The stupidity of the riots where young people smashed up the shops and businesses that pay the taxes that generate the money to pay their and their parents benefits sees to be reflected in online music and film piracy, now 90% of all music downloaded seemingly stolen. The music industry have tried to put a brave face on it by saying more music than ever is being sold online but the bare fact is that most people would rather not pay for music and effectively the youth of today have looted the industry, the Sony factory burnt down in London last month a further blow as it contained a significant chunk of their CD stock. It can't really get any worse for the music industry right now. Because of this the traditional album CD has become pretty pointless, the kids just stealing the singles, both artiste and record company's most vital asset.
Spotify, the Swedish based music streaming service, tried the free music model being paid for by the advertising and small fee subscription approach and it proved popular. It has ten million users but only one million paying subscribers, the model not making any serious money yet. It has full backing from the big players and available on an increasing number of platforms. The company have moved the model to America but recently announced they have drastically cut the amount of free music available on the player to just ten hours and five listens for each song. It works by the fact you don't actually legally download the music and so never physically steal it. The industry is banking on this type of service working as they have admitted they don't feel they can beat music piracy.
Because of the illicit nature of the net you can steel it and get away with it and so just about everybody does, websites set up to encourage it and the law not able to shut them down, the PirateBay site the most infamous. The government are pushing for a law to help the industry by allowing the internet providers the power to block certain websites and users. BT has helped greatly because their internet service is so slow and rubbish it takes three days to download anything. But it does look like the big music media companies are getting their way and we will see some sort of fines or blocks for persistent downloader's. If nothing is done then just won't be a music industry.
The plus side is the big music producers are moving away from high cost production tosh like contrived boy bands and more towards niche music, why you are seeing more stuff like folk and classical on the rise, the music that the more discerning music fans wont steal. Or at least that's the plan. Simon Cowells music behemoth has taken care of the pop industry and so the place to earn now is live gigs and tours. But this has seen an explosion of festivals at just the wrong time for the industry. Because most people that go to festivals are students and the students now have to pay big busks for university the number of festivals being cancelled has risen, purely because there is too much choice and over exposure for the money left over in the grants, no one really wanting to see the same band over and over again, the festival regulars rather too regular now, those indy guitar bands up an down the land now. In some cases bands are being asked to play for free at charity gigs just to get exposure and a potential record buying audience.
With the music industry well and truly in a tizzy the same thing is now happening to the film industry, pretty much every movie made now available on line, Google's mission to digitise everything meaning everything is up for grabs, and for free, the book industry next in line. The nature of the internet is file sharing and so we can't help but expect stuff for nowt. Problem is movies are very expensive to make and can't survive mass piracy. If the big budget films don't turn a buck because punter just stay home and download them and so not going to the cinema or renting them then they won't get made, simple as, and nor will the smaller movies reliant on those movies through subsidy . That means the lower budget intelligent movies are very unlikely to even get considered as they shift few DVD and cinema tickets.
I don't steal music or film as I'm aware there will be less of it and poor quality if I do, therefore more of you guys have to cut down on what you're pinching. I know IP providers can slow your internet down if you download too many movies and so that's top you playing them but as yet music can be pinched quite easily. I suspect the solution will come around by having just less music to choose from as record companies become smaller and more niche and so only push their best acts. Hopefully the non profit nature of music will see a reduction in budgets being thrown at dumb trash pop, Swagger Jagger we can do without. I think Adel going to number one both sides of the Atlantic is the first signs that image led pop is on the way out and quality music will be pushed as it less likely to be stolen as it appeals to an older middle-class crowd with more money in their pockets after university.
Maybe media companies could cut deals with internet providers and take a slice of the broadband fees in return for blocking certain sites. It seems the only internet revenue guarantee is subscription fees. The advertising model words better online as it's more subliminal and targeted but it doesn't seem to work for music. MySpace helped to promote new bands on a free platform and it did encourage more online low cost record labels to try their luck but the problem is they record the songs digitally and so the music stolen through friends file sharing, what most sites like MySpace can only encourage. Unless people stop being selfish then they won't have any music to listen to.
I really wanted to write a review about piracy, in particular piracy in the music industry. I am one of those people that hates to purchase music digitally; i'm nothing short of being a sucker for something tangible. I have in the past downloaded music off the internet, and i really don't see why it should be labelled as a crime. Record companies make obscene amounts of money by distributing music through itunes; they only have to pay for the recording and hosting of the file, then they can sell it an infinite amount of times at no extra cost! I will admit that there are people that constantly download music off the internet with no intent to buy the cd's or pay for the album of itunes at any point in the foreseeable future; I am not one of these people.
