Piracy: iiNet refutes content industry “doom and gloom”


news National broadband provider iiNet has renewed its public attack on the content industry, using a high-profile report published in February to push the argument that the overall global content ecosystem is booming and that content providers should stop trying to stop Internet piracy and instead focus on new business models.

The ISP, which recently won a controversial High Court case against a coalition of film and TV studios seeking to hold it accountable for the file sharing habits of its customers, has consistently stated over the past few years that it would prefer for film, TV, music and gaming studios to work with the ISP to make their content available to its customers, instead of pursuing users through legal action.

Over the past several weeks, as closed door Internet piracy talks between various ISPs (including iiNet) and the content industry have continued in meetings hosted by the Federal Attorney-General’s Department, iiNet has intensified its public comments on the issue. In early June, the company’s regulatory chief published a highly critical blog post about discussions with organisations like the Australian Federation Against Copyright theft, arguing that the nature of copyright was changing and that the content industry needed to find new business models. However, wrote Dalby, “you might as well be talking to a brick wall”, if you tried to outline this situation to AFACT.

This week, in a new post, Dalby continued the attack on the content industry.

“Much of the content industry’s negative commentary on the issue of content sharing focuses on a tale of doom and gloom – falling revenues, diminished funding for creativity and reduced job security – all of which is then used to forecast a drop-off in the quality output we’ve come to expect and enjoy,” the iiNet executive wrote.

“Now the entertainment industry again claims the sky is falling, and that it’s all to blame on Internet piracy, such complaints are usually supported by selective (some would say apocryphal) research.” However, Dalby said, research had consistently shown that technology didn’t need to be the destructive force the content industry claimed it was.

In making his argument, the iiNet chief extensively cited evidence about the continued global growth of the content industry presented in a landmark report published in February this year by Floor64, the publisher of Techdirt, a well-known global media outlet which often focuses on copyright issues in the context of the changing technological landscape.

The report, entitled ‘The Sky is Rising’, uses statistics published by the content industry itself to come to a number of conclusions positive about the future of content monetisation, including the ideas that for consumers, today is “an age of absolute abundance for content”, that for content creators, “it is an age of amazing opportunity”, and that for traditional middlemen, “the Internet represents both a challenge and an opportunity”.

“The sky is not falling; the facts outlined in the report clearly show that things have never been better for rights holders,” wrote Dalby in his bog post, citing examples such as Valve Software, whose Steam online gaming store has been hailed by video game fans for its ease of use and ability to lure players back into the legal world and away from Internet piracy.

“This online digital distribution model is a salutary lesson for other content distributors,” wrote Dalby. “Instead of insisting their non-paying players were pirates and thieves, Valve took the behavior as a marketing failure and addressed it head-on it by adding value.”

The problem, Dalby intimated, was not technology or consumer behaviour, but the unwillingness of the content industry to embrace change.

“What may be in short supply is the imagination and creativity required by business leaders to exploit the most efficient and cost effective distribution channel the world has ever seen,” he said, referring to the Internet. “It is ironic that a lack of imagination and creativity conceivably contributes more to the woes of the film and video industry, than piracy does.”

“For years the entertainment industry has suggested that the Internet is instrumental in destroying creativity, profitability and choice – this report illustrates how far off the mark this thinking is. Video didn’t kill the radio star; radio didn’t reduce the life span of songs; record players didn’t destroy our love of live music and the Internet certainly hasn’t ruined the entertainment industry for performers and artists.”

“Rights holders can still embrace change and exploit new distribution platforms, but they can’t do that without modifying their thinking – as Albert Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

The report was also cited in a separate article published last week by John Stanton, chief executive of the Communications Alliance, a telecommunications industry group which represents iiNet, amongst other telcos. Stanton wrote for Voice and Data that the Sky is Rising report found that the content market was “booming”. “The report describes a “renaissance era” in creative industries where the only players really threatened are the traditional “middle men” who have controlled distribution and artists’ revenue for decades, but now increasingly find themselves sidelined by new online distribution models,” wrote Stanton.

Dalby and Stanton appear to be broadly correct in what they are saying about the content industry. When you look at the popularity of digital content models such as Apple’s iTunes, Valve’s Steam, Sony’s PlayStation Network, Amazon’s Kindle store, Netflix’s movie store and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 platform, it becomes very hard to argue that there are not substantial opportunities for content creators in the year 2012, despite the continuing levels of Internet piracy on the Internet.

There have been countless commentators (including myself) who have called for the content industry (generally, the middlemen in the equation, such as film studios and distributors) to stop pursuing legal action against its customers and to start exploring legal avenues for consumers to get access to their content. It is time that the industry stopped trying to hold onto the past and started trying to do what its customers want. When it does so, it just may find that those customers buy a lot more of its content than it expected.

The extensive nature of my Steam games library and my daily habit of purchasing songs on iTunes and eBooks from Amazon would certainly suggest so.


  1. Content industry incumbents beligerently ignore the opportunities inherent in this new digital age at the risk of ultimate irrelevance – pushback from both sides, artists themselves and ‘consumers’ (otherwise known as, you know, people who appreciate and like to enjoy artistic creations) has steadily increased year-on-year, with more independent music and film releases over ever more experimental distribution platforms, while so-called ‘piracy’ continues its inexorable torrent of content to disillusioned and frustrated fans who are unable to enjoy the content they desire in a reasonable manner (high quality, without an unreasonable delay, at appropriate and predictable times, without being constantly interrupted with advertising (often inappropriate to the content).

    If large content owners are incapable or unwilling to provide new, reasonable and innovative distribution platforms that give consumers timely access to high quality content at a reasonable cost, while providing fairer, more equitable share of profits and royalties to the creative artists who actually MAKE the content in the first place, someone else WILL come along and do it for them. Just look at iTunes. And Microsoft have been trying to weasel their way into a middle-man content distribution provider for years (Windows Vista was designed around this premise, but they’re finally hitting closer to the mark with XBox). More companies with deep pockets will keep throwing themselves at this problem until a dominant player emerges, because the prize is so huge. Whoever ends up top dog is actually very unlikely to be an incumbent content provider, because they’re simply not agile or creative enough. The future of business in the new digital world is those who can innovate and adapt the fastest.

  2. Renai,

    While it is clear you have a perticular persuasion when dealing with these matters – you need to excise your same level of scepticism as you do when dealing with the anti-piracy groups research reports (which you have happily criticised a number of times).

    A quick look at the basic data in the ‘Sky is Rising’ report will quickly reveal the data is not all what it seems. The Bureau of Labor statistics classifies entertainment quite widely, including things such as hardware, pet food, and boats. It then interchangeably uses content with entertainment to justify the claim that expenditure is on the up. This is never highlighted nor acknowledged by the report. The fact you have correctly acknowledged that it was essentially written by TechDirt who are widely known for their political beliefs should have raised flags as to its partisanship and should increase scrutiny.

    the assumption completely underpins the reports findings. I understand you look favourably on iiNet and iiNets position – that’s fine, and that’s your prerogative – but a little balance wouldn’t go astray and not taking everything said at face value. The same way you have rightly taken the time to question other reports, as journalists should – not merely accepting it because it fits the political belief.

      • Renai,

        As per my previous comment, I dug out the glossary for the BLS (http://www.bls.gov/cex/csxgloss.htm#enter) which is below. As you will see, the data is so broad that decline in one area can easily be encompassed by spend in another.

        It does include money spent on content, but it is only one part of the government definition so as to render to analogy between content = entertainment completely void.

        Between Dalby’s ‘bog’ and Stanton’s article, it would seem both were so keen to jump on this report that they didn’t take note of the data within it.

        As I stated in my first post, equal critique is required of both types of reports – which you seem to have taken on board:

        “I think when it comes to these kind of reports, the truth is often somewhere in the middle ;)”

        Bureau Labor Statistics:
        Fees and admissions includes fees for participant sports; admissions to sporting events, movies, concerts, and plays; health, swimming, tennis and country club memberships; fees for other social, recreational, and fraternal organizations; recreational lessons or instruction; rental of movies, and recreation expenses on trips.

        Television, radio, and sound equipment includes television sets, video recorders, video cassettes, tapes, discs, disc players, video game hardware, video game cartridges, cable TV, radios, phonographs, tape recorders and players, sound components, records, compact discs, and tapes (including records, compact discs, and tapes purchased through mail order clubs), musical instruments, and rental and repair of TV and sound equipment.

        Pets, toys, hobbies, and playground equipment includes pets, pet food, pet services, veterinary expenses, etc.; toys, games, hobbies, and tricycles; and playground equipment.

        Other entertainment equipment and services includes indoor exercise equipment, athletic shoes, bicycles, trailers, purchase and rental of motorized campers and other recreational vehicles, camping equipment, hunting and fishing equipment, sports equipment (winter, water, and other), boats, boat motors and boat trailers, rental of boats, landing and docking fees, rental and repair of sports equipment, photographic equipment and supplies (film and film processing), photographer fees, repair and rental of photo equipment, fireworks, and pinball and electronic video games.

