The EU Suppressed a 300-page Study That Found Piracy Doesn't Harm Sales

4856  2018-04-14 by Chromebookarthur

124 comments

Interesting that the report did find a loss for major blockbuster films but other than that it was inconclusive or piracy boosted sales of other media items.

I can see this being true as I've wanted to watch a movie in the past torrented to see what it was like realising it was the biggest pile of **** ive ever saw then not gone on to buy it.

Maybe if movies weren't 15 dollars we could watch them more.

Interesting that the report did find a loss for major blockbuster films

I doubt that was the case with Hollywood accounting removed from the equation.

Can somebody please ELI5 what Hollywood accounting is? I read the wiki article but couldn't understand how it affects profit.

I'm sure someone can ELI5 better than I can but I'll have a go, Hollywood accounting is used to calculate how much it cost to produce a movie, this figure is then used with the revenue to work out how much profit a film has made. However as Hollywood accounting is a type of creative accounting, they come up with costs so it is greater than the amount of revenue.

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Who to trust: a 300 page in depth study or the doubts of a random redditor?

The difference is motive.

who knows? maybe that in depth study is by a random redditor from r/piracy

Everyone is a random redditor. Pretty sure Einstein would've been should reddit have existed back then!

None. Give priority to the study as it appears more in-depth and seemingly done with care and research.

But never trust sources no matter the "excellence" and always use your head!

Considering not a single major motion picture has made a profit, since the inception of Hollywood accounting, I would trust the redditor. Or don't you know what Hollywood accounting is?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_accounting

Here's just a bit of the examples.

According to Lucasfilm, Return of the Jedi, despite having earned $475 million at the box office against a budget of $32.5 million, "has never gone into profit".[7]

Art Buchwald received a settlement from Paramount after his lawsuit Buchwald v. Paramount. The court found Paramount's actions "unconscionable", noting that it was impossible to believe that Eddie Murphy’s 1988 comedy Coming to America, which grossed US$350 million, failed to make a profit, especially since the actual production costs were less than a tenth of that. Paramount settled for $900,000,[8] rather than have its accounting methods closely scrutinized.

Producers Michael Uslan and Benjamin Melniker filed a breach of contract lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court on March 26, 1992. Uslan and Melniker claimed to be "the victims of a sinister campaign of fraud and coercion that has cheated them out of continuing involvement in the production of the 1989 film Batman and its sequels. We were denied proper credits, and deprived of any financial rewards for our indispensable creative contribution to the success of Batman."[9] A superior court judge rejected the lawsuit. Total revenues of Batman have topped $2 billion, with Uslan claiming to have "not seen a penny more than that since our net profit participation has proved worthless."[9] Warner Bros. offered the pair an out-of-court pay-off, a sum described by Uslan and Melniker's attorney as "two popcorns and two Cokes".[10]

The estate of Jim Garrison sued Warner Bros. for their share of the profits from the movie JFK (1991), which was based on Garrison's book On the Trail of the Assassins.[11] The case was settled in 1999, with Garrison's estate receiving a "very small settlement."[12]

Winston Groom's price for the screenplay rights to his novel Forrest Gump included a 3% share of the profits; however, due to Hollywood accounting, the film's commercial success was converted into a net loss, and Groom received only $350,000 for the rights and an additional $250,000 from the studio.[13]

a sum described by Uslan and Melniker's attorney as "two popcorns and two Cokes".
Jesus Christ they are rich!

don't you know what Hollywood accounting is?

It is called "tax evasion"...unless you are a Zionist media organization.

Its sad this is a thing when the solution is so breathtakingly simple...When an audit discovers two instances of such "creative accounting", simply charge a 40000% tax on the entire amount of money that passed through the corporation accounts for any purpose. Done. When the studio files for bankruptcy, the bankruptcy court then makes attachment of the debt to the personal assets of the corporate executives (all of them) a contingent condition if any of them reform any new corporations or become employed in any capacity (including consultants) for any media organizations prior to the debt being paid in full.