I love the idea of being able to listen to an album in it's entirety for free, rather than a 30second clip of each song; what if the song gets really bad after those 30seconds of brilliance? I have this method of try before you buy, I like to listen to a whole album and then if I love it, i'll head down to the nearest Hmv store and buy it. Think back over the years to how many cd's and dvds you bought without ever watching or listening to them. Now think, if given a seconds chance would you still buy the same cd's and dvd's twice? You'd probably have half as many cd's and dvd's as you have now; I know that Dude Where's my Car Wouldn't be in my dvd collection, nor would 50Cent Get rich or die trying (the latter was an adolescent phase).
Websites like Spotify have been excellent in allowing you to do just this, however their music catalogue can sometimes be limited and as I mentioned earlier I'm not a massive fan of paying for a service, when I know I can pay the same amount of money and actually get something physical. Also, as an artist I love to look at the album artwork and see the little details that go into making an album. I personally think that you should pay what you want for a cd or at least half the price of digital music before Spotify takes over the world.
A few years ago Radiohead released an album via their website and offered fans the chance to pay whatever they wanted for their latest album. It's stated that a only a third of people who downloaded the album "in rainbows" actually paid for it; the average price being £4. However the band also offered fans the option to buy the "Disc Box"; which contained a physical copy of the cd, and additional 8 tracks, a lyric booklet, two 12" vinyls, artwork and photos for £40. The "Disc Box" sold around 60,000-80,000 copies making a higher profit than Radiohead's previous album. This method clearly shows that giving fans the chance to hear you music for nothing and then giving them the option to buy the cd could be a possible method of combatting piracy; however their will always be the odd few out their.
Haha, as i write this review, there is currently a piece on the news about music piracy..a little bit of fate.
***This is a discussion and I will assume that most people are aware of piracy and how it works in today's technological society. I intend only to convey my opinions and not the fine details. Lastly, I do not encourage piracy and I have taken great care to remove anything that I think might explain "how to" do it.***
Piracy is bad.
The creative industries estimate the current number of people in the uk who regularly file-share copyright content to be around the 6 million mark.
They tell us this costs billions to the entertainment industry.
It "costs" them nothing. The vast majority of people who are file sharing would not purchase the content even if it wasn't available to them for free in the internet. Why? Because it costs more than it is worth. If everyone who downloaded music paid for it they would make billions more, but they lose nothing.
The problem? The industry isn't listening to the consumers. The consumers have evolved technologically leaving the CEO's of the industry dragging behind screaming "this is how we do it". This is how they do it, but it is not how it should be done. It is their job to inspire us to purchase what they are selling. They need a new business strategy. The current one is failing rapidly.
Piracy is bad.
The worth of a music album which is made 100% by the artists, the lyrics, music, composition...it is not worth the same as an album by a manufactured pop band. (Plastic miming bands are killing the music industry in my opinion; consumers see so much sh*t on the shelves...they've become jaded. They do not trust the industry any more.)
The future? Cut out the middleman. Musicians should record their music and then offer it as a pay for download on their own website. Radiohead did it. NIN did it. When given a choice between free and pay, the vast majority choose to pay.
Radiohead's "In Rainbows" sold 1.2 million copies on day of release with "most people paying a normal retail price".
NIN's the Slip was available for free on the internet. It still sold over 98,000 hard, legal copies. It was downloaded over 2 million times; most of those were paid for. The album Ghosts I-IV made £1.6 million in its first week (part I was free, II-IV were paid for).
This is not a failing strategy. We are not pirates; we do not want something for nothing. We want something worth paying for in a useful format.
Piracy is bad.
An even bigger, rarely touched upon problem: what is a DVD worth? You pay £15 for a DVD, you make a collection of movies that costs hundreds...thousands of pounds. And then what? It becomes worthless within a matter of years. It can't be sold for more than a fifth of the price you paid. A few years later it is worth £0 with the advance of technology (does anyone pay anything for VHS anymore?) When you pay that much you want it to be an investment. It's not.
You're not even investing in the future of the entertainment industry.
