals on Google Scholar. The Lingua/Glossa case is a good opportunity to reflect upon our understanding of open access.

Source: Is our understanding of Open Access too shortsighted? Rethinking publishing infrastructure and ownership.

In januari van dit jaar heb ik een blogpost geschreven over het aandeel e-books op het aantal uitleningen.Ik merk nu pas dat ik het helemaal verkeerd berekend heb. Ik heb destijds de e-books vergeleken met alle uitleningen. Fout!Ik ga nu alleen uit van het aantal uitgeleende boeken: 72.382.000 fysieke boeken. Volgens de gegevens waren er in totaal 826.557 e-books uitgeleend (exclusief het kleine aantal van de E-book Selectie en de Eregalerij).Volgens niet meer beschikbare bron waren 1,5 miljoen e-books uit de Vakantiebieb 2014 gedownload. Dan kom je uiteindelijk op 2.326.557 e-books over 2014.En dan gaan we rekenen. In totaal zijn er 75.535.114 boeken uitgeleend in de Nederlandse bibliotheken. Fysiek en digitaal. Dan komt het aandeel e-books op 3,08% uit, inclusief de Vakantiebieb.Halen we de Vakantiebieb er vanaf, dan is het percentage 1,13%. 826.557 e-books op het aantal van 73.208.557 boeken.Gaan we het omdraaien, dan blijkt dus dat van de uitgeleende boeken er respectievelijk 96,92% en 98,87% fysiek uitgeleend werd.

Source: Patrick 23 Dingen: E-books een succes in bibliotheken? De cijfers (deel 2)

In recent years, low-cost booksellers have proliferated on the web. But how does a company that’ll sell you a book for a penny make a profit?

Source: A Penny for Your Books


Operations like Thriftbooks step in and buy these landfill-bound books, sight unseen, for around 10 cents a pound. Thriftbooks has 10 warehouses across the country, each with its own name. Ward says each of them is “about the size of your typical Walmart,” somewhere between 70,000 and 90,000 square feet. The enterprise is still largely a human operation: Between 15 and 18 people at each warehouse sift through the truckloads of books, sending more than 80 percent of the material immediately to the recycling plant. (Hey, it’s better than the dump.) That 80 percent may include stuff that’s obviously garbage: old three-ring binders, notebooks, half of a Bible. Anything that might possibly be sellable is scanned into the company’s database.

Discover Books, another major used bookseller on Amazon, is also based in the Seattle area. Unlike Thriftbooks, Discover Books relies on automated scanners to enter books into its system, which can handle more than 60 books per minute. “If there’s any history of that book online, our system will pick it up,” says Tyler Hincy, Discover Books’ vice president of marketing.

Each company takes pains to pick out any rare books that might be difficult to scan automatically. The systems rely on barcodes and International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs), relatively recent innovations in the history of book publishing. Thriftbooks has a special “vintage” team dedicated to picking out rare, older books, trained to recognized first editions. Discover Books relies on its regular scanning system to pick out potentially valuable vintage books.

From that point on, it’s all about software. Say a new copy of “A Visit From the Goon Squad” is scanned into the database. The software races to figure out how many copies are in stock, how many copies have been sold, how the price has changed over time, what the current average, high and low prices are on Amazon, Barnes & Noble,, AbeBooks, eBay and Alibris, and decides: Do we want this book? If the software’s algorithm decides that this is a book that can be sold and is worth selling, it will be stocked and automatically listed in the online marketplace where it has the best chance to be sold. This all happens tens of thousands of times per day.

This is a game of pennies and lightning-quick readjustment. Buyers have no particular loyalty to any of these sellers; it’s all about what’s cheapest and what’s listed first. Each company, seeking an edge, builds and zealously guards its own software. Ward was the lead developer on Thriftbooks’ software before he became president. He has 12 developers, a full-time data scientist and two financial analysts on his staff. Discover Books’ software is known in-house as Trim2. “We have software that we’ve spent years and a lot of money on,” Hincy says, “tweaking to be as optimal as possible to give that book the best opportunity to be sold.”

Elsevier journals — some facts Update: figures now in from Imperial. See below.Further update: figures in from Nottingham too.Further update: figures now in from Oxford.Final update: figures in from LSE.

Source: Elsevier journals — some facts | Gowers’s Weblog

IPAF’s survey also reveals that the proportion of consumers using streaming services grew from 26 per cent last year to 32 per cent this year.Of those, 33 per cent were taking advantage of some form of free trial and 66 per cent planned to pay for the service after their trial expired.That has helped drive down the proportion of consumers aged 18 to 24 engaged in piracy, from 54 per cent last year to 46 per cent this year.For consumers aged 25 to 34 the rate has fallen from 48 per cent to 40 per cent. Piracy rates for consumers aged 35 to 49 remain steady.Overall, piracy rates across all age groups have fallen from 29 per cent to 25 per cent.About a third of those pirating less frequently said it was due to the emergence of legal alternatives. About 16 per cent said it was because they feared getting caught or downloading a computer virus.Ms Flekser warned that the biggest challenge continued to be a lack of education and unwillingness by some consumers to perceive online piracy as theft.However, she said recent changes to the legal and regulatory environment around online piracy were starting to have an impact on consumer perceptions.Ms Flekser was referring to the court bid by the film studio behind Dallas Buyers Club to force iiNet to reveal the identities of alleged infringers and new federal laws allowing copyright holders to apply for court orders to block websites promoting copyright infringement.

Source: Netflix no panacea to piracy: IPAF | The Australian

A long piece on pirate libraries’ role in the knowledge economy (in Dutch).
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The Kindle, which was joined by other devices like Kobo’s e-reader, the Nook from Barnes & Noble and the iPad, drew millions of book buyers to e-readers, which offered seamless, instant purchases. Publishers saw huge spikes in digital sales during and after the holidays, after people received e-readers as gifts.But those double- and triple-digit growth rates plummeted as e-reading devices fell out of fashion with consumers, replaced by smartphones and tablets. Some 12 million e-readers were sold last year, a steep drop from the nearly 20 million sold in 2011, according to Forrester Research. The portion of people who read books primarily on e-readers fell to 32 percent in the first quarter of 2015, from 50 percent in 2012, a Nielsen survey showed.Higher e-book prices may also be driving readers back to paper.As publishers renegotiated new terms with Amazon in the past year and demanded the ability to set their own e-book prices, many have started charging more. With little difference in price between a $13 e-book and a paperback, some consumers may be opting for the print version.On Amazon, the paperback editions of some popular titles, like “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt, are several dollars cheaper than their digital counterparts. Paperback sales rose by 8.4 percent in the first five months of this year, the Association of American Publishers reported.The tug of war between pixels and print almost certainly isn’t over. Industry analysts and publishing executives say it is too soon to declare the death of the digital publishing revolution. An appealing new device might come along. Already, a growing number of people are reading e-books on their cellphones. Amazon recently unveiled a new tablet for $50, which could draw a new wave of customers to e-books (the first-generation Kindle cost $400).It is also possible that a growing number of people are still buying and reading e-books, just not from traditional publishers. The declining e-book sales reported by publishers do not account for the millions of readers who have migrated to cheap and plentiful self-published e-books, which often cost less than a dollar.At Amazon, digital book sales have maintained their upward trajectory, according to Russell Grandinetti, senior vice president of Kindle. Last year, Amazon, which controls some 65 percent of the e-book market, introduced an e-book subscription service that allows readers to pay a flat monthly fee of $10 for unlimited digital reading. It offers more than a million titles, many of them from self-published authors.Some publishing executives say the world is changing too quickly to declare that the digital tide is waning.“Maybe it’s just a pause here,” said Carolyn Reidy, the president and chief executive of Simon & Schuster. “Will the next generation want to read books on their smartphones, and will we see another burst come?”

Source: The Plot Twist: E-Book Sales Slip, and Print Is Far From Dead – The New York Times

A draft report commissioned by the Society of Chief Librarians (SCL) has said £20m should be invested in digital services over the next three years to prevent libraries from becoming “soup kitchens for the written word.”The report, entitled ‘Essential Digital Infrastructure for Public Libraries in England’ and conducted by Bibliocommons, a commercial provider of library software systems, says libraries are “pushing” users away by their lack of investment in digital technology.However, library campaigners including former Waterstones boss Tim Coates has criticised the draft report as “vexacious” for portraying libraries as “no longer being predominantly about books.”The draft document outlines the possibilities of digital development for public libraries in England and is intended to help libraries identify the changes to technology needed to “provide leverage and cohesiveness” for library services, and to meet the demands of users who journey “online and off” to the institutions.The official report will be published in October.

Source: Lack of digital library investment ‘pushing’ users away | The Bookseller

Kids today with their selfies and their Snapchats and their love of literature.Millennials, like each generation that was young before them, tend to attract all kinds of ire from their elders for being superficial, self-obsessed, anti-intellectuals. But a study out today from the Pew Research Center offers some vindication for the younger set. Millennials are reading more books than the over-30 crowd, Pew found in a survey of more than 6,000 Americans.Some 88 percent of Americans younger than 30 said they read a book in the past year compared with 79 percent of those older than 30. At the same time, American readers’ relationship with public libraries is changing—with younger readers less likely to see public libraries as essential in their communities.

Source: Millennials Are Out-Reading Older Generations – The Atlantic

These are heady days for supporters of open access (OA), who argue that the results of publicly-funded research should be made freely available to all, not just those who can afford subscriptions to the scientific journals in which they are published.Earlier this year, the World Bank announced that it would adopt an open access policy for all its research outputs and “knowledge products”, which will be entered into a central repository to be made freely accessible on the internet.Last month, the British government said that, in future, it will require all the research it funds in British universities to be made openly accessible, with authors paying publishers a fee (funded out of research grants) to make this possible – a position already adopted by the influential Wellcome Trust. The move was rapidly followed by an announcement from the European commission that the same rule will apply to all commission-funded research.The UK’s Department of International Development recently announced all its research will be made freely available. And publishers such as BioMed Central are pioneering open access journals in developing regions such as Africa.

Source: Developing world gains open access to science research, but hurdles remain | Global development | The Guardian

Pirate e-book libraries enable historically unprecedented access to the best of scholarly knowledge, which CEE countries are definitely taking advantage of. Who is using these libraries and for what reasons? Unique data on pirate library use helps answer these questions.

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Science departments in Russia’s universities are facing a crisis of information following the decision last week of a Western publisher to lock them out of access to thousands of unique scientific journals and magazines because the government can no longer afford to foot the bill.

According to a spokesperson from the Russian Ministry of Education and Science, the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, one of Russia’s state agencies, which is responsible for the development of national science, is unable to pay for subscriptions for scientific journals and magazines published by Springer due to a sharp devaluation of the Russian ruble this year.

Yriy Popov, a former associate professor of the Voronezh State University of Building Technologies and a well-known Russian scientist in the field of building science and technologies, warned that, in addition to Springer, there is a threat that the Russian scientific community may lose access to the magazines of other Western scientific publishers, such as Elsevier.

Matthias Aicher, head of Springer for Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, has confirmed that the company closed the access to scientific publications for Russian universities and research institutes from 12 May.

According to Aicher, the Russian government failed to pay for the subscription for 2014 to the amount of €890,000 (US$1 million).

Vladimir Fortov, head of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said the current problem is very serious as scientific periodicals have so far been the main way for Russian scientists to get information regarding basic and applied sciences.

Fortov said: “Thanks to these journals, Russian scientists are aware of the latest developments and research in global science. Failure of further subscriptions means that Russian scientists will be isolated from global science.

“Springer is a very serious publishing house, and the loss of access to its journals will be a major blow for Russian science, including university science.”

He has not ruled out the possibility that this issue may be resolved after the intervention of the national government. At the same time, according to some sources close to the Russian Academy of Sciences, representatives of some leading Russian universities are considering signing a petition to the Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev asking him to help resolve the problem.

In 2014 the annual subscription for Springer publications in Russia was set at €3.2 million (US$3.6 million).

According to an official spokesperson of Springer, the company extended free subscription to Russian science several times, but eventually due to existing debts decided to close it for an indefinite period.

In the meantime, representatives of the press service of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research said that the agency could not use the same model as before the economic crisis in Russia in December 2014 to January 2015 and devaluation of the local currency.

The seriousness of the current situation is confirmed by recent statements of Alexander Hlunov, board member of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research.

He said that Springer sets prices for its journals in Euros but devaluation of the Russian currency has meant that the price in rubles has doubled.

“The Russian budget currently has no available funds for these projects. We currently cannot afford such costs but if there is an increase of scientific spending in the Russian federal budget, this decision could be revised.”

According to Yriy Popov, many Russian scientists and university professors from different areas of science have used Springer journals as guidelines in their research activities.

Source: Universities denied access to West’s science journals – University World News

Newsmax reports that according to according to KRC Research about 64 percent of Americans familiar with Snowden hold a negative opinion of him. However 56 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 have a positive opinion of Snowden which contrasts sharply with older age cohorts. Among those aged 35-44, some 34 percent have positive attitudes toward him. For the 45-54 age cohort, the figure is 28 percent, and it drops to 26 percent among Americans over age 55, U.S. News reported. Americans overall say by plurality that Snowden has done "more to hurt" U.S. national security (43 percent) than help it (20 percent). A similar breakdown was seen with views on whether Snowden helped or hurt efforts to combat terrorism, though the numbers flip on whether his actions will lead to greater privacy protections. "The broad support for Edward Snowden among Millennials around the world should be a message to democratic countries that change is coming," says Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union. "They are a generation of digital natives who don’t want government agencies tracking them online or collecting data about their phone calls." Opinions of millennials are particularly significant in light of January 2015 findings by the U.S. Census Bureau that they are projected to surpass the baby-boom generation as the United States’ largest living generation this yea

via Except For Millennials, Most Americans Dislike Snowden – Slashdot.

Traditional television watching is declining faster than ever as streaming services become a mainstream feature in American homes, according to new research by Nielsen.

Adults watched an average of four hours and 51 minutes of live TV each day in the fourth quarter of 2014, down 13 minutes from the same quarter of 2013, according to Nielsen’s fourth-quarter 2014 Total Audience Report. Viewing was down six minutes between the fourth quarter of 2013 and 2012. And between 2012 and 2011, viewing time actually increased for live TV.

At the same time, more homes turned to online video, with 40 percent of U.S. homes subscribing to a streaming service such as Netflix, Amazon Instant Video or Hulu compared with 36 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to Nielsen. Netflix is by far the most popular streaming service, in 36 percent of all U.S. homes, and Amazon Instant Video is in 13 percent of homes.

The trends have rattled the entertainment industry, with broadcast and cable networks scrambling to take on new competitors on the Web. Cable networks have seen steep ratings declines, which got much worse in the last six months of 2014. Cable ratings among adults fell 9 percent in 2014, three times the rate of decline over 2013, according to Michael Nathanson, an analyst at Moffett Nathanson research.

“It’s hard to ignore our belief that technology is disrupting viewer consumption of linear network programming,” Nathanson wrote in a recent research note.

In response, companies such as HBO, NBC and CBS are launching their own streaming services. The moves could unleash a fast demise of the cable and satellite industries that have fed TV networks with licensing fees.

Television is still king, with viewers of all ages getting the vast majority of their video entertainment and news from live programs and using time-shifted services such as DVRs. But even older viewers — the stalwarts of traditional TV — are spending less time watching live TV and programs saved on DVRs.

Between 2012 and 2014, viewers ages 50 through 64 watched one hour and 12 minutes less of traditional TV each week; they increased viewing of videos over the Internet by 22 minutes. Viewers ages 35 through 49 watched two hours and five minutes less of traditional TV each week and increased viewing of online videos by 35 minutes.

via Americans are moving faster than ever away from traditional TV – The Washington Post.

New record company figures out of France suggest that artists receive just 68 cents from every €9.99 monthly music streaming subscription – as major labels keep hold of 73% of payouts from the likes of Spotify.

French recorded music trade body SNEP, whose members include Universal Music, Sony Music and Warner Music,  ran a recent study with Ernst & Young to discover where money paid by a subscriber to the likes of Spotify or Deezer ultimately ends up.

As you can see below, in terms of the turnover that these platforms generate, the major labels (‘producteurs’) take home the lion’s share, pulling in an average of €4.56-per-subscriber every month after tax.

In terms of the total subscription payment, that’s a 46% share of the spoils.

However, further analysis from MBW gives a more interesting split: who takes home what from the revenues paid out by streaming companies to music rights-holders.

If SNEP’s figures are correct, €6.24 of every €9.99 subscription is paid to music rights-holders – that’s what’s left after tax and the digital platforms’ fee.

That would means the labels keep 73% of payouts from Spotify/Deezer etc.

They’re followed by writers/publishers with a 16% share, and then artists – mostly paid by their labels – who get 11%.

Screen shot 2015-02-03 at 16.24.46

Here’s how that €9.99 turnover payout share looks when you divide it up by percentage – both in terms of total revenue, and the recipients of the €6.24 payout by Spotify/Deezer etc.

Majors1 Majors2

How can the majors justify taking home such a huge chunk? Well, SNEP and E&Y’s research doesn’t stop there: they also estimate how much each party brings home in net pre-tax profit.

That means scoping how much major labels, publishers and digital platforms spend on costs – including marketing, making and/or distributing the music in the first place.

Here things get debatable: the net income of labels and digital platforms is, in SNEP/E&Y’s eyes, estimated at just 5% of total revenue.

That, in itself, will be a highly contested figure; many managers would argue that a 95% margin of cost doesn’t ring true on digital platforms devoid of packaging, breakages and returns.

Applying the 5% profit margin to SNEP’s figures changes the percentages of ‘take home’ money quite dramatically, as you can see below.

SNEP and E&Y calculate that labels earn €0.26 net profit for each subscription, while digital platforms earn just €0.10 per €9.99.

These tiny profit margins – if at all accurate – go some way to explaining why even the biggest streaming services find turning a profit no easy task.

It’s also the exact reason why managers want more streaming cash for their artists… and why major labels say they can’t pay it.

Profit streaming


Major labels keep 73% of Spotify premium payouts – report – Music Business Worldwide.

Overall, the publishing industry is not really concerned with eBook piracy. Many of the top companies such as HarperCollins, Hachette, S&S and Penguin have told me that piracy is a minor blip on the radar and does not hamper sales to any discernible degree. They all admit it is an extreme minority of tech savvy individuals and statistically people who pirate eBooks tend to be the biggest purchasers of digital content. There has even been some notable authors such as Tim Ferris that harnessed the power of Bitorrent to promote his book, the 4 Hour Chef. He recently said “Torrent conversion is NUTS. Of 210,000 downloads earlier this week, more than 85,000 clicked through “Support the Author” to the book’s Amazon page. We all had to triple and quadruple check that to believe it.

via There will be 700 Million Pirated e-Books in 2018.

And if CDs are truly dead, then digital music sales are lying in the adjacent grave. Both categories are down double-digits in the last year, with iTunes sales diving at least 13 percent.

via Digital music sales on iTunes and beyond are now fading as fast as CDs. – The Atlantic.

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First, a reality check. How big and dangerous is the phenomenon? PageFair, a startup-based in Dublin, Ireland, comes up with some facts. Here are key elements drawn from a 17-pages PDF document available here.





via The Rise of AdBlock Reveals A Serious Problem in the Advertising Ecosystem | Monday Note.

How Consumers’ Content Preference Affects Cannibalization: An Empirical Analysis on E-book Market

via AIS Electronic Library (AISeL) – ICIS 2014 Proceedings: How Consumers’ Content Preference Affects Cannibalization: An Empirical Analysis on E-book Market.

A longform piece on guerilla open access in the Hungarian book industry periodical Konyvesblog.
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The Institute for Prospective Technological Studies in Seville organized a workshop on the interaction between legal and pirated books sales. Imke Reimers presented her findings on the effect of copyright protection on e-book sales, I presented my LG study.

Pep Vallbe and I presented our study on Alternative compensation systems at the Copyright 4 Innovation conference in the Hague.
More below the fold.
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This paper discusses whether a compensation system (CS) for recorded music – endowing private Internet subscribers with the right to download and use works in return for a fee – would be welfare increasing under current market conditions. It reports the results of a discrete choice experiment conducted with a representative sample of the Dutch population consisting of 4,986 participants. The Internet penetration rate in the Netherlands is 95%, one of the highest worldwide (Eurostat 2014). The Netherlands also entertain a system of levies on copying technology, so that basic elements of a CS should be familiar to many residence.

We find that applied only to recorded music, a mandatory CS could increase the welfare of rights holders and users in the Netherlands by over €600 million per year (over €35 per capita). This far exceeds the current sales value of recorded music of ca. €144 million. Even if a CS were to substitute all of the current sales of recorded music and provided no cost savings, it could simultaneously increase user welfare and rights holder revenues at a price that constitutes a reasonable surplus split. According to our results, this is achieved over a broad range of CS user fees, for example between ca. €1.74 and €9.25 for a CS that is mandatory for all households with Internet subscription.

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In The Netherlands, people spend about half as much on recorded music as they did in 2003. They spend about twice as much on live music as on CDs, downloads, and streaming.

Other countries have shown this shift from recorded to live revenue, including the UK, but nowhere as dramatically as in The Netherlands. However, consumer spending on music bounced back in 2013, arguably due to increased contributions from streaming services like Spotify:

via Adventures in the Lowlands: Spotify, Social Media and Music Festivals | Spotify Insights.


The failure of the Fire Phone has been widely cited as the reason for Amazon’s disastrous quarter, but a darker cloud has settled over the world’s biggest online retailer. The core of Amazon’s business—its original reason for being: selling books and other media—has grown wobbly. The problem: many people no longer want to buy stuff. They’d rather rent.

Amazon is not alone. This long-predicted shift in consumer priorities–from ownership to access—also seems to be taking a bite out of Apple, another business that depends on convincing people to buy things. For companies built on the practice of purchasing media, it’s time to reexamine basic assumptions.

During the last quarter, Amazon’s North American sales of media—books, music, movies, games—grew five percent compared to the same time a year ago. This may sound respectable. But that figure turns out to be the lowest year-over-year growth in North American media sales in more than five years, says Colin Gillis, an analyst at Wall Street outfit BGC Financial.

“Given the dispute with book publisher Hachette, it is hard to not view that the very public dust up had a negative impact on media sales, both from the decision to stop selling certain book titles and a possible backlash against Amazon from readers,” Gillis says.

The problem: many people no longer want to buy stuff. They’d rather rent.

But according to Amazon, a leading culprit is something that at least sounds much more innocuous: textbooks. “As you look at our North American media growth rates, one thing that we are seeing is certainly a shift from a textbook standpoint from purchase to rental,” Amazon CFO Tom Szkutak told analysts on Thursday. More customers also are renting rather than buying digital media, Szkutak said.

The irony is that in both cases, these are problems Amazon created for itself. Textbook rentals have exploded in part because Amazon makes it so easy. Instead of a would-be renter and lender having to track each other down one-on-one, the owner of a used text book can simply put it up on Amazon. (It’s a model textbook publishers hate, because they only make money on new book sales, which is one reason textbook prices are going through the roof).

Similarly, Amazon has made streaming media so easy that the practical incentive to buy diminishes. Renting or buying digital video from Amazon, for example, never has to involve a download. You never really have to “have” it. It simply streams from Amazon’s cloud to apps, browsers, and over-the-top internet TV boxes. The setup would seem to work to Amazon’s favor because you’re still paying Amazon money—but not as much, perhaps, as you’d pay to own.

A Bite Out of Apple

At the same time as the stock market started hammering Amazon on Friday, a report surfaced that Apple was having its own problems with owning. The Wall Street Journal, citing anonymous sources, reported that digital music sales on iTunes had declined 13 percent to 14 percent since the start of the year. This worries the music industry, the Journal said, because Apple is the world’s biggest seller of music.

If fewer people are buying music from Apple, fewer people are probably buying music, period. The reason is obvious, and much as with Amazon, it’s a problem Apple is largely responsible for creating. The rise of streaming music apps wouldn’t be possible without powerful, portable, connected digital devices that have access to significant bandwidth for transferring data quickly. In other words, the iPhone is very much responsible for streaming becoming a viable, popular way to consume music. As the Journal notes, Apple acknowledged this trend with its purchase of Beats Music, a deal that included both its headphone and streaming music businesses.

In a recent New York Times Magazine piece, writer Dan Brooks lamented the loss of a certain kind of cultural identity deeply tied to the ownership of music: the record collection. The culprit: streaming music services that give everyone everywhere access to nearly every song ever recorded:

The bad news is that we have lost what was once a robust system for identifying kindred spirits. Now that we all share the same record collection, music snobs have no means to recognize one another. We cannot flip through a binder of CDs and see a new friend, a potential date. By making it perfectly easy to find new music, we’ve made it a little more difficult to find new people.

The irony, Brooks notes, is that streaming has brought once obscure music out of hiding: searching for tiny acts is as easy as searching for the biggest Top 40 stars. But it’s not only hipster obscurantism that streaming has upended. The most mainstream tech companies, the ones that have made access versus ownership easier than ever, are now experiencing their own losses because they’ve helped make accessing easier than owning. The only winners here seem to be consumers.

Well, except for one thing: If no one gets paid, nothing gets made.

via Apple and Amazon Have a Problem: People Don’t Want to Buy Stuff Anymore | WIRED.

The leaked New York Times innovation report is one of the key documents of this media ageIt’s an astonishing look inside the cultural change still needed in the shi

via The leaked New York Times innovation report is one of the key documents of this media age » Nieman Journalism Lab.

MacInnis, who previously worked for Apple, knew the soon-to-be-launched iPad held great potential for the education market. Bringing a boring and bulky science textbook onto a tablet in an easy-to-digest format that incorporated quizzes and videos, would make learning fun.

The Industry That Didn’t Want to Innovate

The problem was textbook publishers were slow to want to digitize their content. “They were still making a lot of their money off books,” says McInnis. To make matters worse, the small number of textbook publishers that made up the industry weren’t feeling the competitive pressures to innovate. Despite these challenges, Inkling continued to focus on their vision of digitizing textbooks, without realizing the infrastructure they had built was applicable to many other area

via What Happened When A Digital Textbook Company Was Forced To Redefine Its Customers | Fast Company | Business + Innovation.

“IP Industries’ Contribution to Economic Performance and the Public’s Perception Thereof” was the grand title of a session at this year’s Fordham IP Conference that was moderated by Coenraad Visser (University of South Africa, Pretoria). First to speak was Katfriend Paul Maier (Director, The European Observatory on Infringement of Intellectual Property Rights, Alicante), who reviewed two recently-prepared EU studies on the economic importance of IP and consumer perception. Paul took us through the statistics recorded in these studies, warning us that they represented a mere snapshot of how things currently look — they say nothing, in terms of causation, as to whether prosperity, employment or anything else is caused by IP rights or only accompanies their presence or use. The two studies to which Paul made reference, printed copies of which were provided in the black bag packs of all conference registrants, are

Intellectual property rights intensive industries: contribution to economic performance and employment in the European Union (Industry-Level Analysis Report, September 2013: A joint project between the European Patent Office and the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market) here

European Citizens and Intellectual Property: Perception, Awareness and Behaviour, here

via The IPKat: Fordham Report 2014: IP Industries’ Contribution to Economic Performance and the Public’s Perception Thereof.

Recording industry earns more from fan videos than from official music videosYouTube generates more money for record labels through fan-made videos than official music videos, a global recording industry report says.

via Recording industry earns more from fan videos than from official music videos | Toronto Star.

Ready to Dump Cable? | Free Press.

Ready to Dump Cable? | Free Press.

So, Did Tim Ferriss’s BitTorrent Book Gamble Work? – ReadWrite.

So, Did Tim Ferriss's BitTorrent Book Gamble Work? – ReadWrite.

At Least 8% of All Pirate Bay Traffic Now Provided By Proxy Services | TorrentFreak.

At Least 8% of All Pirate Bay Traffic Now Provided By Proxy Services | TorrentFreak.

Sony and Disney begin streaming movies still in theaters in a bold move against piracy | The Verge.

Sony and Disney begin streaming movies still in theaters in a bold move against piracy | The Verge.

A second important type of evidence to which the antitrust authorities look in order to gain insight into how the merger will affect future conduct in the sector is to examine past behavior, particularly “industry participants’ behavior in tracking and responding to price changed by some or all rivals”DOJ/FTC, 2010:11.  Here the record is particularly troubling.  The leading firms in the sector have engaged in a repeated pattern of anti-consumer and anticompetitive behavior.  In the mid-1990s, the major record labels engaged in two practices that imposed severe harm on consumers and competition.  They eliminated the sale of singles, even though the CD was well-suited for the sale of singles.  They adopted a price fixing scheme to keep album prices high, even though the new compact disc CD format dramatically lowered their costs and discounters had lowered prices.  In short, they restricted output and raised prices, forcing consumers to unnecessarily purchase hundreds of millions of overpriced CDs to get the music that they wanted.  An antitrust consent decree ended price fixing FTC: 2000 and digital distribution made the sale of singles a compelling alternative. Nestor, 2012  1.  

via The Role of Antitrust in Protecting Competition, Innovation, and Consumers as the Digital Revolution Matures: The Case against the Universal-EMI Merger and E-Book Price Fixing | Public Knowledge.

As a result, a steady stream of new movies is constantly nudging incumbents to make way at theatres. That makes the first week the biggest contributor to box-office collections. With the box office skewed thus, movies reach television as early as four weeks of hitting theatres. In other words, producers have obliterated the business model of their once formidable enemies.

via Bollywood no longer talks of piracy; but ignoring dangers of online can be costly – Page3 – The Economic Times.

In May of this year, ClarityRay reported that the overall rate of ad blocking by users was 9.26% in the U.S. and Europe. The rate ranged from 6.11% for business and finance sites to 15.58% for news sites and 17.79% for tech sites. For some sites, ad blocking reached 50%. Ad blocking is highest in Europe, where Austria is tops with a 22.5% ad blocking rate. The U.S. is slightly below average at 8.72%. With 1% or less are Iran, Guyana, Kuwait, Myanmar and Qatar.

via The Future of Ad Blockers | ZEDO, Inc..

The Financial Times editor, Lionel Barber, has announced plans to move the title to a digital-first strategy in a move he described as a "big cultural shift" for the business daily, and cut 35 jobs.

Barber said the FT will make a net headcount reduction of 25 – after hiring 10 journalists for digital roles – in an effort to save £1.6m this year as part of the strategy, outlined to staff in a memo on Monday, seen by MediaGuardian. He added that the FT needed to be "reshaped for the digital age".

via Financial Times editor announces digital-first strategy | Media |

Excellent study on the Dutch file-sharing scene.

About one in five people who download from illegal sources had in the past year bought a CD or LP that they had previously downloaded from an illegal source. The same was found for DVDs, Blurays and for printed books. The opposite – downloading a book from an illegal source that had been previously purchased in print – is also very common. This shows that for a substantial group of
consumers printed books and e-books are complementary.

People who download from an illegal source are more frequently also consumers from legal sources, and they are more likely go to concerts and the cinema and to purchase derived products Respondents who had downloaded music, films, series, games and books from illegal sources in the past year were more likely to use legal channels as well. Only in the case of music purchased on CDs or LPs, however, no difference is observed between those who had on occasion downloaded from an illegal source in the past year and people who had never done so. The differences are particularly marked in the case of paid-for downloading and streaming from a legal source: respondents who have never downloaded from an illegal source are also little inclined to pay for online content. The survey also showed that people who had, on occasion, downloaded from an illegal source in the past year bought more music and film merchandise and went to concerts or the cinema more often.

The survey shows that roughly one third to half of the respondents would not be interested in the latest download from an illegal source if it would not be available for free. The rest have an average maximum willingness to pay that is close to the normal selling price. Similarly, about one third of all book readers are interested in and willing to pay to borrow e-books from a library or bookshop, there being a slight preference for libraries and for a flat rate per year rather than a price per title borrowed.’

Excellent study on the Dutch file-sharing scene.

About one in five people who download from illegal sources had in the past year bought a CD or LP that they had previously downloaded from an illegal source. The same was found for DVDs, Blurays and for printed books. The opposite – downloading a book from an illegal source that had been previously purchased in print – is also very common. This shows that for a substantial group of
consumers printed books and e-books are complementary.

People who download from an illegal source are more frequently also consumers from legal sources, and they are more likely go to concerts and the cinema and to purchase derived products Respondents who had downloaded music, films, series, games and books from illegal sources in the past year were more likely to use legal channels as well. Only in the case of music purchased on CDs or LPs, however, no difference is observed between those who had on occasion downloaded from an illegal source in the past year and people who had never done so. The differences are particularly marked in the case of paid-for downloading and streaming from a legal source: respondents who have never downloaded from an illegal source are also little inclined to pay for online content. The survey also showed that people who had, on occasion, downloaded from an illegal source in the past year bought more music and film merchandise and went to concerts or the cinema more often.

The survey shows that roughly one third to half of the respondents would not be interested in the latest download from an illegal source if it would not be available for free. The rest have an average maximum willingness to pay that is close to the normal selling price. Similarly, about one third of all book readers are interested in and willing to pay to borrow e-books from a library or bookshop, there being a slight preference for libraries and for a flat rate per year rather than a price per title borrowed.’

For another 10 years, Universal Pictures content will not be seen on Netflix.

Universal inked a deal with HBO on Monday that gives HBO exclusive rights to all Universal films for another decade. This is an extension of a previous exclusive agreement and means, essentially, that rival services like Starz and Netflix won’t be getting ahold of Universal’s movies anytime soon.

The extension is likely a reaction to Netflix’s agreement with Walt Disney pictures for exclusive access to Disney animated features and films until 2016. But HBO may not be able to compete on the same level as Netflix. HBO was called “the closest thing Netflix has to a direct competitor” by a Forbes contributor on Monday, but close to Netflix it is not.

via HBO Signs Deal With Universal, Continues To Make Life Difficult For Netflix, Consumers.For another 10 years, Universal Pictures content will not be seen on Netflix.

Universal inked a deal with HBO on Monday that gives HBO exclusive rights to all Universal films for another decade. This is an extension of a previous exclusive agreement and means, essentially, that rival services like Starz and Netflix won’t be getting ahold of Universal’s movies anytime soon.

The extension is likely a reaction to Netflix’s agreement with Walt Disney pictures for exclusive access to Disney animated features and films until 2016. But HBO may not be able to compete on the same level as Netflix. HBO was called “the closest thing Netflix has to a direct competitor” by a Forbes contributor on Monday, but close to Netflix it is not.

via HBO Signs Deal With Universal, Continues To Make Life Difficult For Netflix, Consumers.

A leaked presentation from the RIAA shows that online file-sharing isn’t the biggest source of illegal music acquisition in the U.S. The confidential data reveals that 65% of all music files are “unpaid” but the vast majority of these are obtained through offline swapping. The report further shows that cyberlockers such as Megaupload are only a marginal source of pirated music.

In April, one of the RIAA’s key employees informed a group of music industry insiders about the upcoming six-strikes anti-piracy scheme in the U.S. TorrentFreak received a copy of the presentation sheets which include a rather interesting chart on where people get their music files from.

The data presented by the RIAA comes from NPD’s Digital Music Study but has never been published in public in its current form. While NPD’s press release mentioned a decline in music acquisition through P2P file-sharing and hard drive trading, these numbers were not placed in a larger context.

A strange decision, because the chart below is of critical importance for the debate on music piracy.

As it turns out, two thirds of all music acquired in the U.S. is unpaid. However, offline trading is a much bigger source of unpaid music than online piracy. Of all “unpaid” music less than 30 percent comes from P2P file-sharing or cyberlockers.

Music sources

In total, 15 percent of all acquired music (paid + unpaid) comes from P2P file-sharing and just 4 percent from cyberlockers. Offline swapping in the form of hard drive trading and burning/ripping from others is much more prevalent with 19 and 27 percent respectively.

This leads to the, for us, surprising conclusion that more than 70% of all unpaid music comes from offline swapping.

The chart is marked “confidential” which suggests that the RIAA doesn’t want this data to be out in the open. This is perhaps understandable since the figures don’t really help their crusade against online piracy.

The RIAA is lobbying hard for legislation and voluntary agreements to deal with the online piracy problem, an issue that might seem less severe in the chart above.

While not insignificant, the fact that less than one in five music acquisitions can be traced back to online file-sharing isn’t really that convincing – especially when one takes into account that only a tiny fraction represent a lost sale.

Even if all online music piracy disappeared tomorrow, more than half of all music acquisitions would be unpaid.

But maybe the RIAA will go after these offline swappers next. The TSA could perform piracy scans of travelers’ computer equipment, for example. Or perhaps schools could search MP3 players, phones and computers of their students for unpaid music?

Just a thought.

More revealing findings from the RIAA will be published soon.

via RIAA: Online Music Piracy Pales In Comparison to Offline Swapping | TorrentFreak.A leaked presentation from the RIAA shows that online file-sharing isn’t the biggest source of illegal music acquisition in the U.S. The confidential data reveals that 65% of all music files are “unpaid” but the vast majority of these are obtained through offline swapping. The report further shows that cyberlockers such as Megaupload are only a marginal source of pirated music.

In April, one of the RIAA’s key employees informed a group of music industry insiders about the upcoming six-strikes anti-piracy scheme in the U.S. TorrentFreak received a copy of the presentation sheets which include a rather interesting chart on where people get their music files from.

The data presented by the RIAA comes from NPD’s Digital Music Study but has never been published in public in its current form. While NPD’s press release mentioned a decline in music acquisition through P2P file-sharing and hard drive trading, these numbers were not placed in a larger context.

A strange decision, because the chart below is of critical importance for the debate on music piracy.

As it turns out, two thirds of all music acquired in the U.S. is unpaid. However, offline trading is a much bigger source of unpaid music than online piracy. Of all “unpaid” music less than 30 percent comes from P2P file-sharing or cyberlockers.

Music sources

In total, 15 percent of all acquired music (paid + unpaid) comes from P2P file-sharing and just 4 percent from cyberlockers. Offline swapping in the form of hard drive trading and burning/ripping from others is much more prevalent with 19 and 27 percent respectively.

This leads to the, for us, surprising conclusion that more than 70% of all unpaid music comes from offline swapping.

The chart is marked “confidential” which suggests that the RIAA doesn’t want this data to be out in the open. This is perhaps understandable since the figures don’t really help their crusade against online piracy.

The RIAA is lobbying hard for legislation and voluntary agreements to deal with the online piracy problem, an issue that might seem less severe in the chart above.

While not insignificant, the fact that less than one in five music acquisitions can be traced back to online file-sharing isn’t really that convincing – especially when one takes into account that only a tiny fraction represent a lost sale.

Even if all online music piracy disappeared tomorrow, more than half of all music acquisitions would be unpaid.

But maybe the RIAA will go after these offline swappers next. The TSA could perform piracy scans of travelers’ computer equipment, for example. Or perhaps schools could search MP3 players, phones and computers of their students for unpaid music?

Just a thought.

More revealing findings from the RIAA will be published soon.

via RIAA: Online Music Piracy Pales In Comparison to Offline Swapping | TorrentFreak.

“The Skynet copyright act has been in effect for six months in New Zealand and rights holders reckon it halved the number of infringements in the first month. Even so, theyre not happy and say over forty per cent of Kiwis continue to infringe on line. The fix? Rights holders want the current NZ$25 infringement notice processing fee payable to ISPs to be dropped to just a few dollars or even pennies, so that they can send out thousands of notices a month. ISPs want the fee to increase four times instead, to cover their costs. Unfortunately, the submissions for the review of the infringement notice fees are kept secret by the government.”

via Three-Strikes Copyright Law In NZ Halves Infringement – Slashdot.“The Skynet copyright act has been in effect for six months in New Zealand and rights holders reckon it halved the number of infringements in the first month. Even so, theyre not happy and say over forty per cent of Kiwis continue to infringe on line. The fix? Rights holders want the current NZ$25 infringement notice processing fee payable to ISPs to be dropped to just a few dollars or even pennies, so that they can send out thousands of notices a month. ISPs want the fee to increase four times instead, to cover their costs. Unfortunately, the submissions for the review of the infringement notice fees are kept secret by the government.”

via Three-Strikes Copyright Law In NZ Halves Infringement – Slashdot.

People who obtain movies and TV shows from the Internet through unauthorized and often illegal channels would actually prefer not to do if they were given the chance. That’s one of the findings of a new survey into consumer habits which reveals that although lower cost is often cited as a tool for reducing piracy, three other issues are driving people to break the law – convenience, choice and availability.

via Pirates Want To Go Legal But Convenience, Choice & Availability Come First | TorrentFreak.People who obtain movies and TV shows from the Internet through unauthorized and often illegal channels would actually prefer not to do if they were given the chance. That’s one of the findings of a new survey into consumer habits which reveals that although lower cost is often cited as a tool for reducing piracy, three other issues are driving people to break the law – convenience, choice and availability.

via Pirates Want To Go Legal But Convenience, Choice & Availability Come First | TorrentFreak.

Buffett is concentrating on small and medium papers in defensible markets, while steering clear of metro markets, where costs are high and competition is fierce. But he says he has no transformational ideas in mind.

“I do not have any secret sauce,” Buffett told the New York Times. “There are still 1,400 daily papers in the United States. The nice thing about it is that somebody can think about the best answer and we can copy him. Two or three years from now, you’ll see a much better-defined pattern of operations online and in print by papers.”

via Reflections of a Newsosaur: What’s next for newspapers?.Buffett is concentrating on small and medium papers in defensible markets, while steering clear of metro markets, where costs are high and competition is fierce. But he says he has no transformational ideas in mind.

“I do not have any secret sauce,” Buffett told the New York Times. “There are still 1,400 daily papers in the United States. The nice thing about it is that somebody can think about the best answer and we can copy him. Two or three years from now, you’ll see a much better-defined pattern of operations online and in print by papers.”

via Reflections of a Newsosaur: What’s next for newspapers?.

Copyright Removal Requests – Google Transparency Report.Copyright Removal Requests – Google Transparency Report.

BitTorrent Traffic Booms Due to “Licensing Challenges” | TorrentFreak.


In the U.S., BitTorrent’s share of total Internet traffic is falling sharply and the aggregate share of all P2P sharing applications is now at an all-time low of 12.7 percent. In other parts of the world, however, this trend is noticeably absent. In Europe and the Asia-Pacific region BitTorrent continues to surge. In part this difference can be explained by the lack of legal alternatives.

Over the years we have been following various reports on Internet traffic changes, specifically in relation to BitTorrent. One of the emerging trends is BitTorrent and P2P traffic as a whole losing its share of total Internet traffic, in the U.S. at least.

This downward spiral is confirmed by a recent Sandvine report which reveals that BitTorrent traffic is now responsible for 11.3% of all U.S. Internet traffic during peak hours, compared to 17.3% last year. Although these numbers don’t take into account that absolute traffic has increased, it’s clear that there’s little to no growth in BitTorrent use.

However, this decline appears to be unique to the U.S. When we look at other regions a different pattern can be observed.

In Europe for example, BitTorrent traffic still accounts for 20.32% of all Internet traffic during peak hours, while eDonkey adds another 9.39% to the P2P total. During the last 18 months the share of P2P traffic nearly quadrupled, and this increase is even larger in absolute traffic.

According to Sandvine, the absence of legal alternatives is one of the reasons for these high P2P traffic shares.

“We see higher levels of P2P filesharing than in many other regions, at least partially due to geographical licensing challenges that restrict the availability of legitimate Real-Time Entertainment services.”

Europe: Internet traffic during peak hours


A similar trend is visible in the Asia-Pacific region where BitTorrent now accounts for nearly half of all upstream traffic and 27.19% of the aggregate Internet traffic during peak hours. The P2P streaming service PPStream and the Chinese file-sharing client Thunder add another 6.36% and 4.62% to the P2P total.

Asia-Pacific: Internet traffic during peak hours

asia pacific

So, while BitTorrent traffic is stabilizing in the U.S. as its share of Internet traffic drops, the P2P protocol is still hugely popular in other parts of the world.