A friend of mine was a Hollywood producer and told me this is how it works several times.

dank source bro

Hows life as a middle school English teacher?

There's 23 references on that page. You should really learn how Wikipedia works

So was I being downvoted on the assumption i was being sarcastic? I legitimately meant it was a good source/response. :/

I know what Hollywood accounting is, and I seriously doubt the study failed to consider it. A Wikipedia article doesn't magically nullify the study.

Who to trust? A well cited response or the doubts of a random redditor?

Read the study, there's no doubt about it.

Can you point out where the study considered it?

the fact that Hollywood accounting is still legal means the government is not taking it into account. It's not officially approved. They just pretend it doesn't exist, so their studies also have to pretend it doesn't exist

If Hollywood Accounting is a variable in both scenarios then it cancels itself out. Sure, it's a huge problem and all, but it's a completely separate discussion.

The results show a displacement rate of 40 percent which means that for every ten recent top films watched illegally, four fewer films are consumed legally.

Regardless of the legality of shady Hollywood accounting practices, the report says that when more people pirate movies, fewer people pay to watch them.

Note that the original comment you responded to said "the report did find a loss for major blockbuster films," which doesn't mean the films lost money, but rather received less money than they would have otherwise.

They just pretend it doesn't exist, so their studies also have to pretend it doesn't exist

This would be nonsense for many reasons but the really obvious one is that this is an EU report, and the creative accounting that Hollywood does happens in the US.

How can piracy cause a loss for a major blockbusters, when the very accounting system in place has every film making a loss? Piracy does not cost creators money. Everyone except for the suckers who are told they will a get portion of the profits gets paid.

My thought is, who gives a shit if these people lose money anyways, if they're so corrupt that they make it so they don't have to pay taxes on profit? Don't support corruption people, pirate today, spend that money on local businesses and you'd actually have done society a favor.

Coming to America was released in 1988? Darn I'm old

The lesson is that you should demand a percentage of the GROSS, not the net, or else get such a big advance up front that you don't care if you get anything else.

It's actually not that hard to believe that there are no profits. The budget of a film is only a small part of where the money goes. All those guys you see listed as Executive Producer, and Associate Producer, and producer, all get a cut. Often, the top actors are included in those lists of producers so that they get another royalty on top of their acting royalty, and it looks good on their resume. All those logos you see? A Films presents a B Films production of a C Films film? Those all get cuts of the GROSS. By the time they are done, there's no net left to pay the suckers with the weak agents who settled for an upfront fee (of which they got 20%) and a cut of the net.

So the lesson is learn to play within the corruption instead of don't be corrupt. Yeah, I don't agree.

No, the lesson is Dont Be A Chump. If you are writing your first screenplay, you aren't going to be the guy who changes the rules. So just demand your cut comes from the GROSS, not the NET. That's not being corrupt, that's just acknowledging that you understand how the game is played.

It's actually not that hard to believe that there are no profits.

Considering the industry continues to shine brightly year in, year out, it's pretty fucking hard to believe.

Well, no profits on paper. They just create so many expenses that there are no profits. Those expenses mostly pay for the expensive services of invaluable prpducers. /s

Who to trust, loaded interest group funded study or rando?

Listen, we all know that thanks to digital availability both Hollywood and Blockbuster went out of business long ago.

Piracy...

Radio

Library

Talk show segments

Aka advertising.

why repost ?

What would we circlejerk over, then?

this is old.

But always good to remember for those that haven't seen it yet.

There have been two "World Wars". Every 365 days (on average) we celebrate a "New Year" under the Gregorian Calendar. Of those days, we split them into 12 months, or 52 weeks. Almost, if not all, English-speaking countries use a base-10 numbering system, which goes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and then repeats to infinity. We live on Earth, which has 7 continents.

Always good to remember for those that haven't seen it yet.

Don’t start the seven continents thing, there may be non anglophones about

Base-10 is 0 to 9, not 1 to 10.

Saying Base-10 goes "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10" is like saying Binary goes "1, 10". Or like saying Roman Numerals go "I, II, III, IIII, IV, V". Ten is the first number in the second set of 0-9.

