Estimated loss from software
piracy suffered by the tech
industry worldwide in 2006
Personaly, I don't believe figures such as these. As far as I know there is no tried and tested yardstick for creating such statistics and I am not aware of any individual developer or company who has gone bust because of piracy.
Following on from another related thread on pirating music I found this to be an interesting perspective.
"New research says music downloading (or "P2P," peer-to-peer file swapping) might not be the record industry's death knell after all. And while that's an interesting idea, the real surprise is where the new research is coming from: the recording industry itself.
Downloading makes up for less than one-third of the music on downloaders' computers.'
Downloaders often test run songs on P2P services before buying.
The largest downloading demographic is also the largest music buying demographic.
Dips in music sales have little to do with the availability of music on P2P services.
Consistent with many other studies, people who download music from P2P services frequently buy that same music. The study found that only 25% of respondents said they never bought music after listening to it as a P2P downloaded track. That obviously leaves nearly 75% as future purchasers, including 21% who have bought music ten times or more. Note that demographically, the lowest percentage of non-buyers actually belonged to the 13 to 17 year old demographic (page 70). The 13 to 17 year old demographic also happens to be the largest purchasing group of music, buying an average of 11.6 music CDs or DVDs in the past six months. Close behind are the 18 to 24 age group at 10.9 music CDs or DVDs. By comparison, the older demographics may not download much music but they don't buy much either. The 55 - 64 age group bought 4.2 music CDs or DVDs, while the 65 and up age group bought 2.8 music CDs or DVDs."
Cracking down on the pirates who make a ton of money selling warez is a different issue. Often these operations are linked to organised crime and by association can be likened to the selling of illegal drugs. The authorities only seem to be interested in chasing these guys because they make money and don't pay tax, not because they are hurting businesses by their activities.
Ultimately it is the legitimate user like you or I who has to suffer the penalties - restrictive copy protection methods, DRM etc. Not one of these protection methods hasn't been compromised, usually within days of a new release and that includes dongles and other hardware protection devices.
I agree that the stats mean little especially once you factor in the fact (and timeworn justification for pirating) that much of the stuff pirates have they never would have bought in the first place. Factor in group buys, educational discounts, promos and sales and the number is going to be a lot lower. It's like a drug bust: divide a wholesale quantity into its smallest retail component and report its value that way, skews the pity factor a lot.
As for the record industry, being able to sell a purely non-physical digital product with no overhead other than server space seems like a dream come true and I don;t think they are complaining as much anymore, especially if the factors mentioned above don't really indicate what they are claiming. Like has been mentioned, the only reason they were ever upset in the first place was because they weren't getting any of the potential cash.
Open source in itself is a great thing but it is only a matter of time before that becomes a money-maker for someone and the original intent is lost; either that or the internet regulatory agencies will somehow find a way to make it illegal. One only needs to look at the origins and timeline of radio to see how everything seems to end up corrupted from its original intent.
I don't know. I tend to believe that number. I've been in IT for 20 years, and every job I've worked, from Xxxxxxxx to Xxxxxx Healthcare, I've watched my peers share $1000's in games, applications, and especially movies.
Since I worked for the great satan all those years, I began to really appreciate intellectual property rights, and was always shocked how much "sharing" went on - even @ M$.
Nowadays, most of my peers know never to ask me for a copy of anything, nor ever ask me if I want a copy of anything. And what absolutely SUCKS, is that I'm the one who feels like a pariah.
I wonder how they define 'loss'. If someone has a copy of something they didn't pay for, they can't automatically factor that as a loss... they might not have paid for it anyway. It would seem to really be able to estimate 'loss', you'd have to know what people would have decided if piracy had not been an option, and how can anyone ever know that?