    • In the latest year I could find figures for, 2010, world wide movie revenues rose 8%. http://articles.latimes.com/2011/feb/24/business/la-fi-0224-ct-mpaa-stats-20110224

      In 2011 music sales dropped by 3%. http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=1842614 All things being equal you would expect a drop during the transition from CD to online. If you look at that link what they call “physical format sales” (I presume that means CD) dropped 8% from the previous year but still dominates at 69% of the total . So the decline still has a while to go. In the mean time the transition is happening – digital sales grew by about 6.7% in 2011.

      Translation: the movies are doing just fine. Music publishing has just had its business model ripped out from under its feet by Apple, but it in a surprise turn of events is going to survive the transition smaller but intact.

      And as for the rights holders criticising figures – you’ve gotta be kidding me. Their figures on the losses from piracy have become the butt of jokes. In some cases they have exceed world wide GDP. http://blog.ted.com/2012/03/20/the-numbers-behind-the-copyright-math/ You might not like Dalby’s definitions, but at least they are based on something real.

      • No they are not. See why in various posts in this thread.
        Fact is, I don’t like the RIAA’s figures, nor Dalby’s (via Masnick/Techdirt).
        The sad thing is the ordinary creative workers stuck in the middle of these two extremes.

        • @Russell Stuart at least they are based on something real.

          @muso1- No they are not. See why in various posts in this thread.

          You don’t like some of the definitions they used. I’m fine with them personally. They are based on the assumption that a person has limited budget and time to spend on entertainment. They can spent it on music, or they can spend it on video games, or they can spend it on hardware to play the stuff, or they can spend it browsing facebook, or they can watch the free trailer on youtube, or they can go to a live show, or … lots of things. The point the report is making is there are lots more options now, and when you combine them all people are spending more on entertainment than they used to – way more.

          However my point was the figures they used are real. For the most of them they give you the sources. They haven’t plucked figures out of the air.

          The rights holders have long history of literally pulling figures out of their arse. The most common one is revenue lost per piracy event, but the more creative ones include multiplier effects as well. Those sorts of figures have been used to justify a $250,000 fine per song downloaded in the US. If has got to the point that a reasonable person simply can not take anything the rights holders say a face value. Hint: you have a real image problem once organisations like “The Pirate Party” and “Torrent Freak” are more reliable sources of information than your press releases.

          • I think you are missing the point.
            The point in The Sky Is Rising is NOT that consumers now have a myriad of choices to spend their entertainment dollars. The point The Sky Is Rising tries to make is that content creators are making a ton of money, and therefore are lying when they say they are not.
            So this is why the ‘ton of income’ they attribute to content industries has to be analyzed.
            And it turns out they included any leisure pursuit, many of which have NOTHING to do with creating content.

          • hmmm hey Muso1 when reading your comment, I thought I should raise an issue.

            I have to first say I didn’t read this particular report, however, from reading many other reports and analysis on report, what is somewhat known that the most money is made by studios and major publishers not the actual creators of the content. Only a small percentage of those, the really big ones, that make the big money, the rest of creators make money, but not much and subsidise it by other things, e.g. doing live shows for music.

            With software for example, the big money is going to Apple for apps on iGadgets and now desktops too. Microsoft is going the same way with their own app store, wonder if their cut will also be 30%. Good luck with your own… it will only get harder for niche market sellers that can’t rely on economies of scale.

          • Thanks.
            In music software, most of the money is going directly to the creators.
            It’s a relatively new business (since mid-90’s) and many companies are privately run by the people who first created the product – Ableton, Native Instruments, Zero-G, Loopmasters, Toontrack, FXpansion for example/
            In recorded music, yes in the past the main labels made the most money, but they also invested money upfront in artists.
            I’m most concerned with independent artists and very small labels. They are still frequently pirated.

          • So Muso1, assuming you have some interest in the brands you mention above could you perhaps explain why the Australian retail pricing is so much higher than overseas?
            For example FXpansion BFD2; UK Price 175GBP (inc 20% VAT) convert to Australian dollars and add GST it comes to A$239. Australian RRP is $349. That’s a 30% markup just for transporting boxes, all support is handled by FXpansion themselves (which isn’t a bad thing, they do an excellent job.)

            As a middle-man can you explain why you deserve such a large cut of the pie for such a simple task?

            You don’t create the software and I’m sure your buy price is considerably lower than the RRP – why do distributors deserve a bigger slice of the pie than the creators?

            Which is the case in the music industry in general of course…

          • I’m a drummer. I’m not a distributor or a middle man.
            You can buy the product I linked to (EZdrummer) as a download from any of the cheapest online sellers (usually American) and enjoy full support from Toontrack.
            As a consumer I can’t stand the markups, other than the extra 10% GST.

  3. “A quick look at the basic data in the ‘Sky is Rising’ report will quickly reveal the data is not all what it seems”

    A quick look at the basic data submitted as “evidence” by the M.P.A.A. provided by organizations on their payroll which equates to one pirated copy as a lost sale is somewhat disingenuous or B.S. if you prefer yet the so called “data” is still being propagated by the studious.

  4. small typo correction Renai – tho it did make me laugh! you have in the 9th paragraph, Dalbys ‘bog post’ hehehe might want to fix that one :)

  5. I’m more than very, very skeptical about Techdirt. Having said that, as a content creator myself I pull my hair out at the efforts the RIAA and MPAA have made to communicate the issue, and have made to deal with the issue. The trouble is, many of us independents are stuck in the middle.
    On The Sky Is Rising….
    Some pretty fair minded and intelligent commentators have been fairly scathing. First the study was funded by the tech lobby. Second, I believe they counted music instrument sales and even the sale of iPods as increased income for the music content industry.
    Masnick has a very strong opinion on the music industry and the way content is delivered. So for me it’s like asking a turkey to write an unbiased report on Christmas.
    I’m an iiNet customer and have been willing to see their side of the debate as fairly as i can. However, after recent lows in their commentary on piracy, citing The Sky Is Rising in a new blog is plumbing depths I hoped weren’t possible.
    I have my own music software heavily pirated, despite it being fairly priced and available for instant download 24/7/365. I also have independent musician friends who pay for their own recordings, and distribute online themselves. And their work is pirated to the point that they barely cover their recording costs. If iiNet and it’s leadership could spare a thought for the independent content creators, and show a little more sympathy it wouldn’t be a bad thing. Maybe they could help us, you never know.

    • “I’m more than very, very skeptical about Techdirt”…

      Well, colour me shocked, surprised, nay, gob smacked…

    • “I have my own music software heavily pirated, despite it being fairly priced and available for instant download”…


  6. I’ve not yet read this report, so I won’t even try commenting on the validity, but your comment somewhere here sounds about right Renai- The truth is usually somewhere between the MPAA/AFACT and iinet.

    The fact of the matter is this- I’ve begun earning a decent wage. Before I did, there were a number of times when buying a music album or a new game was somewhat beyond my means as a regularity and I did use clients like BitTorrent and eMule to get content. I also GREATLY dislike iTunes, as I use windows computers and doing ANYTHING on iTunes on windows is an exercise in wading through treacle. (it’s not even that great on Mac….). So my options have always been VERY limited for content. Before 2009, it was only Bigpond for decent quality music and forget VOD (except for catchup services). Quickflix didn’t START streaming before 2010.

    Now, with a reasonable wage, I’m finding myself LOOKING for legitimate sites to get music, video and gaming. Steam is obviously good for games (and usually competitively priced too) or even Dungeon Crawl if I want decent priced physical copies. Bigpond is STILL the only REAL competitor to iTunes and iTunes has gotten even WORSE for speed, even though I have a faster computer!

    Today, I used zDigital on my One XL to download a half dozen songs while on the move. It was fast, cheap and VERY convenient. Just type in the name, click the right result preview to check it’s the one you want and hit buy. Done in 2 mins. The frustrating thing, is that zDigital DOESN’T have all the songs I want. So, I thought, I’ll use BPM (Bigpond Music (mobile))…..nope, no dice. For some reason, after YEARS of Telstra enabling music downloads direct to phones…..now you CAN’T on BPM. Oh, you can download the “ringtone” (for $4.95!!!) or the music video (usually more than $3.00)….and yet not the track itself??? In fact apparently I’ve “downloaded” 2 music videos and a ringtone and been CHARGED, but I never got them….

    THIS is what is so frustrating. Australia FINALLY has access to some decent speeds (well, on mobile anyway….NBN awaiting…..) and yet the content provision isn’t there. Sure, I can go to Bigpond Music normal site on my phone….and THAT is enough to have you chewing your knuckles off in frustration as you try to hit the right tiny buttons….And movies? Well, on Android…..Google Play. Quickflix, if you’ve got an S3 (hopefully the rest of Android soon) That’s it pretty much. And their offerings at the moment are WOEFUL (particularly Play) AND the bitrates are generally pretty ordinary- below that of a DVD. I’ve got this BRILLIANT phone that is supposed to be able to be my all-purpose media player, with FULL 1080p HDMI out…..and nothing to use it with….I’m going away this weekend and want to have some movies to watch at the hotel in Sydney…..so I’ve either gotta convert my TV recordings for Android or….go rent a DVD. What is this, 2003??