Ah, I was debating that in my head. I knew I had it wrong, thanks

?

7 continents

That depends on how you define continents. There are no really clear definitions which could make one clearly say "that's a continent!"

Cause you could also count 4 if you want to (Americas, Eurasia, Oceania, Africa)

Lol the comment above yours has the exact same thing, just without the unrelated bumbling jargon.

Always a good thing that the story holds no truth and the EU suppressed nothing. https://publications.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/59ea4ec1-a19b-11e7-b92d-01aa75ed71a1/language-en

Let's commission a study to prove that piracy is harmful!

Oh shit! It isn't?! Then let's advertize the nit-picked part that says it does

Well, shit! Now that the study leaked, may as well reveal the whole thing anyway.

You're a foolish person.

The study was publicly available before "the leak". What does that tell you? I'm sure you're smart enough to figure it out.

as old as your momma tits?

More than likely lol. I bet his mom sucked off Dave in the lockerroom lmaoooo!!!

Username checks out

Why surpress it? What is the incentive?

Government loves their cronies.

They are their own cronies. Those that doesn't get paid by those corporate probably still support them because they hold chairs and shares there.

Like everything under Capitalism, the incentive is profit.

No...if it were about that then they wouldn't care because no profit is lost...

incentive

but if piracy bust salles then why act against piracy?

Because people aren't robots, we get a gut instinct on things and stick with our first impression until the day we die!

So in industry worth billions of dollars multiple companies waste millions of dollars. These companies are managed by people with good education and who spend years on their work and also have high expectations from investors are not logical?

I am a human and I might bo not very logical but something there does not seems correct. I would be thankful if someone could explain this to me.

Like everything under the heavy hand of government, the incentive is power.

it's all about control, not profit.. the study said there is NO harm done to sales.

And what do you thing they want to use that control for? :thonking:

And why they want contro lover profit? If the profit ensure that enterprise will last?

and control leads to power which leads to profit

Piracy is actually pretty capitalist. I give money to things I like. I don’t give money to things I don’t like.

Piracy is the epitome of capitalism :P It's anarcho-capitalism pretty much

This exactly. I wouldn't buy nearly as many movies as I would if I didn't view them ahead of time via downloads.

I'd also watch far more movies in theaters if it didn't cost an arm and a leg.

How much? Movies are pretty cheap in my country. Like $4 for the top row. Not worth pirating.

Piracy is free, so it is statistically worth it from my perspective.

$14 here, that makes it not even worth it to leave my house.

Shhh, he hates capitalism, let him have his teenage angst.

I disagree. The paying aspect exists outside piracy itself, piracy just gets you whatever you don't pay for.

Piracy is actually pretty capitalist.

more like anarcho-capitalism where you have no right to products you make.

You have a right to the products you make, you just have no right to intellectual non-physical creations.

Code on server hard drive is 100% physical. Pretty sad that there is no reason to come up with new ideas in anarcho-capitalism if anyone can take them and use for personal gain. It would make no sense in spending millions of dollars on making move if every cinema can just copy your product for free.

You the original of the code, but not once it's been copied and sent to the consumer. The consumer makes new copies that are had no interaction with the producer. Software as a service works fine under no-IP laws, the customer wants the service? Gotta pay for the license. Want the latest update? Pay up.

Why pay if I can just copy new version?

As a service implies that the service software lives on a server, the client doesn't actually run the software.

so in capitalism I only have to pay for things that I am unable to get for free?

I don't like something but I need it. Does I don't need to pay for it unless it is impossible to get it other way?

Well yes, that’s how it always works. You have to give an incentive to keep people from just getting a product for free. For games, you can’t go online for many games and it is just more convenient than piracy. Others might pay as a way of showing support. Some like going to a theatre for the atmosphere.

If you can get food for cheaper that was the same quality, logic dictates that you get the cheaper one.

Hahahha implying corruption and greed are only present in capitalism, get off your high horse.

