Real Reason for US Recession Uncovered

According to the RIAA prosecutors owned by the RIAA, it is all Kim Dotcom's fault:

Meanwhile, Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom is free on bail, living in his rented home near Auckland and awaiting extradition proceedings to begin in August. Dotcom along with Finn Batato, Julius Bencko, Sven Echternach, Mathias Ortmann, Andrus Nomm and Bram Van Der Kolk are charged with criminal copyright infringement and money laundering.

The men -- along with two companies -- are accused of collecting advertising and subscription fees from users for faster download speeds of material stored on Megaupload. Prosecutors allege the website and its operators collected US$175 million in criminal proceeds, costing copyright holders more than $500 billion in damages to copyright holders.

$500 billion is about 3.5% of US GDP.

  • me

    In their defense, the way the US is run lends credence to the idea that the nation really is all about the recording industry.

  • The Other Me

    The max for stealing 1 song is $150,000 so $500 billion is about 1 Ipod

  • Hasdrubal

    I'm not so much concerned about the size relative the economy, what's that look relative to the actual industries?

    According to the RIAA: "In the decade since peer-to-peer (p2p) file-sharing site Napster emerged in 1999, music sales in the U.S. have dropped 47 percent, from $14.6 billion to $7.7 billion." (http://www.riaa.com/faq.php)

    The domestic movie industry (just ticket sales?) looks to be a little over $10 billion according to http://www.the-numbers.com/market/.

    Forbes says that in 2001 Porn was between $2.6 and $3.9 billions. (http://www.forbes.com/2001/05/25/0524porn.html which also puts Hollywood at $31 billion and broadcast + cable TV at a total of $78 billion.)

    So, using the biggest numbers I've found, the most susceptible industries to a site like Megaupload are around $128 billion, so the $500 billion represents (very roughly) 4 years worth of revenue for all the media industries, in their heyday. Half of that comes from TV, and have they been hurt particularly badly by download sites? I thought DVRs were the real pain for broadcast TV. It's on the lines of 70 years worth of the lost revenue that the RIAA claims.

  • DavidR

    The Other Me: Actually, at a $150,000 fine per song, $500 billion works out to be about 3,333,333 songs.

    Back when Apple had the 160 GB iPod Classic, they claimed it could hold 40,000 songs. So, they're effectively fining Kim Dotcom for more than 83 iPods worth of music!

  • John VI

    They must use keynesian algorithms to come up with 175 million in profit = 500 billion in loss.

    Id LOVE to go into business with these guys ...285,000% profit if you can hedge it right ;)

  • Smock Puppet, 10th Dan Snark Master and CRIS Diagnostic Expert

    Yeah, the IP middleman industry regularly posits absurd numbers like this.

    They probably actually have some ludicrous math to "prove" it, too, based on the absurd notion that every copy of anything pirated would have been purchased at the asked-for price had it not been available for piracy.

    This is where the notion that theft and piracy are equal breaks down pitifully, since it basically suggests that some guy making 20k a year in a loft apartment, who, in the course of the 2 years since he became an adult, has pirated 500 movies (@$20 each, average) and 400 music CDs (@$10 each, average), and 100 videogames (@$40 each, average) has somehow managed to become exceptionally wealthy, with almost $17000 in uncommitted disposable income no one recognized him as having made.

    IP-as-control laws are anathema to making wealth in an IP and Services economy. IP is information -- and it creates wealth by easy and steadily flowing freely to where ever it is wanted or needed or can be used. Anything which halts or slows this process is a defacto brake on the economy.

    Rewards for IP need to be inherent, not explicit, and control as a notion needs to be just flat out eliminated. If you have created IP, then you may do two things:
    1) you can maintain control over it by keeping it to yourself.
    2) you can profit from it by releasing it for the use of anyone who would like to use it.

    You can't have both.