    Until the provisioning changes consumers are only going to be frustrated and frustrated consumers vote with their money. ie they chose NOT to pay any, considering I can’t even GET Stargate on iTunes and it’s been FINISHED for 4 years! The providers need to wake up and smell the digital meadows- consumers are getting used to having access to their own media and content everywhere and they WANT access to the media they DON’T have everywhere as well. Piracy will never completely abate. But if you give people the choice, 9/10 will pay if it’s reasonably priced, convenient and fast.

    • Agreed.
      There are 3 types of people.
      The first type are going to pirate no matter what they do, and there is nothing they can do unless they follow legal action on each individual case. This is not really feasible due to the time and money it would take.
      The next type are those who buy the media whether it be hard copies or digital.
      The 3rd type are those in between. Generally they would buy the media but something is stopping them. This is generally each cost or availability. This is the target market that needs to be focused on, not the first.

      Digital distribution is the way things are going, and there is nothing they can do about it, no matter how much they try. The sooner they move in on it, the better it will be for both the seller and the consumer.

    • “But if you give people the choice, 9/10 will pay if it’s reasonably priced, convenient and fast.”

      Music software is all of those things but 9/10 people aren’t paying.
      Convenience and fast access are measurable, but the problem is ‘reasonably priced’. The price is in good part determined by the cost of production. You can’t sell music software or songs below the cost of production or your career becomes unsustainable very quickly.
      Consumers generally seem to have a low estimate of cost in their minds, the content creators are more realistic.
      There are both free and convenient ways to access music software and music (illegally). But it’s like Woolworths underselling milk or petrol. The end result is to drive out competition and dominate the market. Honest businesses that abide by employment laws are being driven out of the music industry by pirate sites that pay no one.

      • “reasonably priced, convenient and fast.”

        “Music software is all of those things but 9/10 people aren’t paying.”

        Reasonably priced is market dependent. How many muso’s have the spare cash to drop on music software?

        All the muso’s I know – that try to play music as a living – aren’t living the high life. The only ones with the discretionary income to spend on software; would probably choose to spend it on a new piece of equipment, if they can get the (your?) software for free (via piracy) they take the opportunity cost that gets them more for less. (ie buy a new amp, instead of that software you can get free).

        It’s wrong, don’t misunderstand me, I just feel like everything is more complicated than often portrayed.

        The pirates often portray the content industries efforts as crap, when often they are fine – but slightly to the side of what a porential-customer would prefer, and the content industry often screams the sky is falling, when the sky is more likely shifting sideways and expanding (not always expanding in their direction).

        Regarding your software muso, perhaps you could try some form of DRM? (I am assuming you have none). Customers aren’t against DRM, (see Steam as an example), they are against DRM that is unnecesarily cumbersome.
        Perhaps in-app advertising for non paying customers? Signed (somehow unique to each customer) binaries to keep track of who released your software online?

        • I think you are right.
          But what you are describing is people saving money on things they can get away with taking, while paying for things they’ll likely get caught for taking.
          That’s not a great society is it?

          • Of course the Music and other content industry have done that in the past are doing it now and will likely continue to do it into the future.

      • ‘Music software is all of those things but 9/10 people aren’t paying’

        Can you show me some evidence of that? As far as I know, profits to the music industry have not dropped 90%. In fact they are still (overall between physical and digital) increasing. I am not saying Piracy is not a problem, but I’m sorry, I have not yet seen ANY INDEPENDENT data which corroborates, what you appear to make out (i’m sorry if its not, but this is the way your writing comes across) is the apocalypse of the music industry.

        I understand that independent musicians are struggling. I know and am friends with several who are, but this has ALWAYS been the case. Music is a fickle business. It is VERY subjective and, in some cases, I’m sure people pirate what they don’t believe is good enough or don’t like enough to buy. The Indie music scene has THRIVED since the introduction of the internet. Does that mean it couldn’t be better? Of course not.

        I’m sorry, but you’ve not given any argument that has convinced me that the piracy of music, in particular, is so catastrophically bad, we’re going to lose our independent music scene. I know many musicians who believe they’re gods gift to music. I’m not saying all are like this, in ANY circumstance, but it IS an attitude, particularly in arts, that I’ve come across a lot. Will there be people who quit music as a living because of piracy? Yes. But just as many will quit because people don’t like their music, so I’m sorry, but this is, IMO, just another shift in the way that the music industry works.

        It happened with radio, it happened with TV, it happened with CD’s and now It’s happening with the internet. Should we simply allow piracy to run rampant?? No! But I’m sorry, piracy is not the only threat to the music industry we have. Gouging record companies are just as bad.

        • Do you have ANY INDEPENDENT data to prove piracy isn’t damaging small labels and independent musicians?

          • I’m sorry muso1, but simply using the “well if you don’t have any, why should I provide any?” argument is not convincing.

            I’m trying to meet halfway here, but I happen to agree with much of what iinet is doing. It is unfair to hold them to account for every users actions. It would be the equivalent of a supermarket being blamed every time a knife of theirs was used to kill a human instead of cutting something. It is not illegal to buy a knife, or use one, but it is illegal to kill someone with it. Or even hurt someone. Piracy is just alot easier and “friendlier”. THAT’s the difference. And it’s considered a misdemeanour, compared to murder or grievous bodily harm.

            I’m not advocating piracy, I’m saying that there are NUMEROUS ways to fight it, INCLUDING both those that iinet DON’T agree with and also the ones the content providers don’t that iinet want. So far, it has been very one sided, ISP’s volunteering information on a “3 Strikes” basis (which doesn’t work because of IP obfuscation) or being “required” to provide information by laws, which has now been given up in the states. The “ideas” the content industry have come up with, so far, have failed. And yet most aren’t willing to entertain other ones.

            I’m sorry that Piracy is affecting you so badly. But I would truly like to know how you believe getting the ISP to provide you with the IP address so you can try and sue those who ARE pirating your work, would actually achieve anything? Considering most claimants would simply settle out of court and you would most likely end up paying more out than you got in, to the lawyers. They’re the ultimate winners here.

            Do you have another idea to put forward to try and curb Piracy?

          • The whole thread is about Steve Dalby’s claim the content industry is booming, and could be doing even better if it ‘got with the program’.
            I’m complaining about that gross misrepresentation, not complaining about iiNet’s policies.
            I would personally like Mr Dalby to stop distributing blatant propaganda, and start thinking about the individual people that piracy affects.
            iiNet, Telstra, Optus, they all benefit from content. My belief is that if there is no money in content creation, and no feeling of being valued, the quality of content will worsen. That’s not good for consumers, or iiNet.

          • I don’t disagree with that. But that’s not different from saying a politician should think about the individual families their policy affects. Or that CEO’s should think about the employees their redundancies affect.

            It doesn’t actually help until we have something that will HELP them see how these people are affected. Or, better yet, that might actually STOP these people being affected.

  7. I Would have signed up with Spotify if they didn’t enforce Facebook signup, apparently they have $130 odd dollar a year subscription (What no PayPal/Amazon/etc?).

    I would do the same if there was all you can eat with HD 720/1080 streaming/downloadable DRM free subscriptions for TV/Movies/Doccos (an example of like $230 a year).

    $130 + $230 = $560 = $30 per month from every user if both types of subscriptions were checked.

  8. This article overlooks the big issue of the new middleman, the webmasters that get rich off of advertising by exploiting not just music but photos, videos, writing, etc, and not sharing that income with the creators. Kim Dotcom skimmed $175 million. That money certainly did not go to anybody but himself. And he was just one of many. This article appear to be cover for these sleazy, unethical distribution businesses. Is this to be the future of the internet?

    • Joe, all that does is highlight just how inefficiane the current distribution model is and how it loads up the ‘cost’ of content by having to pay all the middle men. The Mega Upload case can show you straight away how efficient the content delivery system could be if the content industry would just embrace digital distribution.

  9. Mr Dalby – how successful is iiNet’s creative, imaginative and legitimate content service ‘FetchTV’? Surely if you believed what you say, FetchTV would be a resounding success?

    But it’s not, is it? And the vast majority of traffic across iiNet’s network remains pirate BT traffic.

    – you’ve won your court case,
    – you still collect revenue from providing data that is primarily used (in terms of volume) for piracy without having to take on any responsibility for that
    – no legal action has been taken against any p2p pirate in Australia, and
    – you still refuse to take part (on any voluntary basis) in any graduated response style regime

    So what’s your beef? I know it’s not the perpetual quest for the betterment of the world. It’s that you want more $.

    Your real problem is that iiNet haven’t been able to negotiate the sort of commercial arrangements you’d like to with the content providers that you continue to malign. And that iiNet hasn’t yet become the new content middleman it would so dearly like to be.

    • Traffic does not equate to profit. Heavy users (such as those who make use of torrenting services) often carry far, far smaller a profit margin than light users on smaller plans because they have a tendency to use up every last bit of their allocated quota every month.

      The argument that an ISP profits from piracy is a false one.