Sandvine’s suggestion that a lack of legal alternatives is one of the explanations for this seems plausible. As we reported earlier this week, the latest episodes of series such as Game of Thrones are widely pirated on BitTorrent in countries such as Australia and the Netherlands due to airing delays.

In the U.S. on the other hand, the availability of legal content has flourished in recent years. To illustrate this, Sandvine reports that one-third (32.9%) of all downstream traffic during peak hours is now generated by Netflix subscribers. In addition, Hulu has doubled its share in the last year to 1.8%.

The above seems to suggest that due to these alternatives, people are less inclined to pirate.

The MPAA is slowly starting to realize that consumers are not all out to steal content, they simply want to consume.

“I believe it’s critical to find solutions to the challenges facing both these consumers and the people who create the content. Because at the end of the day, this discussion is about consumers and by consumers who love TV shows and movies. They want to be able to access them quickly and safely online,” the MPAA’s Marc Miller wrote yesterday.

True words, but Miller continues with a classic misunderstanding. “No business in the world can compete with ‘free’,” he notes.

As it turns out, the entertainment industry can definitely compete with free, up to a certain point. The crucial part is to remove all the artificial barriers. Release delays for TV and movies drive people towards BitTorrent piracy, just as DRM is an incentive to pirate rather than a deterrent.

The challenge for the entertainment industry in the years to come is not to invent ways to stop piracy but to make it less attractive, by ensuring that consumers get timely access to the content they want independent of their location, and on demand.

BitTorrent Traffic Booms Due to “Licensing Challenges” | TorrentFreak.

To a certain degree one could claim that HBO is to blame for Game of Throne’s success on BitTorrent. They want to keep access to the show “exclusive” and even Netflix wasn’t able to buy the rights no matter what they offered.Whether this is the best decision in terms of revenue is hard to tell, but it’s clear that HBO prefers more exclusiveness over less piracy. And who knows, maybe they even sell HBO subscriptions to BitTorrent downloaders in the long run.

via Who’s Pirating Game of Thrones, And Why? | TorrentFreak.To a certain degree one could claim that HBO is to blame for Game of Throne’s success on BitTorrent. They want to keep access to the show “exclusive” and even Netflix wasn’t able to buy the rights no matter what they offered.Whether this is the best decision in terms of revenue is hard to tell, but it’s clear that HBO prefers more exclusiveness over less piracy. And who knows, maybe they even sell HBO subscriptions to BitTorrent downloaders in the long run.

via Who’s Pirating Game of Thrones, And Why? | TorrentFreak.

We recently posted an interesting study talking about how greater file sharing of leaked albums had a specific (if small) causal impact that resulted in higher sales. I thought it was an interesting area of research, though one where a lot more work needs to be done. Following that, however, there was an interesting exchange on Twitter, mainly by former Warner Music exec Ethan Kaplan, who didn’t seem to think the concept was controversial at all — and instead that it was obvious.

via Former Record Label Exec Ethan Kaplan: Duh, Of Course More File Sharing Leads To More Sales | Techdirt.We recently posted an interesting study talking about how greater file sharing of leaked albums had a specific (if small) causal impact that resulted in higher sales. I thought it was an interesting area of research, though one where a lot more work needs to be done. Following that, however, there was an interesting exchange on Twitter, mainly by former Warner Music exec Ethan Kaplan, who didn’t seem to think the concept was controversial at all — and instead that it was obvious.

via Former Record Label Exec Ethan Kaplan: Duh, Of Course More File Sharing Leads To More Sales | Techdirt.

This article examines what appears to be the most important factor shaping file sharing: the failure of traditional cultural markets to efficiently supply the demand in the online environment. Its findings are based on tracking the traffic of movies on three Hungarian P2P networks. This dataset is then matched with cinematic distribution data of the films tracked in P2P transactions. Central to our analysis is the assessment of two piracy paradigms: substitution and shortage, that is, whether pirated content is available through legal or only illegal channels. Shortage-driven downloaders are found to outnumber those downloading only current theater releases. Nonetheless, the supply of films available for downloading is more affected by parameters of cinematic distribution than it is by box office success. Therefore, part of the sales effort directly contributes to propping up piracy.
Read the rest of this entry »

technology adoption rate century.png PNG kép, 994 × 402 képpont.

technology adoption rate century.png PNG kép, 994 × 402 képpont.

In fact, though there are hundreds of file sharing sites, an extremely small number of colo-location providers (six of them) provide infrastructure to these sites that generate more than 80% of all Internet file sharing traffic. Like other niche industries, file sharing has evolved with a specialized ecosystem / cyber supply chain.

via DeepField Networks.In fact, though there are hundreds of file sharing sites, an extremely small number of colo-location providers (six of them) provide infrastructure to these sites that generate more than 80% of all Internet file sharing traffic. Like other niche industries, file sharing has evolved with a specialized ecosystem / cyber supply chain.

via DeepField Networks.

Apple alone — even though iPhones account for just 9 percent of mobile phones sold — reaps about 75 percent of the mobile phone industry’s profits, and that number continues to grow. (Apple’s segment of U.S. sales is much higher, as is its share of smartphone sales.)

Should this economic trend continue, Apple will be the Microsoft of mobile platforms, the SAP of mobile apps, and the Oracle of mobile services. If you’re an Apple fanboy, that’s great news and would suggest a world very much like that of the Macintosh or iPod/iTunes: integrated, fun, innovative, and functional.

via The dark side of Apple’s dominance | Mobile Technology – InfoWorld.Apple alone — even though iPhones account for just 9 percent of mobile phones sold — reaps about 75 percent of the mobile phone industry’s profits, and that number continues to grow. (Apple’s segment of U.S. sales is much higher, as is its share of smartphone sales.)

Should this economic trend continue, Apple will be the Microsoft of mobile platforms, the SAP of mobile apps, and the Oracle of mobile services. If you’re an Apple fanboy, that’s great news and would suggest a world very much like that of the Macintosh or iPod/iTunes: integrated, fun, innovative, and functional.

via The dark side of Apple’s dominance | Mobile Technology – InfoWorld.

We’ve pointed it out numerous times in the past. Despite the rampant piracy, Hollywood and other entertainment industries continue to break revenue and sales records year after year.

In an excellent report commissioned by the CCIA, Techdirt’s Mike Masnick has has made an excellent overview of how well things go in the various entertainment industry sectors.

The report titled “The Sky is Rising” was presented at the MIDEM music business conference earlier today.

A summary of some of the key findings:

* According to MPAA, box office revenues grew 25 percent from 2006 to 2010 from $25.5 billion to $31.8 billion.

* Data from PricewaterhouseCoopers and iDATE show that from 1998-2010 the value of the worldwide entertainment industry grew from $449 billion to $745 billion.

* From 1999 to 2009 music concert sales in the US tripled from $1.5 billion to $4.6 billion

* Consumers’ choices growing as more movies are produced jumping from 5,635 films produced globally in 2005 to 7,193 in 2009.

* BLS data also show entertainment sector employment also grew 20 percent during that last decade and 43 percent for those identified as independent artists.

In addition to statistics, the report also lists many of the case studies that we’ve covered here at TorrentFreak, from Paulo Coelho to Louis CK.

In large part, the report is meant to counter the entertainment industry claims that their businesses have been ruined by piracy, and that the Internet has to be monitored and censored.

via What Piracy? The Entertainment Industry is BOOMING! | TorrentFreak.We’ve pointed it out numerous times in the past. Despite the rampant piracy, Hollywood and other entertainment industries continue to break revenue and sales records year after year.

In an excellent report commissioned by the CCIA, Techdirt’s Mike Masnick has has made an excellent overview of how well things go in the various entertainment industry sectors.

The report titled “The Sky is Rising” was presented at the MIDEM music business conference earlier today.

A summary of some of the key findings:

* According to MPAA, box office revenues grew 25 percent from 2006 to 2010 from $25.5 billion to $31.8 billion.

* Data from PricewaterhouseCoopers and iDATE show that from 1998-2010 the value of the worldwide entertainment industry grew from $449 billion to $745 billion.

* From 1999 to 2009 music concert sales in the US tripled from $1.5 billion to $4.6 billion

* Consumers’ choices growing as more movies are produced jumping from 5,635 films produced globally in 2005 to 7,193 in 2009.

* BLS data also show entertainment sector employment also grew 20 percent during that last decade and 43 percent for those identified as independent artists.

In addition to statistics, the report also lists many of the case studies that we’ve covered here at TorrentFreak, from Paulo Coelho to Louis CK.

In large part, the report is meant to counter the entertainment industry claims that their businesses have been ruined by piracy, and that the Internet has to be monitored and censored.

via What Piracy? The Entertainment Industry is BOOMING! | TorrentFreak.

Mostanra a hazai lakosság körében is megkezdődött a digitális televíziós videótár térhódítása, és a trend folytatódásával 2012-ben széles körűvé válhat az otthonról távkapcsolóval megrendelhető videótartalmak fogyasztása. Ez állapítható meg a UPC és az ITHAKA Információs Társadalom- és Hálózatkutató Központ online kutatásának eredményeiből, illetve a UPC saját VOD-statisztikáinak összevetéséből.

via 2012.01.19. – Feljövőben a digitális videótárak.Mostanra a hazai lakosság körében is megkezdődött a digitális televíziós videótár térhódítása, és a trend folytatódásával 2012-ben széles körűvé válhat az otthonról távkapcsolóval megrendelhető videótartalmak fogyasztása. Ez állapítható meg a UPC és az ITHAKA Információs Társadalom- és Hálózatkutató Központ online kutatásának eredményeiből, illetve a UPC saját VOD-statisztikáinak összevetéséből.

via 2012.01.19. – Feljövőben a digitális videótárak.

Recently, Senator Ron Wyden asked CRS if it could explore the state of the movie industry today as compared to 1995 on a variety of different criteria. You can read the full report embedded below, but here are a few key points. First off, despite the industry’s regular attempt to play up its contribution to GDP and employment, the report found that the combined GDP contribution of both the “motion picture and sound recording” industries was a whopping 0.4% in 2009. Back in 1995… it was also 0.4%.

via Congressional Research Service Shows Hollywood Is Thriving | Techdirt.

“Amazon’s released their list of 2011’s best-selling books, revealing that 40% of the best-selling ebooks didn’t even make it onto their list of the best-selling print books. The #1 and #2 best-selling ebooks of the year weren’t even available in print editions, while four of the top 10 best-selling print books didn’t make it into the top 100 best-selling ebooks. ‘It couldn’t be more clear that Kindle owners are choosing their material from an entirely different universe of books,’ notes one Kindle site, which points out that five of the best-selling ebooks came from two million-selling ebook authors — Amanda Hocking and John Locke — who are still awaiting the release of their books in print. And five of Amazon’s best-selling ebooks were Kindle-only ‘Singles,’ including a Stephen King short story which actually outsold another King novel that he’d released in both ebook and print formats. And Neal Stephenson’s ‘Reamde’ was Amazon’s #99 best-selling print book of 2011, though it didn’t even make it onto their list of the 100 best-selling ebooks of the year. ‘People who own Kindles are just reading different books than the people who buy printed books,’ reports the Kindle site, which adds ‘2011 may be remembered as the year that hundreds of new voices finally found their audiences.'”

via Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters.

One in three people in Switzerland download unauthorized music, movies and games from the Internet and since last year the government has been wondering what to do about it. This week their response was published and it was crystal clear. Not only will downloading for personal use stay completely legal, but the copyright holders won’t suffer because of it, since people eventually spend the money saved on entertainment products.

swissIn Switzerland, just as in dozens of other countries, the entertainment industries have been complaining about dramatic losses in revenue due to online piracy.

In a response, the Swiss government has been conducting a study into the impact downloading has on society, and this week their findings were presented.

The overall conclusion of the study is that the current copyright law, under which downloading copyrighted material for personal use is permitted, doesn’t have to change.

Their report begins with noting that when it comes to copying files, the Internet has proven a game-changer. While the photocopier, audio cassette tape and VCR allowed users to make good quality copies of various media, these devices lacked a in-built distribution method. The world-wide web changed all that.

Distribution method or not, the entertainment industries have opposed all these technological inventions out of fear that their businesses would be crushed. This is not the right response according to the Swiss government, which favors the option of putting technology to good use instead of taking the repressive approach.

“Every time a new media technology has been made available, it has always been ‘abused’. This is the price we pay for progress. Winners will be those who are able to use the new technology to their advantages and losers those who missed this development and continue to follow old business models,” the report notes.

The government report further concludes that even in the current situation where piracy is rampant, the entertainment industries are not necessarily losing money. To reach this conclusion, the researchers extrapolated the findings of a study conducted by the Dutch government last year, since the countries are considered to be similar in many aspects.

The report states that around a third of Swiss citizens over 15 years old download pirated music, movies and games from the Internet. However, these people don’t spend less money as a result because the budgets they reserve for entertainment are fairly constant. This means that downloading is mostly complementary.

The other side of piracy, based on the Dutch study, is that downloaders are reported to be more frequent visitors to concerts, and game downloaders actually bought more games than those who didn’t. And in the music industry, lesser-know bands profit most from the sampling effect of file-sharing.

The Swiss report then goes on to review several of the repressive anti-piracy laws and regulations that have been implemented in other countries recently, such as the three-strikes Hadopi law in France. According to the report 12 million was spent on Hadopi in France this year, a figure the Swiss deem too high.

The report further states that it is questionable whether a three-strikes law would be legal in the first place, as the UN’s Human Rights Council labeled Internet access a human right. The Council specifically argued that Hadopi is a disproportionate law that should be repealed.

Other measures such as filtering or blocking content and websites are also rejected, because these would hurt freedom of speech and violate privacy protection laws. The report notes that even if these measures were implemented, there would be several ways to circumvent them.

The overall suggestion the Swiss government communicates to the entertainment industries is that they should adapt to the change in consumer behavior, or die. They see absolutely no need to change the law because downloading has no proven negative impact on the production of national culture.

Aside from downloading, it is also practically impossible for companies in Switzerland to go after casual uploaders. In 2010 the Supreme Court ruled that tracking companies are not allowed to log IP-addresses of file-sharers, making it impossible for rightsholders to gather evidence.

via Swiss Govt: Downloading Movies and Music Will Stay Legal | TorrentFreak.

What would it mean in terms of revenue if ALL BitTorrent traffic moved to Netflix?If we assume that BitTorrent and Netflix users consume roughly the same amount of content again an assumption favoring the movie studios, then this is an easy calculation. Netflix would generate a third more revenue. Based on the shareholders report of the last quarter of 2010 where most of the torrent stats in this article are based on this translates into $198 million additional revenue for Netflix.Based on more recent stats contained in Netflix’s third quarter filing of this year, the increase in revenue would be $266 million for that quarter.

via MPAA Costs Hollywood More Than US BitTorrent Piracy | TorrentFreak.

A major new survey of American attitudes to online copyright infringement has found that 70 percent of all 18 to 29-year-olds have pirated music, TV shows, or movies. But almost no Americans are hardcore grog-swillers, and two-thirds of those who do acquire copyrighted material without permission also acquire content legally.The new research comes courtesy of a forthcoming report called Copy Culture in the US and Germany, and it was done by some of the same researchers who worked on the groundbreaking Media Piracy in Emerging Economies report earlier this year. Data comes from a Princeton Survey Research Associates telephone poll of 2,303 American adults during the month of August; a Google grant funded some of the research.The poll found that 46 percent of all Americans have engaged in piracy, but that young people skew the numbers significantly. And while it found that piracy is common, it also found that most is relatively casual. Only 2 percent of Americans are “heavy music pirates” with more than 1,000 tracks of infringing music; only 1 percent of Americans are heavy TV/movie pirates with more than 100 infringing shows or films.For most people, downloading music and video goes hand-in-hand with acquiring it legally; less than one-third of admitted pirates copped to owning an entire collection of illicit material. And large numbers of pirates have already altered their behavior in response to more attractive legal services for acquiring content. When it comes to music, 46 percent of American pirates said that they grab unauthorized music less than they used to thanks to legal streaming services and the survey was done before Spotify launched in the US. For video, 40 percent of pirates have already curtailed their activity thanks to legal alternatives like Netflix.As for video game pirates, they’re negligible. Only 3 percent of homes with game consoles have machines modified to accept pirated discs.The takeaway: Americans pirate, but few are engaged in some kind of principled War Against Copyright. Most just want easy access to legal material and are willing to pay reasonable fees to get it see the success of iTunes, Netflix, and the Kindle for examples of this in action. Indeed, only 16 percent of Americans believe that it’s acceptable to upload pirated content to sites where anyone can download it, only 8 percent say posting pirated content to Facebook would be acceptable, and only 6 percent think selling copies of pirated content is okay.Oh—and piracy isn’t gendered. The survey found that “men outpolled women by 2 percent or less” when it came to piratical behavior.

via It’s official: America a land of young, casual pirates.

IFSE Digimen.

BitTorrent is no longer the dominant player when it comes to file-sharing on the Internet. The five largest English language websites dedicated to swapping files are all related to centralized file-hosting services, also known as cyberlockers. The Pirate Bay and Torrentz are the only BitTorrent sites that managed to secure a spot in the top 10.

via Top 10 Largest File-Sharing Sites | TorrentFreak.

It’s been a week since Fox stopped offering free access to its TV-shows the day after they air on television. The TV-studio took this drastic step in the hope of getting more people to watch their shows live and thus make more revenue. TV-viewers, however, are outraged by the decision and have massively turned to pirated sources to watch their favorite shows.

foxOne of the main motivations for people to download and stream TV-shows from unauthorized sources is availability. If fans can’t get a show through legal channels they turn to pirated alternatives.

This is one of the reasons why Hulu drastically decreased TV-show piracy in the U.S. Viewers are happy with the legal streaming option it offers them, but not all studios see that as a success.

Starting last Monday, Fox began delaying the availability of new episodes on Hulu and for 8 days. The decision goes directly against the wishes of the public but Fox will take this disappointment as collateral damage in the hope that the delay will result in more live viewers and better deals with cable and satellite distributors.

When the plan was first announced last month we predicted that it could lead to a significant boost in online piracy of Fox shows, and this does indeed turn out to be the case.

Over the last week TorrentFreak tracked two Fox shows on BitTorrent to see if there was an upturn in the number of downloads compared to the previous weeks, and the results are as expected. For both Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen and MasterChef the download numbers have surged.

During the first 5 days, the number of downloads from the U.S. for the latest episode of Hell’s Kitchen increased by 114% compared to the previous 3 episodes. For MasterChef the upturn was even higher with 189% more downloads from the U.S. For MasterChef; the extra high demand may in part have been facilitated by the fact that it was the season finale.

Aside from BitTorrent, there are of course many other options for people to catch up with a missed episode. YouTube for example, from where tens of thousands of people streamed the latest Hell’s Kitchen episode.

Instead of Hulu or Fox, the pirates get the praise. On YouTube and BitTorrent sites many users thank the uploaders for making the shows available.

“You so rock and allowed me to keep my promise to my son. I promised if he cleaned for one hour he could watch Hell’s Kitchen with me. He was excited and then disappointed that we couldn’t watch it on Hulu or,” WithurShield writes.

“Thanks a lot for uploading these, Hulu used to be my go-to but alas, they have failed me,” minniemica adds.

On the other hand, several users who went to Hulu expecting to see a fresh episode left comments berating Fox (although most target Hulu) for their decision not to make the episodes available for free.

“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing when I went to Hell’s Kitchen and Master Chef. Right in the middle of the series idiot at Hulu decided to through in the pay services. At least have the decency to wait till the end [sic],” one commenter writes on Hulu.

“What I don’t like is up until now I have been able to watch the episode of Hell’s Kitchen the day after it airs and all of a sudden they now want me to pay for it?” another commenter adds.

There is no doubt that the Hulu delay is not in the best interests of TV-viewers. Although it might be a good business decision in the short term, one has to doubt whether driving people to ‘pirated’ content is a wise choice. To many viewers it is clearly a step backward.

Instead of artificial restrictions the public demands flexibility when it comes to entertainment. They want to decide when and where they want to watch something, and right now video streaming sites, BitTorrent and even the old VCR do a better job at this than Fox.

“I’m going to go buy a DVR or dust off my VCR and I will be recording my tv shows from now on,” a commenter writes on Hulu.

via Fox’s 8-Day Delay on Hulu Triggers Piracy Surge | TorrentFreak.

Yet piracy has not exactly swept the world. It is endemic in some countries but a niche activity in others. In some places the tide is flowing; in others it appears to be ebbing. In response, media firms are moving their resources from country to country, with potentially large consequences for the global flow of popular culture.

via Illegal downloading and media investment: Spotting the pirates | The Economist.

Joe Karaganis, from SSRC, points us to the news that there’s been yet another such study… and this one is from HADOPI, itself. Yes, the French agency put together to kick people off the internet for file sharing did a study on the nature of unauthorized file sharing, too. Not surprisingly and consistent with every other study we’ve seen on this topic, it found that those who spend a lot of money on content… were much, much, much more likely to also get content through unauthorized means.

via Another Day, Another Study That Says ‘Pirates’ Are The Best Customers… This Time From HADOPI | Techdirt.

Advisory Committee on Enforcement : Sixth Session

Meeting Documents

Code Title(s) File(s)
English : Liste des participants/ List of Participants Liste des participants/ List of Participants, Complete document (pdf)
French : Liste des participants/ List of Participants Liste des participants/ List of Participants, Complete document (pdf)
English : Agenda Agenda, Complete document (pdf)
French : Projet d’ordre du jour Projet d’ordre du jour, Complete document (pdf)
Spanish : Proyecto de Orden del día Proyecto de Orden del día, Complete document (pdf)
English : Recent Activities of WIPO in the Field of Building Respect for Intellectual Property (IP) Recent Activities of WIPO in the Field of Building Respect for Intellectual Property (IP), Complete document (doc) Recent Activities of WIPO in the Field of Building Respect for Intellectual Property (IP), Complete document (pdf)
French : Activités récentes de l’OMPI dans el domaine de la promotion du respect de la propriété intellectuelle Activités récentes de l'OMPI dans el domaine de la promotion du respect de la propriété intellectuelle, Complete document (doc) Activités récentes de l'OMPI dans el domaine de la promotion du respect de la propriété intellectuelle, Complete document (pdf)
Spanish : Actividades reicentes de la OMPI dirigidas a cultivas el respeto por la propiedad intelectual Actividades reicentes de la OMPI dirigidas a cultivas el respeto por la propiedad intelectual, Complete document (doc) Actividades reicentes de la OMPI dirigidas a cultivas el respeto por la propiedad intelectual, Complete document (pdf)
English : Future Work of the Advisory Committee on Enforcement (ACE) Future Work of the Advisory Committee on Enforcement (ACE), Complete document (doc) Future Work of the Advisory Committee on Enforcement (ACE), Complete document (pdf)
French : Travaux futurs du Comité consultatif sur l’application des droits (ACE) Travaux futurs du Comité consultatif sur l'application des droits (ACE), Complete document (doc) Travaux futurs du Comité consultatif sur l'application des droits (ACE), Complete document (pdf)
Spanish : Labor futura del Comité asesor sobre observancia (ACE) Labor futura del Comité asesor sobre observancia (ACE), Complete document (doc) Labor futura del Comité asesor sobre observancia (ACE), Complete document (pdf)
English : Observations on Efforts to Quantify the Economic Effects of Counterfeit and Pirated Goods Observations on Efforts to Quantify the Economic Effects of Counterfeit and Pirated Goods, Complete document (doc) Observations on Efforts to Quantify the Economic Effects of Counterfeit and Pirated Goods, Complete document (pdf)
French : Observations sur les efforts visant à quantifier les répercussions sur l’économie des produits contrefaisants ou pirates Observations sur les efforts visant à quantifier les répercussions sur l'économie des produits contrefaisants ou pirates, Complete document (doc) Observations sur les efforts visant à quantifier les répercussions sur l'économie des produits contrefaisants ou pirates, Complete document (pdf)
Spanish : Observaciones sobre los esfuerzos para cuantificar los efectos económicos de los productos falsificados y pirateados Observaciones sobre los esfuerzos para cuantificar los efectos económicos de los productos falsificados y pirateados, Complete document (doc) Observaciones sobre los esfuerzos para cuantificar los efectos económicos de los productos falsificados y pirateados, Complete document (pdf)
English : Media Piracy in Emerging Economies: Price, Market Structure and Consumer Behavior Media Piracy in Emerging Economies: Price, Market Structure and Consumer Behavior, Complete document (doc) Media Piracy in Emerging Economies: Price, Market Structure and Consumer Behavior, Complete document (pdf)
French : Le piratage des supports d’information dans les économies des paye émergents: prix, structure du marché et compportement du consommateur Le piratage des supports d'information dans les économies des paye émergents: prix, structure du marché et compportement du consommateur, Complete document (doc) Le piratage des supports d'information dans les économies des paye émergents: prix, structure du marché et compportement du consommateur, Complete document (pdf)
Spanish : La piratería de productos audiovisuales y de software en las economías emergentes: precios, estructura de mercado y comportamiento de los consumidores La piratería de productos audiovisuales y de software en las economías emergentes: precios, estructura de mercado y comportamiento de los consumidores, Complete document (doc) La piratería de productos audiovisuales y de software en las economías emergentes: precios, estructura de mercado y comportamiento de los consumidores, Complete document (pdf)
English : Research Report on Consumer Attitudes and Perceptions on Counterfeiting and Piracy Research Report on Consumer Attitudes and Perceptions on Counterfeiting and Piracy, Complete document (doc) Research Report on Consumer Attitudes and Perceptions on Counterfeiting and Piracy, Complete document (pdf)
French : Rapport de recherche sur l’attitude et la perception des consommatuers en matière de contrefaçon et de piratage Rapport de recherche sur l'attitude et la perception des consommatuers en matière de contrefaçon et de piratage, Complete document (doc) Rapport de recherche sur l'attitude et la perception des consommatuers en matière de contrefaçon et de piratage, Complete document (pdf)
Spanish : Informe de investigación sobre las actitudes y percepciones de los consumidores respecto de la fialsificaión y la piratería Informe de investigación sobre las actitudes y percepciones de los consumidores respecto de la fialsificaión y la piratería, Complete document (doc) Informe de investigación sobre las actitudes y percepciones de los consumidores respecto de la fialsificaión y la piratería, Complete document (pdf)
English : The Economic Effects of Counterfeiting and Piracy: A Literature Review The Economic Effects of Counterfeiting and Piracy: A Literature Review, Complete document (doc) The Economic Effects of Counterfeiting and Piracy: A Literature Review, Complete document (pdf)
French : Examen des études consacrées aux conséquences économiques de la contrefaçon et du piratage Examen des études consacrées aux conséquences économiques de la contrefaçon et du piratage, Complete document (doc) Examen des études consacrées aux conséquences économiques de la contrefaçon et du piratage, Complete document (pdf)
Spanish : Examen de la documentación acerca de la de los efectos económicos de la falsificación y la piratería Examen de la documentación acerca de la de los efectos económicos de la falsificación y la piratería, Complete document (doc) Examen de la documentación acerca de la de los efectos económicos de la falsificación y la piratería, Complete document (pdf)
English : A Study Relating to Existing Methods of Disposal and Destruction of Counterfeit Goods and Pirated Goods within the Asia Pacific Region A Study Relating to Existing Methods of Disposal and Destruction of Counterfeit Goods and Pirated Goods within the Asia Pacific Region, Complete document (doc) A Study Relating to Existing Methods of Disposal and Destruction of Counterfeit Goods and Pirated Goods within the Asia Pacific Region, Complete document (pdf)
French : Étude relative aux méthodes actuelles d’écoulement et de destruction des produits contrefaisants et pirates dans le région asie et pacifique Étude relative aux méthodes actuelles d'écoulement et de destruction des produits contrefaisants et pirates dans le région asie et pacifique, Complete document (doc) Étude relative aux méthodes actuelles d'écoulement et de destruction des produits contrefaisants et pirates dans le région asie et pacifique, Complete document (pdf)
Spanish : Estudio sobre los métodos de eliminación y destrucción de mercancías falsificadas o pirateadas en la región de asia y el pacífico Estudio sobre los métodos de eliminación y destrucción de mercancías falsificadas o pirateadas en la región de asia y el pacífico, Complete document (doc) Estudio sobre los métodos de eliminación y destrucción de mercancías falsificadas o pirateadas en la región de asia y el pacífico, Complete document (pdf)
English : IPR Infringements and Enforcement – Accounting for Socio-Economic, Technical and Dvelopment Variables IPR Infringements and Enforcement - Accounting for Socio-Economic, Technical and Dvelopment Variables, Complete document (doc) IPR Infringements and Enforcement - Accounting for Socio-Economic, Technical and Dvelopment Variables, Complete document (pdf)
French : Atteintes aux droits de propriété intellectuelle et application des droits – la prise en consideration des variables socioéconomiques, techniques et en rapport avec le développement Atteintes aux droits de propriété intellectuelle et application des droits - la prise en consideration des variables socioéconomiques, techniques et en rapport avec le développement, Complete document (doc) Atteintes aux droits de propriété intellectuelle et application des droits - la prise en consideration des variables socioéconomiques, techniques et en rapport avec le développement, Complete document (pdf)
Spanish : Infracciones y observancia de los derechos de propiedad intelectual. La toma en consideración de las variables socioeconómicas, técnicas y de desarrollo Infracciones y observancia de los derechos de propiedad intelectual. La toma en consideración de las variables socioeconómicas, técnicas y de desarrollo, Complete document (doc) Infracciones y observancia de los derechos de propiedad intelectual. La toma en consideración de las variables socioeconómicas, técnicas y de desarrollo, Complete document (pdf)
English : Summary by the Chair Summary by the Chair, Complete document (doc) Summary by the Chair, Complete document (pdf)
French : Résumé du Président Résumé du Président, Complete document (doc) Résumé du Président, Complete document (pdf)
Spanish : Resumen del Presidente

via Advisory Committee on Enforcement.

Discovering behaviors and attitudes related to pirating content

Today’s consumers can access an astonishing variety of movies, videos, and television shows — on multiple platforms — faster than ever before. With so much content at their fingertips, what compels some consumers to commit online piracy by downloading or streaming content illegally?

via Speed of life: Consumer intelligence series.

Pachter predicts Netflix’s streaming content licensing costs will rise from $180 million in 2010 to a whopping $1.98 billion in 2012.

via Studios are starting to play hardball with Netflix – Jul. 11, 2011.

Industries that rely on fair use exceptions to U.S. copyright law have weathered the recent slow economy better than other businesses, according to a new study released by a tech trade group.

The fair use industries, including consumer device makers, software developers, search engines and news organizations, had US $4.5 trillion in revenue in 2009, up from $3.4 trillion in 2002, according to the study, commissioned by the Computer and Communications Industry (CCIA) Association. Revenue peaked at $4.7 trillion in 2008 and 2009, said the study, by Capital Trade, an economic consulting firm.

Fair use industries in the U.S. employed 17 million people in 2009, about one out of every eight U.S. workers, according to the study, released Monday. The employment numbers were down from 17.7 million 2008.

“The fair use economy really held its own” during the recent recession, said Andrew Szamosszegi, co-author of the study.

Fair use businesses make up about 17 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product, according to the study.

The study shows the importance of fair use exceptions in copyright law, said Ed Black, CCIA’s president and CEO. While the entertainment industry and other groups push for tougher copyright laws, lawmakers should consider the impact of those laws on fair use and on its economic impact, he said.

via Study: Fair use drives large part of US economy – U.S. Department of Justice, Patrick Leahy, legislation, legal, Jared Polis, intellectual property, government, Ed Black, copyright, Computer and Communications Industry Association, Capital Trade – Computerworld.

“Mac sales rose 28 percent year-over-year during Apple’s last quarter, while PC sales declined 1 percent

There are now 54 million active Mac users around the world.

Mac sales have outpaced the broader PC market for 5 years, 22 straight quarters

Apple has sold 200 million IOS devices to date …

… which accounts for more than 44 percent of the mobile market

25 million iPads were sold in the device’s 14 months of availability

15 billion songs have been sold from the iTunes store …

… making Apple the #1 music retailer in the world

130 million books have been downloaded from iBooks

There are 425,000 apps in the app store

90,000 of them are designed specifically for the iPad

14 billion apps have been downloaded from the App Store in less than 3 years

Apple has paid some $2.5 billion to developers building apps for the app store

There are 225 million iTunes Store accounts, all of them with associated credit cards and 1-click purchasing

There are 50 million Game Center users. XBox Live, which has been around for a lot longer, only has about 30 million

IOS users send more than 1 billion Tweets a week

To date, about 100 billion push notifications have been sent to iOS devices

The iPhone 4′s camera is the second most used camera on Flickr”

via Digital Stats.

At the D9 Conference this morning, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings credited his company with helping to beat piracy — at least in the U.S. Now, he says, the challenge is to outcompete copyright infringement in places like Korea, where it runs rampant.

“One of the things that we’re most proud of is we’re now finally beating BitTorrent,” Hastings told AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher. Thanks to services like Netflix, Hastings said most Internet video is now paid for in the U.S. The hard part for content providers, he said, was coming up with a service good enough that people were willing to pay for, rather than just searching for free content on the Internet. Netflix has been able to provide that service by making its streaming videos available across a vast number of devices, and giving subscribers access to a wide range of library content for a relatively low price.

Netflix has also enabled content owners to make money on shows they previously weren’t monetizing. Hastings offered up Joss Whedon’s Firefly as one example of a series that had a rabid fan base that couldn’t find it under legal means prior to appearing on Netflix. At the same time, he quelled any rumors that the company could bring Firefly back from the dead.

via Netflix CEO: ‘We’re Finally Beating BitTorrent’ — Online Video News.

People don’t necessarily buy Blu-ray players for the discs, but to access Netflix instead. However, once they take the players home, they apparently decide to buy a few discs and see what all the fuss is about. Despite the massive growth of Netflix, Blu-ray users are beginning to buy more discs than they did in the two previous years, according to NPD. This means that Netflix may actually help Hollywood to sell Blu-ray discs by moving away from shipping discs itself.

via Netflix helps boost Blu-ray player and disc sales — Online Video News.

American newspapers are in trouble, but in emerging markets the news industry is roaring ahead

“WHO KILLED THE newspaper?” That was the question posed on the cover of The Economist in 2006. It was, perhaps, a little premature. But there is no doubt that newspapers in many parts of the world are having a hard time. In America, where they are in the deepest trouble, the person often blamed is Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist, a network of classified-advertising websites that is mostly free to use. Mr Newmark has been called a “newspaper killer” and “the exploder of journalism”, among other things. The popularity of Craigslist, the ninth most popular website in America, has contributed to a sharp decline in newspapers’ classified-advertising revenue (see chart 1)—a business where many newspapers have had comfortable local monopolies for decades. Sitting in a café in San Francisco, Mr Newmark looks an unlikely assassin. Did he kill newspapers? “That would be a considerable exaggeration,” he says with a smile.

The internet-driven fall in classified-ad revenue is only one of the reasons for the decline of newspapers in America, which started decades ago (see chart 2). The advent of television news, and then cable television, lured readers and advertisers away. Then the internet appeared in the 1990s. A new generation of readers grew up getting their news from television and the web, now the two leading news sources in America (the web overtook newspapers in 2010 and is already the most popular source among the under-30s).

These technological shifts hit American newspapers particularly hard because of their heavy reliance on advertising. According to the OECD, a club of developed countries, in 2008 America’s newspapers collectively relied on advertising for 87% of their total revenue, more than any other country surveyed. The 2008-09 recession made things worse. Between 2007 and 2009 newspaper revenues in France fell by 4%, in Germany by 10% and in Britain by 21%. In America they plummeted by 30%. On top of that, a series of mergers and acquisitions in the American newspaper business left many companies saddled with huge debts and pushed several into bankruptcy.

For American regional and metro-area newspapers, further job cuts, closures and consolidation now seem likely. In retrospect it is clear that the industry became too dependent on local advertising monopolies. “The real trouble that a lot of US news organisations have is that they are defined by geography—by how far trucks could go to deliver papers in the morning,” says Joshua Benton, head of the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. The internet has undermined that business model by providing alternatives for both advertisers and readers.

The health of newspapers is particularly important because they tend to set the agenda for other news media and employ the most journalists. In America, for example, the national television networks had around 500 journalists on their staff in 2009, compared with more than 40,000 for daily newspapers (down from 56,000 in 2001). But it would be wrong to conclude from the woes of American newspapers that newspapers and news are in crisis everywhere.

“The United States is the worst case that we see worldwide, and a lot of media news comes out of the US, so it is exceedingly negative. But the US experience is not being replicated elsewhere,” says Larry Kilman, deputy head of the World Association of Newspapers (WAN), an industry body. “There’s an assumption that there’s a single crisis affecting all news organisations, and that’s not the case,” says David Levy, director of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University. “There are different kinds of crisis in different countries, and some countries in the developing world are experiencing expansion rather than decline.”

Newspapers in western Europe are having to manage long-term decline rather than short-term pain. In Germany, the biggest market, a 10% drop in revenue amid the worst recession in a generation “is not a terrible result”, says Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, a colleague of Mr Levy’s at the Reuters Institute and co-author with him of a recent book, “The Changing Business of Journalism and its Implications for Democracy”. That does not mean the German industry is immune to long-term changes. “But broadly speaking, the German industry has a large and loyal audience, strong brands and editorial resources to manage that transition,” says Mr Nielsen. Many European newspapers are family-owned, which helps to protect them in difficult times.

In Japan, home to the world’s three biggest-selling daily newspapers (the Yomiuri Shimbun alone has a circulation of more than 10m), circulation has held up well, in part because over 94% of newspapers are sold by subscription. But there is trouble on the horizon. Young Japanese do not share their elders’ enthusiasm for newsprint, and advertising revenues are dropping as the population ages.

The number of newspaper titles in Russia increased by 9% in 2009, but it might be no bad thing if a few newspapers died, particularly those “useless” titles that are merely mouthpieces for the local authorities that fund them, says Elena Vartanova, dean of the journalism school at Moscow State University. The Kremlin controls 60% of Russia’s newspapers and owns stakes in all six national television stations. In a country where newspapers were traditionally used as propaganda tools, online news sites offer an opportunity to break with the past. But there is a clear divide between the internet-savvy youth, who get their news online, and the old and rural populations, who depend on state-run television.

Hungry for news

There is certainly no sign of a news crisis in India, now the world’s fastest-growing newspaper market. Between 2005 and 2009 the number of paid-for daily newspapers in the country increased by 44% to 2,700 and the total number of newspapers rose by 23% to more than 74,000, according to the WAN. In 2008 India overtook China to become the leader in paid-for daily circulation, with 110m copies sold each day. Newspaper and magazine advertising expenditure increased by 32% in the year to June 2010, according to Nielsen India, a market-research firm.

Television news is also booming: of more than 500 satellite channels that have been launched in India in the past 20 years, 81 are news channels. The field is dominated by private firms with interests in both news and entertainment media, so the emphasis is on sensationalist, “Bollywoodised” coverage of celebrities, says Daya Thussu at the University of Westminster in London. Most news outlets are openly partisan. Thanks to India’s vast population, there is scope for growth in print media for years to come. “Indian publishers come to newspaper conferences and complain that it’s too focused on digital, not enough on print,” says Mr Kilman. But Mr Levy wonders whether the greater interest in news in fast-growing India and Brazil will prove to be a short-term phenomenon that will be undermined by the spread of internet access.

China is another market where news media are growing rapidly, but the strict controls on them have intensified in recent months. A private media industry was allowed to develop only in the 1990s. The combination of social change, increasingly savvy readers, a booming advertising market and the need to reconcile credibility among readers with state controls has created a very confusing environment, says David Bandurski at the University of Hong Kong. Media firms must dance skilfully “between the party line and the bottom line”, in the memorable phrase of Zhao Yuezhi, an analyst of the Chinese media scene.

Officially the state permits watchdog journalism, known as “supervision by public opinion”, but in practice news outlets are wary of offending local party officials. One way around this used to be for reporters to expose wrongdoing in other provinces, but a ban on “cross-regional” reporting put an end to that. Journalists must identify areas where muckraking will be permitted by officials, or ensure that their own political connections will provide them with sufficient cover.

A new tactic, which became particularly popular in China during 2010, is the use of microblogging services to release information anonymously in small chunks, notes Ying Chan, dean of the journalism school at Shantou University in China. Twitter is banned in China, so this is done using local clones of the service. Microblogging works well in China because it can be done on mobile phones, which are widespread, and Chinese characters allow an entire paragraph to be packed into a short message. Moreover, microblog posts are difficult to censor because they may not make sense unless they are all read in order.

Ms Chan describes the future for Chinese journalists as “both promising and perilous”. Journalists elsewhere would agree, though for different reasons. Like Tolstoy’s unhappy families, all unhappy in their own way, the news business faces different problems in different countries. To survive, news organisations will have to make the internet part of the solution.

via How newspapers are faring: A little local difficulty | The Economist.

The internet has turned the news industry upside down, making it more participatory, social, diverse and partisan—as it used to be before the arrival of the mass media, says Tom Standage

EVEN IF YOU are not a news junkie, you will have noticed that your daily news has undergone a transformation. Television newscasts now include amateur videos, taken from video-sharing websites such as YouTube, covering events like the Arab spring or the Japanese tsunami. Such videos, with their shaky cameras and people’s unguarded reactions, have much greater immediacy than professional footage. Messages posted on Twitter, the microblogging service, have been woven into coverage of these events and many others. “You have these really intimate man-in-the-street accounts, and you can craft a narrative around them,” says Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter. A computer consultant in Pakistan unwittingly described the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in a series of tweets. The terrorist attacks in Mumbai in 2008, too, were reported on Twitter in real time by people who were there.

The past year has also seen the rise to fame of WikiLeaks, an organisation that publishes leaked documents supplied to it anonymously. WikiLeaks and its media partners have published detailed records of the Afghan and Iraq wars, hundreds of classified American diplomatic cables and records from the Guantánamo Bay detention centre. “We believe that true information does good,” says Julian Assange, WikiLeaks’ founder. “Our goal is not just to have people reading documents, but to achieve political reforms through the release of information.”

In January this year Al Jazeera, a news organisation based in Qatar, published its own cache of leaked documents, known as the Palestine Papers, which lifted the lid on more than a decade of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. And by broadcasting amateur videos of the Tunisian uprising to its millions of satellite viewers across the Arab world, the channel played an active role in spreading the protests across the region. Among television news organisations it has led the way in integrating social media (such as tweets, Facebook posts and amateur online video) into its operations in order to engage with its increasingly wired audience. “The way we operate has changed because the landscape has changed dramatically,” says Moeed Ahmad, the firm’s head of new media.

Clearly something dramatic has happened to the news business. That something is, of course, the internet, which has disrupted this industry just as it has disrupted so many others. By undermining advertising revenue, making news reports a commodity and blurring the boundaries between previously distinct news organisations, the internet has upended newspapers’ traditional business model. But as well as demolishing old ways of doing things, it has also made new ones possible. As patterns of news consumption shift, much experimentation is under way. The internet may have hurt some newspapers financially, but it has stimulated innovation in journalism.

Reporters all

For consumers, the internet has made the news a far more participatory and social experience. Non-journalists are acting as sources for a growing number of news organisations, either by volunteering information directly or by posting comments, pictures or video that can be picked up and republished. Journalists initially saw this as a threat but are coming to appreciate its benefits, though not without much heart-searching. Some organisations have enlisted volunteers to gather or sift data, creating new kinds of “crowdsourced” journalism. Readers can also share stories with their friends, and the most popular stories cause a flood of traffic as recommendations ripple across social networks. Referrals from social networks are now the fastest-growing source of traffic for many news websites. Readers are being woven into the increasingly complex news ecosystem as sources, participants and distributors. “They don’t just consume news, they share it, develop it, add to it—it’s a very dynamic relationship with news,” says Arianna Huffington, co-founder of the Huffington Post, a news website in the vanguard of integrating news with social media.