Even if money didn't exist, people would be out to profit. Blaming capitalism is a pretty simplistic approach to a set complex problems.

Lobbying. Just imagine the backlash from the big companies if the EU did make that report more public

People of big companies paying off representatives because they have so much money

For what though

Pride

Let them waste their money on pride then. Not exactly good capitalism.

People of big companies paying off representatives because they have so much money

but is piracy mean more sales and more money why they act against piracy?

Pride

Because piracy is a convenient excuse when something fails to meet expectations.

"Why was our movie/album/game not profitable? Is it because we made a bad product? No, it's totally because people were stealing it."

They don't think that's true, they think that piracy hurts sales.

Ok, so company spend milion of dollars of market research and on anti-piracy policy. They get this paper that piracy will give more sales.

Why they still act against piracy? Why EU that want more sales because it mean more taxes suppress the study?

It make no sense for me.

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The incentive is to try justify limiting the freedom of the internet, so that they can control it.

Again? I mean, the source was posted seven months ago - surely someone could have done just a teensy bit of thinking and found that this has already been posted here before...

Gizmodo are so incompetent, they can't even spell Ecorys.

They did not even do their research. The report is not suppressed and available for consultation in the EU website: https://publications.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/59ea4ec1-a19b-11e7-b92d-01aa75ed71a1/language-en

This has been reposted on this sub for weeks.

This was posted a few months back if I recall properly, nevertheless don't let them forget!

I've seen it at least 4 times now over the last couple of months.

I've been pirating music for years for one reason only: I don't like to waste 20 euros on vinyl that I don't like. I pirate the music to check it out and buy the physical version if I like it. Nothing wtong with it imo.

but not having piracy Doesn't harm sales, either...

I mean it was probably for the best. Piracy at our current level might not harm sales, but if piracy as this sub knows it went mainstream, it might actually have a significant impact. This info might give a moral green light to those who don’t want to harm the company they’re supporting.

Doubt it.

Look at Wikipedia, kickstarter, patreon etc...not to mention companies like Netflix and spotify.

People as a whole like to pay if they feel like they are getting their money worth. Especially if they feel like their money will create future content.

I pirate anything that is absurdly priced, difficult to obtain, or I'm sure is garbage and I'm just previewing it.

I pay for most quality content as much that I find reasonable. I would probably pay a bit more for Netflix and spotify. Wish I paid a bit less for YouTube red. And donate to Wikipedia and other sites like it whenever I find myself using them frequently.

That’s great and all but unfortunately not everyone is altruistic. Some are cheap, and just want to save a buck. As more people get into it, there will be more like you. But there will be a lot more who see it as just free stuff.

FYI if you have YouTube Red you also have Google Play Music which is better IMO and might make YouTube Red seem more reasonably priced

I did not know this and don't even know what Google play is. I'll check it out, thanks.

I think people who don't pirate just like the convenience (and often better speed) of legal services. If someone created a pirate app on par with Spotify premium feature wise that would be huge.

But it wouldn't have the advertising and marketing that spotify does.

The convenience of Netflix on TV is pretty much unbeatable by any pirated alternatives. Real debrid, plex, terrarium, whatever. Netflix wins hands down. If only the library was comparable to the us, I doubt I’d pirate.

If someone created a pirate app on par with Spotify premium feature wise that would be huge.

And maybe giving it a groovy name will make it even more popular.

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Like GrooveDolphin

I would like to know more! Google and bing didn't show up anything about that?

Well the market would dictate the quality of content produced.

If everyone pirated everything, the quality would plummet. Once stagnant, the market would evolve so that content creators and content consumers found a balance in price.

It's already happening.

Not very well because I hear about it about once a month since it was 'suppressed'.

bastards

Should have put US instead of EU in the title. You’d have 46k upvotes

hey mods can you change EU to US please?

If only someone could digitally steal it

Wasn't this posted like half a year ago? Like everywhere?

Nice.

I’ve always looked at it like if a poor person can’t afford to buy it they won’t. So where do they lose the sales

I'm on the fence about this.