      • Odd comment. I thought ISPs were unaware that users were pirating using torrents. So how would you know it wasn’t the lighter users doing the piracy?

      • I’m not sure that I said piracy = profit for ISPs. But I would say:

        – that the majority of data that passes through iiNet’s network is pirated content;
        – that iiNet is in the business of providing access to data;
        – that iINet is profitable.

        You can make your own conclusions from those facts.

        • hmmmm you are committing or at least propagating a fallacy here. There is an error in reasoning that renders those facts that you wrote as a group as an argument that is logically invalid.

          Each one of the facts you list is at face value look true, however, the correlation that you imply between them are very very thin if even none existent.

          • @Resin- Gotta agree with Geo:

            – What data do you have that says the majority of iinet’s data is piracy?

            – What part of iinet’s business specifically creates access to data and, by followthrough, creates access to piracy? (they allow access to the internet at large, which includes piracy- also porn….lots of porn)

            – What data do you have that says iinet’s supply of internet access and quota to download for pirates, is the profitable part? I would say the highest average tier with the lowest average use are the most profitable- ie. not pirates, who would use the VAST majority of their quota.

            Sorry Resin, but if you want to make arguments that black and white, you have to be prepared to back them up somehow and I don’t see how you can??

          • i haven’t made any arguments – I’ve just stated a series of facts for which you may draw your own conclusions (like I said).

          • Except you haven’t listed “facts” Resin. As I said, WHAT evidence do you have that iinet’s majority of traffic is piracy??

            If that “fact” falls over, which I think you’ll find it does, then the other 2 “facts” have little relevance to piracy’s affect on iinet as a business.

            Listing “facts” as you have draws people towards making the conclusion iinet is only profitable because of piracy, which is, quite simply, false. If you want to list facts, list them as facts, not skewed towards a pre-drawn conclusion.

          • ok, sorry. I just assumed it was a commonly accepted fact. But here you go, from the pirate horse’s mouth:

            “iiNet chief executive officer Michael Malone agreed with plaintiff barrister for the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft Tony Bannon that he would “expect or guess that half or more than half of traffic by volume across his company’s network is BitTorrent traffic”.


          • @Resin: Congratulations. You have proven…..that a lot of people use BitTorrent.

            There are HUNDREDS of uses for BitTorrent other than Piracy. I myself use it to get old game patches. A friend of mine builds Linux Distros…..guess how he distributes them?….

            See what we mean? The media has jumped to a conclusion that ALL BitTorrent traffic is Piracy. That is simply NOT the case. Is a large portion of it? Yes, but a larger portion of the internet is porn. Does that mean everybody accesses it then, seeing as it makes up a lot of traffic??

            Please Resin, do some critical thinking about these sorts of things. Don’t just regurgitate what you’ve been told by those who may or may not have an agenda.

          • you’re kidding yourself if you think that the vast, vast majority of bittorrent traffic is anything other than copyright infringing content…….

            Perhaps think for a second as to what would happen to iiNet’s revenues if online piracy was put an end to today? I reckon their customer service centre would be flat out for weeks as customers moved to smallest data plans possible.

            But we can agree to disagree though and leave it at that.

          • @Resin

            P2P sites were around before piracy was a major issue. There are still very legitimate uses OTHER than piracy. I do not dispute that a large, large portion of BitTorrent traffic is piracy. But not all of it. And therefore not all of the ‘almost half’ of BitTorrent traffic across iinet is then, by default, piracy.

            Also, again, you’re assuming the largest quota plans make up the highest profitability. Seeing as only about 10% of people make up the VAST majority of traffic of an ISP (it was said by iinet, but I can’t find it at the moment), I’d say it would be a BIG stretch to say that 10% is what makes them profitable. I’d say in fact It’s the 85% who use, on average, about 15% of their quota (latest OECD figures) but pay for much more.

        • iiNet makes more money from people who buy a large quota and then don’t use it. People who use all of their quota (by your logic, pirates) are less profitable.

  10. Web companies and telcos would like to control content distribution. This is a stated aim of mega corps like Apple, Facebook and Google.
    I can’t stand iTunes either, and I’m a music professional. I keep coming across blind spots, where iTunes doesn’t have a song I’m looking for, or only has a recent ‘remix’ (ruined) of an 80’s classic.
    I don’t pirate, so I go without.
    The sad fact is most musicians are powerless in the war between tech and content industries. So as an independent muso it’s really sad to see iiNet promoting such blatant propaganda.
    In the end, I’m not persuaded on ubiquity, price and quality.
    A music software product I’m involved in is widely acclaimed, is reasonably priced, and is easy to download. But it’s also very popular on the torrent sites. It retails for $89, but is often available for $39 to $59 in our competitive market. $39 is too much for people who prefer free though.

  11. “A music software product I’m involved in is widely acclaimed, is reasonably priced, and is easy to download. But it’s also very popular on the torrent sites. It retails for $89, but is often available for $39 to $59 in our competitive market. $39 is too much for people who prefer free though”.


      • Speaking purely as a consumer… I’m happy to pay for any music/movies that I want to watch, but I won’t put up with any bs in obtaining it… This basically makes me a huge pirate, I guess, even though I spend quite a lot on music/movies/tvshows.

        If a band has a website, where I can send them some money and download their music I’m more than happy to do so. If a record company has some random website, that tries to give me the run-around and is more focused on getting my personal details and making ad revenue off me… I’ll say no.

        If I find out about a movie/show I would like to see I’ll happily pay for a download… provided they’re not trying to screw me with DRM and odd formats. If they are trying to screw me with anti-piracy rubbish or pointless delays, I’ll pirate instead.

        In the near future I’ll probably be googling season 2 of Game of Thrones. If it hasn’t finished airing, I’m not interested… If it has finished and isn’t available for download or on blu-ray, I’ll pirate it. Simple as that, my money is available for content creators, but if they choose to let piracy be the best distributor of content that they’ve created, then they’re clearly the ones that have failed. It’s not like the pirates are breaking into studios stealing hard copies of fresh content…

        The only industries that should be crying foul over digital distribution (legal or illegal) are the middle men… Cinemas, video shops, music shops, CD factories, distributors etc…
        The only people that need piracy are broke students and hardcore cheapskates. There’s still plenty of consumers out there, but when someone is waving money at you to try and get your content, and you tell them to piss off, come back in 6 months… You miss out on the sale. We’ve moved past the 30’s, there’s competition now.

        This problem is like a decade old and isn’t really a problem, the world is just waiting for the dinosaurs in control to die out….

        I love drunken ranting =D

      • I write software too. People pirate it. Lots of people. But people buy it as well, and frankly I’m more concerned about making sure my paying customers are happy than I am about stopping every single last freeloader. The fact is, even if you priced your software at $1 or 1c there will still be people who download the free version off a torrent site.

        Should you just throw your hands in the air and admit defeat? Of course not, but you also need to recognize that it’s just physically impossible to kill torrenting, no matter how much you bluster, sue your users and lobby governments. You need to come up with a model that works with consumers.

        For my next project, I’ll be releasing the entire product completely free. I’ve put hundreds of hours into making it and spent thousands of dollars. Why would I give it away for free? Well, for one this way I get complete control over the distribution (if the main product is free anyway, what point in torrenting?). That means I have a better relationship with all of my users. Secondly, people will still give you money if you ask in the right way (donations don’t usually work, but in-product advertising and for-pay add-ons do).

        Could I make more money by charging up-front? Maybe. But I’m willing to give a new model a go, rather than just complaining on the internet to everybody and nobody.

        • How do you put food on the table and pay your bills if you are giving your software product away.
          (serious question)

          • “Secondly, people will still give you money if you ask in the right way (donations don’t usually work, but in-product advertising and for-pay add-ons do).”

          • Yes, I already read that, but I wanted to know specifics.
            The majority of people giving away their product are earning their income from other jobs – like the many people who program freeware and open source.

          • I actually make most of my money from consulting, tangentially related to the software I write.

  12. One thing that rights holders don’t think about is quality of the movies and music
    The movie quality is poor with no really good movies beig made or they are all the same genre ie fairy tails like snow white
    Music also only one song will be good the rest rubbish so who wants to spend 30 dollars plus for crap albums .
    They really need to look at what is being produced before they say pirates are causing lost sales.
    They are causing it themselves with old outdated models of production nd loss of being in tune with consumers .
    You can generally purchase a DVD from the USA in some cases long before it is shown in cinemas .
    Also the cost tickets at the cinema.
    You take madagascar3 if you have a family of 5 and you take them you can easterly drop 300 dollars for the night.
    Where as you get a DVD copy on hire later for 1.50 in some places
    I know what I would take

    • “Music also only one song will be good the rest rubbish so who wants to spend 30 dollars plus for crap albums .”

      That’s so subjective.
      You are free to buy one song only now anyway.
      Only liking a few songs on an album is not an excuse to pirate it any more. But the songs you like, and don’t buy the ones you don’t.