As well as making Twitter, Facebook and Google part of the news ecosystem, the internet has also made possible entirely new kinds of specialist news organisations. It has allowed WikiLeaks, for example, to accept documents anonymously and publish them to a global audience, while floating in cyberspace above national jurisdictions, operated by a small, nomadic team. Other newcomers include a host of not-for-profit news organisations that rely on philanthropic funding and specialise in particular kinds of journalism. Many of these new outfits collaborate with traditional news organisations, taking advantage of their broad reach and trusted, established brands.

All these new inhabitants of the news ecosystem have brought an unprecedented breadth and diversity of news and opinion to the business. This has cast new light on a long-running debate about the politics of journalism: when there are so many sources, does political objectivity become less important?

This special report will consider all these trends in turn, starting with a look at the state of the industry and the new business models that are emerging. It will argue that as news becomes more social, participatory, diverse and partisan, it is in many ways returning to the more chaotic, freewheeling and politically charged environment of the era before the emergence of mass media in the 19th century. And although the internet has proved hugely disruptive to journalists, for consumers—who now have a wider choice than ever of news sources and ways of accessing them—it has proved an almost unqualified blessing.

via Bulletins from the future | The Economist.

According to Spanish newspaper El País, the investigation is focused on José Luis Rodríguez Neri, the head of an SGAE subsidiary called the Digital Society of Spanish Authors (SDAE). Neri faces charges of “fraud, misappropriation of funds and disloyal administration.” On Monday, a High Court judge grilled him for more than four hours over the charges.

Investigators say Neri made payments for non-existent services to a contractor that then paid kickbacks to Neri and his associates. The contractor’s books show that it received 5 million euros from SDAE, but only reported 3.7 million euros of those funds to tax authorities.

Although Neri is the focus of the investigation, investigators suspect he did not act alone. A total of nine people associated with SGAE, including its chairman Teddy Bautista, were detained on Friday and Saturday. They were released on Sunday without bail, but their passports have been taken and they are barred from leaving Spain.

via Spanish anti-piracy execs busted for ripping off artists – Boing Boing.

The number of illegally downloaded films in the UK has gone up nearly 30% in five years, new figures suggest.

That research, from internet consultancy firm Envisional, indicates that the top five box office movies were illegally downloaded in the UK a total of 1.4 million times last year.

Film industry bosses say it is costing £170m every year and putting thousands of jobs at risk.

The research also shows a big rise in TV shows being pirated online.

Dr David Price led the the team which conducted the research and said there are four main reasons for the increase.

Graph showing increase in illegal downloads

“We’ve seen increases in technology like faster broadband,” he said.

“The methods of piracy have become easier, with quicker downloads and easier to find content.

“We have a generation online now who aren’t really bothered about downloading things illegally.

“Finally it’s an issue of availability – there’s a lot of American content which a lot of people are desperate to download that they can’t get hold of legitimately.”

via BBC – Newsbeat – Illegal UK film downloads up 30%, new figures suggest.

2011 márciusának végén bezárt a, Magyarország utolsó olyan internetes zeneáruháza, mely nemcsak magyar, de nemzetközi kiadók anyagait is árusította. Ezzel beállt abba a sorba, mint a korábban már bezárt, Magyar Telekom által üzemeltetett, illetve a CLS kiadó zeneáruháza. Ma már csak egyetlen, letöltéses modellen alapuló zeneáruház, a üzemel, a többiekhez képest sokkal szerényebb kínálattal, hiszen csak magyar előadók zenéit kínálja eladásra. A megszűnés különösen fájó a hazai jogvédő szervezeteknek és zenei tartalomtulajdonosoknak, hiszen a bevezetni tervezett „kalóztörvény” egyik kiindulópontja az volt, hogy létezik olyan legális forrás, ahonnan a zenei tartalmak jelentős része beszerezhető. A most kialakult helyzet viszont komoly munícióval szolgál azoknak, akik az illegális letöltést azzal védik, hogy legális módon nincs lehetőség zenei tartalmak beszerzésére.

Pedig a kezdetek optimizmusra adtak okot.

A 2000-es évek első évtizedének derekára a hazai szélessávú internetes hálózatfejlesztés eredményeképpen a fogyasztói oldalon megjelent az igény arra, hogy az interneten már ne csak szöveges tartalmat lehessen fogyasztani, hanem egyéb audiovizuálisakat is. Több oka is van annak, hogy első körben a zenei tartalmat kínáló online áruházak jelentek meg. Egy cd-nyi tömörített zenei tartalom letöltése maximum tíz percet vett igénybe, míg egy film esetében ez meghaladta volna az egy órát is az akkori sávszélességek mellett. További előny volt az is, hogy a zenei tartalmak jogtulajdonosai relatív koncentráltak voltak (a négy nemzetközi zenei kiadó és a korábbi állami monopóliumból átalakult Hungaroton). Optimizmusra adott okot az is, hogy 2005 közepére már félmilliárd zeneszámot töltöttek le az Apple Itunes Store-jából.

Eleinte biztatóan alakultak a forgalmi adatok, azonban 2008-ra a növekedés megállt, majd ugyanazzal a dinamikával csökkenésbe váltott. A legális online zeneletöltés sikertelenségének okait vizsgálva láthatjuk, hogy a kudarcban az értéklánc összes szereplője szerepet vállalt. A nemzetközi kiadók anyagaik átadásakor ragaszkodtak a másolásvédelmi technológiák bevezetéséhez. A digitális jogvédelmi (DRM) rendszereknek azonban megvan az a hátrányuk, hogy erősen korlátozzák a fogyasztó szabad választását a zenehallgatás tekintetében. A DRM rendszer platformfüggetlenségének hiánya a nem Windows-alapú számítógépek és különösen az okostelefonok piaci részesedésének robbanásszerű növekedésével jelentősen csökkentette a potenciális vásárlók számát, hiszen ezekkel már nem lehetett meghallgatni a megvásárolt zenéket. Nem segítette a piac fejlődését az a tény sem, hogy a nemzetközi kiadók nagyon szigorú területi korlátozással adták át anyagaikat, így a felvevőpiac Magyarországra korlátozódott. Ez viszont a méretgazdaságosság elérését akadályozta meg, hiszen nincsenek nagyságrendbeli különbségek fejlesztés, üzemeltetés és beruházás tekintetében egy 10 milliós vagy egy 100 milliós piac kiszolgálása esetén. Viszont egy tízszer akkora piac esetén tízszer gyorsabb megtérüléssel lehet számolni.

A kudarc egy másik oka az árban keresendő. Sajnos a nagykereskedelmi árak és a jogdíjak megállapítását követően kialakuló végfelhasználói ár sok esetben megegyezett a hagyományos cd-ével, sőt néha még meg is haladta azt. Mindezt úgy, hogy a megvásárolt virtuális zene – a digitális tömörítés miatt – rosszabb minőségű, mint a cd, illetve a hagyományos lemezekkel ellentétben nem adja meg a vásárlóknak a fizikai birtoklás érzetét. A közös jogkezelők piacromboló hatású, magas minimumdíjú jogdíjszámításának következtében az eladott zenék jelentős hányadánál a fizetendő jogdíj önmaga elérte a bruttó 70 forintot. Tovább drágította a végfelhasználói árakat a fizetési szolgáltatók magas tranzakciódíja is.

Az árak nem vették figyelembe a fogyasztási attitűd változását sem. Húsz-harminc évvel ezelőtt egy átlagos zenehallgató jellemzően 3-500 dalt tartalmazó kazetta- vagy lemezgyűjteménnyel rendelkezett, addig a mai zenefogyasztó akár tízezres repertoárt is hallgathat. Ez pedig azt jelenti, hogy az egy dalra jutó fajlagos szabadidő töredékére csökkent, így annak értéke is töredékére esett. Emellett pedig az átlag magyar internetfelhasználó az évek során úgy szocializálódott, hogy az interneten található tartalmak a szabad jószág kategóriájába esnek, így nem érez belső késztetést arra, hogy azokért fizessen.Mindezen körülmények miatt egyre szélesebb körben terjednek el azok a nézetek, melyek szerint a zenei kiadók már elvesztették a harcot, és csak idő kérdése, hogy mikorra válnak teljesen ingyenessé a zenei tartalmak. Egy biztos, a hagyományos üzleti modell az internetes zenefogyasztásban halott, ha már eleve nem halva született. Ma nincs a világon olyan fizetős, internetes zenei szolgáltatás, amely önmagában nyereséges lenne. Az oly sokszor példaként felhozott Apple zeneáruház is csak a magas fedezeti hányaddal rendelkező hardvereladás nyereségességéből keresztfinanszírozott, önmagában nem lenne életképes.

Persze az élet nem áll meg, a jogtulajdonosok, szolgáltatók újabb és újabb üzleti modelleket húznak elő a cilinderből. Pár éve a reklámalapú streamingszolgáltatások tűntek befutónak. Azonban az egyik legkomolyabb szolgáltatónak, a Spotifynak az a lépése, hogy megszünteti az ingyenes szolgáltatást (pontosabban annyira lekorlátozza, hogy az gyakorlatilag felér a megszüntetéssel), és havidíjassá teszi azt, mutatja, hogy ez a modell sem vált sikeressé. Hasonló alapon működik a pár hete Magyarországon elindított, amely havidíjas konstrukcióban kínál korlátlanul zenét. Komoly hibája, hogy csak egyetlen nemzetközi kiadó anyagát tartalmazza, valamint a felhasznált technológia következtében mobileszközökön nem élvezhető. A korábbi hasonló hazai szolgáltatások tapasztalatait figyelembe véve sajnos ettől a szolgáltatástól sem várható komolyabb áttörés.

Végül pedig azoknak, akik lemaradtak a fizetős online zenei piac vesszőfutásáról, és szeretnék ugyanezeket a problémákat valós időben megfigyelni: „kapcsoljanak át” az ebookok piacára! Érdemes.

(forrás: Kreatív )

BE Broadband surveyed a few hundred customers and asked them whether they are aware of the Digital Economy Act, and how they think their file-sharing habits would change under the new law. The results are intriguing.

Of all the respondents who use file-sharing networks (85% of the total sample) more than 94 percent say they will not share less when the Digital Economy Act gets into full swing. Instead, the majority of the file-sharers say they will simply take measures to hide their IP-address, by using VPN and proxy services for example.

via ISP Survey: Three Strikes Won’t Deter Pirates | TorrentFreak.

Signing a deal that makes anyone a net profit participant in a Hollywood movie deal has always been a sucker’s bet. In an era where studios have all but eliminated first dollar gross and invited talent to share the risk and potential rewards, guess what? Net profit deals are still a sucker’s bet. I was slipped a net profit statement below for Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix, the 2007 Warner Bros sequel. Though the film grossed $938.2 million worldwide, the accounting statement below conveys that the film is still over $167 million in the red. Text continues below…harry potter net profits

via STUDIO SHAME! Even Harry Potter Pic Loses Money Because Of Warner Bros’ Phony Baloney Net Profit Accounting –

Now on sale in some online marketplaces: cheap, illegal access to SciFinder, an extensive database of scholarly articles and information about chemical compounds run by a division of the American Chemical Society. The sellers are pirates, hawking stolen or leaked SciFinder account information from college students and professors.”There are reseller Web sites in China where we’ve purchased access to our own products for pennies on the dollar,” says Michael Dennis, vice president for legal administration and applied research at the Chemical Abstracts Service, the division that publishes SciFinder. “We’re shutting down hundreds of these every couple of months,” he says, though in some cases the publisher has trouble taking effective action against sites in other countries.

via Academic Publisher Steps Up Efforts to Stop Piracy of Its Online Products – Technology – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Friday nights in Romania under the Communist regime which came to an end in December 1989, friends and family would gather in front of their television sets, trying to guess what they were actually watching. Telephone calls would be made, film reference and theory books consulted. Such detective skills were required due to the government’s censorship tactics, which included screening foreign films both on television and in cinemas with their titles altered beyond recognition, their credit sequences removed, entire scenes eliminated, and dialogue ideologically “cleansed” through the subtitling process. 1 Coauthor and Romanian national Ioana Uricaru recalls that “God” was invariably translated as Cel-de-Sus, or “the one above,” and “church” as edificiu, or “edifice.” 2 Sometimes films playing in cinemas would differ dramatically at the beginning and end of their run as elements requiring excision came to the attention of officials. 3Subtitling was the translation method associated with government media channels. As such, it was considered official, professional, and proper—both “ideologically correct” and the industry standard. With subtitles, interference of the “original” is kept at a minimum. 4 As lines of text superimposed onto the film image, subtitles neither erase nor noisily intrude upon the foreign soundtrack. Consequently, they are often viewed as a clean technique that respects the source material by enabling it to remain intact. However, in Romania the identification of subtitling with “quality” translation was compromised by its close link to adjacent practices of content deletion and paraphrasing for the sake of ideological alteration. The role that subtitling played in making meaning palatable for the “party line” meant that this technique was, concurrently, subject to suspicion and distrust

via Project MUSE – The Velvet Light Trap – Slashings and Subtitles: Romanian Media Piracy, Censorship, and Translation.

As TorrentFreak, one of the first blogs to report on the Locker case, points out: If only 10,000 of the alleged infringers pay a $2,000 settlement, it would net $20 million for Voltage and USCG. In comparison, The Hurt Locker grossed $17 million at the U.S. box office.

via Hurt Locker lawsuit: 50,000 sued for BitTorrent downloads – Jun. 10, 2011.

A Hamisítás Elleni Nemzeti Testület publikálta honlapján annak a felmérésnek eredményeit, amelyet 2011. március-április hónapban végeztek. Az online kérdőívre az ország 241 középiskolájának 17435 diákja válaszolt.

via A középiskolások többsége szerint jár pénz a dalokért –

The explosive growth of ereading is creating the biggest change to the publishing industry since Gutenberg. Bricks-and-mortar sales are declining as digital distribution and self-publishing rise. The rapid proliferation and adoption of ereading devices by tens of millions of US consumers are accelerating these trends.

As ebooks reshape the industry, publishers, booksellers, and device manufacturers need to understand trends and changes in consumption patterns quicker than ever before. Our latest survey uncovers consumer behaviors and attitudes towards ebooks that can help industry players face challenges and exploit opportunities in the brave new world of publishing.

Elastic Path's consumer research report on ebooks reveals:

Why and how consumers read digital content

How much they spend on ebooks versus print books

How they discover books and where they buy

And more….

via Brave New Publishing World: Assessing the Impact of Ebooks on Consumers | Elastic Path Software.

The year 2010 was similar to 2009 in that the domestic box office hit a record high, once again, while the domestic video retail market was continuing its steady decline as consumers alter their home video viewing habits.Consumers are now opting to sign up for streaming and/or rental services, such as Netflix Inc. They are using video-on-demand services more and more, as they discover these services can be cost-effective.Unfortunately for studios, the revenue from VOD has not yet offset the resulting drop in DVD sale revenue, which was their top earner for more than a decade now.We tracked 415 titles in our database that were released on DVD in 2010, and among those titles, wholesale revenue dropped by 43.9% from $7.97 billion in 2009 to $4.47 billion in 2010. It is important to note that this does not include Blu-ray revenue, which grew significantly in 2010. It should also be noted that this sample of the video market does not include library titles, direct-to-video titles and TV on DVD, as well. When looking at the video retail market as a whole, consumer spending only declined 10.8% to $11.86 billion in 2010.The average wholesale price was relatively flat when compared with 2009, but there were significantly fewer units shipped, down 43.8% to nearly 226.0 million.On average, films shipped 545,000 units and made $10.8 million in wholesale revenue, off 52.4% from the $22.6 million average in 2009. In the past five years, average wholesale revenue posted a negative 13.7% CAGR.

via SNL: Article.

BSA Global Software Piracy Study – Home.

Netflix knocked over a new milestone Monday: It now has more subscribers than the largest cable TV operator in the U.S.

Netflix's global subscriber base grew almost 70% over the past year, to 23.6 million users. With that audience, it dethroned Comcast (CMCSA, Fortune 500) as the country's biggest provider of subscription video content. More than 7% of Americans now subscribe to Netflix.

Those details came out Monday in Netflix's (NFLX) first-quarter report, in which the company reported earnings of of $60.2 million, or $1.11 a share. That's up from $32 million, or 59 cents a share, a year ago.

Revenue rose 46% to $719 million. Both figures topped Wall Street estimates, but shares fell 2.5% in after-hours trade on light forecasts for the second quarter.

via Netflix tops Comcast as largest video subscription service – Apr. 25, 2011.

Netflix knocked over a new milestone Monday: It now has more subscribers than the largest cable TV operator in the U.S.

Netflix's global subscriber base grew almost 70% over the past year, to 23.6 million users. With that audience, it dethroned Comcast (CMCSA, Fortune 500) as the country's biggest provider of subscription video content. More than 7% of Americans now subscribe to Netflix.





Those details came out Monday in Netflix's (NFLX) first-quarter report, in which the company reported earnings of of $60.2 million, or $1.11 a share. That's up from $32 million, or 59 cents a share, a year ago.

Revenue rose 46% to $719 million. Both figures topped Wall Street estimates, but shares fell 2.5% in after-hours trade on light forecasts for the second quarter.

via Netflix tops Comcast as largest video subscription service – Apr. 25, 2011.

Creative Destruction and Copyright Protection, a paper by the London School of Economics' Bart Cammaerts and Bingchun Meng, is an eye-opening look at the economics of file-sharing and music. The authors argue that an overall decline in consumer entertainment spending is to blame for the music industry's downturn, supporting their assertion with (for example), research showing that entertainment spending declined by 40 percent in households that didn't own computers (who probably weren't downloading!) over the period of overall decline for the industry.

via Boing Boing.

The injunction was the result of a lengthy and ongoing litigation process which dates back to 2006, and soon after it was awarded the record labels filed a claim to recoup damages said to have been caused by LimeWire. The labels calculated that the company behind the popular file-sharing client owes them up to a billion dollars.

The case dragged on and in recent weeks dozens of documents were submitted to the court in a noteworthy side-battle. To get to the bottom of how the music industry sets up licensing deals with other Internet companies, LimeWire subpoenaed internal emails from Apple, Amazon, Yahoo, Google, MySpace and others.

Thus far a quarter million pages of emails have been collected, leading LimeWire to draw some interesting conclusions. Among other things, they found that unauthorized downloads actually boosted the revenue of music labels, and that their income took a dive when LimeWire shut down.

via LimeWire Settles With Record Labels, Still Faces $1 Billion Claim | TorrentFreak.

Free streaming services are replacing piracy as the chief culprit of music industry revenue loss in the minds of fiscally frustrated executives, if a number of panel discussions at a New York digital music conference are any indication.

People are listening to more music than ever before, but they are paying less for it, noted Russ Crupnick, a president at the analyst firm NPD Group, speaking at the Digital Music Forum East conference, held Thursday in New York.

Crupnick noted that the average consumer listened to music 19.7 hours a week in 2010, up from 18.5 hours per week in 2009. But at the same time, consumers have been buying less music. In 2010, only 50 percent of consumers purchased music, by either buying a CD or paying for a downloadable music track, down from 70 percent in 2006.

“We have lost 20 million buyers in just five years,” Crupnick said. Moreover, only about 14 percent of buyers account for 56 percent of revenue for the recording industry.

“Consumers have flipped us the bird,” Crupnick concluded, adding that the lost sales has thus far not been made up yet by other forms of revenue, such as concerts or merchandise sales.

The music industry has long expected that sales of music CDs would decline, as consumers move their libraries to computers and portable listening devices. Digital sales, however, have not made up for the shortfall on CD sales over the past decade. Last year, digital sales accounted for about 23 percent of all music sales, which is up only modestly from 14 percent in 2006, Crupnick said.

“We never really made the digital transformation,” he said.

The reasons behind this sales decline have been routinely debated at this conference over the past decade, the panelists noted. In years past, music executives put the blame on digital music piracy — the easy and free sharing of music with Internet software like BitTorrent — for eroding sales of recorded music.

At this year's conference, however, concern centered on the growing influence of free streaming Internet services, such as Pandora, MySpace, Spotify and even YouTube. Music listeners deploy YouTube as a streaming service, picking the songs they want to hear and minimizing the browser window, noted Eric Garland, who is the CEO and founder of BigChampagne, a media tracking company.

via Music execs stressed over free streaming | ITworld.

A piece in the Infocommunications and Law journal on pricing problems and piracy. In this piece I argue that the problem is not that pirates and ISPs are not willing to pay rightsholders, but that legitimate businesses cannot get the right price with which they could outcompete the black market. I argue that if there is a room for intervention, it must be concentrated on forcing rights holders to set a price which reflects local market realities, instead of forcing ISPs or their users to pay a levy for file-sharing.
Read the rest of this entry »


“Ambiguity surrounds the real impact of digital book piracy, notes Brian O’Leary in an interview with O’Reilly Radar, but all would be better served if more data was shared and less effort was exerted on futile DRM. ‘The publishing industry should be working as hard as we can to develop new and innovative business models that meet the needs of readers. And what those look like could be community-driven. I think of Baen Books, for example, which doesn’t put any DRM restrictions on its content but is one of the least pirated book publishers. As to sales, Paulo Coelho is a good example. He mines the piracy data to see if there’s a burgeoning interest for his books in a particular country or market. If so, he either works to get his book out in print or translate it in that market.'”

Q&A: Why money doesn’t motivate file-sharers | Interviews | News | PC Pro


Q&A: Why money doesn’t motivate file-sharers

Bank notes

By Nicole Kobie

Posted on 8 Dec 2010 at 14:11

Piracy is so difficult to battle because file-sharers are motivated by altruism and not financial gain, according to one academic.

Joe Cox, an economist at the Portsmouth Business School, believes file-sharers who post content online see themselves as the “Robin Hoods of the digital age,” according to a study he’s published in the journal Information Economics and Policy.

Such insight could help drive policy and find ways to prevent illegal downloads, he claims. We spoke to him to find out more.

Q. Why did you decide to look at file-sharing?

A. A lot of the academic effort which has focused on file-sharing has been on lost revenues, to say how much the record industry and the film industry has lost as a result of people illegally downloading content.


I was more interested in the behavioural motivations. To me it seems pretty obvious why you might want to illegally download a music track or a film or a video game, but what I was really interested in is the people who make the content available in the first place, because there doesn’t seem to be much to be gained for them, at least not materially. They presumably already bought the material to make it available in the first place.

I called them seeders – it’s a pretty standard term for people who make the material available – distinguishing them from leechers, who just take material from others but don’t give any back. I’ve never seen anything published which looks at those two groups to look at their different motivations.

Q. What was the motivation for seeders?

A. For the leechers, pretty obviously, the major motivation was financial. They wanted to acquire music or films without paying for it because it was cheaper than going out to buy it.

What was interesting was the difference with the seeders, and it was quite apparent that financial motivations were nowhere near as prevelant; it was a kind of altruism.

Their main motivation was that they were seeking notoriety, peer recognition, peer esteem, some sort of feeling of getting one over on the system. It was a much richer tapestry of different things contributing to the decision to go ahead and make the content available.

Q. With that in mind, how should illegal sharing be prevented?

A. The survey data suggested there was a deep-seated belief that this type of activity shouldn’t be illegal, that there was no criminal act involved.

That makes it very hard to deter with advertising to suggest that you’re funding piracy, that you’re a cheap knock-off merchant, because they believe what they’re doing is morally right. And it’s these guys that record labels and movie studios are most interested in getting to. They’re the source.

Q. You’ve said the Digital Economy Act won’t work, so what do you suggest?

A. Technology has developed to such a point now that you can’t turn back the clock and you can’t change the digital revolution – it’s a bit like King Canute trying to halt the advance of the tides.


I think there needs to be a more radical rethink in how the arts and the creative industries are funded.

The phenomena of the record label and the movie studio pretty much come into their own in the 20th century and I think they are a 20th century phenomena. Before that opera, ballet, and music were funded on a system of patronage.

I think we need to consider potential funding from the public sector. Coming at this from an economics perspective – I’m an economist – we have a particular type of common good that we look at, called a public good.


I would argue that these days music and movies are public goods: you can’t really exclude people from using them

The characteristics of this are you can’t exclude people from enjoying the benefits of it if they don’t pay for it, and if any one person consumes the good it doesn’t affect anyone else’s ability to consume it too. Classic examples are things like street lighting or national defence.

I would argue that these days music and movies are public goods. You can’t really exclude people from using them. The internet is giving them the availability to share this material at will and it’s virtually impossible to stop that. And with the digital nature of material, you can make perfect reproductions and share it to others.

What economists say will happen if you have a public good and look to the free market, the market won’t provide any output because everyone will just look to free-ride, and not pay themselves. But if no-one pays the good doesn’t get produced.

Q. And public funding is the way to get around that?

A. With street lighting or national defence, these are things that government funds through taxation. It would probably be a bit radical to say the government should fund the creative industries through taxation, but there are creative ways knocking around at the moment.

For example, you could try introducing non-commercial use levies on iPods or DVD players. It’s a lump sum you would pay over and above the purchase price when you buy the device, with the understand that you’re going to use it to access digital content.

If that money was collected into a pot, it could be distributed to record labels and movie studios to give proper compensation to rights owners. And then there could be a relaxation on how people access the material. You could keep track of downloads to make sure the most popular artists get the most money.



A new Internet traffic trends report released by the Canadian broadband management company Sandvine reveals that global P2P traffic is expanding, with BitTorrent as the key player. In North America, more than half of all upstream traffic (53.3%) on an average day can be attributed to P2P. The report further signals some really interesting regional differences in P2P use, such as the dominance of Ares in Latin America.

Comic Book ‘Pirated’ On 4Chan, Author Joins Discussion… Watches Sales Soar | Techdirt


Paul Watson points us to yet another example of how engaging with fans of your work (even if, technically, they infringed on your copyrights) can lead to pretty happy outcomes for everyone. The basic details are that comic book artist Steve Lieber discovered that folks at 4chan had scanned in and uploaded every page of his graphic novel Underground. Now, the typical reaction is to freak out, scream “piracy,” whine about “losses” and demand that “something must be done.” But, in a world where obscurity is really a much bigger issue than “piracy,” another option is to actually engage with those fans who liked his work so much that they put in the effort to share it with the world. And that’s exactly what Lieber did. He went to the site and actually started talking about the work with the folks on 4chan (image from Paul):

Nice. But, what did it actually mean? Well, the day after he engaged with fans on 4chan, Lieber posted a blog post highlighting his sales. As he says, “pictures help us learn.”

But “piracy” is killing the ability to earn money, right?


Epicenter |


Netflix instant accounts for 20 percent of all non-mobile internet use during prime time in the United States, according to a new study.

Streaming media — real-time entertainment — accounts for 43% of peak period traffic in the U.S., according to Sandvine, which helps ISPs manage their networks and thus has access to buckets of information about usage patterns.

But Netflix alone accounts for nearly half of that between 8 and 10 p.m., and that usage comes from only 1.8 percent of the service’s subscribers.

“Per-user, Netflix is the heaviest user of downstream bandwidth in North America: the average fixed access Netflix connection is 1 megabit per second,” Sandvine said in reply to an e-mail question. “On mobile networks, per user, only Slingbox (at almost 800 kbps) is heavier than Netflix (~125 kbps).”

Streaming video is the most bandwidth-intensive use of the internet, but there are plenty of other choices — starting with YouTube. So the dominance of Netflix, which only offers “studio” fare, would seem to indicate that there is an enormous appetite for profession programming delivered from the cloud.

Good news for Hulu, Amazon Unbox and even YouTube, should its movie rentals service gain traction. Better news for the content creators, assuming they can come up with a killer streaming revenue model and as if they needed any more proof that on-demand, internet delivery is the future. Bad news for cable and satellite — protestations by CEO Reed Hastings notwithstanding.

But Hastings does see that streaming is the engine for Netflix now. “In fact, by every measure, we are now primarily a streaming company that also offers DVD-by-mail,” Hastings said in conjunction with the company’s earnings report Wednesday [pdf]. “At the same time, the introduction of our streaming offering in Canada in late September has provided us with very encouraging signs regarding the potential for the Netflix service internationally.”


Blockbuster files for Chapter 11 protection | Business | The Guardian

The loss-making DVD rental chain Blockbuster filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US today, after being hammered by mail-order and online film rental services.

In this book my aim was to look beyond the legal and economic readings of contemporary western copyright piracy and understand it as a unique social practice that merits attention not only because of its dubious legality, ubiquity, or the havoc it has played with copyright-based business models, but first and foremost because it shapes the ideas and attitudes of millions of netizens about what intellectual property is and could be; what sharing and online cooperation means in a p2p setting; what privacy is and how it can be protected; how to form and negotiate online identities in an anonymous environment, just to name a few issues. Piracy is not just a drain on the cultural economy, but a powerful productive force whose legacy in social relations will stay with us long after the economic conditions that called it into being –and the power vacuum that enabled it – have passed.
Read the rest of this entry »

Piracy ravages Spain – Entertainment News, International Top Story, Media – Variety

Online piracy cost the Spanish media biz an estimated E5 million ($6.3 billion) in the second half of 2009, according to a new study.

The study, carried out by IDC Research Iberia, the Spanish arm of U.S. consultancy IDC, covered the piracy of music, movies, vidgames and books.

It was commissioned by Spain’s Coalition of Creators and Content Industries, an umbrella lobby for most of the country’s film and TV trade associations.

Polling 5,911 Spaniards, the report found that piracy accounted for 83.7% of all online movie consumption and 95.6% of that for music.

IDC reported that 58.4% of Spanish users would pay for music and 54.8% for movies.

Music Ally | Blog Archive

Brindley from Music Ally now (I feel like Paxman on University Challenge). He talks about where should the crackdown on piracy come – suing your own consumers hasn’t worked in markets like the US. “When you start taking action against them, that tends to lead to some pretty bad PR,” he says. And he points out that taking action against the file-sharing sites hasn’t worked well either. Yet pressuring the intermediary – ISPs – is dangerous. “When you start playing around with people’s connections… that’s a pretty severe intervention.” He thinks that actually cutting people off from accessing the internet in their own homes – “when that’s going to become just like electricity, water – a basic human right… I’m not sure it’s worth that battle

In this article we look at the interconnections between the p2p and legal marketplaces in the case of the film industry using data collection methods that avoid the pitfalls of questionnaire-based surveys. Central to our analysis is the assessment of two piracy paradigms: substitution and shortage, that is whether pirated content is available through legal or only through illegal channels. Using transactional data (real time observation of p2p downloading activity by users of three major Hungarian torrent trackers) and movie distribution statistics we find that shortage-driven downloaders (pirating old catalogues only) outnumber those downloading only current theatrical releases, while the majority pirates both categories. The analysis of causal relationships reveals nonetheless that demand for a film among online pirates is impacted by its theatrical distribution (number of copies) rather than its actual success at the box offices, the effect of which is insignificant. This leads to the conclusion that part of the marketing efforts directly contributes to propping up piracy. However, the high diversity of the movie genres downloaded by users suggests that p2p pirating is also an activity that is disembedded from the context of personal taste and is thus contributing to the evolution of cultural consumption beyond preexisting preferences and loyalties.
Read the rest of this entry »

On the XVII. Budapest International Book Festival I was talking about the Goggle Book project and led a panel about the online book black-markets at the Book publishing and distribution in the age of electronic copies conference, co-organized by the Hungarian Patent Office, and the National Anti-counterfeiting Committee, the Ministry of Justice, and the Book Trade.

Hosszú hónapok munkájával sikerült rávenni az Igazságügyi és Rendészeti Minisztériumot, a Magyar Szabadalmi Hivatal  és főleg a Hamisítás Elleni Nemzeti Testületet arra, hogy a feketepiaci szereplők ellenoi fellépés módozatai helyett végre a legális piac előtt álló kihívások legyen egy általuk is fontosnak tartott rendezvény témája. A XVII. Budapesti Nemzetközi Könyvfesztivál keretében megrendezett egész napos konferencián a Google Books-ról beszéltem, illetve a legális és feketepiacok közötti kapcsolatról vezettem panelt.

Beszámolók a konferenciáról:

Toporgás a digitális kor küszöbé
Mezei Péter beszámolója
A Google a könyvzabáló kisgömböc –

The Technium: How to Thrive Among Pirates

What do these gray zones have to teach us? I think the emerging pattern is clear. If you are a producer of films in the future you will:

1) Price your copies near the cost of pirated copies. Maybe 99 cents, like iTunes. Even decent pirated copies are not free; there is some cost to maintain integrity, authenticity, or accessibility to the work.

2) Milk the uncopyable experience of a theater for all that it is worth, using the ubiquitous cheap copies as advertising. In the west, where air-conditioning is not enough to bring people to the theater, Hollywood will turn to convincing 3D projection, state-of-the-art sound, and other immersive sensations as the reward for paying. Theaters become hi-tech showcases always trying to stay one step ahead of ambitious homeowners in offering ultimate viewing experiences, and in turn manufacturing films to be primarily viewed this way.

3) Films, even fine-art films, will migrate to channels were these films are viewed with advertisements and commercials. Like the infinite channels promised for cable TV, the internet is already delivering ad-supported free copies of films.

YouTube Blog: Broadcast Yourself

For years, Viacom continuously and secretly uploaded its content to YouTube, even while publicly complaining about its presence there. It hired no fewer than 18 different marketing agencies to upload its content to the site. It deliberately “roughed up” the videos to make them look stolen or leaked. It opened YouTube accounts using phony email addresses. It even sent employees to Kinko’s to upload clips from computers that couldn’t be traced to Viacom. And in an effort to promote its own shows, as a matter of company policy Viacom routinely left up clips from shows that had been uploaded to YouTube by ordinary users. Executives as high up as the president of Comedy Central and the head of MTV Networks felt “very strongly” that clips from shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report should remain on YouTube.

Viacom’s efforts to disguise its promotional use of YouTube worked so well that even its own employees could not keep track of everything it was posting or leaving up on the site. As a result, on countless occasions Viacom demanded the removal of clips that it had uploaded to YouTube, only to return later to sheepishly ask for their reinstatement. In fact, some of the very clips that Viacom is suing us over were actually uploaded by Viacom itself.

Given Viacom’s own actions, there is no way YouTube could ever have known which Viacom content was and was not authorized to be on the site. But Viacom thinks YouTube should somehow have figured it out. The legal rule that Viacom seeks would require YouTube — and every Web platform — to investigate and police all content users upload, and would subject those web sites to crushing liability if they get it wrong.

Viacom’s brief misconstrues isolated lines from a handful of emails produced in this case to try to show that YouTube was founded with bad intentions, and asks the judge to believe that, even though Viacom tried repeatedly to buy YouTube, YouTube is like Napster or Grokster.

Nothing could be further from the truth. YouTube has long been a leader in providing media companies with 21st century tools to control, distribute, and make money from their content online. Working in cooperation with rights holders, our Content ID system scans over 100 years worth of video every day and lets rights holders choose whether to block, leave up, or monetize those videos. Over 1,000 media companies are now using Content ID — including every major U.S. network broadcaster, movie studio, and record label — and the majority of those companies choose to make money from user uploaded clips rather than block them. This is a true win-win that reflects our long-standing commitment to working with rights holders to give them the choices they want, while advancing YouTube as a platform for creativity.

We look forward to defending YouTube, and upholding the balance that Congress struck in the DMCA to protect the rights of copyright holders, the progress of technological innovation, and the public interest in free expression.

Posted by Zahavah Levine, YouTube Chief Counsel

Internet piracy taking big toll on jobs | Reuters

A study into Internet piracy by a Paris-based consultancy published on Wednesday showed that 1.2 million jobs in the European Union could be lost over the next five years if more is not done to clamp down on illegal downloading.

The study by TERA Consultants for the International Chamber of Commerce focused on piracy in Europe’s music, film, television and software industries.

Those industries generated 860 billion euros ($1.186 trillion) and employed 14.4 million people in 2008. But in the same year, 10 billion euros and 186,000 jobs were lost to piracy, the study found.

If that trend continues — and the rapid increase in illegal downloads and advancing piracy techniques suggest it will — then up to 1.2 million jobs and 240 billion euros worth of European commerce could be wiped out by 2015.

“In the near future and even today in 2010, we observe increasing bandwidth, increasing penetration rate in terms of the Internet,” said TERA Consultant’s Patrice Geoffron, explaining that piracy was only likely to escalate.

“If we combine all those elements, obviously the impact in a few years won’t remain stable compared to what it was in 2008.”


The bulk of illegal downloading targets music, television and video sites, with consumers using “peer-to-peer” formats to download songs and video clips onto their laptops and home computers from websites without paying a fee.

In that respect it has a disproportionate impact on the creative industries, with musicians, actors and artists standing to lose the most from unfettered downloading, experts say.

Agnete Haaland, the president of the International Actors’ Federation, believes consumers need to be made more aware of the damaging economic and social impact of their illegal activity.

“We should change the word piracy,” she told reporters at the unveiling of the report on Wednesday.

“To me, piracy is something adventurous, it makes you think about Johnny Depp. We all want to be a bit like Johnny Depp. But we’re talking about a criminal act. We’re talking about making it impossible to make a living from what you do,” she said.

Haaland, whose group supported the study, said one of the best ways to reverse the situation would be stricter EU legislation to enforce existing laws against piracy.

IT | Tudomány: Százból csak öt magyar blogol –

Saját bevallásuk szerint a netezők fele legalább heti rendszerességgel oszt meg és tölt le főként zenét, illetve filmes tartalmakat, több mint egyharmada legalább hetente tölt fel képeket. Minden második internetező már rendszeresen vesz igénybe online banki szolgáltatásokat, és egyharmaduk a számláit is a weben keresztül fizeti ki. A megkérdezettek fele ugyanakkor soha nem intézi hivatalos (adóbevallási vagy más ügyfélkapus) ügyeit az interneten.

Ars technica

Access to the Internet is a fundamental right to nearly four out of five adults across the globe, and those in South Korea, Mexico, and China seem to have the strongest feelings on the topic. This is according to a report (PDF) by the BBC World Service, which polled 27,973 adults on their feelings about, usage of, and concerns about the Internet. Although users are somewhat divided on whether the Internet should be regulated, they are in agreement on its usefulness for learning and information discovery.

Across all 26 countries, 79 percent of Internet and non-Internet users said that they felt that Internet access should be “the fundamental right of all people.” When isolated for people who already use the Internet, that number went up to 87 percent. Almost universally (90 percent), respondents said that the Internet was a good place to learn and almost 80 percent said the Internet brought them greater freedom.

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Total number of books in the world = 174m.
Total number of books held by Google partner libraries = 42m.
Total number of books subject to the amended settlement = 10m.
~5 million are in-print
~5 million are out-of-print
~1 million of the out-of-print works would turn out to be true “orphan works”

Google has scanned 12 million books so far,
2 million scanned through its Partner Program,
2 million public domain works, and foreign works that are outside the amended settlement.

Authors Guild claims a membership of over 8,500
Association of American Publishers claims to represent over 300 publishers,
30,000 authors and publishers have already struck deals to be in Google Books through Google’s Publisher Partner Program.

44,450 claim forms (both
online and hardcopy) have been received as of February 8, claims relate to
approximately 1.13 million books and 21,829 “inserts” (i.e., things
like a short story or article in an anthology).

Of the 1,107,620 books
claimed online,

619,531 are classified by Google as out-of-print

488,089 are classified as in-print.

Total number of claimants: 44,450

Total books claimed: 1,125,339

Total inserts claimed: 21,829

Percentage of books claimed (online only) that Google classifies as out of print: 56%

Percentage of books claimed on Google’s numbers: about 10%

50,000 rightsholder

87% choosing to participate in some form

13% opting out altogether.

Percentage of books claimed by publishers: 71%

Percentage of books claimed by authors: 29%

Copyrights & Campaigns:

Remember when we were told how peer-to-peer networks would be used for benevolent purposes, like making available the King James Bible, the works of Shakespeare, and The Odyssey? (See n.3.) Well, not so much. From a “census” of files available on BitTorrent conducted by Princeton University student Sauhard Sahi and Professor Ed Felten, a frequent critic of the entertainment industry and its copyright enforcement efforts:

Overall, we classified ten of the 1021 files, or approximately 1%, as likely non-infringing, This result should be interpreted with caution, as we may have missed some non-infringing files, and our sample is of files available, not files actually downloaded. Still, the result suggests strongly that copyright infringement is widespread among BitTorrent users.


Last week an Italian court ruled that ISPs should block access to The Pirate Bay. A few days later this block was enforced, but it is doubtful that the blockade will affect the piracy rate at all since other torrent sites are experiencing a massive increase in Italian visitors.

tpbThe Italian Pirate Bay case came to an end last week after a lengthy legal battle. The Court of Bergamo concluded that The Pirate Bay was engaging in criminal activity by linking to torrents that point to copyrighted material.

The judge ordered all Italian ISPs to block the site’s DNS and all current and future IP-addresses. A few days later the blockade went into effect, preventing millions of Italians from accessing The Pirate Bay.

Many Italians described the ruling as outrageous and labeled Italy as “the new China,” but, as with most technical measures taken to hinder file-sharing, the Pirate Bay blockade is relatively easy to circumvent. True Pirate Bay fans can sign up at a free VPN service to regain access or simply move on to one of the many Pirate Bay alternatives.

The latter is what hundreds of thousands of Italian Pirate Bay users are doing.

The owner of BTjunkie has informed TorrentFreak that he has seen a huge jump in traffic from Italians after the blockade was enforced. His site today received 50% more Italian visitors compared to a week ago, indicating that Italian Pirate Bay users are not planning to stop using BitTorrent.

The problem remains that the Court ruling sets a worrying precedent, and leaves the door open for many more censorship requests to be made against other popular torrent sites. A virtual cat and mouse game will be the result, with the only beneficiaries being the lawyers.

The last few weeks were busy. I had many media appearances partly because of the p2p study, partly because of the interest generated by these appearances.

On the recently released p2p study:

On other issues in the media:


Februártól nem ad ki több új DVD-t és Blu-ray lemezt a Fórum Home Entertainment, amely többek közt az Alkonyat és A Da Vinci-kód kiadója volt. A cég partnereinek filmjei ennek ellenére valószínűleg nem válnak hozzáférhetetlenné: hamar új otthonra találhatnak.

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Baen Free Library is a digital library of the science fiction and fantasy publishing house Baen Books where (as of December 2008) 112 full books can be downloaded free in a number of formats, without copy protection. It was founded in autumn 1999 by science fiction writer Eric Flint and publisher Jim Baen to determine whether the availability of books free of charge on the Internet encourages or discourages the sale of their paper books.

The Baen Free Library represents an interesting experiment in the field of intellectual property and copyright. It appears that sales of both the books made available free and other books by the same author, even from a different publisher, increase when the electronic version is made available free of charge.

AAP November Sales Rise 10.9%

Book sales in November rose 10.9%, to $808.5 million, at publishers who reported to the Association of American Publishers. Sales for the year through November rose 4.9%.

Among categories:

* E-books exploded 199.9%, to $18.3 million.
* Audiobooks jumped 69%, to $18.4 million.
* Adult hardcover rose 26.9%, to $204.4 million.
* Higher education rose 24.2%,, to $197.1 million.
* University press hardcover rose 21.9% to $5.4 million.
* El-Hi basal and supplemental K-12 jumped 18.4%, to $136.9 million.
* University press paperback climbed 2.7%, to $4.2 million.
* Professional and scholarly rose 2.7%, to $57.1 million.
* Children’s/YA paperback inched up 1%, to $43.9 million.
* Religious books were flat, at $48.7 million.
* Adult paperback fell 3%, to $92.3 million
* Adult mass market dropped 9.8%, to $53.2 million.
* Children’s/YA hardcover fell 13.5%, to $63.9 million.

