Here’s a shocking stat, courtesy of a UK research firm called Futuresource Consulting: Everyone you know is spending all of their time illegally copying DVDs. Futuresource’s “white paper”, released yesterday and now being widely cited around the Web, says that one-third of all UK and US residents have copied pre-recorded DVDs in the last six months.
Really? One-third of everyone in the U.S. and Britain? It’s amazing that both economies haven’t completely collapsed. It’s also amazing that people are accepting this stat at face value. Think about it: If you’re reading this story, you’re already on the far end of the tech-friendly bell curve. Do you think that one out of every three people you know have made an illegal copy of a DVD in the last six months?
You can read the research yourself below, but here’s the most relevant part: It’s sponsored by copy protection company Macrovision (MVSN). Hence lines like this:
As studios’ revenues from DVD are in decline, protecting revenues is even more vital than 12 months ago… The vast majority of these copiers admit they would purchase at least some of the titles on DVD if they had not been able to copy them – clearly indicating the significant levels of lost revenue due to home copying.
We’re actually quiet sympathetic to Hollywood and other intellectual property owners who are losing money to pirates, and we’re not reflexively opposed to companies like Macrovision which want to make money selling digital locks and keys. But clumsy propaganda like this depletes any good will we have awfully fast.