Top > Rants > Software and Music Piracy

You often come across incredibly large estimates for the amount of money lost by the software and music business to piracy. I don't know how these figures are calculated, but assuming it's by estimating the level of piracy in the world and calculating how much it would take to make it legal would be a good guess. And probably insanely wrong.

I'm not involved in piracy myself, but know a good many people who have been (because my job involves network security). Those who are involved frequently come in the following catagories :-

This is of course biased towards piracy by individuals, but probably most piracy is by individuals. You can of course argue that all of the above is lost revenue for the relevant copyright owners and to a certain extent you would be right.

But look at it a bit closer ... not everyone who pirates stuff can afford to buy all the stuff they've pirated. You can certainly argue that they should, but because they can't afford it, it isn't lost revenue. Also in some cases, piracy actually increases revenue for a copyright owner ... where someone hears an MP3 they like, and then go and buy some album CD's.

As an example, I know someone who has many Gbytes of MP3's in his collection which represents a huge amount of piracy. However he also has over 2,000 CD's ... so he's a good friend of the music industry.

Is there a conclusion to this ? Only that the industry is over inflating it's losses to piracy.