BEA 2009: The Truth About Book Piracy : Edward Champion’s Reluctant Habits

According to O’Leary’s subsequent report, “Impact of P2P and Free Distribution on Book Sales,” book piracy wasn’t nearly as ubiquitous as some had suggested. While O’Leary’s report had only O’Reilly and Random House as participants, it appeared that some of the publishers’ fears about piracy were unsubstantiated. Only eight frontlist titles published by O’Reilly in 2008 could be located as torrent files. When these books did become available as torrents, the torrents were uploaded to the Internet far later than expected: some 20 weeks after publication date on average. Furthermore, for the titles available as torrents, on average, sales were 6.5% higher for these books during the four weeks after they were uploaded.

Go To Hellman

Hot on the heels of the story in Publisher’s Weekly
that “publishers could be losing out on as much $3 billion to online
book piracy” comes a sudden realization of a much larger threat to the
viability of the book industry. Apparently, over 2 billion books were “loaned”
last year by a cabal of organizations found in nearly every American
city and town. Using the same advanced projective mathematics used in the study cited by Publishers Weekly, Go To Hellman
has computed that publishers could be losing sales opportunities
totaling over $100 Billion per year, losses which extend back to at
least the year 2000. These lost sales dwarf the online piracy reported
yesterday, and indeed, even the global book publishing business itself.

what we’ve been able to piece together, the book “lending” takes place
in “libraries”. On entering one of these dens, patrons may view a
dazzling array of books, periodicals, even CDs and DVDs, all available
to anyone willing to disclose valuable personal information in exchange
for a “card”. But there is an ominous silence pervading these ersatz
sanctuaries, enforced by the stern demeanor of staff and the glares of
other patrons. Although there’s no admission charge and it doesn’t cost
anything to borrow a book, there’s always the threat of an onerous
overdue bill for the hapless borrower who forgets to continue the cycle
of not paying for copyrighted material.

To get to the bottom of this story, Go To Hellman
has dispatched its Senior Piracy Analyst (me) to Boston, where a mass
meeting of alleged book traffickers is to take place. Over 10,000 are
expected at the “ALA Midwinter
event. Even at the Amtrak station in New York City this morning, at the
very the heart of the US publishing industry, book trafficking culture
was evident, with many travelers brazenly displaying the totebags used
to transport printed contraband.

As soon as I got off the train,
I was surrounded by even more of this crowd. Calling themselves
“Librarians”, they talk about promoting literacy, education, culture
and economic development, which are, of course, code words for the use
and dispersal of intellectual property. They readily admit to their
activities, and rationalize them because they’re perfectly legal in the
US, at least for now.

Typical was Susanne from DC, who told me
that she’s been involved in lending operations for over 15 years. This
confirms our estimate that “lending” has been going on for over ten
years, beyond even Google’s memory. Our trillion dollar estimate may
thus be on the conservative side. Of course, it’s impossible to tell
how many of these lent books would have been purchased legally if
“libraries” were not an option, but we’re not even considering the huge
potential losses to publishers when “used” books are resold for pennies
on the black markets.

24/7 Wall St.

Apple, which takes 30% of the revenue generated by downloads at the App Store has lost about $140 million from piracy. If Apple’s revenue was between $500 million and $700 million from the App Store since its launch, that is a significant loss. Despite this fact, Apple has been mute on the subject and done nothing to prevent acts of piracy, which is not unlike the stance it has taken on illegal music downloads to iPods. Even though piracy has caused a big financial loss for Apple, the income from the App Store is dwarfed by sales of iPhones and iPod touches. As big a problem as $150 million is for Apple, the $310 million cost of piracy to developers really makes it their problem. Apple intends to ignore the piracy of applications and will focus on the tens of billions of dollars that it makes on its hardware.

2008 folyamán szisztematikus méréseket végeztünk néhány, Magyarországon meghatározó jelentőségű bittorrent trackeren a célból, hogy részletes, jó minőségű képet alkothassunk a peer-to-peer feketepiacok működéséről, súlyukról, jelentőségükről a kulturális piacok egészének szempontjából.

Az így nyert adatokat végül a magyarországi mozipiac elemzéséhez használtuk fel, mivel a mozis disztribúció esetében állnak rendelkezésre nyilvánosan az általunk gyűjtöttekhez mérhetően jó minőségű és részletességű adatok. A most elkészült elemzés tehát a p2p film-feketepiac és a mozifilm-forgalmazás egyes legális csatornáinak egymáshoz való viszonyát térképezi fel, mégpedig a következő három szempont szerint:

  • a feketepiaci kínálat alakulása: mitől függ, hogy melyik film és mikor válik a feketepiacon is elérhetővé?
  • a feketepiaci kereslet alakulása: mitől függ, hogy egy-egy filmnek hány letöltője lesz?
  • a p2p fájlcsere, mint autonóm fogyasztási logika leírása: mi a fájlcserélők, mint önálló tartalom-szerkesztő, tartalom-csomagoló, tartalom-terjesztő közösségek működési logikája?

Az elemzésben a feketepiac 2008 májusában és júniusában mért forgalmát, a Magyarországon 2004 után bemutatott premierfilmek forgalmazási adatait, valamint a magyarországi mozik 2000 utáni játszási adatait használtuk fel. Az elemzés nem egészen 5000 különböző film mozis és/vagy feketepiaci forgalmára terjed ki.

A  filmek feketepiaci forgalmát és a moziforgalmazás jellegzetességeit összevető, Lakatos Zoltánnal közösen írott tanulmányunk innen letölthető.

A feketepiaci kínálat
A legális forgalmazók szempontjából a legfontosabb kérdés az, hogy meg lehet-e akadályozni a mozis terjesztésbe kerülő filmek kiszivárgását a fájlcserélő hálózatokra, azaz befolyásolni lehet-e a feketepiaci kínálatot. A kutatás eredményei szerint a vizsgálat ideje alatt a feketepiacra kikerült 3600 film háromnegyede olyan alkotás volt, ami csak 2000 előtt, vagy egyáltalán nem volt mozikban, és csak alig 4%, azaz 152 film volt olyan, ami a kikerülése időpontjában a mozikban is látható volt. A vizsgált időszakban a mozikban játszott filmek közül minden ötödik került ki valamilyen formában a fájlcserélő hálózatokra. Azt a – forgalmazók szempontjából megnyugtatónak tűnő – tényt, hogy a feketepiacon elérhető filmek túlnyomó része mozis forgalmazásból már kikerült, archív tartalom, némileg árnyalja, hogy azok a filmek, amik viszont a mozis forgalmazással egy időben a feketepiacon is elérhetők, éppen a komoly PR-ral támogatott, a kiadók nagy várakozásaitól kísért, ezért sok kópiával forgalmazott (többségében nyilván hollywoodi) közönségfilmek közül kerülnek ki. A p2p kiszivárgás esélyét tovább növeli, ha a filmet sokan látják és/vagy nemzetközileg is sikeres. Minél erősebb promóciót kap egy film, annál valószínűbb, hogy kikerül a kalózhálózatokra. A p2p feketepiac kínálatának egy része erősen marketing-vezérelt.
Egészen más a helyzet a mozik műsorából hiányzó filmeknél. Ez utóbbiak kalózmegjelenését a moziforgalmazás jellemzői alig magyarázzák. Annyit mondhatunk csupán, hogy a kevesebb helyen vetített filmek a mozik programjából kikerülve kissé érdekesebbek lesznek a fájlcserélők számára, és hogy a múltban játszott filmek p2p jelenlétének esélye független a korábbi közönségsikertől, azaz korábban a filmre eladott mozijegyek számától.
Ez utóbbi jelenséggel függ össze, hogy egyes rétegműfajokba (pl, zenei, dráma, vagy romantikus filmek közé) sorolható filmek p2p elérhetősége akkor ugrik meg, amikor mozikban már nem játsszák őket. Míg a rétegműfajok esetében a fájlcserélő hálózatok archívum-funkciót töltenek be, addig más, esetleg gyorsabban avuló filmeket felsoroltató műfajok (fantasy/sci-fi, kalandfilm) esetében az aktuálisukat vesztett filmek hamar kikopnak a feketepiacról is.

A feketepiaci kereslet
A feketepiaci kereslettel foglalkozó szakaszban mindenekelőtt arra voltunk kíváncsiak, milyen tényezőkkel magyarázható az, hogy melyik filmet mennyiszer töltenek le. Azt találtunk, hogy a letöltések számára legnagyobb hatással ismét csak a kópiaszám, azaz a forgalmazói marketing-erő volt.: minél több pénzt költ a forgalmazó a mozis kereslet növelésére, annál többen nézik meg a filmet a fájlcserélők közül is. Nem találtuk azonban nyomát jelentős mértékű helyettesítésnek a mozi és a torrent között: a vizsgált két hónapban vetített filmek esetében 1 millió 650 ezer eladott jegy mellett 158 ezer letöltést regisztráltunk, azaz csak minden tízedik mozinézőre jut egy, a filmet ingyen megnéző fájlcserélő. Az alacsony helyettesítési aránynak az lehet a legfőbb oka, hogy a moziélmény alig, és csak bizonyos műfajok esetén váltható ki egy rossz minőségű p2p kópia kis-képernyős megtekintésével.

A fenti ökölszabály ez egyes műfajok esetében némileg módosulhat. Az akció/thriller és a bűnügyi filmek az átlagnál kisebb mozis közönséget vonzottak, fájlcsere-forgalmuk mégis jóval átlag feletti volt. E műfajok közönségében valószínűleg felülreprezentáltak a férfiak, sőt a fiatal férfiak ― vagyis az a demográfiai csoport, amelyik a fájlcserélő-populációban is teljes lakosságon belüli arányát jelentősen meghaladó súlyt képvisel. E műfajok közönségének fájlcseréléssel foglalkozó szegmense szinte reflexszerűen lecsap a trackereken megjelenő legújabb „erőszakfilmekre”. Az erőszakfilmek kiugró kalózkeresletével szemben a romantikus filmek az átlagnál nagyobb mozis közönséget, viszont az átlagnál kevesebb fájlcserélőt vonzottak, amire viszont épp a „kettesben mozizás” jelenségére adhat magyarázatot.

Ami a moziban már nem látható filmeket illeti: a letöltött teljes filmvolumen több mint fele magyarországi mozikban 2000 óta nem játszott produkció. A felhasználók kevesebb, mint 10%-a töltött le kizárólag a letöltés idejében mozikban játszott filmeket, kétharmaduk éppen moziműsoron lévő és mozikban már nem játszott filmeket egyaránt letölt. Meglepően magas, közel 30% azoknak az aránya, akik csak moziban nem vagy régen vetített filmeket töltöttek le.

A fájlcserélők, mint autonóm fogyasztási közösségek
A folyamatos jogi fenyegetettség a korábban nyíltan fájlcserélő felhasználókat rejtőzködésre kényszeríti. A zárt ajtók mögé visszavonuló felhasználók kegyeiért számtalan tematikusan, nyelvileg, a felhasználói kör érdeklődésében, a közösség minőségében különböző fájlcserélő oldal verseng egymással. E közösségek mindegyike a maga logikája szerint válogat a világban elérhető számtalan tartalom közül.
Kutatásunkban három, magyar nyelvű, mainstream, tematikusan nem specializálódott közösség tartalomfogyasztási mintáit vizsgáltuk és azt találtuk, hogy e közösségek tartalomfogyasztása műfaji értelemben strukturálatlan, azaz a fájlcserélők kihasználják az ismeretlen kipróbálásának kockázat- és költségmentes lehetőségét, és tetszés szerint kalandoznak különböző műfajok között.

A nem specializálódott, mainstream p2p kereslet műfaji strukturálatlansága arra utal, hogy a fájlcserélésnek köszönhetően a tetszőleges ízlésű filmfogyasztó számára az „elkalandozás” saját preferenciájától, új műfajok, stílusok kockázat nélküli kipróbálása nem csupán elvi, hanem a gyakorlatban is kiaknázott lehetőség. A p2p kalózpiac egyik oldalán a tematikus struktúrák sokkal pontosabban jelennek meg, mint korábban ― köszönhetően annak, hogy a speciális tartalomtípusok köré szerveződő közönség kiszolgálása elől eltűnnek azok a méretgazdaságossági korlátok, melyekbe a piaci viszonyok között működő csatornák szükségszerűképpen beleütköznek. Másrészt az általános érdeklődési kört kiszolgáló hálózatok által a fogyasztóiknak felkínált tartalmi kalandozás, exploratív nomadizmus radikálisan különbözik az ezt a lehetőséget legális piacokon a televízió által biztosító channel-surfing, „zapping” élményétől. A p2p felhasználó a „véletlenül odakapcsolok-belenézek-nem tetszik-elkapcsolok” tévés logika helyett a „nem tudom mi ez-de letöltöm-kipróbálom-legfeljebb letörlöm-de az is lehet, hogy archiválom” aktív érdeklődést feltételező logikájával választ a tartalmak között.

További fontos tényező, hogy ezeken a csatornákon a programot maguk a felhasználók állítják össze: ők kérik, készítik el, szerkesztik be a műsorfolyamba, teszik elérhetővé be a friss kópiákat. A torrent-alapú filmdisztribúció egy viszonylag rövid életciklusú, az aktuális legális kínálatot koncentráltan, a felhasználók ad-hoc érdeklődését pedig fragmentáltan megjelenítő jukeboxhoz hasonlítható, ahol a kereslet az éppen aktuálisan felkerült néhány tucat, esetleg párszáz film között oszlik el. A filmes fájlcsere valahol félúton van a legális piacról mára szinte teljesen kikopott videokölcsönző és a tematikus tévécsatorna között, ahol a kínálatot és a programot a hálózatok közösségét alkotó felhasználók folyamatosan és interaktív módon alakítják. A globális feketepiacon elérhető tartalomkínálat körül helyileg releváns kontextusok alakulnak ki, amelyek a végső soron mindenki számára egyformán elérhető digitális kínálatot a helyi közösség igényei, értékei, érdeklődése alapján szűrik.
A fájlcsere mint sajátos szabályokkal, modus operandival bíró tartalomdisztribúciós infrastruktúra és a köré szerveződő fogyasztói közösségek térnyerése arra figyelmeztet, hogy a filmes disztribúciót nemcsak az alkotások elsődleges piaci jellemzői (ár, kínálat) felől, hanem a tartalmak fogyasztásának kontextusa, a tartalmak összefűzéséből létrejövő programming oldaláról is kihívás éri. A feketepiacok működése részben megelőlegezi, részben visszaigazolja a kulturális piacok átalakulásának azt a hipotézisét, mely szerint a disztribúciós szűkösség korában a termelők és a disztribútorok által generált és dominált kontextusok helyét fogyasztók által generált és tartalombőséggel jellemezhető kontextus veszi át. Ebben a tekintetben az online feketepiac (Magyarországon legalábbis) egyértelműen hiánypótló szerepet tölt be.

Broadband consumers to foot £500m bill to tackle online piracy – Times Online

Proposals to suspend the internet connections of those who repeatedly share music and films online will leave consumers with a bill for £500 million, ministers have admitted.

The Digital Economy Bill would force internet service providers (ISPs) to send warning letters to anyone caught swapping copyright material illegally, and to suspend or slow the connections of those who refused to stop. ISPs say that such interference with their customers’ connections would add £25 a year to a broadband subscription.

Ministers have not estimated the cost of the measures but say that the cost of the initial letter-writing campaign, estimated at an extra £1.40 per subscription, will lead to 40,000 households giving up their internet connections. Impact assessments published alongside the Bill predict that the measures will generate £1.7 billion in extra sales for the film and music industries over the next ten years, as well as £350 million for the Government in extra VAT.

ISPs have called on the content industries to lessen the burden on broadband consumers by contributing to the costs. Charles Dunstone, chief executive of Carphone Warehouse, whose subsidiary TalkTalk is the biggest consumer provider of broadband, said: “Broadband consumers shouldn’t have to bail out the music industry. If they really think it’s worth spending vast sums of money on these measures then they should be footing the bill; not the consumer.”
Related Links

* Internet pirates will be cut off from 2011

* Piracy means less money to make films

* Mandelson targets web piracy after meal with mogul

BT also stepped up its attack on the plans, which it said represented “collective punishment that goes against natural justice”. John Petter, managing director of BT Retail’s consumer division, said: “Put yourself in the shoes of a small businessman who has a rogue member of staff. Your internet access could get cut off because of the actions of one individual. It really feels like the UK is out on a limb with these proposals compared to the rest of the world.”

Mr Petter said that the Bill, which is being rushed through Parliament before the general election next year, had been poorly thought out. He said: “The whole tenor of the way this is being introduced makes us really worried that this is all a false game. It’s like the dangerous dogs legislation, which was introduced quickly and was not effective.”

The Conservatives, who are broadly supportive of the plans, also called on the Government to spare consumers the bulk of the costs. Jeremy Hunt, the Shadow Culture Secretary, said: “It is grossly unfair that Labour expects millions of innocent customers to pay extra each month because of the actions of a minority. By their own admission this will make broadband unaffordable for tens of thousands of people, which flies in the face of government policy to increase take-up in disadvantaged communities.”

A spokesman for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said: “Many of the figures in the impact assessment for the Digital Economy Bill are expressed in ranges and some of the costs will be borne by the rightholders and some by the ISPs. The overall benefits to the country far outweigh the costs.”

A spokesman for the BPI, which represents the record industry, said: “It is in everyone’s interest that ISPs’ statutory obligations can be discharged as cost efficiently as possible — particularly those law-abiding broadband customers who currently carry the burden of infringers.

“We are confident that those costs will be a mere fraction of the stratospheric sums suggested by some ISPs, and negligibly small when set against their vast annual revenues.” The latest Star Trek movie was dowloaded illegally almost 11 million times this year, according to Torrentfreak, a download-monitoring weblog.

This year the FBI started an investigation after an unfinished version of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, was posted online and watched by thousands of people a month before its release.


Is Sweden, the only country to have sent a member of the Pirate Party
to the European Parliament, finally giving up its swashbuckling ways?

When Sweden’s IPRED anti-piracy law
went into effect earlier this year, Internet traffic across the country
plummeted overnight—a sign that P2P users, fearing exposure at last,
were abandoning their existing copyright infringement tools. The Pirate
Bay defendants were found guilty by a Swedish court earlier this year, and the site’s ISP are now under assault by the music and movie industries.

The music business insists that the measure are working. Music’s major
labels say that sales of digital downloads are up 18 percent in the
first nine months of 2009 in Sweden.

Ludvig Werner, head of the trade group IFPI Sweden, told the UK’s Guardian newspaper
that it didn’t matter if people still wanted to pirate; the point was,
they were doing less of it. “It’s like speeding, put up cameras and
people will start to ease off the gas pedal. Even if it doesn’t change
the attitudes, they find legal alternatives because they don’t want to
get caught,” said Werner.

Dueling explanations

As with most statistics in the Copyright Wars, these are hard to
evaluate. Digital music sales are up, but has copyright infringement
also dropped? IFPI doesn’t know.

In fact, there are reasons to suspect that legal actions like IPRED
aren’t the only drivers of Sweden’s uptick in music sales. As we reported yesterday,
UK-based music label EMI has reported a worldwide revenue increase of
4.6 percent in its recorded music business through 2009 to date; surely
this can’t just be chalked up to tougher antipiracy laws in small
countries like Sweden and South Korea?

And Swedish Internet traffic data bounced back soon after the IPRED law came into force and now exceeds the level from the beginning of 2009.


Credit also has to go the music industry for licensing its music far
more widely, often to innovative Scandinavian companies like Spotify
and Nokia, which is offering the Comes With Music plan on selected

But who knows? Perhaps IPRED and The Pirate Bay prosecution
were real drivers of the change in Sweden; we’ve certainly seen surveys
in the UK that suggest online infringers will alter their behavior once
the veil of anonymity is stripped away (which was the point of IPRED).

If true, the data could help prove a music industry mantra: tougher enforcement can yield results (i.e., battling the pirates is not a hopeless endeavor).

On the other hand, it seems to suggest that only minimal legal
tools are needed. IPRED made it possible for rightsholders to subpoena
ISPs and get subscriber names and information; The Pirate Bay case was
brought under copyright law. New Internet disconnection laws, ISP
filtering schemes, and similar invasive measures weren’t required.

The Problem With Music

The band is now 1/4 of the way through its contract, has made the music industry more than 3 million dollars richer, but is in the hole $14,000 on royalties. The band members have each earned about 1/3 as much as they would working at a 7-11, but they got to ride in a tour bus for a month. The next album will be about the same, except that the record company will insist they spend more time and money on it. Since the previous one never “recouped,” the band will have no leverage, and will oblige. The next tour will be about the same, except the merchandising advance will have already been paid, and the band, strangely enough, won’t have earned any royalties from their T-shirts yet. Maybe the T-shirt guys have figured out how to count money like record company guys. Some of your friends are probably already this fucked.

Steve Albini is an independent and corporate rock record producer most widely known for having produced Nirvana’s “In Utero”.

Major Labels – Gizmodo

Tim Quirk was the singer of punk-pop outfit Too Much Joy, signed by Warner Bros. in 1990. Now he’s an executive at an online music service, giving him insight on digital sales data and just how labels fudge their numbers.

I got something in the mail last week I’d been wanting for years: a Too Much Joy royalty statement from Warner Brothers that finally included our digital earnings. Though our catalog has been out of print physically since the late-1990s, the three albums we released on Giant/WB have been available digitally for about five years. Yet the royalty statements I received every six months kept insisting we had zero income, and our unrecouped balance ($395,277.18!)* stubbornly remained the same.

Now, I don’t ever expect that unrecouped balance to turn into a positive number, but since the band had been seeing thousands of dollars in digital royalties each year from IODA for the four indie albums we control ourselves, I figured five years’ worth of digital income from our far more popular major label albums would at least make a small dent in the figure. Our IODA royalties during that time had totaled about $12,000 – not a princely sum, but enough to suggest that the total haul over the same period from our major label material should be at least that much, if not two to five times more. Even with the band receiving only a percentage of the major label take, getting our unrecouped balance below $375,000 seemed reasonable, and knocking it closer to -$350,000 wasn’t out of the question.

So I was naively excited when I opened the envelope. And my answer was right there on the first page. In five years, our three albums earned us a grand total of… $62.47.

What the fuck?

I mean, we all know that major labels are supposed to be venal masters of hiding money from artists, but they’re also supposed to be good at it, right? This figure wasn’t insulting because it was so small, it was insulting because it was so stupid.

Why It Was So Stupid

Here’s the thing: I work at Rhapsody. I know what we pay Warner Bros. for every stream and download, and I can look up exactly how many plays and downloads we’ve paid them for each TMJ tune that Warner controls. Moreover, Warner Bros. knows this, as my gig at Rhapsody is the only reason I was able to get them to add my digital royalties to my statement in the first place. For years I’d been pestering the label, but I hadn’t gotten anywhere till I was on a panel with a reasonably big wig in Warner Music Group’s business affairs team about a year ago

The panel took place at a legal conference, and focused on digital music and the crisis facing the record industry**. As you do at these things, the other panelists and I gathered for breakfast a couple hours before our session began, to discuss what topics we should address. Peter Jenner, who manages Billy Bragg and has been a needed gadfly for many years at events like these, wanted to discuss the little-understood fact that digital music services frequently pay labels advances in the tens of millions of dollars for access to their catalogs, and it’s unclear how (or if) that money is ever shared with artists.

I agreed that was a big issue, but said I had more immediate and mundane concerns, such as the fact that Warner wouldn’t even report my band’s iTunes sales to me.

The business affairs guy (who I am calling “the business affairs guy” rather than naming because he did me a favor by finally getting the digital royalties added to my statement, and I am grateful for that and don’t want this to sound like I’m attacking him personally, even though it’s about to seem like I am) said that it was complicated connecting Warner’s digital royalty payments to their existing accounting mechanisms, and that since my band was unrecouped they had “to take care of R.E.M. and the Red Hot Chili Peppers first.”

That kind of pissed me off. On the one hand, yeah, my band’s unrecouped and is unlikely ever to reach the point where Warner actually has to cut us a royalty check. On the other hand, though, they are contractually obligated to report what revenue they receive in our name, and, having helped build a database that tracks how much Rhapsody owes whom for what music gets played, I’m well aware of what is and isn’t complicated about doing so. It’s not something you have to build over and over again for each artist. It’s something you build once. It takes a while, and it can be expensive, and sometimes you make honest mistakes, but it’s not rocket science. Hell, it’s not even algebra! It’s just simple math.

I knew that each online service was reporting every download, and every play, for every track, to thousands of labels (more labels, I’m guessing, than Warner has artists to report to). And I also knew that IODA was able to tell me exactly how much money my band earned the previous month from Amazon ($11.05), Verizon (74 cents), Nokia (11 cents), MySpace (4 sad cents) and many more. I didn’t understand why Warner wasn’t reporting similar information back to my band – and if they weren’t doing it for Too Much Joy, I assumed they weren’t doing it for other artists.

To his credit, the business affairs guy told me he understood my point, and promised he’d pursue the matter internally on my behalf – which he did. It just took 13 months to get the results, which were (predictably, perhaps) ridiculous.

The sad thing is I don’t even think Warner is deliberately trying to screw TMJ and the hundreds of other also-rans and almost-weres they’ve signed over the years. The reality is more boring, but also more depressing. Like I said, they don’t actually owe us any money. But that’s what’s so weird about this, to me: they have the ability to tell the truth, and doing so won’t cost them anything.

They just can’t be bothered. They don’t care, because they don’t have to.

“$10,000 Is Nothing”

An interlude, here. Back in 1992, when TMJ was still a going concern and even the label thought maybe we’d join the hallowed company of recouped bands one day, Warner made a $10,000 accounting error on our statement (in their favor, naturally). When I caught this mistake, and brought it to the attention of someone with the power to correct it, he wasn’t just befuddled by my anger – he laughed at it. “$10,000 is nothing!” he chuckled.

If you’re like most people – especially people in unrecouped bands – “nothing” is not a word you ever use in conjunction with a figure like “$10,000,” but he seemed oblivious to that. “It’s a rounding error. It happens all the time. Why are you so worked up?”

These days I work for a reasonably large corporation myself, and, sadly, I understand exactly what the guy meant. When your revenues (and your expenses) are in the hundreds of millions of dollars, $10,000 mistakes are common, if undesirable.

I still think he was a jackass, though, and that sentence continues to haunt me. Because $10,000 might have been nothing to him, but it was clearly something to me. And his inability to take it seriously – to put himself in my place, just for the length of our phone call – suggested that people who care about $10,000 mistakes, and the principles of things, like, say, honoring contracts even when you don’t have to, are the real idiots.

As you may have divined by this point, I am conflicted about whether I am actually being a petty jerk by pursuing this, or whether labels just thrive on making fools like me feel like petty jerks. People in the record industry are very good at making bands believe they deserve the hundreds of thousands (or sometimes millions) of dollars labels advance the musicians when they’re first signed, and even better at convincing those same musicians it’s the bands’ fault when those advances aren’t recouped (the last thing $10,000-Is-Nothing-Man yelled at me before he hung up was, “Too Much Joy never earned us shit!”*** as though that fact somehow negated their obligation to account honestly).

I don’t want to live in $10,000-Is-Nothing-Man’s world. But I do. We all do. We have no choice.

The Boring Reality

Back to my ridiculous Warner Bros. statement. As I flipped through its ten pages (seriously, it took ten pages to detail the $62.47 of income), I realized that Warner wasn’t being evil, just careless and unconcerned – an impression I confirmed a few days later when I spoke to a guy in their Royalties and Licensing department I am going to call Danny.****

I asked Danny why there were no royalties at all listed from iTunes, and he said, “Huh. There are no domestic downloads on here at all. Only streams. And it has international downloads, but no international streams. I have no idea why.” I asked Danny why the statement only seemed to list tracks from two of the three albums Warner had released – an entire album was missing. He said they could only report back what the digital services had provided to them, and the services must not have reported any activity for those other songs. When I suggested that seemed unlikely – that having every track from two albums listed by over a dozen different services, but zero tracks from a third album listed by any seemed more like an error on Warner’s side, he said he’d look into it. As I asked more questions (Why do we get paid 50% of the income from all the tracks on one album, but only 35.7143% of the income from all the tracks on another? Why did 29 plays of a track on the late, lamented MusicMatch earn a total of 63 cents when 1,016 plays of the exact same track on MySpace earned only 23 cents?) he eventually got to the heart of the matter: “We don’t normally do this for unrecouped bands,” he said. “But, I was told you’d asked.”

It’s possible I’m projecting my own insecurities onto calm, patient Danny, but I’m pretty sure the subtext of that comment was the same thing I’d heard from $10,000-Is-Nothing-Man: all these figures were pointless, and I was kind of being a jerk by wasting their time asking about them. After all, they have the Red Hot Chili Peppers to deal with, and the label actually owes those guys money.

Danny may even be right. But there’s another possibility – one I don’t necessarily subscribe to, but one that could be avoided entirely by humoring pests like me. There’s a theory that labels and publishers deliberately avoid creating the transparent accounting systems today’s technology enables. Because accurately accounting to my silly little band would mean accurately accounting to the less silly bands that are recouped, and paying them more money as a result.

If that’s true (and I emphasize the if, because it’s equally possible that people everywhere, including major label accounting departments, are just dumb and lazy)*****, then there’s more than my pride and principles on the line when I ask Danny in Royalties and Licensing to answer my many questions. I don’t feel a burning need to make the Red Hot Chili Peppers any more money, but I wouldn’t mind doing my small part to get us all out of the sad world $10,000-Is-Nothing-Man inhabits.

So I will keep asking, even though I sometimes feel like a petty jerk for doing so.

* A word here about that unrecouped balance, for those uninitiated in the complex mechanics of major label accounting. While our royalty statement shows Too Much Joy in the red with Warner Bros. (now by only $395,214.71 after that $62.47 digital windfall), this doesn’t mean Warner “lost” nearly $400,000 on the band. That’s how much they spent on us, and we don’t see any royalty checks until it’s paid back, but it doesn’t get paid back out of the full price of every album sold. It gets paid back out of the band’s share of every album sold, which is roughly 10% of the retail price. So, using round numbers to make the math as easy as possible to understand, let’s say Warner Bros. spent something like $450,000 total on TMJ. If Warner sold 15,000 copies of each of the three TMJ records they released at a wholesale price of $10 each, they would have earned back the $450,000. But if those records were retailing for $15, TMJ would have only paid back $67,500, and our statement would show an unrecouped balance of $382,500.

I do not share this information out of a Steve Albini-esque desire to rail against the major label system (he already wrote the definitive rant, which you can find here if you want even more figures, and enjoy having those figures bracketed with cursing and insults). I’m simply explaining why I’m not embarrassed that I “owe” Warner Bros. almost $400,000. They didn’t make a lot of money off of Too Much Joy. But they didn’t lose any, either. So whenever you hear some label flak claiming 98% of the bands they sign lose money for the company, substitute the phrase “just don’t earn enough” for the word “lose.”

** The whole conference took place at a semi-swank hotel on the island of St. Thomas, which is a funny place to gather to talk about how to save the music business, but that would be a whole different diatribe.

*** This same dynamic works in reverse – I interviewed the Butthole Surfers for Raygun magazine back in the 1990s, and Gibby Haynes described the odd feeling of visiting Capitol records’ offices and hearing, “a bunch of people go, ‘Hey, man, be cool to these guys, they’re a recouped band.’ I heard that a bunch of times.”

**** Again, I am avoiding using his real name because he returned my call promptly, and patiently answered my many questions, which is behavior I want to encourage, so I have no desire to lambaste him publicly.

***** Of course, these two possibilities are not mutually exclusive – it is also possible that labels are evil and avaricious AND dumb and lazy, at the same time.

The Economist

A world of hits

Nov 26th 2009
From The Economist print edition

Ever-increasing choice was supposed to mean the end of the blockbuster. It has had the opposite effect


NOVEMBER 20th saw the return of an old phenomenon: the sold-out cinema. “New Moon”, a tale of vampires, werewolves and the women who love them, earned more in a single day at the American box office than any film in history. The record may not stand for long: next month “Avatar”, a three-dimensional action movie thick with special effects, will be released (see picture). This film’s production budget is reportedly $230m, which would make it one of the most expensive movies ever made. “Avatar” will be a great disappointment if its worldwide ticket sales fail to exceed $500m. Yet it is a reflection of how things are changing in the media business that such an outcome is unlikely.

There has never been so much choice in entertainment. Last year 610 films were released in America, up from 471 in 1999. Cable and satellite television are growing quickly, supplying more channels to more people across the world. More than half of all pay-television subscribers now live in the Asia-Pacific region. Online video is exploding: every minute about 20 hours’ worth of content is added to YouTube. The internet has greatly expanded choice in music and books. Yet the ever-increasing supply of content tailored to every taste seems not to have dented the appeal of the blockbuster. Quite the opposite.

This is not what was predicted by one of the most influential business books of the past few years. In “The Long Tail”, Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired, a technology magazine (and before that a journalist at The Economist), argued that demand for media was moving inexorably from the head of the distribution curve to the tail. That is, the few products that sell a lot were losing market share to the great many that sell modestly. By cutting storage and distribution costs, the internet was overturning the tyranny of the shop shelf, which had limited consumers’ choices. And, by developing software that analysed and predicted consumers’ tastes, companies like Amazon were encouraging people to wallow in esoterica. Such companies did not just supply niche markets—they helped create them.

“The Long Tail” set off a lively debate. Professors at Harvard Business School questioned whether many companies can profit from selling a little of a great many things. The supply of obscure films and music seems to be growing faster than people are discovering them. Harvard’s Anita Elberse argued in an article last year that only a foolish firm would shift its focus away from the mass market. People in the media business, who have to back their judgments with money, have a different view. In a sense, they say, both Mr Anderson and his detractors are right. At the same time, both are missing the real story.

“Both the hits and the tail are doing well,” says Jeff Bewkes, the head of Time Warner, an American media giant. Audiences are at once fragmenting into niches and consolidating around blockbusters. Of course, media consumption has not risen much over the years, so something must be losing out. That something is the almost but not quite popular content that occupies the middle ground between blockbusters and niches. The stuff that people used to watch or listen to largely because there was little else on is increasingly being ignored.

Take American broadcast television. This is an industry in decline, albeit from an immensely profitable peak. The “big four” networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox) have steadily lost viewers over the years as eyeballs have wandered to cable networks and, to a lesser extent, online video. Yet the top programmes are holding up well. In the 2000-01 season the most popular show on broadcast television, “Survivor”, was watched by 17.8m households on average. The leader in 2008-09, the Wednesday edition of “American Idol”, drew 16.5m. Less popular shows—fairly funny sitcoms and cheap reality programmes such as “COPS”—suffered far worse. Indeed, the further you look down the prime-time rankings, the more audiences have eroded (see chart 1).

The fact that the biggest shows continue to draw audiences nearly as big as their predecessors did may not sound impressive. But it has great commercial consequences. As broadcast television has lost audience share, its salesmen have convinced advertisers to pay more and more to reach a given number of viewers. They get away with this because broadcast television is still unchallenged as a mass medium. No other venue, including the internet, can guarantee an audience of many millions on a single evening. So a show that reaches 10m Americans today is worth a lot more than a show that reached 10m at the beginning of this decade. Simon Cowell, the star judge on “American Idol”, reportedly renewed his contract earlier this year for more than $100m over three seasons. He is probably worth it.

Or take music. Like broadcast television, recorded music is a troubled business. Sales of CD albums are declining thanks to illegal file-sharing and the rise of digital download services such as iTunes, which allow listeners to pluck out the best tracks. Yet hit albums can still sell well. In Britain, where album sales in all formats have declined by 18% since the 2004 peak, those of albums occupying the number-one spot have increased slightly (see chart 2). A recent analysis by Billboard, a trade magazine, found a similar trend in America. There, sales had declined across the board, but the hits were holding up best. Albums ranked between 300 and 400 suffered the greatest proportionate losses.

One possible reason is that the profile of music buyers has changed. Young fans, who are more likely to follow up-and-coming guitar bands and dance music, are highly likely to download music illegally. In 2008 Britons in their 40s spent more on pop and rock music than teenagers or people in their 20s, according to TNS, a market-research firm. As young people with more unusual tastes abandon music shops altogether, the market becomes skewed towards safe, established pop acts. One of last year’s biggest sellers was the cast recording of “Mamma Mia!”, which features songs by ABBA, a fizzy 1970s pop group. But this is not the whole story.

Offer music fans a virtually infinite choice of songs free of charge, and they will still gravitate to hits. That has been the experience of We7, a music-streaming service based in London which has 2.5m users. Only 22% of We7’s 4m songs are streamed in any given week, says Steve Purdham, who founded the company. The top 100 artists account for more than half of all streams. Users of Spotify, another ad-supported music service, are similarly unadventurous. Will Page of PRS for Music, which collects royalties for British songwriters, calculates that the most popular 5% of tracks on Spotify account for 80% of all streams. He is counting only the 3m tracks that were streamed at least once between February and July. Another 1.5m were not touched at all.

“People want to share the same culture,” explains Roger Faxon, head of EMI Music Publishing. Music is an intensely social medium, most enjoyable when it is discussed and shared with friends. Because choice in music—and, to an extent, other media—is collective as well as individual, it is hardly surprising that people cluster around popular products. And Mr Faxon cites another reason, having to do with the advent of online piracy. File-sharing has made virtually all music available for nothing. Yet it has not altogether stopped people from buying. Even enthusiastic pirates will still buy CDs of music that they love, in order to get the cover art or simply to express their devotion. And what people love, it turns out, are hits.

Although you might expect people who seek out obscure products to derive more pleasure from their discoveries than those who simply trudge off to see the occasional blockbuster, the opposite is true. Tom Tan and Serguei Netessine of Wharton Business School have analysed reviews on Netflix, a popular American outfit that dispatches DVDs by post and asks subscribers to rate the films they have rented. They find that blockbusters get better ratings from the people who have watched them than more obscure ones do. Even the critically loathed “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” is awarded four stars out of five. Ms Elberse of Harvard Business School has found the same of ratings on Quickflix, the Australian equivalent of Netflix.

Perhaps the best explanation of why this might be so was offered in 1963. In “Formal Theories of Mass Behaviour”, William McPhee noted that a disproportionate share of the audience for a hit was made up of people who consumed few products of that type. (Many other studies have since reached the same conclusion.) A lot of the people who read a bestselling novel, for example, do not read much other fiction. By contrast, the audience for an obscure novel is largely composed of people who read a lot. That means the least popular books are judged by people who have the highest standards, while the most popular are judged by people who literally do not know any better. An American who read just one book this year was disproportionately likely to have read “The Lost Symbol”, by Dan Brown. He almost certainly liked it.

This explains why bestselling books, or blockbuster films, occasionally seem to grow not just more quickly than products which are merely very popular, but also in a wholly different way. As a media product moves from the pool of frequent consumers into the ocean of occasional consumers, the prevailing attitude to it—what Hollywood folk call word of mouth—can become less critical. The hit is carried along by a wave of ill-informed goodwill.

These days it may travel far. Blockbuster films, long among the most international of media products, are now more so. The leading studios have beefed up their foreign-sales arms and learned how to market films that open at roughly the same time all over the world. Sony has done particularly well this year, pulling in more than $1.6 billion in ticket sales from outside America, a record for the studio. Big films such as “2012” and “Angels and Demons” have earned roughly twice as much in foreign cinemas as in American ones.

Hollywood seems to have exported the blockbuster model, too. Anil Arjun, chief executive of Reliance MediaWorks, reckons ticket sales for the top five films in India grew by 250% between 2004 and 2008. Growing professionalism and a multiplex building boom have lifted the market as a whole, but the biggest films are rising most quickly. In addition, the best Hindi films increasingly serve expatriates in London and California’s Bay Area.

“New Moon”, newly enthroned

Blockbusters are also reaching people in more ways. Peter Chernin, who recently stepped down from overseeing News Corporation’s film and television business, notes that technology does not just expand the range of products available. It also gives people much greater choice in how they consume the most popular ones. No longer must people go to a cinema or a video shop if they want to see a popular film. They can get hold of it as a video-on-demand, download it or stream it. “Hits are going to be the single biggest beneficiary of technology,” Mr Chernin reckons.

In short, just because people have more choice does not mean they will opt for more obscure entertainments. That is especially clear in the book trade. A study of the Australian market by Nielsen, a research firm, found that the number of titles bought each year (measured by ISBNs) has risen dramatically, from about 275,000 in 2004 to almost 450,000 in 2007. Niche titles selling fewer than 1,000 copies each accounted for nearly all the growth in variety. Yet their market share fell. In Britain, sales of the ten bestselling books increased from 3.4m to 6m between 1998 and 2008.

The bestsellers are gaining in part because of a change in the retail marketplace that affects other media too. High-street bookshops, which carry a reasonable selection of what publishers call “mid-list” and “back-list” titles—that is, modestly popular and somewhat out-of-date books—are struggling. Borders UK, owner of a British chain, is reportedly seeking a buyer for its stores. Such shops are being displaced by online retailers, which offer vast selections of obscure titles, and also by supermarkets, which sell a tiny selection of hugely popular books.

In newspapers, too, the leading outfits are faring best. The three biggest-selling American publications—the New York Times, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal—have all held on to subscribers better than the large metropolitan papers that comprise the second tier. That market also has a thriving long tail in the shape of small-town papers. This has less to do with consumers’ tastes than with advertising. The metropolitan papers are suffering because the classified advertisements on which they rely have collapsed under pressure from free listings websites such as Craigslist. Small-town papers also depend on classified ads, but they face less online competition. The nationals rely more on display advertising.

What is a media company to do? As sales become ever more concentrated, it is becoming both more urgent and harder to establish a foothold near the top of the market. A book or film that fails to attract a mass audience tumbles quickly into the depressed middle. To avoid this fate, should a company spread its development and marketing budget over lots of products, hoping that one or two catch on, or should it bet on just a few? The problem is especially acute in businesses like music, where money is tighter than ever and even the hits are not quite as solid as they used to be.

The joke answer, proffered by several executives asked these questions, is that media companies should simply churn out hits. This is less of a joke if a firm knows in advance what will prove popular. Of all creative media enterprises, Hollywood is the most confident of its ability to predict demand. Film studios carry out rigorous audience research and adjust production and marketing budgets according to the size of the group they are targeting. The studios have learned that stars are much less reliable generators of profits than films based on known characters and stories. That is why, in August, Disney agreed to pay $4 billion for Marvel Entertainment, a veteran comic-book and media firm that had filed for bankruptcy protection in the mid-1990s.

Above all, Hollywood has learned that bigger is better. Although small films can do astonishingly well (the latest is “Paranormal Activity”, a cheap thriller that has sold more than $100m-worth of cinema tickets in America alone), they do not do so at all dependably. SNL Kagan, a research firm, calculates that between 2004 and 2008 films costing more than $100m to produce consistently returned greater profits to the big studios than cheaper films did. With DVD sales slumping in the recession and outside financing hard to obtain, the leading studios are cutting back their output of films. But the cuts are concentrated at the bottom end. Studios have shut down or neglected their divisions that specialise in distributing low- and middle-budget films. None has sounded a retreat from big-budget blockbusters.

Hollywood is one of America’s most stable industries, with the same number of big studios now (six) as in the early 20th century. As both production budgets and risks soar it seems less likely than ever that an outsider will break into the club. On the contrary: the club may eventually shrink. The trend towards blockbusters is likely to suit the most successful studios, with the deepest pockets, the best marketing departments and the greatest ability to wring revenues from a hit by selling DVDs, television rights and toys.

Of course, not everything can be big. Complex political films; violent cartoons; English folk music—none of these things is likely to produce queues around the block. And a great many hoped-for hits fail: every media company puts out many more misses than hits. What to do with them? One answer, says Mr Bewkes, is to take advantage of the protective power of brands. Television programmes, in particular, do not compete for audiences on a completely featureless playing field. They are shown on channels that attract distinct audiences with different expectations. In the right context, a middling show can survive. “You let the strong brand carry the medium product,” Mr Bewkes explains.