I don't think that piracy in it's current form has any real impact on sales, but I do believe that it would if companies stopped trying to fight it.

A lot of people seem to think that companies should stop fighting piracy, but if they did could we honestly still say that piracy wouldn't affect sales? Is it possible that piracy only doesn't affect sales because the units pirated are low enough due to antipiracy?

To me, this seems like a study saying "one shot of liquer a day doesn't harm your health" and people are responding by saying "than why are we trying to suppress alcohol consumption!? It's obviously safe! We should let people drink all they want!"

R-r-r-rrrrrrrepost time!

Does this mean I can steal movies and not feel bad about not paying for them?

I don't get why anyone would think piracy affects sales. When someone pirates a product, it's not like the seller is deprived of any money. It isn't a transaction. There is no loss of inventory.

lol?

I'll tell you what does harm sales. Putting drm all over that goddamn thing so that it ends up poorly optimised and barely playable so people just go get the cracked version which runs better cos there isn't any of that shit on it.

I'll tell you what does harm sales. Putting drm all over that goddamn thing so that it ends up poorly optimised and barely playable so people just go get the cracked version which runs better cos there isn't any of that shit on it.

This is usually the case for software or digital media. It's not the case for hardware piracy though in the form that its happening now.

Makes sense. Everything I pirate I had no intention paying for, everything else I do.

Look. Look how shocked I am.

just another example of how evil the European Union is.

apart from that if i dont pirate a movie or game i propably wont play it at all so its no lost money for them. if i really want something i will just buy it.

pirate on! arrgh arrgh!

thats because some warez giv damage to pc

Some day, the minds and the greed of yesterday will die, eventually, and will be replaced with new fear of novelties, based on asininity and nescience, again, like today the baaad internet with its piracy n stuff.

Again?

look. lets be straight up here. most of the people who pirate stuff do it for the same reasons, and sales were never going to be effected in the first place:
1) region locked: look. if Netflix ain't gonna let me watch some show cuz im in nigeria, than they're not losing any sales. cuz there were no sales to begin with. if you literally refuse to take my money, then im taking your product anyway.
2) second copy: i already bought this movie/album/game for this specific device. but i want it on this other device. i aint buying that shit twice. whats that? DRM out the ass? to the bay i suppose.
3) straight theft: i was never going to buy your product anyway. even if it went on sale for .99 cents. a sale of any kind was never in the cards in the first place. but hey, that album is already in this torrent file with the album i want, so fuckit.

Old news

Lol, piracy doesn't harm sales? 🤣 Obviously it does, not that i give a shit.

It's okay to steal from the rich, just don't steal from independent artists.

this is fuken repost

Interesting.

Can we get this fake news to stop? The EU suppressed nothing and published the report: https://publications.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/59ea4ec1-a19b-11e7-b92d-01aa75ed71a1/language-en

Actually it does, the majority of this subreddit claim to be 'good' pirates that pay for content but realistically they don't buy it at all.

Misleading

No shit it doesn't.

People who pirate would have never bought in the first place.

Now that piracy is even easier, most people still obtain from a source, like a hand me down, where the sale and profits wouldn't be accounted for.

It's just a tactic to get more money by enacting laws that would allow them to sue in court for false damages.

Instead boost up unless it is crap

the fact that Hollywood accounting is still legal means the government is not taking it into account. It's not officially approved. They just pretend it doesn't exist, so their studies also have to pretend it doesn't exist

And what do you thing they want to use that control for? :thonking:

How can piracy cause a loss for a major blockbusters, when the very accounting system in place has every film making a loss? Piracy does not cost creators money. Everyone except for the suckers who are told they will a get portion of the profits gets paid.

and control leads to power which leads to profit

Who to trust? A well cited response or the doubts of a random redditor?

Can you point out where the study considered it?

And why they want contro lover profit? If the profit ensure that enterprise will last?

People of big companies paying off representatives because they have so much money

but is piracy mean more sales and more money why they act against piracy?

For what though

Everyone is a random redditor. Pretty sure Einstein would've been should reddit have existed back then!