      • How about those that don’t want to buy threw iTunes
        At any point did I say that downloading it was an option.
        No I just pointed out that the price and what was being produced was also a symptom.
        My son said what is point in purchasing an album on the basis of 2 songs to find out the rest is rubbish
        Most of the time you only get 2 songs off an album heard any way
        And even when I bought records only to find 2/3 rds of the music is crap
        Produce good songs and maybe people would change their habits
        Still more musos in the pond
        30 years ago only had super bands
        You had3 billion people
        And you worked at your music
        Today 7 billion
        every man and his dog with a doof doof machine is a wannabe star.
        YouTube has seen to that.
        Tv reality shows churning out stars like a factory only to have a new flavor each week.
        Here today gone tomorow
        All in the name of money money money not art
        4000 dollars these days and you can get found for 15 seconds of fame

        • So to agree with you, there has never been more product available. Easier access for innovative, talented artists to put their record out (DIY, Soundloud, Bandcamp). It’s never been cheaper to buy.
          And yet you seem to think it’s harder to find quality.

          So maybe ten years of pirating isn’t the goose that laid the golden egg after all?

          • May be being 51 years old and having seen the music scene change from all genre threw the 70’s 80’s 90’s and so on is a little voice of choice.
            Let’s see old school bands making come backs and out selling today’s artist.
            Gee can’t see why they did it with out the Internet why should musos have a free ride today .
            Why should musos have protection and think they are worth the money they think they are due no sorry your in a shark tank and it’s a feeding frenzy produce GOOD quality no electronic music with thought and just maybe I would listen.
            No doof doof no electronic voice enhansment no holding a note up and down.
            No screaming no rap repedative lyrics
            Then just then people may listen.
            Music attained the peak at the end of the 90’s then just became teen bs pop with movies aimed at teens why
            Because that is where the money is

          • Original pink Floyd dark side of the moon quadraphonic album with all the overs
            Ah don’t make them like that anymore

          • No one has a free ride.
            We’re all happy to compete with legally free, just not illegally free.
            If you don’t support the artists you want to hear, then it’s no surprise they are disappearing.

          • i said it before will say it again
            product quality music that i can listen to then i would support
            as it is your targting a small market
            as said
            40 years go 3 billion people
            today 7 billion people
            you have to fight in the tank ith others that want b big
            not my fault that musis cant make it today
            quality is the word
            every body with a pc and software can make music
            problem is your compeating wil millions of others.
            and none appeal to me that is why i dont support today.

            but i do like amy whinehouse stuff
            and some lady gag is not bad
            but the rap crap is not music just angry men venting their spleens at the world thinking they are owed something!
            boy bands keep em should have ben culled back 10 years ago

          • Quality music by who’s standard dave? Every generation has rubbish, but as the next generation gets going, the rubbish gets left behind. You cant tell me that the music you grew up with didnt have bad artists making money as well…

            As you say, its subjective. You dont like rap, plenty do. Enough that there is a market for it, and recognised as worthy enough to win oscars – Eminem did with Lose Yourself.

            There’s plenty of music today I dont particularly like, but that doesnt mean it doesnt have a market.

            You mention the change from 3 billion people to 7 billion. Very good point. Take it a step further, and 40 years ago you were really targetting maybe a few hundred million of that 3 billion, not the entire population.

            It was only the biggest artists in the world that would break into Russia, or China, or Japan, the rest catered fro a small portion. Now, those boundaries no longer exist. YouTube alone means you potentially have that entire 7 billion population that you can market to.

            So someone like Justin Beiber only has to get his face recognised through some global method (in his case, YouTube), and suddenly his market is bigger than anything the Beatles, Elvis, or Rolling Stones could ever hope to hit at their prime. Sad, but true.

            So the industry has changed since we were kids. So has the music. Pick a random year from your era and go have a look at what songs were successful that year. You’ll see plenty that you wouldnt listen to now, but appealed to you at the time. Its no different now.

  13. Somewhere over the week-end I read an article I can only paraphrase.

    Some Person/Group had just produced their own LP/CD and have chosen to distribute it themselves via the internet. The article mentioned that after covering costs that in the first fortnight have pocketed more money than any Professional/Mob was offering! (Get real Rights’ Holders).

    Who is doing the paniking, the studios and/or record shops and movie theatres?

    At a time when the two newspaper mobs in Oz have admitted that the old model cannot survive and publicly choosing to announce the loss of many thousand jobs to change their models. No thought of all the newsagents not handling the morning news any more; they are left to make their own models for survival!

    These precious Rights Folks who possibly have high IQ’s and choose to use only a small amount on a nasty vendetta really should apply themselves with their suppressed bits of IQ and develop something relative to this Centuary.

    Who are the biggest non movers? Ozzy retailers or Rights’ Holders!

    Thanks for your time.

    Tis really time for the

    The Model that Rights’ Holders are hanging to is simply not sustainable.

    • Musicians have adapted.
      I think you’ll find many musicians ARE panicking.
      You really think we want to waste our time arguing about piracy instead of making music? No.
      There is a big financial issue for ordinary musicians, or you wouldn’t be seeing us talking about it all the time.

          • Makes you wonder why you ever made anything for the tossers. I know it does for me. The internet has done much and one is to show you what dickheads most of your customers are.

  14. More digging on The Sky Is Rising:

    #1 : This is not an academic study or serious scientific study. It is a tech / internet industry commissioned (CCIA) lobby report.

    #2 : The report falsely claims that the value of global music business grew from 130 billion to 160 billion. They do this by including iPod and music instrument sales. We are not joking about this!!

    #3: To claim that the entertainment business grew 50% they include revenues from computer and video games. Video gaming has exploded over the decade. And global gaming revenues are about 5x the size of global recorded music revenues. Console Gaming also has very robust DRM booting users off console networks if pirated or cracked copies are detected (Xbox, Playstation, Wii).

    #4 : Instead of showing the fact that gross recorded music revenues which have fallen over 50%, the report uses the number of transactions. Of course there are more transactions since a single album is now available by tracks which can contribute 10-15 times more “transactions.” Clearly the use of this metric is intended to deceive. This chart from The New York Times represents the actual facts.

    #5 : Number of tracks cataloged? Pointless. This is mostly hobbyists using Tunecore and CD baby to “release” their tracks. How do we know this? Of 75,000 albums released in 2010, 60K sold less than 100 copies. Here’s more info spelled out by Ted Cohen and Tom Silverman from a Midem Presentation.

    • I only care to discuss #5: All this tells me is people are either not happy with the quality of the content or the style of release. Maybe people don’t want to pay for 9 songs they wont listen to.

        • I’m intrigued to see what type of music creation software you talked about in many of your posts here. care to share with us a link to your legal download site to see what it is? Especially, since you say it is all over bittorrient. Do you by any chance have stats on how often is it being used (illegally?) i.e. do you have an activation feature within the software? or tracking its use?

          • Here is one of 3 products I’m involved in:

            You can download it legally and instantly and the price is frequently discounted to between $39 and $59 by several online retailers.

            If I simply google ‘EZX Vintage Rock’ right now I get returns from torrentreactor.net and torrentz.eu in the first 6 google results.

    • If people are spending money on video games, how can they also spend that money on music?

      You must include both or it doesn’t make sense.

      People don’t have infinite money, if they spend on video games instead it isn’t piracy killing the music industry, its video games.

      • The point of The Sky Is Rising is to claim the music industry are making more money than ever, not that we are losing customers to video games.

  15. @muso1 – The point The Sky Is Rising tries to make is that content creators are making a ton of money

    No, that’s not the point made in the report. It says revenues are rising for the industry as a whole. Rising revenues do not mean the industry is making a ton of money, let alone the content creators. That depends on how the pie is sliced and their business nous. Rising revenues do tell us something about piracy though, as every real dollar piracy robs means a dollar less in revenue.

    The one area revenues aren’t rising is music. There revenues are currently dropping at 3% per year. You are apparently blaming that on piracy. Yet in most (every?) other sub-category revenues are rising despite piracy and despite the onslaught of alternative forms of entertainment. In the mean time the music industry is uniquely going through a brutal technology transition. Revenue per song has been slashed, and every song I google has a free version plus a clip up on youtube. I am just waiting for the day for an app to appear that records every song you are listen to on the phones inbuilt FM receiver, and saves it to your personal library on the push of a button. Yet here you are claiming the bulk of your woes would apparently go away if we just eliminated piracy.

    No one is saying this technological change isn’t causing you loss of income and substantial pain. People who claim it is “your fault” or “you aren’t trying hard enough” are just plain wrong. But it is your nonetheless your problem and no one else’s. The world has changed and you are going to have to adjust. Adjusting by demanding the ISP’s prop up your industry by wearing the costs of policing piracy it just plain wrong on several fronts. Not only would it have almost no effect, it would be grossly unfair. Music only constitutes a tiny fraction of the traffic on the internet, yet here you are effectively asking everybody, including people who only use the internet for banking, to cross subsidise the music industry. If the music industry wants to stop piracy on the internet at the very least they should pay for whatever is involved. And that includes the due diligence in ensuring whoever they prosecute is the person who pirated the song, not the poor sod who happened to be paying for the IP address at the time who may be completely oblivious to what was happening.