Another way of rescuing less popular stuff is to charge more for it. In many media businesses it is an accepted principle that such products cost more. Specialist magazines are often expensive. Less popular books cost more than bestsellers, because the latter are discounted. Even television has a successful model for charging more for shows that a smallish group of people feel passionately about, in the form of premium subscription channels like HBO. Yet, with the exception of live screenings of opera and sport, film tickets all cost the same. This is one thing that could change.

But nobody knows quite what to do. The old-media world of limited choice, in which any product that was not too objectionable was guaranteed a decent audience, was a comfortable place. Pleasing a customer who can choose from several hundred films and television programmes even without getting up from the sofa, by contrast, is an unnerving prospect.

Gamasutra – Features – iPhone Piracy: The Inside Story

When indie game developer Bram Stolk detected 1,114 copies of his The Little Tank That Could being played online, he suspected something was up. He had, in fact, sold only 45 copies of the new iPhone game.

Stolk had fallen victim to what is being called rampant piracy in iPhone titles, possibly worse than has been experienced for so long on other platforms because of the ease with which it can be perpetrated.


The great hope for digital music was that it would make the recording industry more egalitarian—that up-and-coming bands with pluck and a knack for promotion would be able to get their work to the masses without the backing of record labels. According to “The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More”—a 2006 book by Wired magazine editor in chief Chris Anderson—hits dominated the market mostly because shelf space in stores was limited. Digital retail and online media would exponentially increase the choices available to consumers, who would then use online tools to discover products that appealed to them more than the biggest hits.Anderson’s “Long Tail” idea comes from a sales graph that looks like the letter “L” with a curve instead of a corner. On the left are the hits, the 5,000 best-selling titles that would typically be carried by a national chain; on the right, further down the curve, are less popular titles that sell fewer copies. In the physical world, few stores have space for these niche titles, which don’t sell well. But in the digital world, where space hardly matters, Anderson suggested, these titles would collectively account for a far greater percentage of music sales—and of movies, books and other consumer products. The ways we think about popular taste, he writes, “are actually artifacts of poor supply-and-demand matching—a market response to inefficient distribution.”

Index – Tech – Rekordot döntött a magyar internet adatforgalma

Itthon is sok ezren ugrottak rá az év játékának ígérkező Modern Warfare 2 kalózverziójára. A magyar internet adatforgalma először lépte át a másodpercenként 120 gigabitet.

Kedden este megdőlt a magyar internet adatforgalmi rekordja: a BIX statisztikáin [1] jól látszik, hogy este hét körül törte át az adatforgalom a másodpercenként 120 gigabites határt, amit eddig csak megközelíteni sikerült, és egészen este tízig efölött is maradt. A csúcs valamikor nyolc óra előtt pár perccel 124,2 Gbit/sec volt.

Az adatforgalom átlaga egyébként az elmúlt hetekben 70 gigabit körül volt, az esti csúcsidőben rendszeresen 100 Gbit/sec fölé emelkedett. A teljes adatforgalom ennél valójában még több, a statisztika ugyanis csak magyar felhasználók és magyar szerverek közti forgalmat méri, és csak azoknál a szolgáltatóknál [2], akik a budapesti adatcserélő központon átküldik az adatfolyamukat.

A rekord oka minden bizonnyal az év legnagyobb sikerű videojátékának ígérkező Modern Warfare 2 megjelenése. A kalózverzió 11 gigabájtos csomagját rengetegen töltik le világszerte a fájlcserélő hálózatokról és kalóz FTP oldalakról, a nagy nemzetközi torrentoldalak publikus statisztikái szerint a Pirate Bayen [3] ebben a pillanatban is nagyjából 50, a Mininován [4] 80 ezer felhasználónál megy éppen MW2-letöltés.
modern-warfare-2 screenshot 20091013211140 original

Nem új jelenség hogy akár egy videojáték megjelenése rekordmagasságba tudja tornászni az internetes adatforgalmat: kora ősszel, amikor az amerikai tévékben elindulnak a népszerű sorozatok új évadai, rendszeresen megugrik [5] az internet forgalma a letöltők miatt. Egy játék kalózverziója 20-30-szor nagyobb méretű, mint mondjuk egy Dr. House-epizód, ez pedig bőven ellensúlyozza, hogy az érdeklődés a videojátékok iránt ha nem is sokkal, de azért kisebb, mint a sorozatok, vagy mozifilmek iránt.

Egyáltalán nem meglepő a kalózverzió rengeteg letöltése, ezt sejteni lehetett a játék körüli óriási felhajtásból, és abból, hogy már a nagyjából egy hete a netre kiszivárgott, orosz nyelvű bétaverzióra is nagyon sokan ugrottak rá – mondták el kérdésünkre a Modern Warfare 2 magyar forgalmazójánál. A cég rekordeladásokban bízik, ami itthon több tízezres nagyságrendet jelent.

Érdekes, hogy az Amazon adatai szerint [6] nagyjából 10:1 a konzolos és pécés előrendelések aránya, de Magyarországon még mindig több fogy a pécés verzióból, mint az xboxosból és playstationösből. Annak ellenére, hogy pécén egy eladott példányra 7-8 (optimista becslések szerint csak 3, pesszimisták szerint 10) letöltött kalózverzió jut. A Modern Warfare 2-ben az egymás elleni játékot csak a fejlesztő szerverein, legális verzióval lehet kipróbálni, így valószínűleg ebben az esetben valamivel jobb lesz ez az arány a szokásosnál.

Business |

The ContentID system has also thrown up some unexpected market intelligence about Rowan Atkinson’s hapless character. He turns out to be hugely popular in Saudi Arabia. The company that manages the use of Mr Bean footage online, MyVideoRights, says that this creates commercial opportunities for the producer, which can negotiate deals with broadcasters and DVD distributors in the country.

Ashley MacKenzie, chief executive of MyVideoRights, says better fingerprinting of web content means more companies now feel they are in control of their copyright material. “Up until two years ago Mr Bean and Tiger Aspect couldn’t have done anything. Now we can go into this system and claim back content,” he said.

Media | The Guardian

The UK has become the first major economy where advertisers spend more on internet advertising than on television advertising, with a record £1.75bn online spend in the first six months of the year.

The milestone marks a watershed for the embattled TV industry, the leading ad medium in the UK for almost half a century. It has taken the internet little more than a decade to become the biggest advertising sector in the UK.

UK advertisers spent £1.75bn on internet advertising in the six months to the end of June, a 4.6% year-on-year increase, according to a report by the Internet Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers. To put this in perspective, in 1998, when the IAB first measured internet advertising, just £19.4m was spent online.

The internet now accounts for 23.5% of all advertising money spent in the UK, while TV ad spend accounts for 21.9% of marketing budgets.

The IAB originally predicted that internet ad spend would overtake TV at the end of 2009; however, the crippling advertising recession accelerated this by six months. TV advertising fell about 17% year on year in the first half, to about £1.6bn, according to the report.

The IAB’s figures show that of the total of £1.75bn spent on internet advertising, £1.05bn, or 60%, was spent on search advertising on websites including Google, up 6.8% year on year.

Online classified advertising grew by 10.6% year on year to £385m, about 22% of total internet ad spend. But online display advertising, such as banners on websites, fell by 5.2% year on year, to £316.5m. This was an 18% share of all internet ad spend.

Broadband | News | PC Pro

The temporary closure of the Pirate Bay had the unforeseen side effect of forcing torrent sharers underground and causing a 300% increase in sites providing access to copyright files, according to McAfee.

In August, Swedish courts ordered that all traffic be blocked from Pirate Bay, but any hope of scotching the piracy of music, software and films over the web vanished as copycat sites sprung up and the content took on a life of its own.

“This was a true ‘cloud computing’ effort,” the company said in its Threats Report for the third quarter. “The masses stepped up to make this database of torrents available to others.”

“Pirate Bay is just a redirect site to lead people to sources where they can get media and other files,” McAfee security analyst Greg Day told PC Pro. “Once it was temporarily shut down, those people still wanted the torrents so they went elsewhere, and that meant lots of other sites popped up to take advantage – we saw a 300% increase in sites hosting and distributing movies and software.”

According to Day, in the days prior to the shutdown, treasure-hunters used anonymising software to gain access and copy the indexes that Pirate Bay used to redirect users to other computers hosting torrents.

Once the indexed data was in the public domain, open-source code was available to anyone who wanted to help with redistribution of torrents. While the Pirate Bay was offline there were four times as many sites offering access to the torrents.

“The Pirate Bay example shows how difficult it is to ‘stop’ data once it is on the web,” the report says. “A website can be shut down, but anyone who has accessed the content may still be able to redistribute it.”

Media Maverick – CNET News

During a visit to Hollywood last week, I wanted to talk to people who knew a thing or two about the film industry’s burgeoning meltdown. One of the people I sought out was Eric Garland, CEO and co-founder of Big Champagne.

Beverly Hills, Calif.,-based Big Champagne has collected data on file sharing and sold it to media companies for almost 10 years. Garland’s company has survived all that time, even while making the same sad pitch. He tells the music labels and film studios they are going to be chopped down at the knees by the Internet and online piracy–but that doesn’t mean they can’t survive.

As anyone might have guessed, almost everybody in media initially told Big Champagne to stick a cork in it. Back in the early part of the decade, nobody wanted to hear it, and Garland logged lots of five-minute meetings. Thanks to his persistence, though, he saw up close how digital technology buffeted the music industry. Now, some of the big labels are striking partnerships with his company.

What makes Garland an important speaker on this subject is that despite his gloomy message, he’s bullish on both the Internet and movies. His interests and Hollywood’s are aligned, he says, because if the studios don’t survive then he loses customers. He wants them to do well but he just doesn’t think that telling them what they want to hear, the “bedtime stories” as he calls it, is going to help.

In his interview with CNET, Garland predicted that the film business is in for a period of downsizing and cost cutting; that Hollywood’s digital evolution will likely be similar to the music industry’s but will unfold much faster; and that great wealth will still flow into the sector.

Question: Your business is watching file sharing. So is it spreading to the mainstream? Is Mom and Dad from Sheboygan pirating content?
Garland: Oh yes, particularly Mom and Dad in Munich; Mom and Dad in Seville; Mom and Dad in Paris. When we talk about video the reason I single out the European cities is because that’s where people are forced to wait a long time to see content legally. In the digital world, we don’t want to wait three months, six months. We’re just not accepting that anymore…we want it all, we want it right now and even Mom and Pa Kettle are getting to the point where they say if it’s not on, let’s just fire up the computer and watch it. If they want me to wait six months, I’ve got other options. And people don’t really have a conscious or qualms about that, or at least it’s mitigated by their feeling that they are entitled to keep up with the Jones’. It is the Twitter, real-time Internet expectations.

What we’re seeing is a tremendous pile-on of feature film and television content, led by TV worldwide. In terms of growth, it is eclipsing the sharing of these little music files. I mean most of the new adopter activity, most of the increase in terms of people, transactions, and downloads is coming on the video side.

That means that this year or next year is going to be Hollywood’s year to really start to lose audience–not just at the fringes but in regular middle-American living rooms. They’ll lose them to the other box, to the smart box.

“(The music industry) spent a lot of money going back to antipiracy and spent a lot of emotional dollars on vendors who sold them panaceas and told them everything is going to be okay.”–Big Champagne CEO Eric Garland

Q: Reed Hastings (the CEO of Netflix) wants to see every TV set come equipped with the ability to access the Internet. That will only accelerate Hollywood’s demise, no?
Garland: Again, I think it drives both. The winner is the one who ultimately wins on the merits, and those are ease of use. Certainly the legitimate markets should win there. It did in music. Remember, iTunes wins in large part because it works so much better than anything else. So, Reed should win. His competitors should win on ease of use. Quality of content? They should at least be competitive in terms of having great on-demand, high-definition, rich audio, video. But when it comes to depth of catalog, that’s where pirate markets have the edge. They have it also in timely delivery. Sorry. Go to Hulu right now and type in 24. There’s just a clipped sort of terse message that says “Sorry about season 1 and season seven…

Q: Because they want to sell me past seasons on DVD, right?
Garland: Yes, but, (an online site where users can find links to a plethora of unauthorized shows and films) doesn’t care about that. They’re happy to serve up current and past episodes of “24.” And just like music, Hollywood’s first reaction to that will be “Well, that’s just not fair. That’s jumping the turnstile, that’s breaking the rules. We have to shut that down, because if you remove that option then people will be more patient.” You won’t remove that option, and you’re losing valuable time if you focus on removing that option at the expense of improving that option and bettering that option, beating that option.

The music people used to say, “How can you can compete with free?” And now you ask anybody in digital music and they’ll tell you, “I’m just trying to compete effectively with free.” They’ve embraced the very condition that up until very recently they said they would reject. I’m telling you, you are going to compete with free. Sometimes you’re even going to win, once you make the commitment to living in the marketplace as it is and not as you wish it were or as it once was.

Q: That’s got to be hard for people in that industry or in any industry to hear. After hearing that, I almost want to start collecting donations for Matt Damon.
Garland: But I want to be clear that I was far more bearish on music than I am about Hollywood’s prospects.

“The film industry will have to chase legal remedies, legislative agendas, all the way to what they view as being the end of the line before they say ‘Okay, so this really is the landscape we’re stuck with.'”–Big Champagne CEO Eric Garland

Everything that the customer demonstrated that they wanted starting with the original Napster was diametrically opposed to what the music industry needed. Everything that the distributor or the (bandwidth providers) wanted was diametrically to what the music industry wanted. In other words there was no place to hammer out a marketplace that would work for both sides. Customers would say “I want MP3s” and the music industry would say “We can’t do MP3s because we have to have (digital rights management).” The customer would say “deal breaker!” The customer would say “I want every piece of music ever recorded. I want access to everything, everything I can remember dancing to no matter what year I went to prom and I want it right now.”

Napster said sure. The music industry said “We can’t do that. We can only license these titles.” Deal breaker.

The customer said “I want to eat all I want at one low price that feels like free.” The music industry said “No my friend, it’s a dollar a track.” There was no point of agreement. Hollywood conversely, is very different.

Hollywood says we like DRM, we would like to extend to you this content but on terms that we control and the customer says “Yeah, that’s cool. I’ve always been good with that. I like renting. I’ll give it back to you when I’m done.” The music industry says “How come we can’t we do that?” The customer says “No, because it’s not my expectation. It’s not the contract that we’ve had all along.” But in video this is in the contract we’ve had all along. Blockbuster has always given us stuff and we paid for it and then we had to bring it back. We’re good with that. There are all these places where what the online consumer is demanding is actually a workable proposition to Hollywood. There’s a lot of alignment but some really some important places where there isn’t any. There’s no easy fix. When I tell the film studios “The good news is that you want people to rent and not just own and people are happy to do that. Check.”

I say “You want some DRM–people are accustomed to DRM. There’s DRM on DVDs.” But when you get to one where you want customers to wait two months for a DVD, then they say that’s not negotiable.

Anybody who really understands the film business will tell you that’s the end of our lives as we know it. That’s the end of our industry as we know it. We have to be able to preserve those windows. We have to regain at least enough control to say you can have it, but not today. And when I tell them you’re never going to get that, that’s when the conversation breaks off and curse words are uttered and we go back to our corners.

Q: What windows are you referring to? They have windows that allows cable channels and broadcast stations to get exclusive access to a film title for a specific amount of time. But you can’t be talking about theaters too. What is Hollywood if it can’t promise theaters exclusive access to films?
Garland: I think the theatrical experience is totally viable. We love going to the theater. But when we walk out to the lobby I want to be able to pick up the DVD. If I got my 3D glasses on and my kids say “Can we watch it when we get home?” The answer has to be “yes.” If the answer’s no, the film industry loses.

Garland: These are tough lessons. By the way, I don’t want to sound like the armchair pundit. You end up sounding not very empathetic. You sound like some ass who says “This is how it’s going to be and if you don’t like too bad.” I’m not trying to be dismissive. I’m not trying to be glib about this. I understand the implication may well be tens-of-thousands of jobs lost, billions of dollars pouring out of the industry, shutterings, downsizings…I’m not trying to make light of that. I’m just telling you that in the final accounting i think some things we now know. Some of them are very unpopular even in concept and some of them are very hard to incorporate into strategic thinking, but that doesn’t make them any less avoidable or inevitable.

Q: Are paywalls one of the solutions? That’s what Hulu’s leaders are considering.
Absolutely not. What you have is a very effective antipiracy tool in Hulu, and I’m specifically drawing on the numbers and not just citing anecdotal evidence. People really do prefer the Hulu experience. So you actually have cannibalization, for once, of a pirate market by a legitimate market. You have a legitimate market stealing share and audience away from a pirate market. Put that behind a subscription wall and they’ll just go back.

Q: But it doesn’t appear that Hulu is making the kind of money that will satisfy content owners, at least those News Corp. and NBC Universal (Hulu’s backers).
Garland: The cute answer, which is probably the truest answer, is that growing a sector is a privilege and not a right. There is no right size. There is no correct or God-given size for any sector. Why do we get to make movies that cost $300 million to make? Because we have found venues where people will spend more than $300 million on the result. If people spend only $50 million then the price of a movie must be $49 million or less.

“I’m not trying to be glib about this. I understand the implication may well be tens-of-thousands of jobs lost, billions of dollars pouring out of the industry, shutterings, downsizings…”–Big Champagne CEO Eric Garland

I think in today’s dollars no one could make “Gone With The Wind” because at the time this movie was made when everyone went to the movies. It was something like 79 percent of the population. The cute answer is that movies will get smaller.

I know people are tearing out hair and spinning in graves, but maybe “Transformers” has to be made for $75 million next time. Oh my God, what am I saying? Put the words back in your mouth. That is just a pretty plain faced observation. One outcome might mean that in the Digital Age the return on investment on a major International tent-pole franchise is not a billion dollars. It’s a quarter of that or a third. Therefore we have to get our costs in line with the market value.

When we talk about this in 3 or 5 or 7 years, one thing we will all have to concede is costs have to come down. We don’t have the total control over the distribution chain that we exploited so well as industries for so long. Without that you can’t take advantage of the consumer in the same way.

Q: I feel like I just heard the doctor give his prognosis and the patient is a goner.
Garland: It’s just “Lose weight man (laughter). Get on a treadmill, change your diet and lose weight.”

Q: Has Hollywood given up on fighting piracy?
You mean has changing the name from “antipiracy” to “content protection” a symbol of a retreat or a softening? No. Not at all. It’s likely that (the Motion Picture Association of America, the trade group of the six major studios) is trying to be more focused, more strategic. They are upping their game because that’s how seriously they take it and that’s how high a priority it is. On the contrary this is not the end, this is early days.

We now have the benefit of hindsight. We have watched an industry go through this. I think we can say with some confidence we know how this unfolds. What will happen is the studios will exhaust every available remedy and there will be a series of evolutions, meaning they will exhaust one remedy and a new one will present itself. These things will be pursued in tandem. They will pursue technological intervention on the Internet. This goes to the study at NYU that basically says this has had no effect. Ultimately, because they are spending a lot of money and not getting results, they’ll become disillusioned with these vendors. They’ll clean house. But something else will present itself.

“Well, maybe we were focused on trying to disrupt the networks and we should have focused on a technological solution to mass notification.” Well be on to the next thing. Well spend some number of months–I’m just essentially recounting the music industry’s journey–filing vast numbers of infringement notifications, letting everybody and their granny know you’re infringing our content. They’ll take the temperature and they’ll do surveys and collect data and they’ll try to convince themselves that this is having a real effect in reversing the tide and then after some period it will just not have been convincingly demonstrated to have worked. And they’ll realize that by any number of measures the piracy problem has only grown worse. But they will have to exhaust all of those things and more. They will have to chase legal remedies, legislative agendas, all the way to what they view as being the end of the line before they say “OK, so this really is the landscape we’re stuck with. As much as we didn’t want it, this appears to be it. Now we have to just dive in and make businesses that work here.”

And that’s where music has only just arrived in this country and note it hasn’t even come close to arriving in a lot of European countries. If you ask Universal Music Group in the U.K. “Are you going to win this war on piracy?” They will say “Oh yes, swiftly and decisively and soon. The rate of peer-to-peer infringement will be down 70 percent in the U.K. in the next few months. They have specific targets. Not here. We’ve exhausted all of those paths. There’s a big gap. If the music industry in this country just now sort of arrived at the conclusion where they say “We just have to play on this field even through it ain’t home court and there isn’t a lot of advantage.” And in some territories, music hasn’t even gotten there yet, then how can Hollywood be there? This is early in the journey. I do think it’s going to be a quicker path. It has to be. The economics are going to come down faster.

I spent years when everyone ignored what I was saying because I know it’s not pleasant to hear. But my job is to help businesses all over this landscape to get from point A to point B with the least amount of pain. But that means getting smart and getting ready for the transition before the competition. I want them looking in the mirror now and not when it’s too late. It’s tricky. I want these guys to do well but l don’t’ want them to tell themselves bedtime stories. That’s what the music industry did.

They spent a lot of money going back to antipiracy and spent a lot of emotional dollars on vendors who sold them panaceas and told them everything is going to be okay. “Don’t listen to Eric Garland,” they said. “He’s a gloom-and-doom guy. He gets off on telling you things are going to be terrible. Spend a few million dollars over here and we’ll clean up the Internet for you. Hey, I understand that. I want to open up my wallet for that guy too. It’s comfort food.

But my message to media companies is they don’t have that kind of time anymore.

The Independent

People who illegally download music from the internet also spend more money on music than anyone else, according to a new study. The survey, published today, found that those who admit illegally downloading music spent an average of £77 a year on music – £33 more than those who claim that they never download music dishonestly.

The findings suggest that plans by the Secretary of State for Business, Peter Mandelson, to crack down on illegal downloaders by threatening to cut their internet connections with a “three strikes and you’re out” rule could harm the music industry by punishing its core customers.

An estimated seven million UK users download files illegally every year. The record industry’s trade association, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), believes this copyright infringement will cost the industry £200m this year.

The poll, which surveyed 1,000 16- to 50-year-olds with internet access, found that one in 10 people admit to downloading music illegally.

2D Boy: I love you, 2D Boy! » Blog Archive

Since the birthday sale started, about 57 thousand people bought World of Goo off our website.  The average price paid for the game was $2.03 a significant percent of which went to PayPal for transaction fees.  Normally, they keep about 5% of the revenue, but because PayPal fees are structured in a way that they take a larger percentage for smaller transactions, we ended up paying over 13% in transaction fees.  For all purchases of around 30 cents and under, we actually saw no money, PayPal took it all, but they probably ended up losing money on most of those transactions ($0.01) as well, they’re not the bad guy.

Here’s a histogram for the amount people chose to pay for the game (click for full size image):


One interesting thing about the amount people were willing to pay is that it went up as the days went by before leveling off.  Here’s what it looked like:


Effect on Other Channels

This one was a big shocker. Steam sales rose 40% relative to the previous week. Our Steam sales tend to fluctuate and it’s not unheard of for there to be a 25% difference from one week to the next (up or down) but the 40% increase came after a week that saw a 25% increase.  It has been several months since we’ve seen this number of sales in a single week on Steam.

The effect wasn’t as dramatic on WiiWare. This week saw a 9% increase in sales over the previous week.  Last week saw a 5% fall, and the week before it saw a 2% rise in sales.  9% seems like it’s large enough to have not been entirely caused by normal fluctuations.


According to new research carried out by music group IFPI, around 40% of Swedes between 15 and 74 illegally share files every single day. The research, carried out through a web survey, reveals that there are 2.8 million sharers in the group, an increase compared to earlier surveys.

Op-Ed Columnist  –

The problem is that if people can get the music they want for free, why would they ever buy it, or even steal it? They won’t. According to a March study by the NPD Group, a market research group for the entertainment industry, 13- to 17-year-olds “acquired 19 percent less music in 2008 than they did in 2007.” CD sales among these teenagers were down 26 percent and digital purchases were down 13 percent.

And a survey of British music fans, conducted by the Leading Question/Music Ally and released last month, found that the percentage of 14- to 18-year-olds who regularly share files dropped by nearly a third from December 2007 to January 2009. On the other hand, two-thirds of those teens now listen to streaming music “regularly” and nearly a third listen to it every day.

This is part of a much broader shift in media consumption by young people. They’re moving from an acquisition model to an access model.

Even if they choose to buy the music, the industry has handicapped its ability to capitalize on that purchase by allowing all songs to be bought individually, apart from their albums. This once seemed like a blessing. Now it looks more like a curse.

In previous forms, you had to take the bad with the good. You may have only wanted two or three songs, but you had to buy the whole 8-track, cassette or CD to get them. So in a sense, these bad songs help finance the good ones. The resulting revenue provided a cushion for the artists and record companies to take chances and make mistakes. Single song downloads helped to kill that.

A study last year conducted by members of PRS for Music, a nonprofit royalty collection agency, found that of the 13 million songs for sale online last year, 10 million never got a single buyer and 80 percent of all revenue came from about 52,000 songs. That’s less than one percent of the songs.

So it was no surprise that The Financial Times reported on Monday that Apple is working with the four largest labels to seduce people into buying more digital albums. It’s too little too late. / Comment / Analysis

In April, when a Swedish court sentenced the founders of Pirate Bay to one-year prison terms for promoting copyright infringement on the world’s largest file-sharing website, the music and film industries gave a standing ovation. But their triumph was short-lived.

The four men, who “tweeted” vigorously on Twitter during their trial, may not be able to communicate so freely from their prison cells. But their struggle for internet freedoms has developed into a political issue: Sweden’s Pirate party, dedicated to the legalisation of file-sharing, won a seat last month in the European parliament.

The war being waged by the entertainment industry against online piracy was further weakened when its powerful ally and champion of internet policing, France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy, had his anti-piracy bill watered down by his country’s highest court in April.


Illegal yet ever easier to do

Illegal file-sharing is almost as old as the internet itself. It began with friends exchanging files on private discussion boards but hit the mainstream with the arrival of Napster in 1999. Napster used peer-to-peer technology but its central index of songs made it vulnerable to legal action. Successors such as Kazaa and Gnutella obviated the need for a central site. The path to Pirate Bay – founded in 2003 – was paved by the 2001 release of BitTorrent, a more efficient form of peer-to-peer technology. Now, the fastest growing form of piracy is streaming video. Streaming – similarly to legal sites such as Hulu and BBC iPlayer – does not require a copy of the content to be downloaded. Viewers can click and watch shows or movies instantly.

Ten years after the launch of Napster, the first online file-sharing service, the music industry is no closer to solving the problems created by digital piracy. As advances in technology make television, film and video games companies more vulnerable to piracy, that decade-long failure to change consumer behaviour threatens to undermine business models across the media industry.

Piracy has helped to create momentum around legal and intellectual challenges to copyright law. “Piracy has gone from being a simple argument about infringement or using something without permission to questioning the very basis of copyright,” says Gregor Pryor, a digital media partner at Reed Smith, the international law firm.

For most music and film fans, its appeal is more simple. With a little technological know-how, they can find and download free copies of the latest releases. Many albums and films appear online before they reach the shops or cinemas.

In removing the cost of distribution, the internet has proved itself a perfect piracy incubator and has made it harder for those involved to be prosecuted successfully. The Pirate Bay case is due to go to appeal later this year. But the scale of the problem for content owners is worldwide.

Russia, China, Spain, Mexico and Canada were this year singled out by the US Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus as having the highest rates of copyright infringement, largely as “the result of a lack of political will to confront the problem”. Russia’s lack of progress in respecting intellectual property rights now threatens its accession to the World Trade Organisation.

“In Russia there is no concept of copyrighted recorded material. They get away with selling it and only paying publishing royalties, not recording ones,” says James Bates from Deloitte, the consultancy.

The statistics make uncomfortable reading: the music industry has been decimated by online piracy, which remains the default way of consumption for many. For every track bought online, 20 were downloaded illegally last year, according to IFPI, the international music industry lobby group.

The film industry is fearful of repeating the mistakes of the music business. Hollywood executives have waded into the debate, while large media companies such as NBC are joining forces with trades unions as rising unemployment levels focus their attention on the threat to members’ jobs and incomes from copyright breaches. IFPI has been working with the Motion Picture Association of America to share information on anti-piracy and enforcement.

Chart showing the market share of download sites by visit

The statistics are not encouraging, however. A total of 13.7m films were distributed on peer-to-peer networks in France in May 2008, for example, compared with 12.2m cinema tickets sold, according to Equancy and Tera, two Paris-based consultancies.

But the entertainment industry does not always endear itself to consumers by painting itself as the pained victim. A widely reported study in the UK this year said downloading cost the economy £120bn ($198bn, €139bn). Other industry associations scrambled to lament the losses. But the figure was later revealed to be an error – the estimate was really £12bn.

Such estimates commonly assume each downloaded album is a lost sale, ignoring other studies that show the most prolific downloaders also buy more music. One of the few people to be hired by the music industry who dared to suggest pirates were also labels’ best customers – ex-Googler Douglas Merrill – left EMI after less than a year.

An industry that portrays itself as the victim while suing single mothers and other ordinary consumers for big sums has only helped the cause of Pirate Bay and those downloaders who are trying to make an ideological point by stealing music and movies. An anarchic and nihilist foe – which is yet to make a coherent argument for how content production would be paid for in a copyright-free future – is a tough opponent.

But the majority of file-sharing sites are commercial, not political, in motivation. Few of the pirates want to build a business to take on Universal Music or EMI. Like a market stall selling pirated DVDs, they just want to make a small profit from a virtual commodity and do not mind whose business model they ruin to do so. What started out as a hobby for computer geeks such as Sean Fanning, who developed Napster, has become big business for website owners.


The battle is on to reshape copyright rules for the internet age

Internet piracy has become so difficult to control because it is now ingrained behaviour among consumers, analysts say.

“It’s a social norm,” says Eric Garland of Big Champagne, which tracks file-sharing. “Somewhere along the line in the last 10 years, it became in most places in the world socially acceptable to infringe copyright.”

A study by Entertainment Media Research found 71 per cent of those file-sharing gave “free music” as their main reason for doing so.

But the motivation of the individuals uploading copyrighted content to file-sharing networks – who make it possible for others to download – is more complex. “These guys operate a bit like the hacking community and are mostly doing it for kudos,” says Helen Saunders of the BPI, which represents the UK recorded music industry. “They compete with others to be the first to put the content out and are not looking to make a profit.”

Pirate Bay, the most notorious file-sharing site, sets the ideological bar somewhat higher. Its founders in Sweden sent out a clear challenge when they announced that any proceeds from its sale would go to fund projects on freedom of speech, freedom of information and the openness of the internet.

That cause will be taken to the European parliament after Sweden elected Christian Engström, the first MEP from the Pirate party. The party’s stated intent is to reduce the term for commercial copyright protection to five years. It also believes that “non-commercial copying and use” – including file-sharing – should be legalised. Content owners argue that few other MEPs share Mr Engström’s views.

Just as businesses that used to deliver ice to households were unable to make refrigerators illegal, content owners should not be able to use the law to protect an obsolete business model, he says. Instead they should build profitable services around “non-commercial file-sharing”, such as search engines.

A key plank of the Pirate party’s logic is that copyright was not designed for the internet age. To that end, Lawrence Lessig, a professor at Stanford Law School, has devised a system of “copyleft” – a new content licence that encourages the kind of sharing, remixing and non-commercial reuse that is common on the web.

While some artists have experimented with Prof Lessig’s “creative commons” licence, few content owners see the merits of a debate about copyright. Its protection is still seen by labels and studios as the best incentive to create and invest in content.

Most piracy sites rely on advertising for their income. Global Gaming Factory X, a group that is planning to buy Pirate Bay, told industry blog PaidContent it could make $40m (€28m, £24m) a month from advertising. But while that figure has been met with scepticism, many sites make substantial sums from advertising placed around other people’s content.

“These kinds of sites often generate significant profit through advertising and advertisers will pay a lot of money,” says Helen Saunders, head of internet investigations at the BPI, which represents the UK recorded music industry. “Just think about how many people are going on to them. They can be very attractive to companies whose target audience is 16-24 year-olds.”

. . .

Questionable legality means most mainstream advertisers try to avoid media-sharing sites such as Pirate Bay and Mininova, even though they attract millions of visitors. Most ads are for gambling, “adult” chatrooms or dubious offers of free iPods. But some big brands – such William Hill and even Microsoft – have found their ads appearing alongside pirated content, even if that was not the advertiser’s intent.

The ads may not always be genuine – the appearance of such brands boosts sites’ appearance of legitimacy. But more often it is simply a factor of advertising space being sold across “blind” networks of so-called remnant inventory, typically yielding very low revenues for site owners.

“It’s very much like a spam e-mail business,” says Eric Garland of Big Champagne, a research firm. Low costs and high volumes mean it only takes a few gullible victims to click on an ad – and perhaps be tricked into downloading computer viruses – to turn a profit.

Pirate Bay, which has about 10m users in more than 30 countries, carries ads for online games, dating, lottery, mobile ringtone and computer screensaver sites. It was alleged by the Swedish government and IFPI to have generated more than $3m in annual revenue from advertising. That would be low for a mainstream media site with such substantial visitor numbers, yet one of Pirate Bay’s founders argued that these figures were an overestimate.

Recent surveys suggest peer-to-peer piracy is no longer increasing and that legal downloads of digital music at Apple’s iTunes are also starting to plateau. “Music piracy has almost found its high watermark,” says Mr Garland. “Clearly there is a saturation point for digital media.”

But if peer-to-peer is peaking, new technologies are rising up to replace it. Teenagers are experimenting with techniques – such as swapping computer hard drives or trading songs on mobile phones via Bluetooth – that are near-impossible to detect.

A more severe new threat to content owners does not rely on swapping songs or movies at all. Streaming video sites – using similar technology to the BBC iPlayer, Hulu or YouTube – allow media to be viewed or heard with just one click. That makes streaming video much less complex to use than Pirate Bay-style sites. Streaming “is a problem emerging so fast that it makes my head spin”, says Mr Garland, who expects it to be the industry’s main concern within a year. Specialised search engines, which aggregate links to these video sites, also operate in a legal grey area but attract substantial traffic by improving the usability of pirating sites yet further.

As technology speeds ahead of legal precedent, some experts argue that chasing new sites will remain a futile effort. So content owners have turned to broadband operators as their last hope to control internet piracy. By monitoring traffic on their networks, content owners argue, internet service providers could spot breaches of copyright and throw persistent offenders off their networks.

But the European Commission has now suggested that cutting off an individual’s internet access is an infringement of human rights. That has stymied Mr Sarkozy’s “three strikes and you’re out” proposals. The UK’s Digital Britain report this month stopped short of proposing anything so drastic, instead leaving it to record labels to take legal action individually against frequent file sharers who ignore warning letters from their broadband providers.

. . .

Content owners seeking ways to limit the damage are also using their commercial clout to bring broadband operators to the table. In a pioneering deal, Universal Music has agreed to let Virgin Media, the UK cable company, offer an unlimited downloading service to its broadband customers – as long as Virgin also helps Universal clamp down on piracy.

But even if this “all you can eat” model offers a user as much content as piracy does, it will struggle to compete on price. Whether it is films, TV shows or music, consumers are becoming accustomed to getting what they want for free.

Before too long, another pirate is likely to face court accused of copyright infringement. The content industry may well celebrate another Pyrrhic victory. Whether motivated by ideology or profit, the media-sharing movement seems set to reinvent itself again and again. / Technology –

Apple is working with the four largest record labels to stimulate digital sales of albums by bundling a new interactive booklet, sleeve notes and other interactive features with music downloads, in a move it hopes will change buying trends on its online iTunes store.

The talks come as Apple is separately racing to offer a portable, full-featured, tablet-sized computer in time for the Christmas shopping season, in what the entertainment industry hopes will be a new revolution. The device could be launched alongside the new content deals, including those aimed at stimulating sales of CD-length music, according to people briefed on the project.

Physical album sales have fallen sharply as music retailing has evolved from CD album purchases in retail outlets to digital downloads of songs from online stores.

Although consumers continue to purchase large amounts of digital music, they are buying individual tracks rather than higher-margin albums.

Apple is working with EMI, Sony Music, Warner Music and Universal Music Group, on a project the company has codenamed “Cocktail”, according to four people familiar with the situation.

The labels and Apple are working towards a September launch date for the project, which aims to boost interest in albums by bundling liner notes and video clips with the music.

“It’s all about re-creating the heyday of the album when you would sit around with your friends looking at the artwork, while you listened to the music,” said one executive familiar with the plans.

Apple wants to make bigger purchases more compelling by creating a new type of interactive album material, including photos, lyric sheets and liner notes that allow users to click through to items that they find most interesting. Consumers would be able to play songs directly from the interactive book without clicking back into Apple’s iTunes software, executives said.

“It’s not just a bunch of PDFs,” said one executive. “There’s real engagement with the ancillary stuff.”

The music companies declined to comment.

Album sales in the US fell 14 per cent in 2008 to 428.4m units, according to Nielsen SoundScan, which tracks retail sales data.

The new touch-sensitive device Apple is working on will have a screen that may be up to 10 inches diagonally.

It will connect to the internet like the iPod Touch – probably without phone capability but with access to Apple’s online stores .

Apple is gambling that it can succeed where everyone else has flopped, including Microsoft, which tirelessly pushed a tablet-ready version of its Windows operating system as a personal favourite of founder Bill Gates.

The entertainment industry is hoping that Apple, which revolutionised the markets for music players and phones, can do it again with the new device.

“It’s going to be fabulous for watching movies,” said one entertainment executive.

Book publishers have been in talks with Apple and are optimistic about their services being offered with the new computer, which could provide an alternative to Amazon’s Kindle.

Total Telecom

Online video service reinvents itself as technology provider for media companies.

Joost NV, an online video service launched by the founders of Skype, is retreating from the consumer market and replacing its high-profile chief executive.

The New York-based company, which provides television programming over the Web, said it would reinvent itself as a technology provider that will enable media companies to publish Internet video under their own brands.

The move marks a dramatic shift by Joost, which was founded in 2006 but failed to live up to its early hype. Internet users have instead flocked to Google Inc.’s YouTube for user-generated content or sites like Hulu LLC, a joint venture between News Corp., General Electric Co.’s NBC Universal and Walt Disney Co. dedicated to TV programs.

“In these tough economic times, it’s been increasingly challenging to operate as an independent, ad-supported online video platform,” said Mike Volpi, who will step aside as Joost’s chief executive as part of the restructuring.

Mr. Volpi will be replaced as CEO by Matt Zelesko, senior vice president of engineering. Mr. Volpi, a key architect of networking giant Cisco Systems Inc.’s acquisition machine during the dot-com boom, will remain chairman of Joost’s board.

Mr. Volpi said the changes will result in layoffs but didn’t say how many people would be leaving the company. Joost employed about 100 people prior to the restructuring.

Joost was founded by Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, creators of Internet telephone service Skype, but the company got off to a rocky start largely because it required users to download software, while rivals such as YouTube and Hulu let people stream video directly from Web sites.

Mr. Volpi joined the company two years ago and his first order of business was to relaunch Joost as a streaming Web service, but that improvement wasn’t enough to overcome the company’s early missteps.

Ars Technica

Frank Magid Associates conducted the survey, looking at 693 American Vuze users and 606 American Internet users, all aged 18-44. The most surprising result was that, when surveyed about their moviegoing behavior, Vuze users bought far more movie tickets, rented more films, and bought more DVDs than did the general Internet population.


A study from the BI Norwegian School of Management has found that those who download free music from services like BitTorrent are also the biggest legitimate consumers of downloadable music.

fact, among all 1,901 Norway-based study participants (all of whom were
over the age of 15), it was found that those who downloaded “free”
music were 10x more likely to download pay music. In other words, music pirates are the music industry’s largest online consumers.

Note: “Free” music obviously implies pirated music, but it also encompasses legitimate free music download services.

The findings also included that, in the 15-20 age range, 50% of
participants had bought a CD in the last six months. So that trusty
format isn’t dead quite yet.

Since we relied on Google’s translation from the original Norwegian,
anyone who speaks the language is encouraged to glean for more
specifics and post them in the comments. [Survey and BMI Thanks Jon!]


Quantos writes with word that in Sweden, in addition to a drop in traffic following the introduction of the IPRED anti-file sharing law, the country also saw a doubling of legal downloads. “The sale of music via the Internet and mobile phones has increased by 100 percent since the Swedish anti-file sharing IPRED law entered into force last week, according to digital content provider InProdicon. ‘…I don’t know if this is only because of IPRED, but it is definitely a sign of a major change,’ said managing director Klas Brännström. InProdicon provides half of the downloaded tunes in Sweden via several online and mobile music services.” Meanwhile The Pirate Bay’s anticipated VPN service has seen over 113,000 requests for beta invitations since late last month; 80% are from Sweden. Traffic numbers may begin to rise again once the service goes live.


Experienced BitTorrent users know a thing or two about private trackers – some sites are just better than others. This could translate to fastest pre-times of new releases; trackers with the most diversity and number of torrents; community-focused trackers; and even the rarity of an account weighs heavily on what is deemed “in demand”. We scoured high and low on torrent forums everywhere to find out what trackers are in hot demand, and tallied up the results – #1 shouldn’t be much of a surprise.

To compile this data we visited torrent forums and counted (really!) each and every tracker request that was posted, including ones that were ‘filled’. Our stats went back as far as July, 2008. Sites that were used included:

Hollywood may at last be having its Napster moment — struggling against the video version of the digital looting that capsized the music business. Media companies say that piracy — some prefer to call it “digital theft” to emphasize the criminal nature of the act — is an increasingly mainstream pursuit. At the same time, DVD sales, a huge source of revenue for film studios, are sagging. In 2008, DVD shipments dropped to their lowest levels in five years. Executives worry that the economic downturn will persuade more users to watch stolen shows and movies., a Web site based in Germany that tracks which shows are most downloaded, estimates that each episode of “Heroes,” a series on NBC, is downloaded five million times, representing a substantial loss for the network. (On TV, “Heroes” averages 10 million American viewers each week).

But if media companies are winning the battle against illegal video clips, they are losing the battle over illicit copies of full-length TV episodes and films. The Motion Picture Association of America says that illegal downloads and streams are now responsible for about 40 percent of the revenue the industry loses annually as a result of piracy.

“It is becoming, among some demographics, a very mainstream behavior,” said Eric Garland, the chief executive of BigChampagne.


The global amount used by IFPI on lobbying and fighting piracy is £75 million.


For the Internet Study 2008/2009 ipoque‘s ISP and university customers agreed to provide anonymized traffic statistics collected by PRX Traffic Managers installed in their networks.

In Germany, Web traffic experienced the fastest and most
significant growth in absolute terms – from 14 to 26 percent
– mainly due to file hosting sites – also known as direct
download links (DDL) such as RapidShare and Megaupload
– but also due to the increasing media-richness of Web
pages. This, however, does not include streaming video,
which has slightly decreased in proportion.


Mininova’s one million torrents by category

So how does Mininova compare to the competition, one might ask. Well the Pirate Bay has 765,000 torrents on their site, although they track twice as many files. IsoHunt currently indexes 1,734,435 torrents, and Torrentz searches through 4,070,699. The latter is a meta-search engine though, and doesn’t host any files of its own.

Ars Technica

Have you ever wondered how many people around the globe are seeding
and leeching torrents? The Pirate Bay, one of the most popular torrent
trackers, has published an interactive map
with data for each country, both in terms of an exact percentage of
users and how many connections are going through that country at any
given time. The statistics may not give a complete picture of P2P
activity across the globe, but they do offer some insights into habits
of different users.

The data points, laid over a Google Map, are shaped and colored
depending on how many connections are coming out of each location. For
example, as of publication time, about 5.515 percent of all TPB
connections are coming from the US, while Canada sits at 2.949 percent
and Japan at 6.553 percent. China, which is the only country that gets
the little bonfire icon, represents a whopping 34.822 percent of all
TPB connections at the moment.

