Fundamentally Piracy in the digital domain was born because of the price fixing and price gouging the media companies have monopolised for decades.
the cost of production and distribution has fallen significantly yet they still price new movies and music at a certain level. This level is high enough to provide an incentive for people to look for ways around it.
There will always be a degree of copyright infringment everyone has to accept this as fact.
how much is determined by the price.
There is a threshold where if the content is priced low enough it provides a natual disincentive for people to bother with copyright infringement and you could draw a direct correlation between price vs copyright infringement. If providers priced their products more competatively then it would provide several distinct benefits to them and the government and global economy as a whole
1) They would increase sales volume - as price decreases the number of people that were trying to get it for free would no longer bother due to the lower costs, as they can just pop down to their local store and buy it on disc or download it from a purchased online source.
2) They would not need to spend the insane amount of resources on lawyers and chasing individuals for copyright infringement. I am sure just cutting the lawyers from this epic gravy train would fund some significant RRP cost cuts.
3) the governement could spend more time on real issues and probably get rid of some excess public servants saving the tax payers money.
4) Money and resources would no longer need to be wasted on DRM (digital right managment) because lets face it hackers take all of 5 seconds to get around this stuff.
5) people would be happier and more productive because the government would be meddeling and trying to micro-manage their individual lives to a lesser degree.
So in summary 1 simple action can cut piracy down to such small levels it would be hardly worth being worried about. Set the right price and let the free market run!
I will use the Apple app store as an example
while this gets a lot of flak for monopolistic behaviour and the walled garden approach it is successful because of the pricing. If you wanted to say purchase a computer game for your PC you have to pay say $50 - $100 of course people are going to look for ways of not paying this. however on the app store to buy a game for you phone costs say $1, $2 maybe $5 at these prices why would you even bother wasting your time trying to get it for free just buy it and enjoy it. This difference is orders of magnitude.
If media of games, albums and movies were priced the same (and they got rid of this DRM rubbish) 95% or more of people would just buy it.
Big media need to have a look at the business model they have run with for too long in the face of a rapidly changing world. It is such a simple concept these greed driven corporations dont see the wood for the trees
You know, one of the things I always challenge when I hear the MPAA or RIAA state how much they have "lost" to "piracy", I will ask them to "prove" it as well as justify their numbers.
Most of their numbers are "guesstimates" based upon falling sales versus projected sales, when in fact there are many LEGITIMATE reasons for a drop in sales.
I grew up in the 80s where there were record stores on every corner and if you wanted to buy something used, the vinyl and cassettes were at garage sales or from your buddies. People still borrowed records or tapes, etc.
Today... How much of it is "Piracy" versus how much of it is eBay, Amazon, CDNow or other sites which allow people to buy used movies, DVDs, Blu-Rays and the like? I only buy a couple CDs or Blu-Rays NEW a year, but buy a TON used. So the fact that I can buy a used CD for $2 that they try to sell for $17.99... Is that because of Piracy, or is that because of alternative distribution channels of used materials.
I also grew up in a time where you could buy a SINGLE with an A and B side for .99 cents. One of the reasons why Itunes took off is from this model, and the fact that today, most of that the "Record Industry" pushes out are CONTRACT produced albums jammed with fillers where an artist has to produce X number of albums in Y number of years.
The other part that any of the "piracy" or "downloading" arguments never like to address, is how much of this is the Tchotcke mentality. A person may download an songs or an album and may listen to it, but does that mean that they would have actually PURCHASED the item? Yes. There are definitely some sales lost, but I am also a firm believer that a huge amount of the number that you hear are convenience numbers where a person will take something off a table if it is just sitting there, but if they actually had to purchase it, they would pass.
Conversely, a lot of the new music or movies I have purchased are often influenced by discovering new artists who use these channels to their advantage.
My last album purchase / download was The Joy Formidable - "Big Roar" Awesome band out of North Wales, and I discovered them from being the opening act at the Foo Fighters concert in Boston in November.
One of my next movie purchases will be Eric Schaeffer's "After Fall - Winter" which is a film festival movie which is a follow up to his movie "Fall" which will be available as VOD, Download, PPV, Itunes, etc channels., because frankly it is a character based movie with no big stars, and the Studios would rather throw a Big Screen version of Gilligan's Island down our throats.
Part of what I see from the MPAA and RIAA and bills like SOPA and PIPA have a lot less to do with Piracy, and a lot more to do with the fact that these big corporations are finding out that film makers, artists, musicians and the like can go out and be successful without them. It is a hard road, few succeed, but more and more I am finding I prefer these bands and movies to the over-priced, over-hyped products of the big studios... Especially when it comes to albums. To me records from the 60s, 70s and 80s were just more consistent. There would always be songs you didn't like or would skip over, but I find that number is inverse today and mostly there are only a couple songs produced on an album that I like, hence I tend to by more songs versus albums these days.
As well. The majority of my purchases are OOP, tracking down CDs and albums that are no longer published or available.