    And finally while you have my sympathy, your position is by no means unique. Just ask Renai what he internet has done to journalists incomes and job prospects.

    • Nope.
      The point is the study includes non-content income, then says content industries are booming.

      On your last point. For me I’m most passionate about independent artists and very small labels. They are the most interesting, most innovative and IMO most vulnerable to piracy. How do those small units of one or two people police piracy? I don’t think they can.
      I’m not asking iiNet to do my job for me, I’m just asking for a helping hand, rather than the looking away.
      And I’ve never said ALL the decline in music revenue is down to piracy.

      • What utter bs music decline is not down to piracy
        That is a false statement prove some legitimate research that has been done by an independent study that is not linked in favor of the music industry.
        Cost and quality and amount is what is causing decline in sales
        With more artists putting out work you can only listen to so much or by so much.
        With 40 percent sounding the same not hard to go nope
        And more and more want to be stars and if everyone is trying who’s left to buy

        • “What utter bs music decline is not down to piracy”

          Prove it.

          If you wont agree to accept anything, anyone with any connection to the music industry says, you really are making it impossible for any of us to make our case.
          If you accept Woolworths can eliminate competition by offering identical products at below cost, what do you think happens to musicians when the same records (copied) flood every market via free filesharing sites?

          • muso1, you’re CONNECTED, with the music industry- part you’re not part of it at large.

            I’ve not seen anyone coming in here, being a musician themselves, for a living, saying that this piracy is ALL that is destroying their livelihood. Or did I miss a comment somewhere.

            Once again, I’m not advocating piracy, nor disputing it happens and results in profit loss. But can you truly point me to someone who’s failing business in making music is a direct result of piracy as its’ prime decline?

            We’re all talking about numbers that are HUGE. Billions and BILLIONS of dollars a year. You say you want to have iinet “look at the plight of the little guy”…..well, where IS the group of the little guy?? AFACT certainly aren’t about the little guy. Do we have thousands of musicians defending AFACT about their ideas? Surely ONE of them would be around on Delimiter. Musicians are a smart bunch generally, and I have musician friends that are techno geeks too. And yet, it’s only you who are coming to town defending AFACT? And yours is software ABOUT music, not music itself. Software piracy I would think (though I have no numbers) is MORE pervasive than music piracy for a start (higher relative price), so it’s no wonder you’re having difficulties. And yet we’re arguing about the music industry as a whole?

            AFACT aren’t ONLY about music either. In fact, ALOT of their big clients are the same clients of the MPAA. Movies. TV shows. Industries even BIGGER than music.

            This is not a simple black and white debate, so do you believe it can be simply black and white arguments??

          • Of course I’m a musician myself.
            I travel through those circles and most of my friends are musicians. I’ve been at this for thirty years.
            I got into music software as an extra income. All the sites like Techdirt keep shouting at me to adapt or die. I have, and the pirates have followed me – unrelenting.
            I came to Oz in 2005. I’m not working much here as a musician because the music scene is in the toilet.
            There are hundreds of small time bands in Melbourne. Most of the people in the electronica scene are doing full time jobs, as are most of the people running recording studios. The fulltimers I know make most money playing in cover bands (The Beatles tribute tours etc).
            The Aussie music scene is what the rest of the world music scene will become if rampant piracy continues IMHO.
            I disagree with the scare campaign the RIAA has run, but I have no time for technology propagandists either.
            the sad thing is the average joe musicians, songwriters and studio guys stuck in the middle, without the power to act.
            I have no power or money to carry out a wide reaching survey into musicians income. All I can point you to is the official figures, and tell you EVERYONE I know is against having their work taken from them without permission. And everyone I know is just hanging on financially, hoping something is going to change.

          • Amazing bitch about losing money yet you know cover bands that have to pay rights to the songs then why bother playing in a cover band .
            I said produce quality music then I would support
            Till then there is nothing that I haven’t heard or have in my own collection that I will listen to.
            To much techno to much rap to much teen beat to much boy bands
            That is what producers want don’t keep bitching about pirates when artists can’t get into the scene because promoters won’t look at them
            If they won’t make money they won’t listen
            So problem is producers and company’s not pirates.
            They hold artists back
            For every 20 bands 2 will make it for a day

          • What utter bs music decline is not down to piracy”

            Prove it.

            If you wont agree to accept anything, anyone with any connection to the music industry says, you really are making it impossible for any of us to make our case.

            prove that you lost a sale from some one downloading
            if they didnt want to pay .99 or 1.99 for one song you havent lost a sale
            because they wouldnt have bought it
            it is compleate BS that the whole industry keeps putting out this
            there are more people in the world and only so much can go around
            Digital sales have grown by more than 1,000% from 2004 to 2010, but overall global recorded music revenues have declined by 31% over the same period as piracy remains a critical issue.

          • also you have to satrt ith the recording industry
            they are the ones screwing the artists over not the pirates
            only the big wigs are the ones bitching about downloading
            what you miss out on 4-5 cents a song
            because some one downloaded a song
            itunes creams a lot off then the rightsholder
            so i can see that an artist is getting or missing out on 5 cents

  16. iinet will co-operate if you go through the proper and currently existing legal process and the court agrees. as an internet subscriber i want to make sure that my personal details are not handed over to just anyone who points a finger and jumps up and down.

    In the case of independant artists and small labels, they should market their music via modern channels. Get gigs and the like, run promotions, make people want to support them.

    Getting an innocent third party to foot the bill for investigation when their business is to supply a data connection is not fair on them.

    Heres an example of how things can work in this day and age.. time to adapt! Sure you may not have the money to put on a production like this. But, get thinking modern style and adapt.


  17. So many people seem to assume young independent artists and small indie labels aren’t marketing through ‘modern channels’.

    There is a simple fact you can’t escape. A record is a product. If the marketplace is flooded with an identical product at no cost to the consumer, the consumer wont buy the product that costs them money.
    It’s a sales concept that is well known and has existed for years. This is how Woolworths and Walmart eliminate competition. They flood the area with below cost products until the competition can no longer survive.
    Why so many of you think musicians are any different is beyond me.

  18. @muso1 – The point is the study includes non-content income, then says content industries are booming.

    No, not really. Yes they claim they are growing. For the most part that is because the content industries are growing without including non-content income. The music industry is an exception which they acknowledge in this extract from the report:

    But, despite the increasing production and consumption of music, the music industry doesn’t seem rosy to everyone. … as the CD format wanes, the revenues from selling CD albums are diminishing, too. The problem, it seems, is … the revenue from selling single tracks isn’t matching that of the peak years of selling CD albums

    So out of all the of the content industry (including music) the only thing that isn’t growing is direct sales of music to the public. It also happens to be the only section of the content industry that is going through a technological change. You know, the one where the entire industry was built on CD sales, now CD sales are dying and they let its replacement, online sales, be taken over by Apple and the like.

    @muso1 – I’m not asking iiNet to do my job for me, I’m just asking for a helping hand, rather than the looking away.

    They are refusing to disconnect one of there customers because a letter arrived from a third party with no legal standing claiming they had been wronged. A third party who has been known to make false accusations on occasions. You say this is looking the other way. I say it is the right and proper thing to do in a country that is supposedly run by rule of law. iiNet have repeated said now if some legally valid route notice is given they will follow it.

    The music industry can and has sued people in countries in order to come up with the evidence required. But it’s too expensive, so they don’t want to go down that route any more. So they ask iiNet to bypass the law. Can’t say I blame them – I’d try that too. But as I said, this isn’t iiNet’s problem. It’s the music industries problem. And if the music industry wants an alternative procedure they will have to get law changed and then pay for it to be implemented. This is what happened in NZ. In France god help us they managed to convince the tax payer to pay for it.

    It has of course had very little effect on the music industry in NZ or France, as music sales are still in decline in both countries, thus illustrating what everyone here has been telling you over and over again. What you are proposing doesn’t work. Regardless of what laws change copying music is now and will forever more be effectively free. And since it is free people will copy music as much as they damned well please. There is no magic wand you or iiNet can wave to turn the clock back.

    • “They are refusing to disconnect one of there customers because a letter arrived from a third party with no legal standing claiming they had been wronged. A third party who has been known to make false accusations on occasions. You say this is looking the other way. I say it is the right and proper thing to do in a country that is supposedly run by rule of law.”

      This isn’t about the case iiNet won, it’s about Steve Dalby’s attitude, as illustrated by his blog.
      Funny that you mention Australia is run by the rule of law. I’m in the right according to the law. All the people who are downloading from torrents are breaking copyright law.
      I’m saying iiNet are looking the other way (just like Telstra and Optus) because they fully understand what people are doing. Have they contradicted reports that Australia was the number one pirate for ‘Game Of Thrones’. Pretending the music industry is booming, is iiNet looking the other way.