Have you ever wondered how many people around the globe are seeding and leeching torrents? The Pirate Bay, one of the most popular torrent trackers, has published an interactive map with data for each country, both in terms of an exact percentage of users and how many connections are going through that country at any given time. The statistics may not give a complete picture of P2P activity across the globe, but they do offer some insights into habits of different users.

The data points, laid over a Google Map, are shaped and colored depending on how many connections are coming out of each location. For example, as of publication time, about 5.515 percent of all TPB connections are coming from the US, while Canada sits at 2.949 percent and Japan at 6.553 percent. China, which is the only country that gets the little bonfire icon, represents a whopping 34.822 percent of all TPB connections at the moment.


The accelerating economic downturn is taking its toll on the entertainment industry, with DVD sales lagging and Blu-ray sales disappointing, according to the New York Times. DVD sales are down 4 percent so far this year, the paper reports, citing data collected by Warner Brothers. The results for the third quarter are even worse, with a 9 percent drop overall and a steep 22 percent decline for new titles, according to numbers from Nielsen VideoScan quoted by the Times.

Meanwhile, free online content is doing better than ever. Hulu attracted 5.3 million unique visitors in October, a nearly 90 percent surge over the previous month. The Pirate Bay doubled the number of simultaneously connected users within the last six months, reaching a total of 25 million peers in November. The site’s admins apparently couldn’t quite believe their logs either, asking somewhat perplexed: “Wtf is going on(?)” The answer, in short, is this: We are in a recession.

The median time between a film’s U.S. premiere and its leak online now stands at 11 days, up from five days in 2008 and a single day in 2005. The reason for this seems to be that there are fewer and fewer so-called “cam” releases, movies recorded by people with their camcorders in theaters. Maybe all those bag checks, intimidating security guards and night vision goggles actually do have an effect.

The number of cam releases has fallen sharply this year, according to Waxy’s data. Scene release sites like VCDQuality lists just eight of them, which means that only 30 percent of all movies nominated were filmed in theaters. Last year, the number was still around 55 percent, and 2007 it was closer to 70 percent.

Hollywood has long fought cam piracy, and some of the measures being used against it made it into the headlines last year. Authorities arrested a man trying to videotape The Dark Knight in Kansas last July, and theater owners started to use night vision goggles in UK theaters to prevent the leak of Quantum of Solace.

So are the goggles working? While Waxy’s data seems to show that they are, using the Oscars as an indicator for overall piracy trends is fraught with problems. The awards do feature some of the more popular mainstream movies, but big blockbusters like Mall Cop won’t be nominated anytime soon. Smaller movies, on the other hand, may garner a few nominations, but they lack big audience numbers, both in theaters and on P2P networks.

This seems to be especially true for the 2009 nominations. The list only features one or two real blockbusters; movies like Rachel Getting Married, meanwhile, might fill an indie theater or two, but the film still hasn’t shown up on P2P networks at all. Maybe cammers and the associated release groups just don’t like indie fare.

Either way, any success on the anti-piracy front is temporary at best. The fact is that most movies are available in DVD quality online long before the original DVDs show up on retail shelves, which results in significant declines in DVD sales numbers.


Have you checked out Monty Python’s YouTube channel? It’s got a selection of their brilliant (as always) clips, and it’s got links to buy their DVDs on Amazon. As those crazy Monty Python dudes put it,

“We’re letting you see absolutely everything for free. So there! But we want something in return. None of your driveling, mindless comments. Instead, we want you to click on the links, buy our movies & TV shows and soften our pain and disgust at being ripped off all these years.”

And you know what? Despite the entertainment industry’s constant cries about how bad they’re doing, it works. As we wrote yesterday, Monty Python’s DVDs climbed to No. 2 on Amazon’s Movies & TV bestsellers list, with increased sales of 23,000 percent.

Out of 26 nominated films, an incredible 23 films are already available in DVD quality on nomination day, ripped either from the screeners or the retail DVDs.


“In a study conducted by TNO for the Dutch government the economic effects of filesharing are found to be positive. According to the 146 page report (available for download, but in Dutch) filesharing is good for the prosperity of the Dutch: with filesharing more media are available, even though this costs the media industry some profit. One of the most noticeable conclusions is that downloading and buying are not mutually exclusive: downloaders on average buy just as much music as non-downloaders, but they buy more DVD’s and games then people who don’t download. They also tend to visit more concerts and buy more merchandise.”


The final sacred cow that Holtman took a stab at was the issue of piracy. “There’s a big business feeling that there’s piracy,” he says. But the truth is: “Pirates are underserved customers.”

“When you think about it that way, you think, ‘Oh my gosh, I can do some interesting things and make some interesting money off of it.'”

“We take all of our games day-and-date to Russia,” Holtman says of Valve. “The reason people pirated things in Russia,” he explains, “is because Russians are reading magazines and watching television — they say ‘Man, I want to play that game so bad,’ but the publishers respond ‘you can play that game in six months…maybe.’ “

“We found that our piracy rates dropped off significantly,” Holtman says, explaining that Valve makes sure their games are on the shelves in Moscow and St. Petersberg, in Russian, when they release it to North America and Western Europe.

There are, concludes Holtman, “tons of undiscovered customers,” because publishers look very narrowly at the Western market.


Every year, RIAA’s global partner IFPI
publishes a digital music report, which can be best described as a one
sided view of the state of digital music consumption. For several years
in a row the report has shown that the sales figures of digital music
have gone up, but still, the industry continues to blame piracy for a
loss in overall revenue.

One of the key statistics that is hyped
every year, is the piracy ratio of downloaded music. Just as last year,
IFPI estimates that 95% of all downloads are illegal, without giving a
proper source for this figure. Interestingly, those who take a closer
look at the full report (pdf), will see that only 10% of the claimed illegal downloads are seen as a loss in sales.

Every year, RIAA’s global partner IFPI publishes a digital music report, which can be best described as a one sided view of the state of digital music consumption. For several years in a row the report has shown that the sales figures of digital music have gone up, but still, the industry continues to blame piracy for a loss in overall revenue.

One of the key statistics that is hyped every year, is the piracy ratio of downloaded music. Just as last year, IFPI estimates that 95% of all downloads are illegal, without giving a proper source for this figure. Interestingly, those who take a closer look at the full report (pdf), will see that only 10% of the claimed illegal downloads are seen as a loss in sales.

The Register

A new report suggests that Apple and Tesco, not P2P file sharers, should take the most blame for the woes of the British music industry.

The report, prepared privately by consultants Capgemini for the Value Recognition Strategy working group, set out to examine the “value gap”, the amount sound recordings revenue has fallen in the UK since 2004. The report remains confidential, but details are starting to emerge.

The consultants suggest that “format changes” and price pressure from discounted CDs on sale in supermarkets, are most to blame for this “value gap”.

However, the report gives lie [not “life”, as a typo suggested – ed.] to the idea that P2P file sharing stimulates demand for sales, or is even a neutral factor. This idea has given comfort to the powerful anti-copyright lobby, backed by internet users who want digital music for free – and find endless justifications to avoid paying for it.

Capgemini calculates that of £480m lost to the industry since 2004, £368m was the result of format changes: principally the unbundling of the CD into an “a la carte” selection of digital songs. Of the remainder, 18 per cent was lost to piracy.

Add this to the more recent news from

“It is a basic principle of economics that as price increases,
demand decreases. Customers who download music and movies for free
would not necessarily spend money to acquire the same product.”

p2pnet has been saying that for years,
pointing out RIAA and MPAA claims that files shared equal sales lost
are pure fiction dreamed up to enable corporate entertainment cartels
to attack their own customers in a bid to gain control of how, and by
whom, product is managed and distributed online.

Now, in a 16-page opinion, “District Judge James P. Jones, sitting
in the Western Disrict of Virginia, denied the RIAA’s request for
restitution, holding the RIAA’s reasoning to be unsound,” says Recording Industry vs The People.

David Barrett says on Pho

Mininova, founded in January 2005, soon became one of the most successful torrent sites. The site has grown steadily over recent months, and for a few weeks now the millions of daily users have been downloading well over 10 million torrents a day.

In 2008 the site passed several milestones, and in December Mininova broke a new record of 44.7 million unique visitors in one month. More users download more torrents, and just about every three to four months the site added another million torrent downloads to its counter. Today, just a few days into 2009, Mininova is close to recording the 7 billionth download, a double up compared to a year ago.

Mininova co-founder Niek told TorrentFreak that he expects this growth to continue in the new year. “Traffic is still growing according to Quantcast and Google Analytics. Unless something drastically changes, I see no reason why this will be different in 2009,” he commented. – Torrentfreak

In comparison, iTunes traffic:

  • iTunes has now sold six billion songs (it crossed the 5 billion mark last June).
  • Over 10 million different tracks are available on iTunes.
  • Starting today, 8 million songs are DRM-free, and all 10 million will be DRM free by the end of March.
  • There are now over 75 million accounts on iTunes linked to credit cards.
  • In fiscal year 2008, Apple sold 9.7 million Macs
  • Mac sales grew twice as fast as the overall PC market.

The last billion songs took about five and half months to sell, which was the same pace more or less that it took Apple to get to its fourth billion (January, 2008) and fifth billion songs (June, 2008). So iTunes sales are no longer accelerating, despite many more iPhones and iPods out there. It makes you wonder what the saturation point is for consumers buying songs from iTunes. One thing to cheer about, DRM is now officially dead (it looks like Apple traded variable pricing for getting rid of DRM), but I’m not sure that is going to spur sales much. – Techcrunch / Companies

EMI, owned by Terra Firma, the private equity group, said full year digital revenues rose 29 per cent to £166m, while Universal, owned by Vivendi, reported 33 per cent growth in digital revenue for the first nine months of its financial year, saying in September it believed digital initiatives could soon return the music industry to growth.

22 December 2008 – New Scientist

Will Page and Gary Eggleton at the MCPS-PRS Alliance – a UK body that collects royalties for musicians when their songs are played on air or downloaded – and Andrew Bud from the cellphone software company mBlox have analysed a year’s worth of downloads from a well-known internet music store. They found that of the 13 million tracks available, 52,000 – just 0.4 per cent – accounted for 80 per cent of downloads.

Recording Industry vs. The People

According to a report on, the RIAA spokesman claims that the RIAA has not filed any new lawsuits “for months”; according to the Wall Street Journal report
the RIAA stopped filing mass lawsuits “early this fall”; and the
Associated Press was apparently told that the RIAA had stopped bringing
new lawsuits in August.

Being very familiar with the RIAA’s penchant for “misspeaking”,
even when under oath, I investigated the matter a bit, and learned that
a large number of suits have been brought by the RIAA quite recently,
one as recently as this Monday. Here are just a few. Those marked green were contributed by some of our great readers:

PC Game Piracy Examined
[Page 4] The Scale of Piracy

PC Game Piracy Examined
[Page 4] The Scale of Piracy

Slyck News

If you could total the quantity of unlicensed tracks within the vastness of the P2P community, then apply a reasonable fee to those tracks, you would end up with a very large monetary number. $10 billion? $50 billion? Just how much untapped money, relevant to the music industry, is circulating in the P2P community? MultiMedia Intelligence, who recently stated P2P growth will top 400% in 5 years, has pegged a monetary number to unlicensed music. The number: $69 billion.

Since 2004, Google has been working with university and research libraries to create digital scans of their collections. Of the approximately seven million books that Google has already scanned, four million to five million are out of print.

Google now makes the content of those books available in its book search service but shows only snippets of text, unless it has permission from the copyright holder to show more.

Under the agreement, Google will now show up to 20 percent of the text at no charge to users. It will also make the entire book available online for a fee. Universities, libraries and other organizations will be able to buy subscriptions that make entire collections of those books available to their visitors.

Ars Technica

If you pay any attention to the endless debates over intellectual property policy in the United States, you’ll hear two numbers invoked over and over again, like the stuttering chorus of some Philip Glass opera: 750,000 and $200 to $250 billion. The first is the number of U.S. jobs supposedly lost to intellectual property theft; the second is the annual dollar cost of IP infringement to the U.S. economy. These statistics are brandished like a talisman each time Congress is asked to step up enforcement to protect the ever-beleaguered U.S. content industry. And both, as far as an extended investigation by Ars Technica has been able to determine, are utterly bogus.

Music Ally

Warner Chappell will today reveal details of their view of the Radiohead licensing experiment at the “You Are in Control” conference in Iceland, including total sales figures of more than three million for ‘In Rainbows’.

The UK-based branch of the publishing company licensed all digital rights including master recording rights and image and likeness rights on behalf of the band in a groundbreaking move for them as well as the band.

Today Warner Chappell’s Head of Business Affairs Jane Dyball will reveal that the digital publishing income from the first licence (for the Radiohead pay what you want site) alone dwarfed all the band’s previous digital publishing income and made a “material difference” to Warner Chappell UK’s digital income.

The publisher will also confirm that Radiohead had made more money before ‘In Rainbows’ was physically released than they made in total on the previous album ‘Hail To the Thief’. It should be pointed out that Radiohead’s existing digital income was of course low, because they had withheld licensing the likes of iTunes.

The topline figure, though, is that there were three million purchases of In Rainbows, including physical CDs, box-sets, and all downloads – including those from the band’s own website and from other digital music stores.

Epicenter from

Less than 24 hours after the season premiere of Prison Break aired on Fox on Monday, it was downloaded close to one million times, according to TorrentFreak.

Prison Break fans didn’t have to download the show illegally. The show is readily available to stream legitimately on both Hulu and, where viewers have to sit through a few commercial breaks, but they can still watch the entire episode legally.

[Hulu won’t disclose how many people viewed Prison Break on the site on Monday, but the show is one of the top 5 most-popular shows on Hulu today, and it was the most-popular show yesterday. There’s no way of knowing, though, whether the program was watched more on Hulu than it was downloaded illegally.]

The fact that one million people downloaded the show within 24 hours — a little less than one-sixth of the 6.5 million people who watched Prison Break on TV on Monday night — proves, though, that P2P isn’t going away just because there are legal alternatives now.

“This is a group of people who define themselves in part by the technology they use and the application of that technology,” says Robert Rosenberg, president of Insight Research. “Chances are that this is only happening in a defined age group. You’d be hard-pressed to find 60 year-old guys passing this stuff off to their buddies.”

Even if file sharers make up a small slice of the population, the impact is not insignificant. Could networks win these viewers back? The most common complaint about big media companies over the last decade is that they’ve been slow to provide legal alternatives. In this case, however, Fox has gone to great lengths to give viewers an option to watch programs legally online, but die-hard file sharers still aren’t biting.

“I think a lot of the problem is that the content providers have typically been using business models that extend backwards in time. They have not been able to adapt their intellectual property and business processes to the new reality — essentially that all types of information and media are going to find their way on to a network and will be widely distributed,” says Rosenberg. “Look at the music industry. They simply didn’t have a formula for preventing file sharing until Apple taught them how to do it.”

Many legal alternatives could be improved, too, says Eric Garland, CEO of Big Champagne, an online media measurement company. Content providers have been slow to offer legal streaming options in many international markets, and there still aren’t many networks that let users actually download files, which is a bummer for collectors, says Garland.

Also, the networks haven’t necessarily improved upon the experience on pirated sites, so users don’t have much incentive to leave those sites.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” says Garland. “Sites like Mininova or Pirate Bay have been around long before there was Hulu, and why should they stop using a familiar option that works well?”


According to new data figures from PlusNet, P2P traffic has declined significantly over the past year and legal, streaming content has grown exponentially.

The figures show that P2P traffic is down 8.75 percent year-on-year while streaming content traffic is up 170 percent over the same period. More notably, streaming content traffic is rising almost 9 percent per month, at a very steady pace. PlusNet says with P2P traffic down for the year, P2P only accounts for 26 percent of total Internet traffic, down from an all time high of 36 percent last year.

The numbers can only mean good things for the industry which has long used P2P traffic as an excuse to block high bandwidth users or charge more for those who use excessive amounts of bandwidth. If these numbers prove accurate, then it seems customers are happy viewing their content legally and the media industry is doing a good job in getting content easily available to consumers who otherwise had no alternative.


Prosecutors in a German state have announced they will refuse to entertain the majority of file-sharing lawsuits in future. It appears that only commercial-scale copyright infringers will be pursued, with those sharing under 3000 music tracks and 200 movies dropping under the prosecution radar.

During the last few years the legal climate in Germany has become more and more weighted against file-sharers, with hundreds of thousands receiving threats of legal action. Based on information gathered by anti-p2p tracking outfits, an offense is reported which the public prosecution service is obliged to investigate due to the fact that copyright infringement is a criminal issue in Germany. The ISP of the alleged infringer would then be forced to hand over the personal details of those accused, who would then be threatened with legal action.

Very often the legal action is not carried out but the threats are used as leverage to get ‘compensation’ from the alleged infringer to hand to the rights holder. It seems that the legal system in German has had enough of this ‘abuse’ of the criminal law system for ‘civil’ monetary gain.

In an interview with, prosecutors from the Nort-Rhine Westphalia area state that those sharing files for personal, non-commercial uses, will no longer be the target of a lawsuit.

Christian Solmecke, a lawyer working at lawyers Wilde & Beuger and currently defending around 500 file-sharers against the German music industry told TorrentFreak: “That means, that the music industry in Germany has no chance to find out the real address behind an IP-address at the moment,” which is clearly a major obstacle for someone looking to take legal action.

The dividing line between personal file-sharing and commercial file-sharing needs to be defined clearly under the law, and the prosecutors have gone some way in offering this definition. “The guidelines say that no investigation should be done if the damage is lower than 3000 Euros (approx $4,500),” Christian told us. “The guideline says that the damage of trading one song is 1 Euro ($1.50). That means, that you could have 2999 Files on your computer and the prosecutors will not investigate.”

The damages for a movie are being touted at 15 Euros (approx $22.00) each, so presumably anyone sharing less than 200 movies will be considered a non-commercial file-sharer and should avoid prosecution. However, the prosecutor has indicated that those sharing brand new movies still in theater cannot expect to receive the same treatment.

Christian told TorrentFreak: “This decision is very new, we do not know what consequences it will have or if all prosecutors in Germany will follow the new guidelines.” However, the German music industry is clearly unhappy, labeling the decision as “a catastrophe” and refusing to accept it.

Should this decision spread around Germany, P2P tracking outfits such as Logistep AG and the German company Digiprotect will have to look elsewhere to make up their revenue. There are indications that Digiprotect is already branching out into the UK, in a new partnership with everyone’s favorite anti-p2p lawyers, Davenport Lyons.


The broadcast of the Olympics opening ceremony has been downloaded more than a million times already, and the download counters go up every day.

Internet Evolution –

In this test, we configured 13 different P2P clients using a total of 10 different P2P protocols to verify detection accuracy. For each of the major P2P protocols – BitTorrent, eDonkey, and Gnutella – we used two different clients. Client implementations of the same protocol may differ slightly, so we wanted to verify whether the devices could detect all implementations of a P2P protocol and distinguish between different clients.

Other Internet applications like Web sessions, video streams, file transfer, and email were sent alongside the P2P traffic in order to reproduce a typical mix of Internet traffic. The challenge was to detect the P2P protocol traffic volume accurately – not allowing any sessions to escape the device’s attention.


NBC’s delayed Olympics coverage and sports’ fans quest to find pirated livestreams online has officially become the media story of the games. Even the New York Times has chimed in, noting what it referred to as the “game of digital whack-a-mole” between pirates and NBC that took place during the opening ceremony. The network’s fight against unauthorized streams on sites like and continued all weekend, with streams going down quicker that you can say Dick Ebersol.

The network may win a fight or two, but the battle is far from over. I’m watching a broadcast of the Cuba vs. the Netherlands beach volleyball game — which NBC’s cable channel USA Network won’t show for another two hours and won’t air online at all — live on my laptop as I’m writing this article, courtesy of some folks in France that relay a live TV signal from heaven knows where. To be fair, there are some occasional hiccups with the video, but the overall quality is actually pretty good. Good enough to keep me engaged, and definitely good enough to question the whole idea of NBC-like restrictions in the age of global online video.

NBC is not alone in its fight against the Olympics pirates. The state-owned Chinese TV network CCTV sued the Google-backed P2P startup Xunlei last week, alleging it had broadcast parts of the torch relay earlier this year without getting a license from CCTV. The lawsuit was a clear warning shot against the dozen or so P2P TV platforms that have popped up in China in recent years, most of whom responded by putting IP number-based geolocation restrictions on CCTV streams or filtering them outright.

Sopcast, for example, has blocked access to its CCTV streams, making them inaccessible from within the client’s program guide. But the software also allows users to transmit their own streams, and a number of them use this feature to relay TV broadcasts from all around the world. I gave it a shot this weekend, and quickly found satellite TV feeds from Malaysia in surprisingly high video quality, video feeds from Poland and even a Portuguese video stream that someone apparently was filming off his TV in real time. A little tough on the eyes, but pretty amusing nonetheless.

Granted, watching pirated TV feeds via P2P TV isn’t always easy. A few other clients left me empty-handed. PPLive, for example, is an official licensing partner of CCTV. The company told us last week that it was going to block access to all CCTV stations for viewers from outside of China, and it has kept its word. Sina Live is a web plug-in that only works with Internet Explorer. The CCTV channels are embedded into Sina’s web site and seemed to be blocked for overseas users as well. At least I think that’s what happened; the language barrier didn’t help., one of the oldest P2P streaming solutions, featured one Olympics channel, but I couldn’t get it to play on my machine.

So I decided to stick with Sopcast, and was rewarded with lots and lots of live coverage. Pretty much all the competitions were available in real time. To be fair, a lot of the minor events were also broadcast live on, and in a few some cases the official streams had a much better quality (I’m talking to you, anonymous Portuguese pirate!). Overall, save for the occasional bandwidth hiccup, the quality of the pirated streams was surprisingly good. At least I got to watch the games in full screen, complete with live commentary, and let me tell you: Those sportscasters in Malaysia speak English with less of an accent than half of my neighborhood, me (obviously) included.

The downside of watching pirated P2P TV streams is that you have to install software from companies that you’re probably going to trust less than NBC, and rightly so. Sopcast for instance, comes bundled with an adware app, but users are reporting online that it can be erased without affecting the performance of the client. I bet many sports fans are willing to take that chance.

Positech Games

A few days ago I posted a simple question on my blog. “Why do people pirate my games?”. It was an honest attempt to get real answers to an important question. I submitted the bog entry to slashdot and the penny arcade forums, and from there it made it to arstechnica, then digg, then bnet and probably a few other places. The response was massive. This is what I found:

The success of the video game Rock Band is drumming up revenue for the music industry.

Virtual rockers downloaded roughly 2.5 million songs in the eight weeks since the game launched on the Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3 systems.

Rock Band, developed by Harmonix, which also created Guitar Hero, comes with 58 playable songs including the Rolling Stones’ Gimme Shelter and Metallica’s Enter Sandman. But many more tunes can be downloaded over the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live for prices varying from 99 cents to $2.99.


Az adatok alapján a franciák májusban több, mint 13,5 millió filmet töltöttek le illegálisan az internetről, miközben az országos filmközpont 12,2 millió mozijegy eladását rögzítette az adott hónapban. A jelenség “veszélybe sodorhatja a film- és audiovizuális ipart” – jelentette ki az Alpa képviselője a Le Figaro című napilapnak.

A tanulmány szerint átlagosan havi 10 millió illegális filmletöltés történik az országban. A rekord tavaly decemberben volt, amikor 16,6 millió illegális letöltést számoltak. A törvénytelenül letöltött filmek 66 százaléka amerikai, 19 százaléka francia. A Transformers különösen népszerű, 2007 októbere óta 3,7 millió példányban szedték le a netről. A kutatások egyelőre nem mutatják a letöltések közvetlen gazdasági hatását a filmiparra, de az biztos, hogy a francia dvd-eladás leszálló ágba került.

Egy tavalyi jelentés szerint a jogvédő szervezetek azt állapították meg, hogy Magyarországon tízből kilenc letöltés illegális, tíz dvd-ből hét nem eredeti. Az okozott kár forintban százmilliárdos nagyságrendű.

Industry analyst Dave Burstein has an interesting (but margin blown) post over at the interesting people listserv discussing the reality of congestion (or lack thereof) on AT&T’s network. While many in the industry lobbyists use P2P congestion as a bogeyman to justify all manner of policy, AT&T data suggests P2P is actually declining on AT&T’s network. Upstream P2P on cable networks remains a capacity problem, but it’s one that may be resolved by a migration to DOCSIS 3.0. Burstein suggests the debate over throttling is all but dead:

Easily a third of AT&T’s downstream traffic is now “web audio-video,” far more than p2p and the gap is widening rapidly. Hulu and YouTube are taking over, while p2p is fading away on DSL networks. One likely result is that managing traffic by shaping p2p is of limited and declining use, perhaps buying a network 6 months or a year before needing an upgrade. The p2p traffic shaping debate should be almost over, because it simply won’t work very much longer.

AT&T writes off that decline in P2P use as a statistical anomaly created by a heavy mix of new customers who don’t use P2P. Still, it suggests that P2P isn’t quite the network demon it’s often painted as. AT&T says that as of June, AT&T traffic was about 1/3 Web (non video/audio streams), 1/3 Web video/audio streams, and 1/5 P2P. Most interestingly, Burstein suggests that capacity upgrades should more than handle growth, without throttling or raising capex, while actually lowering AT&T’s per bit cost per user. On upgrades:

AT&T has sensible plans to handle the load without disruption. They are already moving from 10 gig to 40 gig in the core, and planning a transition to 100 gig in a few years. The current projections are they can do these upgrades without raising capex, bringing per bit costs down along a Moore’s Law curve and keeping bandwidth costs per user essentially unchanged.

So if the capacity costs of keeping pace with demand are nominal, does that still make AT&T’s push into metered billing “inevitable?” One gets the feeling that there’s no greater chasm than the one between a lobbyist and network engineer describing the same network.

| Listening Post from

Radiohead’s “pay what you want” distribution gamble paid-off despite — or perhaps because of — rampant file sharing, according to new analysis from Will Page, chief economist at the MCPS-PRS Alliance, a British rights organization, and Eric Garland, CEO of Big Champagne.

Radiohead’s notorious release strategy for In Rainbows, which allowed fans to download it for an optional price with a valid e-mail address, was considered to have been a failure by some because the album became wildly popular on file sharing networks almost immediately upon its release.

But Garland and Page’s, “In Rainbows, On Torrents” report, slated to be released on the MCPS-PRS website on Friday, indicates that Radiohead’s strategy was a success nonetheless, contributing to the album topping the charts in both the UK and United States and a wildly successful worldwide tour. When it comes to judging whether an album is a success these days, the old metrics just don’t cut it.

The report found that torrent users traded 400,000 copies of In Rainbows on its October 10 release date, and that it was shared a staggering 2.3 million times by November 3 (chart courtesy of BigChampagne). By comparison, albums by Gnarls Barkley, Panic at the Disco and Portishead released around the same time using conventional means were shared less, the most-frequently shared being Panic at the Disco’s album, which was downloaded 157,000 in a week — nearly three times lower than In Rainbows’ peak day of trading).

Many within the music industry (including U2 manager Paul McGuinness) will no doubt view these 2.3 million downloads as sales Radiohead lost by giving the album away in a readily-sharable format. And either way, they represent email addresses that Radiohead failed to add into its fan database.

Will_page_2 Garland and Page admit that server problems on Radiohead’s site almost certainly drove some users to torrent trackers, as did the fact that Radiohead had “signaled” to fans that the album was free. But their most interesting finding about why fans chose to download the album via torrent rather than from is their hypothesis that users adhere to music acquisition venues regardless of other factors.

“The venue hypothesis suggests that even when the price approaches zero, all other things being equal, people are more likely to act habitually (say, using The Pirate Bay) than to break their habit (say, visiting,” reads one section of the report. In other words, people tend to develop habits around the acquisition of music; once they find something that works, they tend to keep using it. As the paper mentions, “The Pirate Bay is a powerful brand with a sterling reputation in the minds of millions of young music fans.”

The hard lesson to the music business here is that it must license venues for music acquisition that fans prefer to file sharing networks or otherwise make the toleration of file sharing part of their business plans. If even Radiohead’s freely available album was torrented 2.3 million times in the first three and a half weeks, how can more traditional offerings successfully clamp-down on file sharing? They can’t, pure and simple.

In addition, official offerings like need not be considered to be in competition with file sharing networks, as hard as that may be for longtime music insiders to comprehend.

“Frequently, music industry professionals suggest that an increase in legitimate sales must necessarily coincide with a commensurate reduction in piracy, as if this were a fact,” says the report. “Yet, the company BigChampagne has made no such consistent observation in nearly a decade of analyzing these data. Rather, it finds that piracy rates follow awareness and interest… The biggest selling albums and songs are nearly always the most widely pirated, regardless of all the ‘anti-piracy’ tactics employed by music companies. Or, to sum up by paraphrasing an earlier argument, ‘popular music is popular everywhere it’s popular.'”

Exactly. All of this torrenting of In Rainbows contributed to the album making such a big impression on a listening public that’s bombarded with an ever-increasing amount of information. Without its album being so widely traded, would Radiohead’s album have shot to the top of the charts? Would their worldwide tour be such a smashing success?

Eric_garland_2 Not necessarily, says the report, and we agree. Applying economic principles to digital music, Garland and Page found that “the challenge of achieving popularity (or attention) when the old rules of scarcity and excludability don’t apply (to information goods) the way they used to, changes the monetization game completely.” And Radiohead clearly won that game, regardless of how many times its album was traded online.

Garland and Page came to the undeniable conclusion that the music industry needs to stop thinking of shared files as lost sales, and start treating them as an aspect of reality upon which they can build part of their businesses.

As for Radiohead, they can rest easy knowing that while their strategy will now come under increased scrutiny by enemies of file sharing within the industry, that by “losing” the battle for the email addresses of those who downloaded their album via bit torrent, they actually won the overall war for the public’s attention — no easy feat, these days.

The report is now available here.

| Bit Player | Los Angeles Times

RealNetworks reported that subscribers to its paid music services (Rhapsody and Real’s premium Internet radio stations) dropped slighted in the final three months of 2007, from 1.925 million to 1.9 million in the previous quarter. Rival Napster on Wednesday reported a similar drop in the fourth quarter, from about 750,000 to 743,000.

Wired 13.01:

Anathema is a so-called topsite, one of 30 or so underground, highly secretive servers where nearly all of the unlicensed music, movies, and videogames available on the Internet originate. Outside of a pirate elite and the Feds who track them, few know that topsites exist. Even fewer can log in.

Entertainment News, Home Ent News, Media – Variety

The second Consumer Home Piracy Market Research, conducted by Futuresource Consulting online last May, involved 3,613 consumers in the U.S. and 1,718 in Blighty.

Results, released Tuesday, showed that men 18-24 continue to do the most copying and that the U.K. is experiencing a significant increase in copying TV shows on DVD. Last year, 42% of U.K. consumers surveyed said they were copying TV shows. This year, 61% said so.

Both Americans and Brits showed a preference for copying newly released movies over catalog or library films. In the U.K. during the past six months, consumers copied an average of almost 13 new releases vs. nine catalog/library; in the U.S., consumers copied 7.4 new vs. six catalog/library.

In both countries the most popular source for copying DVDs was rented or borrowed discs.

Asked whether they would have purchased the films had they not been able to copy them, 63% of respondents in the U.K. and 77% in the U.S. said they would have purchased all, some or at least a few of the titles, “clearly indicating the scale of the lost revenues to the homevideo industry from home copying,” a summary of the study said.

Entertainment News, Music News, Media – Variety

Lewis’ “Bleeding Love” is the year’s biggest-selling track to date, having been downloaded 2.6 million times.

Sales of vinyl albums are up dramatically as well: 803,000 have been sold in 2008 vs. 454,000 in ’07.

Epicenter from

Studio execs argue that piracy will kill the movie business. So how do they justify the raging success of The Dark Knight?

“It looks like another indicator that although piracy does hurt business, on a title-by-title level, it’s a more complicated effect,” says Eric Garland, CEO of BigChampagne, a Beverly Hills media measurement company. “Many top-selling titles are among the most-pirated, but they don’t necessarily underperform in the marketplace just because they’re the most pirated.”

A hit is a hit, says Garland, regardless of whether it’s being illegally downloaded. The astronomical box-office numbers from I Am Legend back up that theory. The movie grossed an estimated $256.4 million, despite the fact that a DVD screener was leaked at the same time as the theatrical release.

“That’s an interesting case study, because the DVD release wasn’t scheduled until March [after it was released in December], so you had this tremendous gap of many months between when the pirated copy became widely available and the availability of the commercial copy of the DVD, and of course the movie did very well … theatrically, worldwide and on DVD,” says Garland.

Epicenter from

“For some time, the trend has been that people are moving away from network [TV] to cable,” says David Joyce, an analyst with Miller Tabak & Co.

The nominations say a lot about the state of television, but they also say a lot about the value of piracy as a marketing tool. It’s probably no coincidence that the most pirated cable programs of 2007 made it to the Emmy nomination table. Cable shows that have historically been totally inaccessible to non-subscribers are now readily available online for download and streaming (both legally and illegally), which could help grow traditional viewership.

“Some studies have shown that people who watch the shows on TV are more engaged since they can catch up with the shows online,” says Joyce.

But popularity and critical acclaim still don’t translate into a richly profitable program — there’s a history of canceled TV shows that belatedly get recognition from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

“Emmys are not financially significant,” says David Joyce. “The Oscars may help sell DVDs, and they may extend a box office run, but Emmys are more of a look in the rear-view mirror.”

GLOBAL sales of recorded music fell by 8% in 2007, according to figures released in June by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, a trade group. It blamed 70% of the decline on “file-sharing” software, which allows internet users to exchange music and video without paying for it. Industry groups have sued thousands of users of such software, and have supported legislation to criminalise it. But file-sharing has so far proved impossible to stop. And it is not all bad news for the industry, because it can provide helpful insights into music-lovers’ interests.

For every song that is bought legally, in shops or online, around 20 songs are illegally downloaded, according to BigChampagne, a firm based in Beverly Hills, California, that compiles and sells statistics about file-sharing. Its customers can find out how many times, and where, a song has been illicitly downloaded, for example, what the figure was five weeks ago, what other music its fans like, and so on.

“It doesn’t make sense to put your head in the sand,” says Ken Bunt, head of marketing at Disney’s Hollywood Records, a BigChampagne customer. One of Hollywood Records’ artists, Jesse McCartney, is particularly popular in Italy, so that might be a good place for a tour, says Mr Bunt.

David Ross, the editor of Music Row, the largest country-music trade journal, based in Nashville, Tennessee, says the “anti-intellectual argument” not to use such data is emotional nonsense. Music Row publishes file-sharing figures, as well as conventional charts. Such information can help managers promote their artists. Jennifer Bird of Red Light Management, a management agency in Los Angeles, says her agency knows the names and geographic destinations of the 7.5 billion songs swapped in 2007. That is a big help if you are trying to work out whether people are raving about an artist—or merely about a song. And planning joint tours is easier when you know what other music an artist’s fans listen to.

BigChampagne’s latest venture, launched this month, extends its monitoring to television programmes and films, which are also widely shared online. Knowing what is popular among file-sharers could help broadcasters and film studios when negotiating with advertisers, for example. Hulu, a website operated by News Corporation that offers free, advertising-supported video-streaming, already uses file-sharing statistics to design its programming and to set advertising rates.

Many music executives were reluctant to take advantage of file-sharing statistics because of the trouble the technology has caused in the industry, says Eric Garland, BigChampagne’s boss. TV stations and film studios, by contrast, are “sprinting through the stages of grief”—and coming to terms with the reality that details of the illegal use of their material can, in fact, be very useful indeed.

Channel Register

The company, in its latest swoop on software piracy, today put out the results of a new study – dubbed Real Thing – which was based on a survey of just 270 children and 1,200 adults aged 16 and above.

It found that 54 per cent of children between the age of 11 and 16 use file-sharing websites, compared with only 15 per cent of adults.

Microsoft also claimed that 61 per cent of kids have knowingly bought illegal goods online or through open auction sites. More than 20 per cent see no difference between fakes and the, ahem, real thing.

One in four 11 to 16-year-olds said they would continue to buy counterfeit goods in the future, while almost 60 per cent of kids questioned said legal versions of music, film and computer programs were too expensive.

| Channel Register

The Business Software Alliance claimed yesterday that software piracy in the US is costing the industry $11.4bn and local government $1.7bn in lost taxes.

The software multinational lobbying group reckoned that although four out of five pieces of software is legally bought in the US the remaining counterfeit material results in a “tragic” loss of revenues for companies and public services.

It claimed those losses translated into enough cash for local government to pay for 100 middle schools or 10,800 affordable housing units. Alternatively, said the BSA, 25,000 police officers could be hired and dispatched onto the mean streets of New York, Florida, California and Nevada, presumably to flush out pesky software pirates anywhere they might reside.

The BSA-sponsored IDC study, available here (pdf), pinpointed eight US states in the report. It found significant variations from the national piracy figure of 20 per cent.

Yahoo! Finance

A recommendation to punish Comcast Corp. for blocking subscribers’ Internet traffic should serve as a warning to other service providers, the nation’s top telecommunications regulator said Friday.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin said he hopes his action will make network operators sensitive about putting “arbitrary limits on the way consumers can access information on the Internet.”

The Associated Press reported Thursday night that Martin will recommend to his fellow commissioners that Comcast, the nation’s largest cable company, be punished for violating agency principles that guarantee customers open access to the Internet.

Martin provided more details of his proposed disciplinary action in a meeting with reporters Friday.

Comcast was accused by consumer groups of blocking “peer-to-peer” Internet traffic, where users share large data files using special software. The complaint followed an AP investigation in October.

Comcast denies it blocks content, but says it uses “carefully limited measures” to manage traffic on its broadband network to ensure all customers receive quality service.

Martin wants Comcast to stop using its current practice, to tell commissioners where it has used it in the past, and to disclose to the agency and consumers what limitations will be placed on customers under its new traffic management plan, which it hopes to have in place by the end of the year.

Martin said he is not recommending a fine against Comcast because he wants to use the case as a means of laying out agency policy.

The most frightening nightmare (or the most efficient marketing dream) of every Brazilian film producer has become a reality – and, what’s more, with a Brazilian movie that had not been released to movie theatres yet. ‘Piracy’ has been the most spoken word on the streets and in all media since late July, when Tropa de Elite (‘Elite Squad’), a national production scheduled to be released in November, started being copied and sold by street vendors, and became a social phenomenon in Brazil: 1,5 million people watched the film before it hit the screens, only in the city of Sao Paulo.


On receiving an honorary doctorate from Queen’s University Belfast last week for his services to computer gaming, the Northern Irish video game developer, David Perry, whose creations include Earthworm Jim, MDK, Messiah , Wild 9 and Enter the Matrix, believes that the Western games industry will eventually combat piracy problem by offering games for free.

Perry believes that the western world will soon follow the same business model that has worked well in Asia, where software is offered as a free download and revenue is made from micro-payments for extras such as new characters and weapons.

Speaking in Belfast after his award, Perry said:

“They had so much piracy that they decided to stop charging for the games. Instead, there’ll be a charge for things you might want to use in the game.”

“Your character might have a plain white T-shirt. If you wanted a nicer one you could have it for a dollar. Or perhaps you could buy a magic sword for a knight for a dollar.”

Though the idea may sound far-fetched, EA has already paved the way for the invasion of free games into the Western world by launching its ‘Play 4 Free’ business model and its first free game, Battlefield Heroes, due for release this summer.

It remains to be seen whether others will follow, but with an estimated £2bn lost every year due to piracy, developers may not have much of an option.


Jesse Alexander has co-produced and written for both ‘Heroes’ and ‘Lost’, two of the most successful TV-series today. In addition to millions of viewers on TV, both shows are are also extremely popular on BitTorrent. In fact, millions of people share a single episode and this can go on to 10 million downloads per episode.

One could argue that their availability on BitTorrent actually helped ‘Lost’ and ‘Heroes’ to build a stronger fanbase. With torrents, no-one has to miss an episode anymore which keeps the fans more engaged. So called “pirates” advertise the shows to their friends, or write about it on their blogs. Accordingly, when we asked Jesse Alexander whether he thinks that BitTorrent might have helped to reach a broader audience, he answered with a clear cut “Yes”.

Not that Jesse wants everybody to get the shows off BitTorrent, but he said that it certainly signals that there is a market for on-demand and interactive TV. “People watching shows such as Lost and Heroes on BitTorrent is the present world reality,” Jesse told TorrentFreak. TV networks have to recognize this, give their viewers more ways to interact with the shows, and find ways to generate revenue from every member of the global audience.”

“It’s the same for music artists. The reality is, people share music. Artist now make money by driving people to concerts, through community websites, and by offering exclusive events. TV networks are focusing too much on one exclusive product, instead of building a community. This is a mistake I think.”

The success of Heroes on BitTorrent didn’t pass by the cast of the show unnoticed either. “The cast and the people behind the scenes have all been talking about it,” Jesse said. As an example he mentioned last year’s promotional tour in France, where the actors were recognized by hundreds of fans, even though the show had not even premiered on TV yet.

Alexander has hit the nail on the head. This is in fact one of the main reasons why shows like ‘Heroes’ are so popular on filesharing networks. It can take up to six months after the US premiere before these shows are aired in Europe, Australia and other parts of the world. Jesse agreed that this is indeed one of the major causes of piracy. “This gap is something that is certainly going to change in the future,” he added.

Jesse went on to say that in the near future, thanks to the Internet, the viewers of TV-shows will see more interactive components and alternate realities they can participate in. The future of TV will be more international, with real interaction, and shows will be more and more integrated into the core part of an online community.

When we asked Jesse if he has ever downloaded TV-shows off BitTorrent, he told us: “I can’t confirm or deny, but I’m familiar with all kind of new technologies.” I guess we all know what he’s trying to say.

It is no surprise that Jesse is more positive towards new technologies than some others in the entertainment industry. Last week we reported on the upcoming “Pirate TV” show that he is working on, together with Matt Mason, the author of ‘The Pirate’s Dilemma’.

“Matt’s book needs to get a broader audience,” said Jesse. “We want to discuss the negative and the positive side of piracy, and place things in a broader historical context. We want to start a real conversation about the future of intellectual property.”

We’re happy to join the debate, what about you?

Epicenter from

Jesse Alexander, co-producer of “Heroes” and “Lost,” says file sharing isn’t all bad.

It’s mighty big of him to admit, given that P2P has undoubtedly eaten profits from his shows — downloads of “Heroes” and “Lost” can run up to 10 million per week.

Alexander sees the silver lining, though.

“People watching shows such as ‘Lost’ and ‘Heroes’ on BitTorrent is the present world reality,” Alexander told Torrent Freak. “TV Networks have to recognize this, give their viewers more ways to interact with the shows, and find ways to generate revenue from every member of the global audience.”

Incidentally, Alexander is also reportedly working on a 13-part TV show about piracy.

Filmmaker Michael Moore has a similar take: He has said on the record that he doesn’t have a problem with people who download his movies, as long as they don’t make a profit off it.

Financial News – Yahoo! Finance

For newspapers, the news has swiftly gone from bad to worse. This year is taking shape as their worst on record, with a double-digit drop in advertising revenue, raising serious questions about the survival of some papers and the solvency of their parent companies.

Ad revenue, the primary source of newspaper income, began sliding two years ago, and as hiring freezes turned to buyouts and then to layoffs, the decline has only accelerated.

On top of long-term changes in the industry, the weak economy is also hurting ad sales, especially in Florida and California, where the severe contraction of the housing markets has cut deeply into real estate ads. Executives at the Hearst Corporation say that one of their biggest papers, The San Francisco Chronicle, is losing $1 million a week.

Over all, ad revenue fell almost 8 percent last year. This year, it is running about 12 percent below that dismal performance, and company reports issued last week suggested a 14 percent to 15 percent decline in May.