It doesn't cost several million to make a movie. It costs several million to hire A list actors to star in the movie, many of whom are highly overrated. The biggest celebrity names get tens of millions per film. Can any one person really be worth £20 million for a single movie? Really? Consider the few hundred other cast and crew members; the other actors, the tech guys, the music guys, the advertising crew... The wage of an actor doesn't correlate with the quality of acting, only with the quantity of headlines.
Piracy is bad.
But it won't stop until the entertainment industry listen to the consumers. We will pay when we are offered something we want.
Piracy is not about theft, it's a message. We will not be stuck down by the status quo. Change or get left behind.
Piracy is bad...right?
**I believe in paying for music (and films). I have noticed myself buying less and less, I'm not taking the risk with new bands because they are not up to standard and it's too much money to waste. I might be more brave if we were allowed to return the crap stuff...**
© L Wade 2009 - submitted only on dooyoo.
I would like to talk mainly about music piracy here. The music industry would have you believe that this is a major problem and perhaps they are right.
Many years ago, music was released on vinyl records and this was prohibitively expensive to copy but then came along various new music formats. One was the cassette player which the music industry didn't like because there was of course the cassette recorder. Now you can record your favourites from the radio. This never killed the music industry.
The next major format war ended with the CD being the victor and the music industry embraced these little discs, even charging more for them when they cost less to make. But this is technology for you.
Of couse, CD's were being copied to tape but the quality was lost. Then CD writers became commonplace. Then the internet found its way into many homes.
A nice recipe for people to get 'free' music from the internet and burn it straight to CD.
This, of couse, could kill off the music industry if everyone did this. Some of my friends have not just downloaded their favourite artists music but some have uploaded songs for others to download.
That is something I have always frowned upon and encouraged them not to do this.
Until earlier this year when the music industry was changed in my mind. Forever.
Even though I am self-employed, I received some very threatening letters from a company known as the 'Performing Rights Society' (PRS) and these suggested I needed to buy a licence from them. The letter threatened legal action.
I understood that it was innocent until proven guilty. Perhaps the PRS don't know the law.
Now, these letters were sent to a home run business with just one member of staff and no visitors.
It appears that you need a licence to even play the radio to the public now. Of course, the radio station pays for a licence to broadcast it to the public, but the PRS claim that if you play this to any of your employees or visitors, you need a licence as well.
In other words, they want to be paid for the same thing, twice.
I must admit some things here. This letter did change me and my attitude to music.
Firstly, I do actually listen to the radio a lot less now.
Secondly, I haven't bought an album for months, probably because I am unaware of many of the new artists out there because I hardly listen to the radio.
Thirdly, I don't even listen to as much of my own CD collection as I used to.
Fourth, I now have a negative attitude towards the greed of the music industry, when previously I used to support their attitude.
Fifth, I now watch a lot more TV than I used to.
You want to copy a CD? I am not going to say anything against that. Not anymore.
However, I am still against anyone who sells pirate CD's at car boot sales and other places. Don't allow the pirates to profit from the music industry killing itself. Any profit, if any, should go back to the artist and publishers.
Perhaps it was recorded to early, but there was that prophetic song of old "Video Killed the Radio Star".
Well whether we say or not, we have probably all been tempted to save money by, buying something on the cheap, such as: video games, music, DVD, etc.
I my self rather listen to a song on You tube, as it will soon be out of date and new songs will come out.
I believe I have put thousands into the music industry with all of the CD's I have bought before.
I think that it is so easy to produce pirate music and media now, and it should be the people that make it so easy they deal with, not the people producing it. That way they get the problem at the start.
I know that in the UK you are aloud to make a back-up copy of your disc, providing you can prove that you have bought the original and the back-up is for your own use.
I really don't know why the government moan at us tho, as I know some people wouldn't go to the shop and buy if they couldn't get it from the internet or copy it from somewhere.
But I do believe that big movies may get ripped off of people are only paying pennies to watch it and the movie that cost millions to make loose out.
The age old argument of trying to justify or condemn movie, music and software piracy... well I will try to keep this concise.
I am not personally admitting to downloadng anything illegally. However, I see nothing wrong with the following scenario. If one was to download a computer game. The game turns out to be very very poor. How much happier would the downloader be that they hadn't wasted £20, £30 or perhaps even £50 on a five minute wonder. Shame on the publisher for releasing such trash.
If on the other hand, the game is a gem. You find yourself playing it day in, day out, then you go out and buy the original. The publisher has then been rewarded and rightly so.