  19. I think your attitude is all wrong. I dont want to buy your product and I dont even know what it is. I dont want to buy CDs through the major distribution channels because the mpaa and the riaa have made me hate them. I do want to support quality indepenant artists who create what I want. Store keepers are caught between a rock and a hard place, they cant tell the production industry to piss off because they would then have nothing to sell. They need to back digital distribution and put pressure on those who resist it now and get on board before its too late. Musicians and software pulblishers can adapt and many have. Its business like any other. Its not easy, and it is competetive. There will be success and there will be failure. It is very good that ISPs are not burdended with (attempting to) regulate content at great cost to them. It can not work, and will hurt their industry unfairly.

  20. Definitely your thread muso1 :)

    Personally, at the end of the day I think most of us here recognise your issue, but disagree with the detail. As most (yourself included) seem to say, the answer is somewhere in the middle of the RIAA and iiNet reports.

    Point of argument is that most of us seem to think the answer is closer to the iiNet report than the RIAA. When distribution models like iTunes or Steam clearly work, the perception of the RIAA prefering to litigate instead of innovate gets peoples backs up. We just see so many stories pointing to them doing that, then justifying it through what are shown to be dodgy numbers, then they are the bad guys.

    Its sucky that you’re the collateral damage caught in the middle, but until the big players change their ways or are at least SEEN to change their ways, the smaller players like yourself are going to get caught up in the wave of people thinking they are “sticking it to the man”, or just adapting their habits to match other aspects of their lives.

    • Don’t forget the RIAA are a body representing major American record labels ONLY.
      As a UK musician, living in Australia, I have absolutely no say in the actions they take.
      I agree with you, both sides could do better.
      But even current law is on my side.
      I have a lot of sympathy for iiNet not wanting to see legislation negatively affect their business. I have little sympathy for Steve Dalby’s ongoing war against the creative community.
      That quite frankly sucks IMHO.

      • “Don’t forget the RIAA are a body representing major American record labels ONLY” — fair point, but it’s misleading to think thats the limit of their influence. Under whatever name they use around the globe, they still represent the same group of companies, and have the same agenda.

        Much like MPAA and AFACT are, for all intents and purposes, the same group.

        As I said, I sympathise with your situation. You are definitely stuck in the middle of all this. But that doesnt make the copyright industry any more correct in holding up the rest of the world just to support their business model.

        • ‘Holding up the rest of the world’ is unsubstantiated and rather like the RIAA’s hyperbole.
          There are strong enough laws already in place, but piracy is so widespread it would be chaos prosecuting people for copyright infringement and most creative people would rather not prosecute fans and customers.
          Instead, there are many business enablers, making good money from the unauthorized sharing.
          These are the outfits we would like to ‘persuade’ to change.

          • So how would you describe it?

            Lets rewind. Copyright laws have commercial tiers of penalties, and non-commercial tiers. Someone shares a handful of songs, they take that person to court and get them convicted of commercial penalties – $150,000 per song.

            How is that right? Those laws arent intended for this use, yet thats what they did. Fact.

            Then they go further. They decide a link is enough to be a breach of copyright, and get the courts to agree. To do this, they go through courts like in Hamburg that make it easy for them and make the accused prove innocence, not make the accusers prove innocence.

            An 80-something granny was found guilty of filesharing when she didnt even have a computer, and could prove she didnt have a computer. Yet was guilty, because the suing movie company knew the courts made it very hard to prove innocence.

            Then they attack websites. Even The Pirate Bay, under many countries laws, is doing nothing wrong. They do not host illegal files, they link to third parties. THOSE should be what the MPAA and RIAA go after, but its easier to bribe their way into making TPB the guilty party.

            They take this a step further, and convince the FBI that websites doing nothing wrong are significant risks to the US, and have their websites seized. Websites around the world, not just the US, merely because they have a .com extension, which the US has decided makes them US property, and anything they decide is illegal to be enough for them to shut down a site globally.

            Combine a bunch of that for the next problem. A website in England, legal in England, was seized in the US because of this In Our Sites operation. The operator of the site, again remember it was legal in England where every single bit of data was stored, was extradited to the US for trial. Do some research into Richard O’Dwyer and look at whats happened to him, thanks directly to the MPAA and RIAA getting websites seized.

            I’ll only briefly mention Canadian websites that get seized through this process, that are perfectly legal in Canada, a country that also uses the .com extension as their default.

            There are so many issues with how MPAA and RIAA have attacked copyright, these are only a few of them. All in the name of protecting THEIR profit, not the artist.

            The laws I mentioned at the start are spying on us, and are designed to be shared with the US. Not the rest of the world, just the US. Who conveniently have decided that if its in THEIR interests, they’ll break even their own laws to take you down.

            It puts the freedoms of the net back a decade. It puts some personal liberties back decades. It stops progress in so many other ways – hows cloud computing working out after sites like megaupload were shut down?

            So how would you describe it? I describe it as holding up the rest of the world for their own vested interests. Everything I list is fact, and can be shown to have happened. Give me proof they arent causing these problems.

          • +1 GongGav.

            Well said.

            I just bought 16 songs from a new mobile downloader I found. I haven’t bought music in months because of the hassle of getting it to my phone from the computer and now, as soon as I have access to it, I spend nearly $30 right off the bat.

            The big guys are squeezing the creators, the retailers AND the consumers in an effort to stem the slow loss of profits of moving to a new business model. They are trying everything to show that the music industry at large is dying, when, in fact, it is growing, but FINANCIALLY it isn’t.

            I have no problem with someone doing music for money. But I don’t think it would be a stretch to say that:

            1- Those who do make an ordinary living off it KNEW music was not an easy business and love it anyway
            2- Would not blame piracy as the PRIMARY factor behind them struggling to make money off their music

            The fact is, the shift to digital ITSELF is as much to blame, more likely more so, than piracy for loss in profits. The music industry is going from a content pushed, to a content pulled system, whereby your average consumer has the tools to search out EXACTLY what they want, rather than having it shoved in their faces and told what they want (see the movie industry….) This means, if your music ISN’T what people are searching for, you won’t get a sale. Unlike in the old system, where, even if it wasn’t, you were TOLD it was, because of this link to that band or this bonus track here on a CD you bought, which engineered more drive for business.

            We can argue all day about whether it is a good change or not, but there’s NO disputing it is taking a toll, financially and it will take the biggest toll (relative) on those that make the least. Piracy adds insult to injury, but ISN’T the primary factor of failure in music. The RIAA, AFACT et al simply want us to believe it is, to stem the change for a while and pull back some of the old world profits.

          • Finally some one with common sense this is the decline
            Piracy is not the real cause
            Both comments

          • Yeah but honestly, you have ZERO experience as a musician, or in the industry.
            So your repeated posts railing at modern musicians is based on bias and anger.

          • So, because he, or many of us for that matter, AREN’T directly in music, we can’t have a informed opinion??

            I’m sorry muso1, but I may not be in professional music myself, but I AM in professional arts AND I was in 2 bands in late high school, one of which stayed together and went on to make their own album.

            ALOT of people have experience with music. No, we may not have your direct experience, but we are entitled to comment based on our own experiences and what we have read at large.

          • I think your post ignores the large number of artists now working outside the major labels.
            In addition, I have a lot of experience in music software, which I REPEAT, is a market place dominated by small, young, independent companies, run by tech savvy innovators.
            If they have issues with unauthorized downloading (piracy) then you can’t just point an accusing finger at Sony, Universal and Disney.

            I’ve been in the music industry since i was 18, over 30 years.
            Of course I knew it would be tough.
            That does nothing to change my mood when I see my work being shared by people I don’t know (via torrent sites).
            If it’s very hard to make an honest buck anyway, so why would you be ok with torrent sites and The Pirate Bay making it tougher, all the while making good money from advertising themselves.
            A college student in the UK, who built a site directing others to pirated television, was making $23,000 a month!
            I’d happily settle for $2,300.

          • This may or may not help you muso1, but the best advice I can give is to go to those torrent sites and plead your case. Not with a big stick, but with a mood of mediation. Mention your the programmer, explain how frustrating it is to see your hard work generate zero dollars, and ask the pirates for THEIR advice on how to incentivise people to legally download.

            You would be amazed at how well received such approaches are taken. The few times I’ve seen people go TO the pirates they’ve been rewarded for their efforts. Far too often the big step taken is litigation, and it doesnt solve the problem.

            The connected community respects people that even just try to meet somewhere in the middle. Who knows, it may be something simple like offering a lite version with add’s, or having a voluntary donation option and having word of mouth work for you, who knows.

            But getting them onside is a major benefit.

          • “You would be amazed at how well received such approaches are taken. The few times I’ve seen people go TO the pirates they’ve been rewarded for their efforts.”

            TPB response to Dreamworks is widely publicized and pretty black and white.

            As you may or may not be aware, Sweden is not a state in the United States
            of America. Sweden is a country in northern Europe.
            Unless you figured it out by now, US law does not apply here.
            For your information, no Swedish law is being violated.

            Please be assured that any further contact with us, regardless of medium,
            will result in
            a) a suit being filed for harassment
            b) a formal complaint lodged with the bar of your legal counsel, for
            sending frivolous legal threats.

            It is the opinion of us and our lawyers that you are ……. morons, and
            that you should please go sodomize yourself with retractable batons.