One of them, Time Warner Cable, began a trial of “Internet metering” in one Texas city early this month, asking customers to select a monthly plan and pay surcharges when they exceed their bandwidth limit. The idea is that people who use the network more heavily should pay more, the way they do for water, electricity, or, in many cases, cellphone minutes.

Zárásként, mert olvastam a kérdések között szeretném megcáfolni, hogy mi ezért az egészért sohasem kaptunk semmilyen anyagi támogatást. Saját pénzből finanszírozzuk a forrásokat, a hw-eket, az internetet és még sorolhatnám, amit nekünk nem fizet ki senki. Köszönet érdemli azokat akik az évek során meg-megújúlva képesek még mindig kitartani emelett a helyzet mellett és továbbra is önzetlenül dolgoznak azért, hogy nektek letöltőknek jó legyen. Külön tisztelet az archívumok kezelőinek akik nem csak a friss filmekkel foglalkoznak, hanem ügyelnek arra, hogy régi gyöngyszemek is letölthetőek legyenek, ha már a magyar kiadók nem tartottak rá igényt! Hamarosan itthon is elérhető lesz a hd sugárzás, kiváncsian várom ki lesz az első igazi hd capper…
Azoknak akik az elmúlt napok alatt csak mocskolódni tudtak, és hangoztatták, hogy majd jön a helyükre 5 másik: én valahogy nem látom, hogy az eltelt 2 nap alatt jelentkezett volna a megszűnt 5 csapat helyére 25 új másik. Így is telített a piac, talán jobb lenne ha egymás dupeolgatása helyett mindenki olyan munkára szentelné az idejét és pénzét ami még nem elérhető. Ha ezt sikerülne megvalósítani már hatalmas lépés lenne egy jobb warezvilág felé. A rengeteg torrent-csapat miatt pedig ez nem fog megvalósulni, mert így mindenki első kézből fér hozzá a saját csapat releasehez, holott 1 max 2 óra elteltével ugyanaz lenne elérhető minden helyen. De ha nekik egyszerűbb fizetni a sávszélt és a ripboxot a lelkük rajta.
És bármilyen hihetetlen tényleg letesszük a lantot, igen hiányozni fog egy jóideig, de az ebből fakadó rengeteg időt sokminden másra is fel lehet használni. Köszöntem a figyelmet.

Intellectual Property Watch »

Broadcasters also argue that the current relationship between the performers and radio stations is a mutually beneficial one, in which the radio benefits from advertising revenue and artists get free air time, which boosts record sales. They cited Nielson Company data from companies that track the relationship between “spins” of songs on the radio and the resulting sales demonstrate that both artists and record labels reap big rewards for local radio time. Between 14 and 23 percent of industry sales of albums and digital tracks can be attributed to local radio, which provides artists with $1.5 billion to $2.4 billion annually, according to a new study promoted by NAB. print article

Songwriters and publishers for the first time earned more from broadcasts and legal downloads of their music in 2007 than from the copyright from sales of CDs, new figures show.

Despite an 11 per cent fall in rights income from physical sales, reflecting the accelerating collapse of the CD market, the main body that collects rights on behalf of UK performers and publishers reported overall growth of 2.8 per cent last year.

The figures show how such fees charged to broadcasters and online outlets for their use of music are becoming increasingly important to musicians and music companies.

They underscore a growing argument in the music industry that artists and record labels will have to adapt to the idea that recorded music sales – once the core of the business – will become just ancillary revenue streams.

The Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society and the Performing Rights Society, which together – as the MCPS-PRS Alliance – reap the rewards of musical creativity for UK artists, said income from broadcasting and online sources increased 7 per cent to £155.5m ($306.7m).

The money paid to copyright holders from CD sales, by contrast, fell 11 per cent from £170.7m to £151.8m. Overall income reported by the MCPS-PRS Alliance grew from £546.8m to £562.1m.

Licensing ‘not about fat cats’

The MCPS-PRS Alliance says its licensing of public music performances, from the 02 Arena to your local hairdressing salon, is “not about fat-cattery but doing something important for people who can’t do it themselves”, write Ben Fenton and Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson.

The 2007 figures show that 95 per cent of the alliance’s 50,000 members earn less than £10,000 a year from copyright on their songs, while only 0.01 per cent, or about five superstars, earn over £1m.

Collecting societies have used such figures as ammunition in their lobbying for an extension to the length of copyright protection for sound recordings. MCPS-PRS and PPL, the other large UK collecting society, failed to persuade a Treasury review of intellectual property regulations to extend recorded music copyright in December 2006.

At the time, the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce praised Andrew Gowers, the review’s author, for resisting the “special pleading by a number of already wealthy pop stars”. In February, however, Charlie McCreevy, European commissioner, expressed sympathy with the collecting societies’ case, saying European performers should enjoy copyright protection for 95 years rather than the current 50 years.

In all, 78 per cent of the MCPS-PRS membership gets less than £1.50 a day from their creativity, with 37 per cent – 18,500 musicians – failing to register a single penny in rights payments. The bulk of the money collected goes to the big music publishing companies.

Steve Porter, chief executive, told the Financial Times: “Because we have also made our collection costs more efficient, then for the first time we have been able to distribute more than half a billion pounds to our 50,000 members.

“For us, the important thing is to be able to collect in new ways and new places to make up for the obvious decline in revenues from CD sales.”

The burgeoning live music market is also reflected in the new figures, showing a 20 per cent increase in rights collected from businesses staging live gigs and festivals. The sector now produces £17.5m in income. Money from pubs and clubs increased by 4.1 per cent to £40.4m and total public performance revenues were up almost 10 per cent at £133.6m.

Mr Porter said that despite the threat of illegal music downloading on the internet, which has had a savage impact on CD sales, there was still potential for greater growth in two areas: international usage and legal online music services such as Apple’s iTunes.

“We have had a 10 per cent increase in international collections and most of that is being generated in central and eastern Europe where collection mechanisms are getting more effective,” he said. “But of course people are banging on tables and saying we should be getting more money out of China and so on. But the fact is that if you don’t have a mature and established collecting-rights environment which says these rights have value, it’s really very difficult.

“There is no broadcast music right in China, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be one in the future,” Mr Porter said.

The alliance had set itself the challenge of finding new uses of music that had so far fallen outside the licensing net, he added, citing as examples “the birthday card that plays a song or the toothbrush that plays a jingle”.

Although online rights income increased by 54 per cent in 2007, it accounted for only £9.7m, a fraction of the value estimated to be lost by illegal downloading.

Broadcast revenues, especially in television, looked more healthy, with a 10.4 per cent increase to £89.9m. In radio, where rights are calculated as a proportion of advertising revenue, income was flat at £49.5m, but Mr Porter said he expected it to grow in 2008.

“This year we are looking for more of the same,” he added. Growth in broadcast and online is forecast to approach double-digits again while revenues from CDs is predicted to fall by 17 to 18 per cent on current trends.

PPL, the UK broadcast royalties collection society, said earlier this month that it would step up a campaign to extract more fees from businesses for their use of music, as new figures showed a 15 per cent rise in performance rights around the world.


The inauguration of Russia’s president, Dmitry Medvedev, on May 7 signaled a new era in the battle to combat copyright crime, Konstantin Zemchenkov, head of the Russian Anti-Piracy Organization (RAPO), believes.

Ten years after the Motion Picture Assn.-backed group was set up to both lobby for and lead front-line assaults against Russia’s massive, organized video and DVD piracy networks, steady progress is being made.

Criminal law reform has increased maximum prison terms and doubled fines to $20,000 for producers and sellers of pirated product.

A wide range of new administrative measures, which include requirements to report the purchase and sale of large-scale DVD and video copying equipment, coupled with municipal trading-standards laws, are also being employed to tighten the grip on pirates.

Stepping up the fight against intellectual piracy offenses is a key part of Medvedev’s strategy to gain coveted Russian membership in the World Trade Organization.

Russia’s lax record on stemming vast piracy that costs legitimate license holders an estimated $2 billion a year has been among the key stumbling blocks to its getting membership in the world’s top trade club.


As part of the research I’m doing for another piece, I had a long conversation with Danny McPherson, CTO of Arbor Networks, which makes all sorts of network-management and traffic-shaping tools. Arbor is used by dozens of ISPs around the planet and, as a result, McPherson is privy to details about traffic flows and usage patterns across many broadband networks.

McPherson shared with me some interesting stats and facts about broadband usage and peer-to-peer networking usage patterns. Given that Arbor makes a living selling its technology and products to carriers, it is prudent to maintain a degree of skepticism about the numbers. That said, they are nevertheless interesting enough to share.

On fixed and mobile broadband networks where consumer services are provided (i.e., NOT interprovider or typical dedicated Internet access for commercial enterprises):

* 10 percent of subscribers consume 80 percent of bandwidth.
* 0.5 percent of subscribers consume about 40 percent of total bandwidth
* 80 percent of subscribers use less than 10 percent of bandwidth

This supports the arguments made by some of the larger ISPs, including Comcast. In a recent interview, Comcast Cable CTO Tony Werner told me his company would try and deal with the tiny number of subscribers who use most of the bandwidth by slowing down their connections during peak times. (Personally, I find that to be a distasteful solution, and I believe that folks should learn from newer ISPs like and better architect their networks so they can provide more bandwidth for all — without imposing any penalties.)

The P2P stats are the ones that came as a complete surprise. Like you, I have read many reports that suggest P2P applications account for the majority of the traffic on high-speed networks. But McPherson’s data suggests otherwise:

* 20 percent of traffic is P2P applications
* During peak-load times, 70 percent of subscribers use http while 20 percent are using P2P
* Http still makes up the majority of the total traffic, of which 45 percent is traditional web content that includes text and images. Streaming video and audio content from services like YouTube accounts for nearly 50 percent of the http traffic. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone — streaming TV shows from Hulu and videos from YouTube have been on a major upswing, as noted by our colleagues over on NewTeeVee.

The Register

Nokia will be handing over its entire handset profit margin – and more – to the record industry for its “Comes With Music” progamme, according to media analysts.

The Hollywood Reporter this week reports that Nokia is paying the world’s biggest label, Universal Music Group, $35 per handset to bundle access to the label’s catalogue. Punters are allowed to keep music they download.

Music business insiders expressed astonishment to us at Nokia’s generosity: it’s seven times what some privately estimated the deal was worth. Paid Content puts the payment to UMG at $33.5 per handset for the first 2.5 million units, falling as volumes increase.

But what if Nokia succeeds in replicating the deal with other labels? Then the extent of the programme becomes apparent. One blog, basing its estimate on market share, figures the subsidy would rise to $116 per handset. But that’s a lowball figure, we reckon: it excludes publishing royalties, and underestimates the size of the indie sector which is as high as 40pc of the market, particularly with the yoof demographic Nokia wants.

The back of our envelope shows a figure closer to $150 per handset.

Either way, that comfortably wipes out any hope of a profit for Nokia on the CWM. The average selling price of a mobile handset is a shade over $100; Nokia’s gross margin around a third of that.

The pride of Finnish business has been undergoing a crisis of confidence in recent years – making it easy pickings for new media consultants. These are typified by WiReD magazine’s Chris Anderson, who recently lectured the company on the wisdom of giving stuff away. “Zero” was a “Radical Price”, he advised. And “Minus Eighty” sure is a radical profit margin, Chris!

How the music business must wish it met “paytards” like Nokia every day.

mp3 newswire

Rolling Stone

Wal-Mart is like no traditional record seller. Unlike a typical Tower store, which stocks 60,000 titles, an average Wal-Mart carries about 5,000 CDs. That leaves little room on the shelf for developing artists or independent labels. There’s also scant space for catalog albums, which now represent about forty percent of all sales.

MediaPost Publications -  – 03/18/2008

Using CBS as an example, Keane said the online video audience for one episode of “Jericho” boosted the show’s TV ratings by almost a full point: from 4.2 to 5.1. While Keane made no mention of it, this extra audience is especially valuable for a show like “Jericho,” which has struggled to build a larger audience. The show’s hardcore fans saved the show from cancellation once, but it’s hanging by a thread–and another ratings point may help.

Citing another example from CBS, Keane said that while the Grammys attracted 16.9 million TV viewers–down 15% from the previous year–it also generated 7.9 million online video streams and 4.9 million page views.

Kevin Kelly   writes about needing only 1000 true fans to make a living as an artist. Just to note: I was writing about this in 2006.

The internet could be a boon for Hollywood—but only if it can conquer its fears

TO SEE what the future of film distribution might look like, go to a website called It offers 1,700 films for download to personal computers, iPods or other hand-held devices, or to burn to DVD.
It is inviting and easy to use, with detailed descriptions of each
movie, editors’ picks, customer reviews and screen stills. And the
prices are reasonable: “Atonement”, for instance, costs $2.99.

There is one small catch: is a pirate site. Hollywood’s movie studios, which are used to dealing with scruffier crews like Pirate Bay,
a Swedish outfit, are aghast at how professional the newcomer is. “It
looks like a fabulous legal website,” says one studio executive.

The existence of
illustrates why Hollywood is in two minds about the web. On the one
hand, the internet has brought a potent threat: pirates are plundering
films and carrying off booty that rightfully belongs to the studios.
Online piracy costs Hollywood less than the physical variety, ripping
off DVDs, but the gap is closing. “We are more
concerned about internet piracy than physical piracy, because
controlling it is harder,” says Ron Wheeler, head of anti-piracy
efforts at Fox Entertainment Group. Some in Hollywood believe that
internet theft could even be the death of America’s film industry.

On the other
hand, the internet offers Hollywood a great opportunity—which it has so
far been slow to exploit. There is every reason to think that people
will want online access to films, just as they do for music,
newspapers, television and radio. is
proving that people will pay to download films to see at home when it
suits them. And once people can buy or rent films on demand, the
chances are that they will watch more of them.

The web is
already making its presence felt in the heart of Tinseltown: this
year’s Oscars extravaganza, which is due to take place on February
24th, nearly fell victim to a strike by writers over pay for the
distribution of their work on the internet. But for the time being
Hollywood is mostly stuck in the physical world. Every year it sends
thousands of heavy, expensive reels of film to cinemas by road. Only in
the past year or so has it started an effort to send out some across
the ether as ones and zeros. The DVD is a digital format, to be sure, but it comes in shrink-wrapped plastic.

Some studios
are enthusiastic about the internet. “In 2008 we will move full speed
ahead online,” says Thomas Lesinski, president of digital entertainment
at Paramount Pictures in Los Angeles. “It’s the great hope for new
revenue for the movie business.” But the industry has by and large been
slow: studios have only tentatively backed legal online film-download
services. Television, by contrast, has been much faster to embrace the

The choice of what is legally available online today is patchy. For instance, London buses are carrying ads for,
a new download service. It promises “tons and tons of great movies”,
but you will not find “Mulva 2—Kill Teen Ape!” near the top of many
people’s lists. The internet has lots of legal sites like this, which
promise thousands of top-class titles but in truth resemble the worst
shelves of a bad video-rental store. has a far better collection than most legitimate services do.

Another legal site, MovieFlix,
based in Los Angeles, makes its money from independent films, student
movies, straight-to-video titles and other eclectic fare. Its founders,
Opher Mizrahi and Robert Moskovits, stay away from Hollywood studios
because of their high fees. MovieFlix, which had revenues of $1.2m last
year, is rare among download sites: it turns a profit. “We are the
cockroaches of this space,” says Mr Mizrahi, “and we are survivors.”

Many better-funded services have fared far worse. Movielink,
which the studios themselves set up in 2001, with about $150m of
start-up capital, was sold last August to Blockbuster, a video-rental
chain, reportedly for less than $20m. CinemaNow,
which counts Microsoft and Cisco Systems among its investors, started
offering movies online in 1999 and is not yet making a profit, to the
surprise of its chief executive, Curt Marvis. Back then, he says,
everyone thought that selling films online would be a huge business by

Nor are the
studios making much money online. They have dozens of deals with
internet services around the world. Warner Bros, for instance, supplies
small selections of its films to 38 separate digital-distribution
services, according to Screen Digest, a research firm in London. In
2006, estimates Screen Digest, online distribution of movies generated
a total of $58m in America and western Europe. Screen Digest expects
this to rise to $1.2 billion by 2011. But that is still below 5% of its
forecast for total home-entertainment revenue.

firms are longing to supply Hollywood films. According to Screen
Digest, online viewing is most likely to take off on services based on
their devices. So far, people have been most interested in buying films
for gadgets such as Apple’s iPod or Microsoft’s Xbox 360. Apple’s
iTunes has captured almost 80% of the download-to-own market; the Xbox
has won more than 70% of online rentals.

At the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES)
in Las Vegas in January, everyone was waiting for Apple to announce
that iTunes would start selling new movies from all six leading
studios. Hitherto, only Disney had granted Apple access to new releases
(Apple’s chief executive, Steve Jobs, sits on Disney’s board); a couple
of other studios were giving it older titles. In the event, Apple’s
deal was disappointing: it got the go-ahead from all the studios only
to rent their films, not to sell them. According to a person familiar
with the negotiations, however, this was because of the Hollywood
writers’ strike over new media. Now the studios are waiting to see
whether actors walk out over the same issue. When the labour troubles
are past, Apple is likely to get a proper download-to-own deal with all
six studios. For Hollywood, this would be a big step towards the

There are two
broad reasons for Hollywood’s tardiness. The main one is the industry’s
aversion to making big changes to its business model. In part this is
because it takes so much risk in its day-to-day operations. “Every
weekend, we sit on pins and needles watching to see if our films will
flop,” explains a studio executive, “and that doesn’t encourage
risk-taking in the business as a whole.” There is a less defensible
explanation too: “Hollywood’s value system is not necessarily about
growth,” says Dan Jansen, who runs the Boston Consulting Group’s media
practice. “It’s about recognition for films.”

For the moment, most people are still happy with DVDs, so the studios have had little incentive to switch to an unproven new format. The DVD
business is huge, bringing in $23.4 billion in America last year,
against $9.6 billion from the box office. The studios are terrified of
damaging that source of revenue. In 2006, when Disney made a deal with
Apple to sell movies via iTunes, Wal-Mart, America’s biggest retailer,
reportedly threatened to retaliate: the internet, after all, bypasses
it. Wal-Mart accounts for about 40% of DVD sales in the United States and if it sharply cut shelf-space for DVDs,
the lost sales would far outweigh new digital sales in the near term.
At the end of last year Wal-Mart shut its ten-month-old movie-download
site. Now that it no longer has a foot in the internet camp, studios
expect it to take a harder line against any further efforts they may
make to favour online distribution.

Not everyone agrees, however. Wal-Mart and other big retailers rely heavily on DVDs
to bring higher-income people into their stores, says a studio
executive. “So they don’t have a leg to stand on threatening to pull
shelf-space.” For this reason, he believes that Hollywood should be
able to cultivate online revenues without greatly disrupting its
existing businesses.

In any case, there are now signs that the DVD
boom has come to an end—which should also encourage the studios to
worry less about Wal-Mart and to move faster online. After its growth
slowed in 2005 and 2006, spending on DVDs fell
by 3% in 2007 (see chart 1). Some in the industry are pinning their
hopes on fancier, “high-definition” discs—another physical
format—rather than on the web. But so far, sales of such discs have
been minuscule—largely because of a war between two formats, HD DVD and Blu-ray. Although the war ended this week, when Toshiba said it would abandon HD DVD, high-definition discs are unlikely to bring growth back to the home-entertainment business.

Hollywood’s desire to preserve its existing business rather than
embrace a new one echoes its misgivings a few years ago about the DVD
itself. In 1997, when the new format was about to be born, three
studios, Paramount, Disney and Twentieth Century Fox, came out against
it, remembers Warren Lieberfarb, who is widely credited with having
fathered the product as it is today. They were worried that selling DVDs
for $18 apiece would cannibalise their sales of video cassettes to
rental stores for $65 each. None of the three studios is proud of that
episode now.

Moreover, as
well as boosting sales overall, the internet will make it easier for
the studios to make money from their libraries—bricks-and-mortar
retailers, after all, have limited shelf-space, and mostly stock new
releases. Digital sales yield a higher profit margin too. Virtual
distribution does away with manufacturing, packaging, transport and
inventory costs. At the moment, the studios get $18 per film from a
Wal-Mart or a Best Buy and about $16 for a digital sale, but because of
the lower costs they make about $3 more on each film when sold

A bigger risk
than angering Wal-Mart is that Hollywood will be undone by internet
pirates. Imaginative, reasonably priced legal products are the best
antidote to piracy: anti-piracy heads at the studios, indeed, clamour
for well stocked, convenient movie-downloading services. Fox’s Mr
Wheeler says that content owners should offer people “ubiquitous access
to our products online at reasonable prices”. Mr Wheeler also hopes
that internet-service providers can be drafted into the fight. In
November France’s president, Nicolas Sarkozy, backed a proposal to
require ISPs to detect and cut off conspicuous pirates. Britain’s government is said to be considering a similar law.

The second
reason for Hollywood’s sluggishness is that the studios and the
consumer-electronics industry have not overcome three technological
hurdles. Downloading a film still takes a long time—in America, about
30-40 minutes on average (see chart 2). Movies in high-definition
format would take about four times that. But broadband speeds are
increasing all the time. In Japan and South Korea it now takes between
five and ten minutes to download a film in standard definition.

obstacle is that most people want to watch films on television, not on
personal computers—especially if they have wide, “home-theatre” TV screens. Products connecting PCs
and televisions have been available for years but have not caught on,
because they are hard to install and operate. That is changing. Apple
has just overhauled its linking gadget, Apple TV, to make it easier to use. At the CES
in Las Vegas, says Alan Bell, Paramount’s chief technology officer, new
televisions and set-top boxes that connect directly to the internet
were on show, “so the PC is not the bottleneck in getting digital content from internet services to the TV screen that people saw a year ago.”

The last
hurdle, and perhaps the highest, is the lack of common standards among
websites and devices. “Imagine if you went to Wal-Mart to buy a new DVD player and then found that your DVDs
from Best Buy didn’t work on it,” says Mitch Singer, chief technology
officer of Sony Pictures Entertainment. Movies on the internet, he
says, is “a format war on steroids”. Each download store sells
different usage rights. Hollywood is trying to do something about this.
Late last year a group of studios, retailers and consumer-electronics
firms met to discuss an idea of Mr Singer’s for a standardised
electronic movie product called Open Market. But the talks are at an
early stage, and it will be tricky to get companies such as Apple and
Microsoft to agree to common standards.

dealings with the consumer-gadget companies also betray its habitual
caution. The studios fear that Apple could become the Wal-Mart of the
internet—a giant with power to push them around, continually pressing
prices down. Maintaining pricing online is a particular worry. “People
think that if it’s online it should be free,” says one studio head. One
answer to pricing pressure online, though not a complete one, would be
to experiment with putting advertisements around films. Last year
Paramount gave a selection of films to a service called Joost
that streams them free, supported by advertising. Movies are doing very
well on the service, says Mr Lesinski. Paramount plans to conduct more
online experiments in 2008, he says. The lion’s share of its library
and all its new releases will be on the internet within a year or two.

Short of
selling films on it, Hollywood certainly knows how to use the internet
to its advantage. Its use of viral online marketing is one of the most
sophisticated of any industry. Jeff Berg, chairman and chief executive
of ICM, a talent agency, says that about 8% of
the total marketing spending on films goes to the internet; in five
years’ time, the web will take 20%. Paramount’s “Cloverfield”, a
low-budget monster movie shot as if by an amateur with a camcorder,
earned $40m in its opening weekend in American cinemas last month,
crushing the competition. It built its audience on the internet: a
mysterious trailer for another, unidentified movie led to a website and
started an online treasure-hunt for more clues. Popular movie websites
such as buzzed for months about the mystery film.

too, Hollywood is harnessing the internet. Studios are using it to find
global pockets of interest. “If there’s 1m people around the world who
are interested in ice-fishing,” says Jeremy Zimmer, co-founder of
United Talent Agency, “we can make a movie for them.” Studios are using
their customers’ opinions to shape their films. “Snakes on a Plane”,
for instance, started off in development as a horror film. As the
project got attention online its maker, New Line Cinema, listened, and
changed the plot to be more comic in tone. Blowtorch, a young media
company making video content for 18- to 24-year-olds, is pushing this
further. It will allow audiences to influence its movies via the web.
They will be invited to vote on elements of a film’s soundtrack, an
actor’s wardrobe, or even character development.

Don’t lose it in your popcorn

boss believes that the internet will lower barriers to entry for new
film-makers. “Sites will spring up specialising in independent films
and short movies,” says Mr Berg, “and these will be showcases, similar
to film festivals.”, a download service for independent films from around the world, is a good example. The makers of “Indoctrinate-U”,
an independent film about a lack of free speech at American
universities, have used the internet to build an audience. The movie’s website
invites people to sign up with zip codes; if enough do, local
screenings are arranged. United Talent Agency has set up a special
internet unit, UTA Online, to find and develop
new talent. The new unit encourages people to get in touch—unheard of
in the original “don’t call us” business.

In the long
term, many people expect that the internet could undermine Hollywood’s
system of exclusive “windows”. Cinemas get a film to themselves for a
period of weeks, then it goes to DVD, then to
video-on-demand and online services, then pay-cable television, and so
on. And many films are still released in different countries at
different times, usually starting in America. The system is a gift to
pirates. But the studios are wedded to it, especially the cinema

The internet creates immediate global awareness of movies, says Reed Hastings, chief executive of Netflix, a DVD
rental-by-mail company, so the studios are increasingly choosing to
release films at the same time everywhere. They have already shortened
their windows, he says, and that could be a step towards getting rid of
them. As people buy home-theatre systems and the convenience of the
internet makes it even harder to get people out of their homes, the
cinema window will come under ever greater pressure.

It will
doubtless take Hollywood a few more years to work out how to deliver
films over the internet. Meanwhile, studios and retailers are poised to
introduce movie-download kiosks, using flash memory. Several companies,
such as MOD Systems, of Los Angeles, have cut
download times to a few minutes; Ireland’s Porto Media claims a time of
17 seconds. The idea is to put kiosks in such places as shops, airports
and petrol stations. Using Porto Media’s system, films are downloaded
onto a tiny device (pictured) which plugs into dock attached to a
television. Kiosks could hold more titles than physical video shops and
would never be out of stock. Twentieth Century Fox is looking at
several competing kiosks, says Mike Dunn, head of the studio’s
home-entertainment unit. It will test them this year.

flash-memory-enabled kiosk is an interim solution which overcomes many
of the weaknesses of the present model and the current deficiencies of
the internet,” says Mr Lieberfarb, who is on the board of MOD
Systems. Customers will get used to downloading films and transferring
them between devices, which will prepare them for proper online
distribution. Kiosks will make money for retailers too, so that they
could help the studios keep Wal-Mart and others sweet. That is the kind
of careful step forward that even Hollywood can dare to take.


Certainly the MPAA has the right to fight illegal downloads of its material, and it certainly has the right to go after those making a profit by ripping off its DVDs. But the rhetoric around “piracy” (a term used far too broadly) simply doesn’t fit with reality. If piracy is killing the movie business, it’s doing so in exactly the same way that home taping killed the music business in the 1980s.


Filtering all Internet traffic to look for signs of illicit file-swapping has been a hugely controversial idea, criticized on grounds of privacy, efficacy, cost, and long-standing “safe harbor” principles that apply to network operators such as ISPs and phone companies. But a new study out from UK media lawyers Wiggin suggests that, if it works, such filtering could actually curtail “digital piracy” by 70 percent.

Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters

“It looks like Trent Reznor’s new Nine Inch Nails album experiment is a success. Among the various options he gave fans, the most expensive was the $300 Limited Edition Ultra Deluxe Package. It took just over a day for that package to completely sell out, earning Reznor $750,000 in revenue from just that option alone.”

Gamasutra –

Below are the results of sales and downloads immediately following each update:

Fix 1 – Existing Exploits & Keygens made obsolete – Sales up 70%, Downloads down 33%

Fix 2 – Existing Keygens made obsolete – Sales down slightly, Downloads flat

Fix 3 – Existing Cracks made obsolete – Sales flat, Downloads flat

Fix 4 – Keygens made game-specific – Sales up 13%, Downloads down 16% (note: fix made after the release of Ricochet Infinity)

From the results above, it seems clear that eliminating piracy through
a stronger DRM can result in significantly increased sales – but
sometimes it can have no benefit at all. So what does that mean for the
question about whether a pirated copy means a lost sale? The decreases
in downloads may provide a clue to that

As we believe that we are decreasing the number of pirates downloading
the game with our DRM fixes, combining the increased sales number
together with the decreased downloads, we find 1 additional sale for
every 1,000 less pirated downloads. Put another way, for every 1,000
pirated copies we eliminated, we created 1 additional sale.

A jelentések azt mutatják, hogy a legelterjedtebb fájlcserélő protokoll, a BitTorrent letöltéseinek fele TV sorozat. A szám lenyűgöző, és a tendenciák szerint ez még tovább emelkedik.

Los Angeles Times

For the first time last year, nearly half of all teenagers bought no compact discs, a dramatic increase from 2006, when 38% of teens shunned such purchases, according to a new report released Tuesday.

The illegal sharing of music online continued to soar in 2007, but
there was one sign of hope that legal downloading was picking up steam.
In the last year, Apple Inc.’s iTunes store, which sells only digital
downloads, jumped ahead of Best Buy Co. to become the No. 2 U.S. music
seller, trailing Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

 - International Herald Tribune

“There are more people availing themselves of free intellectual property than at any time in history,” said Eric Garland, chief executive of BigChampagne Online Media Measurement, which tracks digital traffic. “The content companies could knock out tens of Pirate Bays, and they will still face the same problem.”

Envisional, a research firm in Cambridge, England, estimates that
nearly 18 million people are connected to peer-to-peer file sharing
services at any one time, up from about 15 million a year ago. Because
the latest generation of file-sharing systems is more efficient than
older programs, the increase in the amount of material being exchanged
is probably even larger, said David Price, head of piracy intelligence
at Envisional.

Digital Music News

How should paid downloads be priced? Apple believes in a uniform pricing scheme, majors want a tiered structure, and most music fans want everything for free. Somewhere in-between lies Amie Street, a company that sets download pricing based on user demand.

That means that songs start at free, and ramp to 98-cents if the demand is great enough. But is the model working? Just recently, the group announced the addition of catalog from Beggars Group, Matador Records, and Polyvinyl Recording Co. The list of bands includes Interpol, Sigur Ros, Pavement, Yo La Tengo, Devendra Banhart, Belle and Sebastian, Architecture in Helsinki, and other indie luminaries.

But it remains unclear if the sales story is developing, at least at this stage of the game. In a discussion Monday, company cofounder and chief marketing officer Joshua Boltuch declined to offer sales figures or average pricing data. Boltuch did point to strong album purchasing, and an album-to-single sales ratio of 1:1. “We attribute this incredible ratio to our fan-driven pricing model finding the best market price for albums, and therefore maximizing sales,” Boltuch explained.

Four years after being shut down by Swiss authorities, Christian Riesen (aka Simon Moon), owner of the Edonkey link site, has been guilty of copyright infringement and ordered to pay 4700 Swiss francs (about $4,268).

“I have sold the domain,” Riesen posted in 2006.

“The new owner has now put it back online, with some of the old crew and some content. ShareReactor still is an ed2k website, and still features the same contents (and more) it was known for before.”

Meanwhile, attracted up to 250,000 visitors per day, according to an Afterdawn interview with Moon from October 2004, says P2P Blog, going on:

“Moon also revealed in that interview that he paid about 5000 dollars per month for the bandwidth of the site, which means that the total judgement is worth less than one month of Sharereactor’s operating costs.”

The site, under new ownership, wasn’t online for long chiefly because ED2K was usurped by Bittorrent, says the story, observing all that’s left is, Host is under construction.

“The site is hosted on a server that also is home to a hand full of sites registered to or maintained by simon Moon’s company ‘Riesen Industries’, which, according to Swiss news outlets, is now operating from Canada,” adds P2P Blog.

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Mi2N – Music Industry News Network

* Total revenue of $989 million increased 7% from $928 million in the prior-year quarter, and grew 1% on a constant-currency basis.

* Digital revenue was $141 million, or 14% of total revenue, up 9% sequentially from $130 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007 and up 41% from $100 million in the prior-year quarter.

* Operating income decreased 45% to $44 million from $80 million in the prior-year quarter. Operating income in the first quarter includes an $18 million impairment charge related to Bulldog Entertainment, an entertainment services company purchased in May 2007, a business we have since exited.

* Operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA) fell 8% to $129 million from $140 million in the prior-year quarter.

* Net loss of $0.11 per diluted share, which reflects the previously noted $18 million or $0.12 per share impairment charge, declined from net income of $0.12 per diluted share in the prior-year quarter.

BBC NEWS | Technology

In February 2006, a part-time Canadian music student established a modest, non-commercial website that used collaborative wiki tools, such as those used by Wikipedia, to create an online library of public domain musical scores.

Within a matter of months, the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP) featured more than 1,000 musical scores for which the copyright had expired in Canada.

Within two years – without any funding, sponsorship or promotion – the site had become the largest public domain music score library on the internet, generating a million hits per day, featuring over 15,000 scores by over 1,000 composers, and adding 2,000 new scores each month.

In mid-October this year the IMSLP disappeared from the internet.

Universal Edition, an Austrian music publisher, retained a Canadian law firm to demand that the site block European users from accessing certain works and from adding new scores for which the copyright had not expired in Europe.

The company noted that while the music scores entered the public domain in Canada 50 years after a composer’s death, Europe’s copyright term is 20 years longer.


In the first month, about a million fans downloaded In Rainbows. Roughly 40 percent of them paid for it, according to comScore, at an average of $6 each, netting the band nearly $3 million. Plus, since it owns the master recording (a first for the band), Radiohead was also able to license the album for a record label to distribute the old-fashioned way — on CD. In the US, it goes on sale January 1 through TBD Records/ATO Records Group.

While pay-what-you-will worked for Radiohead, though, it’s hard to imagine the model paying off for Miley Cyrus — aka chart-topping teenybopper Hannah Montana. Cyrus’ label, Walt Disney Records, will stick to selling CDs in Wal-Mart, thank you very much. But the truth is that Radiohead didn’t intend In Rainbows to start a revolution. The experiment simply proves there is plenty of room for innovation in the music business — this is just one of many new paths. Wired asked David Byrne — a legendary innovator himself and the man who wrote the Talking Heads song “Radio Head” from which the group takes its name — to talk with Yorke about the In Rainbows distribution strategy and what others can learn from the experience.

The Hindu : Andhra Pradesh News

HYDERABAD: It’s a game of technology versus creativity. And the Telugu film industry is the obvious loser in this game. Nowadays, the pirated version of any movie hits the market within a week after the movie release. The Telugu film industry suffers a loss of Rs. 200 to Rs. 300 crore, according to a survey conducted by Motion Pictures Association (MPA) of US and AP Film Chambers of Commerce (APFCC).

Quart » Hírek »

Kétszer annyi zenét töltöttek le pénzért Nagy-Britanniában a karácsony utáni hétben, mint egy éve ugyanekkor, illetve fele annyit, mint amennyit 2004-ben egész évben. A közel hárommillió letöltés a legnagyobb mennyiség, amit hét nap leforgása alatt valaha elértek. A legnépszerűbb letöltések között Timbaland, Amy Winehouse és The Pogues, viszont albumokat még mindig cd-n vesznek az emberek (mármint a szigetországban).

A British Phonographic Industries (BPI) szerint a letöltések részben a karácsonykor ajándékozott mp3-lejátszók népszerűsége miatt ugrottak meg ennyire. Egészen pontosan 2,95 millió letöltés volt az év utolsó hetében Nagy Britanniában, ami egyrészt kétszer annyi, mint a tavalyi karácsony utáni átlag, viszont ha az éves 77,5 milliót nézzük (ami szintén a tavalyi duplája), akkor 2007 heti átlagának is csupán nem sokkal több, mint kétszereséről van szó, ami a karácsonyi szezont tekintve azért nem tűnik olyan iszonyatosan meglepőnek. Ettől függetlenül persze heti rekordmennyiségről van szó, sőt, 2004-ben, amikor a legális zeneletöltés beindult, egész évben 5,8 millió letöltés volt. Matt Phillips, a BPI szóvivője szerint bár számítottak rá, hogy nagyobb mértékben töltenek majd le az ünnepek után, rekordmennyiségre nem számítottak. Egyébként a karácsonyt megelőző héten is magasabb volt a letöltések száma, mint az éves átlag, egészen konkrétan kétmillió.

Motley Fool

As I’ve said before, a good sign of a dying industry that investors might want to avoid is when it would rather litigate than innovate, signaling a potential destroyer of value. If it starts to pursue paying customers — which doesn’t seem that outlandish at this point — then I guess we’ll all know the extent of the desperation. Investor, beware.


I used to download lots of scans, but now I’m going through a period of mild moralizing. Now I’ll only download something if it’s woefully out of print (Zenith, Moore’s Miracle Man, Flex Mentallo), or if I already own it and it’s hidden away in a box somewhere (Alan Moore’s Supreme).

I would love to have a legal digital comics download service. I’ve run out of shelf space, but I’ll be damned if I wouldn’t pay for a digital complete run of Jack Cole’s Plastic Man.


This year, 22 percent of all music sold in the US will move through iTunes. “If iTunes gets up to 40 or 50 percent, they’ll have too much power for anyone else to enter the business,” says James McQuivey, who analyzes the digital music industry for Forrester Research. If the labels want out, they have two choices: Find a way to unseat the iPod or allow iTunes’ competitors to sell unprotected files that can play on Apple’s ubiquitous device.

a user comment on slashdot…

Slashdot |

A major ISP in the city I resided in in Romania help alleviate demands on bandwidth to and from the outside world by just setting up a DC++ server for their customers where they could share music and movies with other people in the same city. Seems easier to do than trying to ban all manner of P2P traffic. Too bad that sort of thing would never fly in the U.S. / Home UK /

Anti-piracy moves ‘hurt sales’By Andrew Edgecliiffe-Johnson for Financial TimesPublished: November 20 2007 02:00 | Last updated: November 20 2007 02:00Retailers are urging the music industry to drop piracy protection for online downloads after new figures showed the average Briton has bought fewer than three digital tracks in the past three years.Incompatible proprietary technologies, aimed at defeating rampant piracy in the digital music era, are instead “stifling growth and working against the consumer interest”, said Kim Bayley, director-general of the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA).Her warning comes as high street retailers and digital music specialists watch pre-Christmas sales trends nervously. The music industry makes at least 40 per cent of its revenues in the fourth quarter, but the traditional sales build-up has started later than usual.Although Leona Lewis – the X Factor winner backed by Simon Cowell’s Syco label – this month notched up the highest first-week album sales for a debut artist, album volumes are down 11 per cent, or 12m units, for the year to date, according to the Official UK Charts Company and Music Week.Recorded music companies had been “quick to complain” that the slide in CD sales had not been offset by growth in digital music, Ms Bayley said, but their embrace of digital rights management (DRM) systems “might have added to the slow take-up of legal digital services”.Just 150m tracks have been downloaded legally in the UK over the past three years, she added. “Sadly, that amounts to an average of less than one 79p per download per head of population per year.”The ERA’s appeal comes as more companies experiment with the DRM-freeMP3 format, following a pre-emptive challenge in February by Apple’s Steve Jobs. Most recently, Universal Music this month began offering its classical and jazz catalogue in MP3 format.In April, EMI “unlocked” its catalogue, charging consumers a premium for DRM-free versions of its music on Apple’s iTunes store, and has since signed deals with other digital retailers for MP3 files encoded at more than twice the quality of standard audio files.”There are certainly experiments, but there’s still a certain element of resistance within the music industry,” Ms Bayley said. “At the moment, [DRM] just puts consumers off,” she said, adding that confusion about formats was driving people toward illegal downloads.She cited research this month that found consumers were almost four times as likely to choose an MP3 file as a DRM-protected track when the two were offered alongside each other.The ERA, which represents high street retailers and online sites, said it was making the appeal now in the hope that music companies would drop DRM protections before the Christmas season and the January sales rise, when consumers load up the iPods they receive at Christmas.

Kalóz (Warez) Blog

Beavatom a kedves emberek róla, hogy igen! a Moobs szerverét is lefoglalták, de a szerver átkerült egy ideiglenes szerverre több mint 3 órára ! Este fél 9-re szereztünk egy másik szervert, így most a moobs újra megy hál istennek! fél perc alatt több mint 400-an voltak rajta 😀 tehát azért elég jól le lett terhelve azonnal a szervergép 🙂

Na minde jót! a Moobs örökké fog élni, mivel hatalmas összegeket tudunk lekaparni az oldalról(havi 2 milió forint volt eddig a max.) 🙂

Üdv. Egy admin

The Social – CNET

In his keynote speech on Wednesday morning at the Media and Money conference hosted by Dow Jones and Nielsen, former Disney CEO Michael Eisner talked about writers as though they were a minority group that he didn’t particularly understand well. “I like writers. Some of my best friends are writers,” he said as though attempting to save face. But nevertheless, his foremost epithet for the ongoing Writer’s Guild of America strike was “stupid.”

“I see stupid strikes, and I see less stupid strikes. I see smart strikes,” Eisner said in the keynote, which was structured as a conversation with Neil P. Cavuto, senior vice president and managing editor of Fox Business News. “This is a stupid strike.”

The problem, Eisner said, is that the Writer’s Guild is lobbying for a bigger cut of the profits from digital distribution–and according to the former Disney chief, those profits simply aren’t there. Eisner, now the head of a private investment firm called The Tornante Company, has launched an online video studio called Vuguru, and said that it’s still more or less a fruitless labor. Vuguru’s debut series, a serial mystery called Prom Queen, “didn’t make money,” he said.


Serbia is one of the worst places in the world for pirated software, according to the Business Software Alliance. Dragomir Kojic of the Business Software Alliance (BSA) claims that illegal software accounts for more than 78 per cent of the IT market in Serbia.

The average salary in Serbia is about 300 Euros a month, but the average cost of software of Voleware is about 800 euros. While Microsoft has looked at reducing software costs in places like China, the poorer places in Eastern Europe are often overlooked.


Bangladesh has been found to have a software piracy rate of 92 percent, which is number one in the Asian Pacific region and the fourth highest in the world, local newspaper The Daily Star reported Wednesday. A report, Global Software Piracy Study 2006, conducted by IDC, the IT industry’s leading global market research and forecasting firm, warned that the software piracy in Bangladesh is crippling the local industry and costing local retailers 90 million U.S. dollars a year. The report shows that 92 percent of software used on personal computers in Bangladesh had been pirated in 2006.

The average annual income in Bangladesh is only US $380, and malnutrition and illiteracy are widespread. (


Mininova reached another milestone as they just passed the 3 billion .torrent download mark. The impressive number of 3 million daily users now download almost 10 million .torrent files a day.

Silicon Alley Insider

Napster’s 2Q highlights: Revenues are up 24% y/y, to $31.6 million, and the company has stopped burning cash. The lowlights: It’s no longer burning money because it’s retreating from its core business: Selling all-you-can-eat music subscriptions. A year ago the company spent $8.5 million on sales and marketing, and this quarter that number had shrunk to $5 million.

The results: six months ago the subscription music service had 830,000 subs, three months ago it had 770,000, and now it has 750,000. The company says that last drop was expected, because kids stop using the service during the summer. But it’s not as if those numbers will swell this fall: NAPS projects only a 4% revenue increase for next quarter.

So instead of talking up its core subscription business, Napster is now pinning its hopes on the mobile industry. Music on your cellphone may one day be a real business, but hard to see why Napster is going to be the company that will capitalize on it. In the meantime, Napster has concluded that PC-based music subscriptions aren’t a growth business — the same conclusion that Yahoo! Music, RealNetworks and MTV have already come to.

Wanganui Chronicle

Richard Storey, director of operations for the New Zealand Federation Against Copyright Theft (NZFACT), said independent research two years ago showed piracy was costing the film industry in New Zealand about $70 million.