Using this example, piracy can actually increase sales.
At the other end of the spectrum are those who never intend to buy a single thing. Perhaps it is an addiction, but some users just download every game, every movie and every music track, just so they have them. Playing stacks and stacks of pirated warez and never buying anything is not something to boast about. If you get caught and there are underlying reasons, then this should be taken into account. If you get a small fine, don't complain.
Then there are those who download to profit from. These are the internet users who need to be careful. I am not going to have a go at you, but please be careful. Big brother is watching and will not just let you drain their profits forever.
The final argument is pricing. You know, the one that goes "Well, if they made games cheaper then I wouldn't have to download them". This is right to a certain degree. Some games, movies and music is too expensive, but this leads back to my first argument, that if it is good, then buy it and delete your download. Publishers have a balancing act to play when it comes to pricing, so if they could work out a fairer system, then the whole price thing wouldn't be valid.
As a student at college, with a passionate interest in modern music and films, with little money, i would be expected to be hailing the piracy available nowadays.
Its hard for me, but i dont dabble in such piracy going ons, i am on regular campaign to my friends, to stop the illegal market for piracy. For a start, its a down right shame for the artists to lose their hard earned money due to file sharing sites on the internet.
Artists slog their guts out on a masterpiece of an album and then people cant even respect the hard work and energy that has gone into making the CD. The same goes for films, the amount of time, effort and money that has gone into it, just gets completely destroyed by the piracy available.
Another point to make is that when buying a CD rather than downloading it, you get album artwork and a real feel for the band. This is their work, your respecting them, making an investment in a band you really like. I just think its a real shame that songs can easily be produced on such a massive scale, taking money out of the music industry.
The other side to the arguement is the fact that the victim of piracy (the artist, film producers or even software creators) only recieve a portion of the profits they make. This is a good point to bear in mind, why dont they recieve a higher quantity of the profits? Well, we all have to make money somehow and there are lots of points to take into account when judging this statement. The one being that the packaging amounts to a substantial margin of the total profit. The other is that the people selling the item have to make money. But still, the artist does recieve money when you go out and buy their CD.
Movie piracy is also a big issue. The fact that some person can sit in a movie theater and film an entire movie and not get caught must take alot of patience. There are other ways of producing pirates too but i think this is most common. Then the movie is mass reproduced and sold at a bargain price months before the release of the DVD. This prevents you having to pay to see the film at a cinema. In my view, this is as bad as the musical issue, but at least someone is making money out of it! When they sell the pirate movies, then this in effect is creating an entirely new industry. Usually the movies are poor quality and in some cases ruin any expectations of the film. This is shame, especially if the movie itself was fantastic.
The good side to piracy (or one of the only good points about piracy) is that it gets unkown artists, filmmakers and software creators to be more well known. If the artist is not established in the music industry, then an easy way to gain followers is to make your music available for free. After all, you have nothing to lose in paying absolutely nothing for good music, right? (other than time, of course!)
When i buy a CD, i feel like im helping the band to progress and that i am part of the music industry. I save my money up if i cant afford some music i like and then i spend my money on them, rather than thinking that i can get it at the touch of a button. I also feel like there would be too much choice if everything was free, it makes it a little more interesting when you have to pick a artist you really like to spend your hard earned cash on. The down side to this is that you could be missing out on music if you dont have the money, and hence, piracy evolved.
It would be very hard to stop piracy, due to the enourmous amount of people that endure such activities. If the industry set up a very harsh punishment to stop illegal piracy, then surely there would be too many people to punish? This is a shame, because it makes it harder for the industry to gain control over the illegal market.
Being an artist myself, i would like to think that someone would respect the hard work that has gone into my music and that they would like it enough to buy it. I would hate to think of people disrespecting my music and making it readily available to the world for free. This wouldnt be due to the money, just down to the fact that its morally wrong and also a waste of time.
Just imagine what it would be like if you could go shopping and pick up anything you wanted and everything was free? This sounds delightful, im sure, but after a while, you would start to lose interest in the things you want, seeing as you dont have to work at them. I cant really emphise this, just think of the example of a kid in a sweet shop?
Overall, piracy is a very big issue that in my view, will eventually collapse the industry when finally so few people buy music, movies or software, that it is not worth making and are unable to make money. Thats just my opinion anyway.
I felt compelled to write about this topic as its one that I, as no doubt many people do, have some very mixed feelings about.