            Please also note that your e-mail and letter will be published in full on

            Go f**k yourself.

            Polite as usual,

          • One: that’s a MAJOR film studio. What response did you expect when that studio is part of 3/4 of the groups trying to litigate TPB into the ground??

            Secondly, GongGav was talking about individuals or small companies. I believe they’ve had much more success.

            Thirdly, TPB is NOT the only link site OR even the biggest pirate site on the web. It is one of the most publicised. Torrentreactor is another huge one. But they have TRIED pulling them down and they just come up elsewhere. The digital world makes it a cinch to simply setup shop elsewhere- hence, the reason it is fruitless to try and eradicate piracy. And AGAIN, why they would be much better served spending those millions of legal expenses on genuinely innovative ways to distribute and market digital content.

            But they won’t. Cause that’s much harder than simply paying a lawyer to prosecute whether they’re guilty or not and whether you get a RETURN or not.

          • And you miss the point of what I was saying. Its getting frustrating muso1, really. You’re starting to get as annoying as alain, Mathew, etc with the narrow view you keep taking. I offer a suggestion, and it gets attacked, for completely the wrong reason.

            First, the Dreamworks situation. Their approach was dreadful, talking about litigation and lawyers. Thats what I’m saying needs to be avoided. Good example of how NOT to do it.

            This isnt what I suggested. I suggested going to the pirates – the people that are downloading your software – not the web admins. Talk to them, see what you can change that might help.

            Off the top of my head I can think of two famous examples of working within the filesharing community to get a better result. First, Radiohead, with their donation project a few years ago – In RainbowsI think the album was. They gave the album away for whatever you wanted to pay for it.

            They pushed that stance throughout the online community, and got rewarded with considerably more profit than they usually saw from an album. The idea worked, because they gave a method that appealed to that community. Every torrent I saw for that album said the same thing – if you like the album, go donate a few bucks.

            And plenty of people did. Not all, as you say (and we all agree on) you’re never going to do away with free. But you can curtail it.

            The second example is Green Day. An album or two ago, they themselves leaked their album. I believe it was without the studios knowledge, willing to be proven wrong on that. Point being, they took the stance that they werent going to stop piracy, so why not put the best possible version out there that they could.

            Again, they were rewarded by that effort, with most people recommending that downloaders go and buy the album. Again, not everyone would or did, but more did than otherwise.

            I’m not talking about talking a Dreamworks approach to the situation, I’m talking about taking a Radiohead or Green Day approach. Give people what they want. Talk to them. Do something out of the ordinary. Rather than just get more and more frustrated with being stuck in the middle, try to get those people on YOUR side.

            I’ve also read of a couple of people that were in an almost identical position to yourself, who initially went to the community full of hostility, but after talking to them changed their approach and were rewarded for it. Not going to hunt out links, they were months ago and I cant remember what site it was, but it happens.

            If you can do that, profits roll in. If you dont, you’re no worse off than now.

            Just remember that I’ve agreed that it sucks for you to be in this position. I’m trying to give advice to help you get out of it, without waiting for the idiot entertainment industry to fix their side of the problem.

          • Firstly, the website you linked to is SPECIFICALLY about music SOFTWARE, not music itself.

            I have stated before, it would not surprise me in the slightest if the volume of piracy to sales in SOFTWARE (particularly music software) is MUCH higher than the volume of piracy in music sales. Their sound card graph, as they have stated, also means little without specific numbers. I need a new sound card. Because my onboard one is dying. My old workshop needed 3….because of VIDEO processing, not audio. We had 1 audio processing machine, with its’ own sound card. The graph is meaningless without context. There would ALSO be many thousands of teenagers who buy a $50 sound card to simply be able to muck around with music at home, on their guitar or piano, for school OR for fun. Again, the graph means nothing without context.

            I am NOT ok with torrent sites. Pirate Bay ISN’T a torrent site however. It is a LINKING site. They do not HOST the torrents, which is why people make such a big deal when people block them. They are providing a service which, in itself is not illegal. Is it unethical? Possibly, but going after them while the pirates THEMSELVES still exist is just ridiculous. But big companies KNOW they can’t prosecute the pirates….so they go after the Pirate Bay instead and forget any laws that stand in their way.

            The fact is, you are NEVER going to completely eradicate piracy. It can be curbed, but not destroyed. And the way to CURB it, is not to prosecute anyone who wants to share a song they like, it is to MAKE that song available easily, relatively cheaply AND, most importantly, conveniently. As I said before, I finally found a way to download music easily on my mobile and bought 15 tracks right off the bat, because it was CONVENIENT. They were no cheaper than anywhere else, ranging from as low as $1.69 to as high as $2.99, but I was able to do it with 1 touch and I had them 2 minutes later. THAT is what will curb piracy, in all its forms.

            This is NOT a black and white matter. Piracy does not have a single cause, as much as the anti-lobby would tell you. EVERYONE doesn’t pirate because they would never pay anyway. Whittle those people down and piracy becomes MUCH less of a problem….but it will ALWAYS be a problem and the smaller your volume, the larger the problem. DRM your work (sensibly), offer other (non-monetary) add-ons for recommending a sale. There are MANY ways to incentivise people AGAINST piracy, even from small town producers.

  21. People keep attributing comments to me I’ve never made.
    I never have, or ever would suggest piracy can be completely eradicated.
    I’ve NEVER said it’s a black & white issue.
    My overall point is clear to me….
    If you want to ensure the survival of products you enjoy, you should support them financially, not put it off claiming you’ll see the show (which is a separate product) or expect someone else to financially support the product for you.

  22. Here’s an example of a reason people pirate software, OTHER than simply not wanting to pay because they could get it for free.

    About 3 years ago now, I built my current desktop. I bought an LG (ugh, never again) bluray drive. I have many bluray movies and am buying all my favourite tv series on bluray as they come out.

    Now, when I bought this drive, blurays still had major compatibility issues, ironically, related to bluray+ a DRM and copy protection system….that subsequently was broken about 3 months later. It STILL causes havoc on legitimately owned blurays in systems based around computers. Anyway, the drive came with Cyberlink PowerDVD ultra 8. It was upgraded regularly, about every 2 weeks, as, every time a new bluray came out (literally) there was ANOTHER protection system it had to take into account. Finally, after about 12 or 14 months….they stopped updating it. Next time I bought a new bluray….it wouldnt work. Cyberlink said “Upgrade to Cyberlink PowerDVD 9 to get the latest support…..for $49.95”

    Now, I had paid $180 for my bluray drive. I could’ve bought a standalone drive for around $200 at the time and continued to get firmware updates. Instead, because I chose a DIY system, I have to PAY because of the stupidity of movie studios CONTINUALLY trying to make their discs copy proof when they KNOW all it does ultimately is piss off the average Joe who wants to use a legitimately purchased bluray.

    Now, Cyberlink is up to version 11. If I wanted the latest version I’d have to pay $49.95….to see it replaced in 6 months. Instead, I could go out and buy a bluray player for $99 and get firmware updates whenever another studio decides it wants to have another fruitless and stupid attempt at DRM.

    WHY should I have to pay more, because the studios keep upgrading their ‘copy protection’ when all I do is play legitimately purchased blurays?? THIS is what people are talking about when they say they pirate out of frustration. I pirated a copy of an alternate bluray software, as there was no trial and subsequently bought it when I was happy it would CONTINUE to serve my requirements. And it was MORE expensive than Cyberlink.

  23. Congrats on your patience Muso1.

    All I can say is that I am constantly amazed at the suggestion that artists need to do something to accomodate those who don’t want to pay the asking price for the product the artist has created. No argument against this is ever successful. Offer it for the price they want to pay – or in the manner they want it offered, or they will steal it… and that is the artist’s fault? It is even worse if the artist has contracted a company to market their product on their behalf (because many artists aren’t good at, don’t have the resources/channels or simply don’t want to market their own IP).

    Nothing about if the product isn’t “good enough” or priced correctly it will just stay on the shelf. Nope, this is “give me your sneakers for a buck or I will bash you and take them”.

    And one last thing… recognising someone’s rights does not mean others can’t give their music/product away if they wish – that is also their right and I respect that, too. Human rights should not need to be negotiated.

    I don’t have the patience to try and convince anyone otherwise (I used to have, but rarely do any more). I just find it amazing that people think this way. The justifications are endless.

    • Glad you came to comment, even under the umbrella of anonymity ‘Guest’.

      I’m one of those you refer to. Do you know me, or my background? It would be an incredible fact if you did. So dont assume I’m simply justifying piracy, I’m not.

      Read the comments, none of us have said its the artists fault. Seven_tech is saying its technology, which I agree with – same thing happened when tape to tape recording was introduced. I’m saying the industry heavyweights arent helping the situation.

      Its people like muso1 that are stuck in the middle. THEY cant solve the problem by themselves, but unless they try to do SOMETHING, nothing’s going to change.

      Here’s a thought – they sell a higher volume of music now than they did 10 years ago. The difference is that they sell in singles at $1 each through iTunes, rather than albums at $25 each.

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