Published on January 19th, 2012 | by Steven Hodson


[Bullshit Media Claims] Piracy costs up to $775 billion a year

Every day it seems we hear how piracy of digital goods is destroying our society and that we need to enact some of the stupidest and most draconian laws in order to protect the massive entertainment industry because it is to stupid to get on the boat to the future.

The problem is that much of these claims are backed up with some of the most ridiculous numbers you will ever see in print that are either supported by totally skewed entertainment industry supplied studies or they are for all intents ‘n purposes pulled from thin air.

It wouldn’t be so bad really if it wasn’t for the fact that the only people who realize how bad this attempt to mislead the regular consumer is are those in the tech industry. The reality is that the entertainment industry can only continue to pull the wool over the eyes of the consumers because no one in the mainstream press is willing to call out the entertainment industry over their blatant corruption of our elected *cough* representatives *cough* and force them to prove exactly with publicly scrutinized data that their claims of damage is valid.

Well I plan to from now on because holding the veracity of their claims in a public forum has to begin somewhere and before they manage to actually get something like SOPA and PIPA passed using their bullshit claims.

Now what better one to start off with that the one made by Jennifer Collins on the day before the Great Internet Black-out.

In the post she has some quotes from notable people about SOPA and PIPA and the proposed black-out with her comments interspersed. Sort of like this one:

Jennifer Collins: Some congressmen practically brag about being out of touch with the Internet.

Melvin Watt: Chairman, I’m a pretty old-fashioned guy who still hasn’t figured out how or even whether I want to use all the fancy technological advances that are out there.

That was North Carolina Congressman Mel Watt. He’s one of the sponsors of the Stop Online Piracy Act known as SOPA. The bill, and a similar one in the Senate, includes broad new tools to thwart online piracy. One would force search engines like Google to stop linking to sites that post pirated content. Another would stop advertisers from doing business with those sites.

I’ll leave it to you to point out the couple of ‘errors’ in her comments but to think that a Congressman who admits that he doesn’t have a clue about technology let alone the Internet is a driving force behind something like SOPA; and what ever comes after it presumably, is scary enough.

However the real kicker here is Collins’ closing comment (emphasis is mine):

But with piracy costing up to $775 billion a year, virtually everyone agrees the bills in some form will survive.

Okay Jennifer Collins consider this your official call out – where is the proof – publicly available proof that has been verified by more than just the entertainment industry that piracy costs $775 billion a year.

Prove it, please.

Show us the facts and figures, as well as where you got the information to base such a claim on.

Prove it because I am calling bullshit.



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About the Author

Steven has been around the tech world long enough to see most of the stuff we think of cool happen before which leads to a certain bit of cynicism that has contributed to him being known as the cranky old fart of the Internet. Besides sharing some of the goodness that he finds with you here at 42x you can also find him curating some digital goodness at Winextra (tech type stuff) and Rotten Gumdrops (for your daily dose of WTF).

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