Whether we like to admit it or not, Im sure the majority of us have either made or bought a pirate copy of something - whether it be a CD, computer game or DVD etc I remember as a young kid, making copies of friends computer games for the ZX Spectrum etc - especially with the advent back then of high-speed dubbing, twin deck cassette decks Ah those were the days.
Of course, that is a far cry from the type of piracy being carried out today. Piracy is a big business and of course some of the money that is made from it must inevitably fall into the wrong hands - whether it be into the hands of petty criminals right through to terrorists.
Im not saying I agree with the basis of piracy. I dont. Whether it be the music, movie or software industries, there are undoubtedly a lot of very talented people out there who create the products that we take for granted when it comes to entertainment. I think that the sticking point is how much the consumer gets ripped off by companies when it comes to the cost of the final product when you take into account the relatively low costs of producing and packaging it etc.
Weve probably all copied a CD - whether it be borrowed from a friend or some other source. I know I have. Im not saying I was right to do so - but to be truthful, a majority of the time, I wouldnt rush out to buy the CD in question either - if at all. I have used a download site a few times - one that you pay for the tracks you download, might I add - but its based in Russia and you have to wonder if their copyright laws are applicable here in Britain Its very possible that they are not. I also wonder if using sites like that are all above board - out with their copyright stance - or if the money that I have paid has ended up in the hands of the Russian Mafia A scary thought!
Again with software - the majority of us have at one point or another obtained and used pirate copies of games or other software. Again, I dont condone any form of piracy but the prices of software are generally so expensive nowadays that it makes it difficult for a lot of people to afford them whilst trying to stay afloat amid debts and bills etc. The plus point for any company who has their software pirated and distributed is that people get to grips with their product over that of a competitor. Of course the downside to this is that if not so many people buy the finished product, then they are effectively taking bread from the mouths of the people who designed and created the software in the first place - therefore potentially jeopardise future production of the pirated item. Its a very vicious circle.
I know very little about DVD piracy - but must confess that I have seen a few pirate DVDs and have thought Well I hate this piracy thing but itll do until the real thing comes out. I have never attempted to copy a DVD as I buy original DVDs. I have well over 300 DVDs in my collection and always like to have the real thing - even though I dont always like the price-tag
Thankfully, there are lots of places (especially online) where you can track down and buy DVDs and software etc for very reasonable prices which can take a bit of the sting out of the tail for the consumer. Perhaps ultimately if companies were to lower their prices a little then maybe Joe Public wouldnt object forking out a few hard-earned pounds on their products.
Anyway Ill get off my soap box now and thank all of you who have stopped by to read this!
Piracy isn't evil, it's mainstream and not nearly as harmful as made out to be
To come to this conclusion, simply requires a little thought and what is lacking much of nowadays, Common Sense.
So many people around the world now pirate that it has become impossible to stop, which leaves the many agencies set up to fight it, pretty much useless.
The main reason being that they still try to fight major downloaders, when it is just ordinary people downloading a few tracks or films once in a while.
There are the three main branches Movies, Music and Software, so i will talk about these seperately.
This branch of piracy is as popular, perhaps more popular than music piracy. Most people have seen a dodgy copy of a movie, and even if you havent, if you have borrowed a legitimate copy of a film from a friend, the industry views this as a breach too. The movie industry has a skewed view, and has in effect drove itself away from reality, therefore rendering itself in-effective in combating piracy.
In fact any one of you, who have been to the cinema, will have seen the ridiculous adverts they show beforehand, to try and put people off buying illegal copies. The point of showing these adverts to people who have already paid to see the film, and therefore dont have to go buy the dodgy copy to see it, is a bit stupid in itself, but there is also the message in the adverts. It funds anything from Drugs, to Terrorism. I'm sorry but when was the last time a tracksuited chav from a dodgy car boot sale went on a quest to kill the infidel's?? Why do drug dealers need dodgy DVD's? They get plenty profit from, well, the drugs. Its easier to hide or run from the police, with pockets of pills or wraps, than it is with a suitcase full of DVD's.
Then there is the claim that all pirate DVD's are of poor quality, all shot in a cinema and just generally crap.
What utter mince.
Look at the movie release gap between the USA and the UK.
In fact, even air dates of TV shows. The TV show "Lost" was in it's 2nd series in the USA when it finally came to the UK.