“The projected loss of revenue for DVD stores is anywhere from 15 to 20 percent of their annual income,” Mr Storey, who heads the NZFACT investigation team, told the Chronicle yesterday.

His comments came in the wake of the court appearance of two Wanganui people charged with making and selling pirated DVD movies.

Dion Heemi Williams, 26, was ordered to pay reparations of $5000 and sentenced to 200 hours’ community service while his girlfriend, Renee Waterman, 21, was sentenced to 100 hours’ community service when they appeared in the Wanganui District Court on October 3.

On August 2, Wanganui police raided Williams’ home and seized 266 pirated DVDs including Transformers, Disturbia and The Break Up, titles recently released or yet to be released in cinemas.

Ars technica

Anirban Banerjee, Michalis Faloutsos, and Laxmi Bhuyan collected more than 100GB of TCP header information from P2P networks back in early 2006 using a specially-doctored client. The goal of the research was a simple one: to determine “how likely is it that a user will run into such a ‘fake user’ and thus run the risk of a lawsuit?” The results are outlined in a recent paper (PDF), “P2P: Is Big Brother Watching You?”

Digital Media Wire

A recent survey of 980 U.S. teens conducted by Piper Jaffray found that 64% said they download music illegally, down from 72% a year ago, while 36% said they purchase music from online services, up from 28% last year.

Among online retailers, 79% said they used iTunes, down from 91% a year ago; RealNetworks’ Rhapsody and Napster each claimed 2% of market share, while 16% said they purchased digital music from a catch-all category of “other” services.

The survey also found that 82% of teens who own an MP3 player also own some form on an iPod, up from 79% in 2006.

Three percent said they already owned an iPhone, with 9% saying they expected to by one in the next six months.

The Harvard Crimson

“We lose 44 percent of what we lose through piracy on college campuses. There is no academic freedom in downloading a copy of the ‘Bourne Ultimatum’ while it’s out in theaters.”

The Telegraph

Artists are increasingly making their fortunes from live events rather than records. In North America alone, figures by industry monitor Pollstar show ticket sales have more than doubled to $3.6bn (£1.8bn) in the past five years. The Rolling Stones made $139m from touring last year, and more the year before. Stuck behind computer screens all day, we enjoy our mass gatherings, and those who followed the Stones in their youth can afford £200 to see them on stage today.

With both new and established acts now capable of making money without the backing of a big company, McGee says record labels are being left out of the loop. He scoffs at their efforts to make up lost ground by developing into “multimedia entertainment companies that can manage bands and share in live income”.

But try they must. Revenues from record sales in Britain have dropped by more than £130m since 2004. The true cost to the industry could be far greater. TNS, the market researcher, looked at the spending habits of file-sharers between 2003 and 2005 and estimated a £1bn loss to the country in retail spend.

Market wire

Movie piracy continues to be the thorn in the side of the Indian, Chinese and U.S. film industries. According to the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA), India suffered industry losses of $180 million (US) in 2005, the vast majority of which were to the local film industry. In China where the piracy rate is estimated at 93%, meaning that there is virtually no legitimate market for filmed content, the losses from movie piracy are estimated at $2.7 (US) billion.

Despite the negative impact of piracy on India and China’s film industry, the problems continue to be fueled by challenged regulatory systems.

Elizabeth Kaltman, MPAA’s Communications Director explains, “Lack of enforcement resources and attention are key to the piracy problem in India, as is the lack of any real deterrent sentencing from the judiciary. Unquestionably one of the foundations of China’s piracy problems is the lack of market access accorded to foreign films (non-Chinese films). China’s theatrical exhibition quota, frequent imposition of ‘blackouts’ on the theatrical release of foreign films, and restrictions placed on home video distributors, give movie pirates a tremendous market advantage.”

Times Online

10%: proportion of music sales worldwide that come from internet downloads

10,000: people in 18 countries threatened with legal action

20bn: tracks are illegally downloaded each year

14%: of broadband users regularly engage in illegal file-sharing

795m: estimated number of legal downloads bought last year

4m: songs can currently be purchased online

£1bn: what legal music download market is worth

25: illegal downloads for every legitimate music purchase

Dear customer, we regret to announce that the Virgin Digital service is due to close.

We will be taking no new customers from today, Friday 21st September.

On Friday the 28th September we will cease selling tracks and access will be for current Club users only.

On Friday the 19th October the site will close for all customers.

If you have purchased tracks from the service then we recommend that you back up your music files – Information about backing up and re-downloading your tracks

The New Yorker

The Piracy Paradox
by James Surowiecki September 24, 2007


In 1932, a group of American fashion manufacturers found themselves beset by a proliferation of cheap knockoffs. Designs, then as now, were not protected by patents or copyrights, so the manufacturers decided to take direct action to stop the copying. They set up the Fashion Originators Guild of America to monitor retailers and keep track of original designs; if you look at vintage dresses from the thirties, you can find labels reading “A registered original design with Fashion Originators Guild.” Retailers selling knockoffs were “red-carded,” and guild members wouldn’t sell their merchandise to red-carded stores. This was unpopular with the retailers, but it seems to have put a damper on the copying. The only hitch in the plan was that it was illegal: in 1941, the Supreme Court ruled that the manufacturers’ arrangement violated antitrust law, and the knockoff artists stayed in business.

In the decades since, copying has remained ubiquitous in the fashion industry. Fashion-forward but low-priced retailers like H & M and Zara have flourished, thanks to their ability to take designs from Milan to the mass market. Private-label designers for major department stores trumpet the fidelity of their imitations. And almost as soon as hot new designs appear on the runway, photographs and drawings of them are on their way to Chinese factories that can produce reasonable facsimiles at a fraction of the cost. Designers are as annoyed by this as their prewar forebears were, and so Congress now finds itself considering a bill, pushed by the Council of Fashion Designers of America, that would give original designs a legal protection similar to copyright.

Designers’ frustration at seeing their ideas mimicked is understandable. But this is a classic case where the cure may be worse than the disease. There’s little evidence that knockoffs are damaging the business. Fashion sales have remained more than healthy—estimates value the global luxury-fashion sector at a hundred and thirty billion dollars— and the high-end firms that so often see their designs copied have become stronger. More striking, a recent paper by the law professors Kal Raustiala and Christopher Sprigman suggests that weak intellectual-property rules, far from hurting the fashion industry, have instead been integral to its success. The professors call this effect “the piracy paradox.”

The paradox stems from the basic dilemma that underpins the economics of fashion: for the industry to keep growing, customers must like this year’s designs, but they must also become dissatisfied with them, so that they’ll buy next year’s. Many other consumer businesses face a similar problem, but fashion—unlike, say, the technology industry—can’t rely on improvements in power and performance to make old products obsolete. Raustiala and Sprigman argue persuasively that, in fashion, it’s copying that serves this function, bringing about what they call “induced obsolescence.” Copying enables designs and styles to move quickly from early adopters to the masses. And since no one cool wants to keep wearing something after everybody else is wearing it, the copying of designs helps fuel the incessant demand for something new.

The situation is not necessarily easy on designers, who have to keep coming up with new ideas rather than being able to milk a trend for years. But it means that in the industry as a whole there is more innovation, more competition, and probably more sales than there otherwise would be. And the absence of copyrights and patents also creates a more fertile ground for that innovation, since designers are able to take other people’s ideas in new directions. Had the designers who came up with the pinstripe or the stiletto heel been able to bar others from using their creations, there would have been less innovation in fashion, not more.

If copying were putting a serious dent in designers’ profits, it might slow the pace of innovation, since designers would have less incentive to produce good work. But while knockoffs undoubtedly do steal some sales from originals, they are, for the most part, targeted at an entirely different market segment—people who appreciate high style but can’t afford high prices. That limits the damage knockoffs do, as does the fact that fashion is one of the few industries in the world where people are still willing to pay a considerable premium to own original brands instead of imitations. (That’s why counterfeits, which pretend to be original products, are illegal.) The best evidence of this is the fact that luxury-goods makers, far from cutting their prices in response to the knockoff boom, have instead been able to raise prices consistently. In fact, given the importance to fashion of what the law professor Jonathan Barnett calls “aspirational utility”—the enjoyment people get from imitating the life style of the rich and famous—one might think of knockoffs as being like gateway drugs: access to the lower-quality version makes buyers all the more interested in eventually getting the real stuff.

The fashion industry is not alone in its surprising mixture of weak intellectual-property laws and strong innovation: haute cuisine, furniture design, and magic tricks are all fields where innovators produce new work without being able to copyright it. This doesn’t mean that we can always do without copyrights and patents, and fashion has unique characteristics that limit the damage that copying can do: it’s relatively cheap to come up with new designs, there’s a culture of novelty, and people are willing to pay more for the right brands. But we should be skeptical of claims that tougher laws are necessarily better laws. Sometimes imitation isn’t just the sincerest form of flattery. It’s also the most productive. ♦


Fair Use exceptions to U.S. copyright laws are responsible for more than $4.5 trillion in annual revenue for the United States, according to the findings of an unprecedented economic study released today. According to the study commissioned by the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) and conducted in accordance with a World Intellectual Property Organization methodology, companies benefiting from limitations on copyright-holders’ exclusive rights, such as “fair use” – generate substantial revenue, employ millions of workers, and, in 2006, represented one-sixth of total U.S. GDP.

The exhaustive report, released today at a briefing on Capitol Hill, quantifies for the first time ever the critical contributions of fair use to the U.S. economy. The timing proves particularly important as the debates over copyright law in the digital age move increasingly to center stage on Capitol Hill. As the report summarizes, in the past twenty years as digital technology has increased, so too has the importance of fair use. With more than $4.5 trillion in revenue generated by fair use dependent industries in 2006, a 31% increase since 2002, fair use industries are directly responsible for more than 18% of U.S. economic growth and nearly 11 million American jobs. In fact, nearly one out of every eight American jobs is in an industry that benefits from current limitations on copyright.

Institute for Policy Innovation

“Piracy” of recorded music costs the U.S. sound recording industries billions of dollars in lost revenue and profits. These losses, however, represent only a fraction of the impact of recorded music piracy on the U.S. economy as a whole. Combining the latest data on worldwide piracy of recorded music with multipliers from a well established U.S. government model, this study concludes that recorded music piracy costs American workers significant losses in jobs and earnings, and governments substantial lost tax revenue.


Starbucks may not be the powerful promotional partner Hollywood thought it would be.

Classics’ “Arctic Tale” has become the second pic backed by the coffee
giant not able to translate the company’s caffeine buzz into strong box
office. (Starbucks previously backed Lionsgate’s “Akeelah and the Bee.”)

environmentally focused docu revolving around polar bears and walruses
has earned $484,000 since bowing July 25. Pic’s widest opening on 227
theaters occurred in its fourth week of release Aug. 17. It plays in
158 venues in its fifth frame this weekend.

National Geographic
Films produced “Arctic,” as well as surprise hit “March of the
Penguins,” which went on to earn $77 million for Warner Independent in

Par Classics (a division of Paramount Vantage) had hoped
the success of the penguin tale would rub off on its own pic and help
sell more tickets.

But it also hoped that having Starbucks aboard
would raise awareness for the film and entice the company’s 44 million
weekly customers to hit the multiplexes.

Starbucks installed
signage and stickers in 6,800 of its stores, printed “Arctic”-branded
cup sleeves, sold plush walruses and the pic’s soundtrack and sponsored
discussions in select stores nationwide about climate change. Materials
for the movie also appear on the company’s website.

Chain doesn’t
have video screens in its stores as rival Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
does, so footage from a pic it pushes can’t be displayed in stores.

Campaign runs in stores in the U.S. and Canada through Monday.

said it didn’t go further and create a themed Frappuccino, for example,
because it didn’t want to overly commercialize the tie-in.

all of our entertainment options, we are careful to promote our
products and projects in a tasteful manner and not to interfere with
the coffeehouse experience,” said Ken Lombard, prexy of Starbucks

Starbucks’ pic deals go beyond a traditional promo
pact like that of, say, General Motors for “Transformers,” because
Starbucks collects a percentage of a movie’s profits in return for its
marketing muscle.

And that unusual payoff pact winds up putting a
bigger spotlight on the results of the films the company decides to
back — especially given that Starbucks does not invest in the
production of the films it promotes.

Promo partners are
increasingly becoming a studio’s best friend, with brands ponying up
their own marketing dollars to help push pics and make their companies
seem more appealing to customers through entertainment tie-ins.

has long been considered a potential powerhouse for Hollywood,
especially after helping launch music artists and assisting more
familiar ones to sell CDs.

But it hasn’t fared as well on the film front.

Tale’s” performance has been chilly so far. Its $484,000 compares with
the $4 million “Penguins” had earned by the end of its fourth week when
it played on 132 screens.

“Akeelah,” the first film Starbucks
promoted, ultimately earned $19 million. Pic still turned a profit
given its $8 million production budget (Lionsgate spent around $20
million to market it). But industryites had expected it to earn more
given Starbucks’ backing and rhetoric from the Seattle-based company
that it’s a bona fide entertainment player.

“We are an innovative
company that is not afraid to go outside of our comfort zone, and
‘Akeelah’ and ‘Arctic Tale’ showed us the coffeehouse can be a means to
introduce films to our customers they might not normally be exposed
to,” Lombard said.

Pics also are a way to associate Starbucks with a particular message — climate change in the case of “Arctic Tale.”

introduced ‘Arctic Tale’ to our customers because we want to spark a
dialogue about environmental issues,” Lombard said. “The coffeehouse is
a great place to inspire such discussion. There is no more important
issue facing our planet today than climate change.” The tie-in was an
“avenue to get people of all ages to talk … and hopefully be inspired
to be a part of the solution.”

But studios ultimately want
Starbucks customers to be inspired to buy tickets; the B.O. tallies
show that Starbucks may still need to massage its marketing efforts
when it comes to studio partnerships.

When it announced the
“Arctic Tale” deal, Lombard said the company had “learned its lesson”
as a result of its “Akeelah” campaign, saying it needed to make a
better effort to let customers know it wants them to “go see” the films
it promotes.

“We are still evaluating our ‘Arctic Tale’
promotion,” Lombard said. “Nonetheless, we are always looking to
provide tangible customer experiences that educate and inspire
discussion and go beyond traditional movie marketing.”

Vantage and National Geographic Films execs say that while they’re
disappointed with the B.O. for “Arctic Tale,” they’re happy with
Starbucks’ effort and look forward to sales of the eventual DVD in the
company’s stores.

“They were great partners and awesome to work
with,” said one National Geographic exec. “They did everything they
said they would do. I’d work with them again in a heartbeat.”

some of the negative critical reaction to the U.S. version of “Arctic
Tale,” National Geographic Films is lobbying to sell the European
version of the docu on DVD, complete with a different score, songs and

Starbucks pushed a healthy number of “Akeelah” DVDs.
It’s also sold other studio titles like Warner Bros.’ “Happy Feet” and
Sony’s “The Pursuit of Happyness.”

But then again, a DVD can be easily picked up and purchased as a customer is ordering a grande vanilla latte.

Read the full article at:

Media Buyer Planner

This year, internet ad spending in the U.S. will outpace radio, according to a new report from eMarketer. Online spending has already overtaken radio in the U.K., writes Media Life.

The eMarketer forecast predicts that online ad spending will hit $21.7 billion for 2007 – $1.3 billion more than radio. Internet spending trailed radio by more than $3 billion last year. The report also predicts that web spending will double between now and 2011, where as radio spending will grow by just $2.2 billion.

eMarketer’s prediction suggests that the internet will surpass radio a year before a similar prediction from ZenithOptimedia, which said back in April that the change would take place in 2008.

The Entertainment Merchants Association

Fall 1975 – The Sony Betamax goes on sale in the U.S. The LV-1901 console, consisting of a SL-6200 video cassette recorder (VCR) and a 19″ Sony Trinitron television set, retails for $2,495. A table-top recorder/player deck (the SL-7200) is marketed the following spring for $1,400. (Sony stopped offering the Betamax VCR as a consumer product in the U.S. in 1993 and ceased production of the device altogether in 2002.)

by Douglas Galbi on August 19th 2007

From 1985 to 2004, video rentals from U.S. public libraries grew 340%. Over the same period, video rentals from U.S. commercial rental businesses grew 140%. Public libraries’ video rental activity did grow from a smaller base: 70 million videos loaned in 1985 (6% of the number of videos commercial outfits turned in that year), to 300 million videos loaned in 2004 (12% of the number of videos rented commercially). The growth of video lending from public libraries has been amazing, and largely unnoticed.

Pricing is probably a large part of the explanation for this performance differential. The average price for commercially renting a video in 1985 was $2.38. The average price for borrowing a video from a public library in 1987 was $0.39 (30.4% of libraries charged for borrowing video, and those libraries charged an average of $1.29). In 2004, the average price for commercially renting a video was $3.43. The average price for borrowing a video from a library was then approximately zero. Lower price induces greater demand, and free (zero price) is a highly appealing price.

This video example does not depend on some of the factors thought to be producing the death of paid text content. From 1985 to 2004, there wasn’t a proliferation of free video content on the web. I would guess that, overall, commercial video rental stores have a video inventory that most persons would value more highly than the video inventory of a library. Consumer may like free content. But video is quite expensive to consume. Given that the average video takes perhaps an hour and a half to watch, the higher inventory value of commercial video rental firms might have easily outweighed the lower video rental price from libraries. But it didn’t.

Persons seem to have a high time-discount rate in content choices. The benefit of watching a relatively good video comes later than the cost of paying the rental fee. A high discount rate lowers the importance of the former, and raises the importance of the later. So perhaps a significant part of the challenge of making a paid content model work is delivering benefits soon relative to payments.

* * *
The table below summarizes the facts. Subsequent notes describe the sources and estimates.

U.S. Public Libraries and Video Stores
1985 2004 % inc.
total public library circulation 1150 2010 75%
video share of library circulation 6% 15%
video borrowing price from libraries $0.50 0
videos borrowed from libraries 69 302 337%
video rental price from video stores $2.38 $3.43
videos rented from video stores 1100 2592 136%
All counts in millions. Video includes Betamax, VHS, and DVDs.


Public library circulation: For 1985, interpolated from figures for 1983 (Goldhor (1995)) and 1990 (NCES/ALA). The Goldhor figures are given in Galbi (2007a). For 2004, figure from NCES.

Video share of public library circulation: Dewing (1988) presents results from a survey in early 1987 of about 3000 public libraries having video cassette collections. The survey received 841 valid responses. Id. p. 69, Table 6.19, gives average tapes loaned, by size of the community the public library served. The survey did not include data on total library circulation. Using NCES Public Library Statistics for 1987, I calculated average circulation per week for the four community size categories used in reporting the video survey results (less than 20,000; 20,001 to 50,000; 50,001 to 100,000; greater than 100,000). Average videos loaned were 18%, 7.5%, 7.7%, and 7.4% of average library circulation for the four community size categories, respectively. Responses in the smallest community size category may not have been representative of all small libraries in that category. Since the video survey addressed only public libraries having a video collection, the survey doesn’t account for the zero circulation share in libraries that didn’t have a video collection. For a conservative estimate of the growth rate, I estimate the 1985 video circulation share to be 6%. One small additional piece of evidence: In West Virginia about 1984, the Morgantown Public Library reported that video circulation accounted for more than 6% of annual circulation. See Caron (1984). The video share estimate for 2004 is based on the data in Galbi (2007b). While the data could support a higher estimate for the video share in 2004, I’ve used a rather low estimate to generate a conservative estimate of the growth rate.

Videos borrowed from public libraries: Calculated from library circulation and video share.

Video borrowing price from libraries: Dewing (1988) pp. 70-71 provides the data on prices for borrowing videos from libraries in 1987. Most libraries (73%) had a loan period of about a week. I roughly estimate the price in 1985 to be $0.50, and also roughly estimate the price in 2004 to be 0. The later estimate is based on the declining purchase price of videos and personal knowledge of library operations. Elgin (1992), p. 12, recorded that libraries that eliminated charges for borrowing videos experienced increased video borrowing.

Video rentals from video stores: From EMA, A History of Home Video and Video Game Retailing.

Video rental prices: EMA gives the 1985 average price. I calculated the 2004 average price from rental units and total rental revenue (Adams Media Research data).


American Library Association [ALA], Public Libraries in the United States Statistical trends, 1990-2003.

Caron, Barbara (Fall 1984), “Video Cassettes in the Public Library,” West Virginia Public Libraries; cited in Elgin (1992) p. 6.

Dewing, Martha, ed. (1988), Home Video in Libraries (Boston, Mass.: Knowledge Industry Publications).

Elgin, Romona R. (1992), Comparison of Book and Video Circulation in Public Libraries, Student Report, Northern Illinois University, Department of Library and Information Studies.

Galbi, Douglas (2007a), Book Circulation Per U.S. Public Library User Since 1856, available at

Galbi, Douglas (2007b), “library users like audiovisuals,” available on

Goldhor, Herbert (1985). A Summary and Review of the Indexes of American Public Library Statistics: 1939-1983. Library Research Center Report (Eric Document # ED264879). Urbana, IL, Illinois University.

National Center for Education Statistics [NCES], Public Libraries.

The official Hungarian translation of the last HP book is due in February 2008, but fans can’t wait: they started to publish the translated parts (as they proceed) online.

The internet has killed the release windows, and now it raises the question: can legitimate publishers afford to wait with the translations, or they need to create an international secure infrastructure of translators, who are able to produce the localized version by the time of the release of the originals?

(note: the chinese fan-tran is available in full)

Index – Neten az új Harry Potter magyar kalózfordítása

Már magyarul is hozzáférhető az interneten a Harry Potter napról-napra bővülő kalózfordítása. Sőt a kalózfordítás kalózfordítása is. Ezernyi topic született már a témában, szavazni is lehet, hogy melyik a jobb. A hivatalos Harry Potter jövőre jelenik meg magyarul.

China knowledge

Adobe Systems, one of the world’s largest and most diversified software giants, is cranking up harsher measures to stamp out rampant software piracy in China as it endeavors a 50% year-on-year revenue growth in the Mainland.

A recent global software piracy study by the Business Software Alliance revealed that China’s piracy rate had retreated by 10% within three years from 92% in 2003 to 82% last year. The legitimate software market in China has been expanding, increasing to nearly US$1.2 billion in 2006, a rise of 88% from 2005.

However, losses incurred from software piracy remains as one of the highest in the world, at US$5.43 billion.

In addition, the software vendor is also dishing out incentives such as a 60% discount on its Chinese CS3 for Chinese users in a bid to strengthen its foothold in one of the largest consumer bases in the world.


Hogy pontosan mennyivel növeli meg az eladásokat a honosított program, valójában csak becslés, hiszen nincs összehasonlítási alap: ha egy program megjelenik magyarul, nem valószínű, hogy ugyanazon a piacon az angol változatával is próbálkoznának. Tóth Tibor, a tavaly alakult, tehát kevés honosítási tapasztalattal bíró, de lengyel anyacégük többéves ismeretei révén mégsem teljesen kezdő disztribútor vállalkozás, a CD-Projekt munkatársa tudomása szerint Lengyelországban 40-60 százalékkal nyomta meg az eladásokat, hogy lefordítják a szoftvereket.

Jul 5th 2007

From The Economist print edition

Faced with shrinking profits, record labels are touting a new approach

Get article background

IT HAS become a familiar refrain. For years record labels, citing tumbling CD sales
blamed on internet piracy, have decried the decline of the music
industry. The reality is rather more subtle, as Edgar Bronfman, the
chairman of Warner Music, a big record company, pointed out last month.
“The music industry is growing,” he told an investor conference in New
York. “The record industry is not growing.”

Indeed. Seven
years ago musicians derived two-thirds of their income, via record
labels, from pre-recorded music, with the other one-third coming from
concert tours, merchandise and endorsements, according to the Music
Managers Forum, a trade group in London. But today those proportions
have been reversed—cutting the labels off from the industry’s biggest
and fastest-growing sources of revenue. Concert-ticket sales in North
America alone increased from $1.7 billion in 2000 to over $3.1 billion
last year, according to Pollstar, a trade magazine.

record companies have responded by trying to get their artists to spend
more time promoting records and less time touring and endorsing
products, says Jeanne Meyer of EMI, another big
record label. “Sometimes you’ve got a tug of war going on,” she says.
Yet the more labels spend on marketing pre-recorded music, the more
they raise their artists’ profiles and boost their other, more
lucrative, sources of income. Pre-recorded music, no longer the main
cash cow, increasingly serves merely as a marketing tool for T-shirts
and concert tickets. The best seats for The Police’s world tour this
summer cost over $900; the group’s entire catalogue on CD costs less than $100.

Record labels have come up with a remedy: the “360° contract”. Instead of settling for a cut of CD sales,
they increasingly offer artists broader contracts that encompass live
music, merchandise and endorsement deals. Such deals, also known as
multiple-rights or all-rights contracts, are particularly important in
regions with rampant CD piracy, such as Africa,
Asia and Latin America. “The market has made it necessary—we’ve got to
look for something else,” says Manuel Cuevas, an industry executive in
Mexico City. His company, the Mexican subsidiary of a major label,
decided earlier this year to adopt the 360° model. “It’s a discussion
you have with every new artist now,” says EMI‘s Ms Meyer.

record labels like the idea, artists are unsurprisingly less keen. Few
established artists have accepted 360° deals, though the labels trumpet
the exceptions, including Robbie Williams, the Pussycat Dolls and Korn.
It is more profitable, the artists say, to stick with artist-management
agencies, which have traditionally handled the job of cultivating
careers beyond the realm of recordings.

agencies are also considered to have more respect for their artists’
interests. Record labels, for example, have been criticised for
obtaining rights to the names of artists and bands for use in internet
addresses. Some clauses stipulate that name ownership applies even
after contracts expire or artists die. This can prevent musicians from
launching websites to promote tours, sell merchandise, and communicate
with fans as they see fit. “Record companies don’t exactly give many
artists the warm, fuzzy feeling,” says Gary Bongiovanni, the editor of Pollstar.

with small fan bases and little business experience are much more
receptive to the idea of 360° deals. There is no shortage of aspiring
artists, and some will become big names. Juha Ruusunen, the founder of TWU,
a small management agency for heavy-metal bands based in Jyväskylä,
Finland, says European labels have begun to sign up new talent with
360° contracts. As record labels move more aggressively into the
artist-management field, Mr Ruusunen worries that his agency might
struggle to compete.

Building a
roster of 360° talent, one deal at a time, is slow going. It is quicker
for labels to buy artist-management agencies. Last month Universal
Music made a £104m ($205m) offer for Sanctuary, a struggling British
label with a management arm that represents musicians including Elton
John and Robert Plant. Sanctuary also owns two other artist-management
companies and runs Bravado, a merchandising operation. Sanctuary’s
shareholders will decide whether to accept Universal’s offer, which is
considered generous, this month.

For its part
Warner Music has expressed interest in Front Line Management, one of
America’s biggest agencies. And last month Warner announced the
formation of Brand Asset Group, an artist-management joint venture with
Violator Management, a firm that negotiates roles for rappers in films,
advertisements, video games and TV programmes,
and licenses their names and images to promote drinks, books and
clothes. (Its clients include 50 Cent, Diddy and Busta Rhymes.)

The shift
away from recorded music is due in part to the recognition that touring
and merchandise are more lucrative. But it may also be a consequence of
internet piracy, as free downloads give music fans more money to spend
on other things. Jwana Godinho, the director of Música no Coração, a
concert promoter in Lisbon, thinks many music lovers have a “mental
budget” that they are prepared to spend on music, and have switched
their spending from CDs to tickets and merchandise.

The logical
conclusion is for artists to give away their music as a promotional
tool. Some are doing just that. This week Prince announced that his new
album, “Planet Earth”, will be given away in Britain for free with the Mail on Sunday,
a national newspaper, on July 15th. (For years Prince has made far more
money from live performances than from album sales; he was the
industry’s top earner in 2004.) Outraged British music retailers were
quick to condemn the idea. As far as the record industry is concerned,
it is madness. But for the music industry, it could well be the shape
of things to come.

Los Angeles Times

Album sales continued their downward slide in the first half of the year but sales of digital tracks are up almost 50% over this time last year.

A total of 229.8 million albums were sold in the U.S. from Jan. 1 to July 1, according to Nielsen SoundScan figures released Wednesday. That’s a 15% decrease compared with the same period last year. Meanwhile, digital track sales increased 49% to 417.3 million this year.


The news for the motion picture and television industries is not so good. BitTorrent has become far more popular: “We’ve seen real, dramatic growth in BitTorrent usage,” notes Garland. That has resulted in a greater average population of seeders and leechers per torrent. In May 2006, the average torrent had 817,588 people participating. 12 months later, that figure had jumped to 1,357,318 seeders and leechers: a 66 percent year-over-year growth rate. – Nepal’s No.1 News Portal

KATHMANDU, July 5 – Surprised that you can buy expensive foreign books at cheap prices in Nepal?

It’s not that foreign publishing houses reprint cheaper editions for Nepal. The books are dirt cheap, thanks to a growing book piracy industry in Nepal – at least one industry seems to be booming amidst the economic slump.

Leading book distributors in Kathmandu say pirated books account for up to 30 percent of space in most bookstores here. And the price of the pirated version is often less than half the original price.

Take for instance, Charles Van Doren’s A History of Knowledge, published by Ballentine Books, New York. The original price of the book is USD$ 14, but you can buy its pirated version for around Rs 300. At least two pirated versions of this book are available in the market. Pirated versions of Samuel P Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations, published by Penguin India, is so widely available in Nepal that it has rendered the original version of the book a rare commodity in Kathmandu.

The most pirated books are fast-moving college textbooks and popular novels for mass consumption.

Sophie’s World, a novel by Jostin Gardner, is a case in point. The book, published by Berkely Books, New York, costs USD$ 7.99, but you can buy the pirated version for half the original price. At least four pirated versions of the novel are available in the market.

Madhav Maharjan, owner of Kathmandu’s leading book store, Mandala Book Point, concedes that pirated books are widely available in the market and warns of their long term damage. “Students and readers may get books at cheaper prices, but the notoriety it will earn the country is too costly.”

He says foreign publishers can make available books at cheaper prices if the university here were to make a formal request in this regard.

According to a bookseller at Kirtipur, university reference books on management, sociology, economics and English are among the most pirated. Cambridge’s Meaning into Words, Reading Between the Lines, Intermediate English Grammar; Longman’s Plays in One Act and Literary Appreciation; and Oxford’s Elements of Literature are some college books that have been pirated.

When asked why he sells pirated books, he quipped, “Why should I fear to sell such books if others are doing it without any qualms?” He argued that it was difficult to survive in the market without selling such books.

According to him, piracy racketeers eye any book that can sell over 500 copies. Oxford Dictionary of Sociology and Colin’s Dictionary of Sociology have been illegally reproduced. So is the case with International English Language Testing System (IELTS) books.

Recently, boarding school books too have fallen prey to piracy. For example, Learning to Communicate, by Oxford University Press, and Essentials of English Grammar and Composition, by Sultan Chand Publication, have been bootlegged.

Book piracy has been rendered easy by new technologies. To reprint a book illegally, all that one needs is two copies of the original, a flatbed scanner, a computer and an offset press. With these facilities, any book can be reproduced in multiple copies.

The adoption of modern technology in piracy also makes it difficult for people to identify the pirated book from the original one.
Some book sellers in Kathmandu are also taking advantage of this and are selling bootleg versions as original books.

“If you are not aware that the book you are buying is a pirated one, they may even charge you full price,” says a bookseller at Bhoatahiti in the capital, requesting anonymity.

Piracy in Nepal has became such a serious issue that Cambridge University Press even published a notice a few months ago in leading national dailies cautioning the buyers against the pirated books.

Kiran Shakya, official at Nepal Copyright Registrar’s Office, says that there is a racket of publishers actively involved in the illegal printing of books.

“Most foreign books are priced beyond the reach of most Nepali students, and this has encouraged book piracy in Nepal,” he argues.

Shakya is of the opinion that if foreign book publishers strike a deal with Nepali publication houses, books could be produced at a cheaper price, thereby curbing the scale of bootlegged copies.

Rajan Sigdel, a student at TU, says that students like him, who are from modest family background, have been able to study Masters in English only due to cheap pirated books.

He has a point. For instance, The Bradford Introduction to Drama and Critical Theory Since Plato, both prescribed books, cost USD$ 83 and USD$ 100 respectively.

In this report, we revisit our “Long Tail” thesis on the entertainment industry. As we
wrote last year, digital technology and economics are loosening the barriers to entry
in the video production business. In our view, this augurs a significant increase in
supply of video content from many sources, which could lead to slowing growth for
incumbents and a shift in value from content creators to aggregators/packagers of
content in the middle of the supply chain that can best connect users’ individual
tastes with theoretically infinite choice. This report delves further into this theme and
addresses key questions we have received from investors and industry contacts on
this topic.


Times Online

The music download website whose activities threatened to scupper Russia’s entry into the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has been shut down.

The site,, was quietly closed as the Kremlin sought to end criticism from the United States that Russia was failing to clamp down on music and video piracy.

The site had attracted 5.5 million subscribers buying songs for between 10 and
20 US cents each, compared with 99 cents at Apple’s American iTunes store
and 79p in the UK.

Most customers were in Russia, but it was estimated to be the second most
popular download site in Britain after iTunes. It was set up in 2000 by six
computer programmers, who initially developed the site for their personal
use then built it into a business earning a reputed $30 million a year.

The site looks virtually identical and claims to offer thousands
of albums by popular artists for around 15 US cents per song. Bon Jovi’s
latest disc, for example, was on offer for $2.11.

MediaServices said that the site was registered with the Russian Licensing
Societies, which it claimed had the right under Russian law to “grant
licences and to collect royalties for the use of music without necessarily
obtaining permission from the copyright owners”.

The company’s website said that it paid 15 per cent of proceeds to the
licencing societies for distribution to copyright holders. It added that it
was considering an additional payment of 5 per cent to performing artists,
whether or not they owned the copyright, “despite no legal requirement to do

O’Reilly Radar >

As part of our continued effort to understand the impact on book sales of the availability of free downloads, I wanted to share some data on downloads versus sales of the book Asterisk: The Future of Telephony, by Leif Madsen, Jared Smith, and Jim Van Meggelen, which was released for free download under a Creative Commons license.

Jeremy McNamara of, which operates one of the mirrors, provided us with download stats, which we were then able to compare with book sales. Our goal of course, is to help publishers understand whether free downloads help or hurt sales. The quick answer from this experiment is that we saw no definitive correlation, but there is little sign that the free downloads hurt sales. More than 180,000 copies were downloaded from Jeremy’s mirror (which is one of five!), yet the book has still been quite successful, selling almost 19,000 copies in a year and a half. This is quite good for a technical book these days — the book comes in at #23 on our lifetime-to-date sales list for the “class of 2005” (books published in 2005) despite being released at the end of September. You might argue that the book would have done even better without the downloads, especially given the success of asterisk and the importance of VoIP. But it’s also the case that the book is far and away the bestseller in the category, far outperforming books on the same subject from other publishers.

Meanwhile, we saw a huge spike in downloads starting at the beginning of this year, but didn’t see a corresponding drop in print book sales, other than the continued slow erosion that’s typical of books in print (especially one that’s heading towards a second edition.) However, we did see the book’s first fall from grace, dropping from an average run rate of about a thousand copies a month to about six hundred back in March 2006 coming at about the same time that we start showing the free downloads, but we’re not sure whether or not that is just because we don’t have earlier download data — we believe that the book was available online sooner after publication even though Jeremy didn’t start his mirror till March. (Next time we do a book available for free download, we’ll be careful to collect accurate data from the start of the project.)

In any case, this kind of sales drop is not completely inconsistent with the sales pattern from many other books. And for authors who want to reach the widest audience, it’s certainly possible that even if free downloads did shave a percentage from sales, the tradeoff is worth it (see Piracy is Progressive Taxation)

via newswire

– Decline compounds 12% drop in 2006 – the largest year-over-year
decrease in Canada since the advent of widespread unauthorized
file-swapping in 1999
– Unabated counterfeiting and Internet file-swapping cited as primary
factors in decline
– Recording industry, other business groups step up call for government
action against piracy

The Register

While ADSL providers are imposing caps and resorting to traffic throttling, Vodafone has slipped in a clause allowing it to charge different amounts for mobile bandwidth depending on the application, though how it will do so is unclear.

Vodafone’s new pricing model for data comes in on 1 June and at a glance seems fair enough – if you use less than 0.5MB in a day you’re charged at a penny for every 5KB you use (£2 a MB), go over that and the next 14.5MB is free, then you’re back to a penny for every 5KB used.

Most users should fall somewhere in below the 15MB limit, and the current rate is £2.35 a MB, so everyone should be better off.

Well, not quite everyone.

Slipped in to the conditions of use is a clause stating that VoIP and peer-to-peer services (P2P) are excluded from the offer, billed separately at £2 a megabyte, with a minimum of 5 pence per session. Skype is listed as an example of a VoIP service, but the definition of P2P is much broader, including “instant messenger services, text messaging clients, or file sharing”.

Vodafone won’t comment on how it’s going to identify such traffic, though there are concerns that anything other than web browsing might be considered peer-to-peer and thus be subject to the separate charge. Encrypted connections could well fall foul – it would be impossible for Vodafone to identify the application being used, leaving anyone regularly and securely checking email open to high charges.

Vodafone does say it’ll be offering a mobile internet tariff, but isn’t revealing any details and it’s likely it’s waiting to see how customers respond to the new data pricing before making a decision.

p2pnet has conducted an online poll on file-sharing. As the ads for the poll were run on p2p advocacy sites and services in the grey zone like, the results are clearly not representative, but tell us a great deal about how file-sharers think about these issues. – the original daily p2p and digital media news site

THE SULTANS OF SPIN – final results, as of April 21, 2007

Number of accesses: 3,860

Number of responses: 1,108

Do you share files online?

Total Responses: 1,080

Yes – 69.1% (746)

No – 30.9% (334)

Have the RIAA sue ’em all lawsuits persuaded you to stop sharing?
Total Responses: 1,077

Yes – 5.9% (64)

No – 94.1% (1,013)

How do you rate your chances of you becoming an RIAA victim?

Total Responses: 1,078

Guaranteed, if I keep on sharing – 1.9% (20)

High – 2.5% (27)

Medium – 10.5% (113)

Low – 50.4% (543)

Zero, even if I keep on sharing – 34.8% (375)

Two Hungarian music lover/journalist/artist from the Hungarian language Quart music blog tried to purchase two songs they recently reviewed: an Arcade Fire album and an LCD Sound System album from various online services. The whole article is here in Hungarian, I try to sum up their experiences in English:

The iTunes store doesn’t accept Hungarian bank-cards. This option is out.

Huge catalog of indie records, but sadly nothing from the big 4, so no Universal distributed Arcade Fire and no Warner distributed LCD.

Rhapsody, Napster
They don’t accept Hungarian bank-cards either.

Zune Marketplace
Zune is not sold in Hungray.

Sony Connect
The songs are tied to Sony devices, which they do not own.

Yahoo! Music Jukebox
This service had serious performance problems, after 20 minutes of trying and several complete freezes they have given up trying.
Perfect service, great prices, but (percieved as?) illegal, and they wanted to play by the rules.
Great service, but neither of the desired bands are in the catalog. So they have bought something else, in mp3.

Audio Lunchbox
Like eMusic.
This Hungarian service is run by the collecting society of performing artists. For little more than 0.50 USD one can buy songs from Hungarian performers. Works great, the price is right, through the catalog needs some expansion.
Half a million songs in this Hungarian music store, but no LCD or Arcade Fire. Expensive and wma-bound.

T-Online Zeneáruház
The first service where they could find at least a song from the new LCD album. But this is the last good thing that can be said about this service: expensive, wma-bound, extremely user-unfriendly.
Small, but friendly store run by CLS records. No AF or LCD.

So at the end of the day, instead of buying two full albums, preferably in mp3 format, they ended up having only one song in wma. What do music companies think, what will Hungarian potential music buyers do when they realize that even though they are part of the European Union, even though they are willing to pay for music, all they experience is the utter failure of the market?

I would really appreciate if you could share your experiences with us here about how y

’07 b.o. a record in waiting

Boxoffice coin in the U.S. ought to tip the scales at slightly less than $10 billion this year, an all-time record, followed by a couple years of anemic growth as higher ticket prices offset slightly declining attendance.

That’s the word from Wedbush Morgan Securities, which issued a 40-page report Friday on the state of the exhibition industry. Wedbush concludes that the dour predictions of new technologies dooming the movie theater were overblown and reiterates that it was the poor quality of movies that caused exhibition revenue to stagnate, or worse, from 2003-05.

“Consumers are showing, through their continued attendance, that pay-per-view, DVDs and streaming media may be increasingly close substitutes for a movie-watching experience, but they are not as close of a substitute for an evening out,” Wedbush analyst William Kidd wrote.

Consumers with the most entertainment gadgets and services also are the ones who go to movie theaters most often, according to Nielsen Entertainment/NRG data.

For example, among moviegoers who see an average of 10.5 films in theaters each year, 46% of them are Netflix subscribers and 68% have a home theater. Among those who see just 7.1 movies in theaters each year, 16% subscribe to Netflix and 16% have home theaters.

Kevin J. Delaney. Wall Street Journal. (Eastern edition). New York, N.Y.: Apr 17, 2007. pg. A.1

newtube-wsj.gif“It’s out there — you just have to hunt around for it a bit,” says the 28-year-old Mr. [Sam Martinez]. Like many similar sites, YouTVpc relies heavily on video-sharing sites outside the U.S., such as a French outfit called Dailymotion and in China. Mr. Martinez estimates that about 40% of the shows and films on the site — including episodes of “Desperate Housewives” and Fox’s “Prison Break” are provided by

Last year Mr. Martinez’s childhood friend, Mr. [Billy Duran], built on the idea and created a site called “VTele” as an assignment for a computer-science class at Central New Mexico Community College. Through it, users could view TV shows and movies that he and Mr. Martinez copied from DVDs and uploaded to the school’s computer servers. The 23-year-old Mr. Duran says he got an “A” on the project. But within a month, the site attracted so many users that some of the school’s computer servers crashed. Administrators threatened Mr. Duran with expulsion.

Mr. Duran dropped out of Central New Mexico, and the two friends relaunched the site in September. At first it relied on volunteers to store video files on their own servers, until a user pointed Mr. Martinez to Dailymotion. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh — gold mine!'” recalls Mr. Martinez. “We had all 18 seasons of ‘The Simpsons’ in two hours.”

Read the rest of this entry »

The commentary from Investor’s
Business Daily writer Brian Deagon recants the MPAA’s spin that “in
2005 alone it lost $2.3 billion to Internet copyright breaches in the
U.S and $7 billion worldwide, including box-office receipts and video

The USA Today article tells how the film industry is set to break all box office
records this year. “Through Sunday, ticket sales are at $2.1 billion, a
healthy 6% ahead of the same time last year and 5% ahead of 2005, according
to estimates from Nielsen EDI”, says Scott Bowles who penned this story.
And with summer crammed with such showcase movies as Spider-Man 3, Shrek the
Third and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, studio executives already
are crowing that 2007 could be a record breaker”. According to the article
“The record was set in 2004 with $9.54 billion in the USA, although 2002
holds the record for most tickets sold at 1.6 billion”.

Anti-piracy success and more local movies play a part

Cathay’s Malaysia president Suhaimi Rafdi said the overall cinema viewership in Malaysia had recorded a double-digit growth for the past two years and Cathay itself recorded a 17 % increase last year.

“We believe that among the major contributing
factors to the increase of cinema viewership in the past year is the
government’s success in reducing pirated VCDs and DVDs,” he said.

Another factor was the increase in local movie productions. Suhaimi said that 48 local movies were screened in
local cinemas last year compared with five years ago when only 20
titles were produced.