Also, for those with shiny new HD televisions, it was shown in HD in the USA. They seen it sooner, and in better quality.
All i had to do was plug my HD TV into my PC, and watch shows months before anyone else would, and in a better quality than will be available here for quite a while yet, at any kind of reasonable price.
(to watch HD in the UK needs a Sky HD subscription with a £300 box and an extra £10 a month onto your normal Sky subscription)
Movies are essentially the same for timescale.
They would come out at the cinema and be on DVD release in the USA before we even caught a glimse of it over here.
Therefore, it was pretty easy to get an exact DVD copy off the internet and watch that, either before or during the cinema release in the UK. In fact Christmas releases in the UK are generally movies from the previous Christmas release at the US box office.
Another hate is actually going to the cinema.
Here in Glasgow, there were 3 cinemas in the town centre (with others in the outlying areas) but this has shrunk to just the one.
If you want to know why movie piracy may increase come to Glasgow. The entire experience of going to the cinema is just a dull, drawn out, expensive and highly stressful mess.
I simply refuse to go to the cinema at the weekends any more, and if you work all week, how else are you supposed to see a movie? The entire experience starts with waiting in a huge queue, most of which is outside in the sunny Glasgow weather :s and sometimes round the corner, to get to the counter and fork over your money (now £6.20 i believe) for your ticket. Then if the queue hasnt made you late, its off to try and find a seat, which is nigh on impossible unless you are extremely early as everyone is crammed in. The attendants come in and shuffle everyone around to try and fit you all in, if theres an empty seat near the wall, the whole row is gonna end up moving. Not too annoying i admit, unless the films starting and theyr squeezing in latecomers. Also, at the weekend, you are guaranteed hassle, theres always some NED (Chav to our English cousins) chucking popcorn and talking away. This has always been followed by the annoying and extremely noisy throwing out.
Note: hassle isnt limited to the weekends, happens most times i have been, its just louder at weekends as the NED's are usually blitzed on Buckfast.
Why would anyone put themselves through that? And also pay good money for it while they do it?
If you have a good sized TV, a monthly Broadband connection will come out cheaper than a visit to the cinema once a month while saving all the bother, allowing you to watch the same movies in the comfort of your home. Hell get Broadband AND a take-away, it'l probably still work out cheaper.
There are benefits of piracy.
The gap between US and UK releases are slimming down.
After all, with the Star Wars and Lord of the Rings blockbusters and the hype they created, people in the UK werent going to wait the usual 6 months to see them.
You also will save a fortune in seeing god-awful movies that you should never have bothered with.
This also has a flip-side, as you will inevitable see more movies than before and often end up buying more. Owning a pirate copy, just isnt the same. It can be an exact digital reproduction, but people still want all the box art etc.
This is recognised in the industry, but ignored.
After all if you can avoid the crap movies, they see it as a loss of business.
Most my friends are too stupid to pirate, but i have easily a larger legitimate DVD collection than most of them combined.
As a little note, to show piracy isnt as bad as made out, the Industry estimates $6 billion is lost to piracy downloads every year. To get this figure, takes into account basically everything they could think of and mashed together to get a big number. It takes every internet download as a lost sale.
Sorry but if someone downloads a movie, its doesnt mean they were going to buy it. If a movie fan downloads a film or three every day all month, do they really think that person was going to buy all of those movies?
Hell no, i know plenty people will download a movie even if its meant to be crap just to see. Obviously if it was meant to be crap they would never have purchased it anyway, downloading is just for curiosity.
We all know about this one. This is the popular one as its the one always in the news about people getting sued.
My last comment in the movies section also rings true here.
Downloading exposes you to more and varied music, so you will therefore end up buying more of it.
It is essentially an un-written rule between file sharers, that if you like something, you buy it, and support the artists.
If you look in the charts nowadays, what do you see? The same old recycled tripe thats been about since someone invented cheesy pop stars and boy/girl bands. For years the charts, radio and most music programs on tv have catered to young teenagers, mainly young girls. They spent the most money week after week buying singles and every one-hit wonder's album, so the market grew to cater for them.
We are starting to see less of this, as CD singles have to all extents died a death. They still make some, but it's not profitable so is being ended this year/early next. That fanbase went for the iPod, and if you want to see how the music industry lost money this is it.
A CD single cost £3-4. A single mp3 download would be at most £0.99
Any way you look at it, this is a huge drop in profit for an industry built on selling thousands of these CD's every week.
The only way to look out new music, and discover new bands has been the internet.
Most of the bands coming through actually dont mind piracy, and will agree that it has often got them discovered, and to where they are now.
In this way in particular it has helped, not dented the industry.
The music industry is just pretty paranoid about hitting a drop in profits.
After all, legal downloading gives choice of what to download, and if people buy a track or two instead of buying CD singles, then the album on top of that, it hits very hard.
An album with its 2/3 CD singles will come at about £20.
Kids can go online through music stores and buy a few tracks from it, running to say £5 at most for half the album.
That in itself, will cut the industry profits down to 1/4 of what they were pre-iPod.
After all Apple etc have running costs (internet bandwidth) and profit, to take care of as well.
The music industry is scared to change, as the fluff it produced before is no longer profitable, so pirates are an easy target (in the media at least).
The last few cases that have went to court, basically have been thrown out. There is no way to prove that it was actually you who downloads material, and with say an unprotected wireless internet router, anyone can get access. Its up to the accuser to prove it was you, and not your neighbour who steals your internet, for which theres no possible way.
This isnt really as big as the other forms of piracy, but yet, even with piracy the industry doesnt worry about it.
Microsoft are often annoyed about piracy, but with a pretty strong monopoly in the operating system market, they dont have a lot to worry about. If you want a fully functioning Windows XP, you need to buy it. (geeks have ways to get round it, but it's most likely too complicated for normal users) But then if you are a geek, you most likely have a legit copy anyway. Just ask when people throw away their old PC's.
The biggest aread of software piracy is in Games.
Computer games are pirated before they are even out, and will be all over the internet in mere hours.
With games having Hollywood blockbuster budgets, and retail prices of up to £40, you would think the game studios would be even more determined to fight piracy than the movie and music industries.
This is far from the truth however.
In general, game studios just arent worried at all about piracy.
This is due to one major reason in my opinion. Quality of Product.
While the movie and music industry has been happily trundling along reaping in the profits, and essentially growing lazy, the game industry has built itself up from essentially a smaller fanbase based on kids, to one which is based on people of all ages, covering all genre's and abilities.
I was a member of a online gaming community with about 20 members, and the age ranges were from 17/18 up to late 50's going into the 60's.
That was for one game. One product appealed to people in all those age ranges.
Could you name anything similar in movie or music terms which could create that effect?? I know i couldn't.
In a similar way to movies, gamers want to own the actual game, as they will get updates and online play.
They could play the game, just like watching a pirate movie, then not bother with it again. But generally this just doesnt happen, and the person will go buy it, in order to enjoy it fully.
Pirated games are essentially the new game demo's.
You get to play the game, but in doing this it sucks you in and you want to have the full experience, which will often involve playing online, against other human opponents across the world. This is virtually impossible with a pirated copy, as thousands of users of the same original disc will get it banned online.
Games have the added edge of making the consumer say
"i really liked that, i'm going to buy it", while movies and most modern music just lack the staying power, and are often dumbed down to the lowest common denoinator so that after the first use there's nothing to be gained from seeing or listening to it again.
Piracy is here to stay, and as much as the various industries try to fight it, it will always remain.
In many cases, the fight against piracy will often lead to a higher piracy rate. Look at the farce surrounding copy-protected CD's.
I would urge everyone here to NEVER buy a copy protected cd.
It was revealed that Sony had software on its music CD's which when used on a computer, made it vulnerable to hackers. The particular software was so nasty and since you could not remove it, Sony ignored and denyed it until they had to issue a recall. After many people had destroyed PC's i'm sure.
DVD's are the same, and i often had to erase the crap that they would install on my families computers. After all, install their software and they have a window into your PC.
If you like personal privacy, these products arent for you.
The same for the one instance of Game copy-protection called Starforce, which would render your CD/DVD drive essentially broken, with no ability at all for repair.
For people who wanted these products without the destruction of their PC, they would need to pirate. Whether it be buying an illegal copy, or making a copy of their copy-protected disc with the protections removed. Interfering with the discs software is still illegal.
They are essentially stuck wanting/with a product but unable to use it in the way they want, or at all.
I know a lot of people will most likely disagree with my views, but to be honest i don't care.
Personally the Game and Video industries make more out of me than ever, and with music, i buy about the same, or go to concerts of the bands i like when their record label sticks malicious software on their CD's, which i won't use.