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Illegal file sharing in Europe could cost £215 billion by 2015
Thursday 18 March 2010 11:30:05 by John Hunt

1.2 million European jobs could be at risk as piracy costs the creative industry up to £215 billion in lost revenue according to a study investigating the impact of online piracy in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. The report for the International Chamber of Commerce claims that a quarter of a million of these jobs could be lost by 2015 in the UK.

The study shows that in 2008, the most impacted of the creative industries (film, TV, music and software) experienced lost revenue of €10 billion and 185,000 jobs due to piracy. The industries made up 6.9% (€860 billion) of the European GDP and covered around 6.5% of the workforce (14 million workers). The UK held 25% of all European spending on these industries, but was an overall drop of 13% since 2004. In 2008, the UK creative industries estimated €670 million of lost revenue due to physical and digital piracy.

"The research shows that the illicit use of the Internet has contributed to massive piracy of Europe's creative works studied in the report."

"Digital piracy is sweeping through global markets for music, motion pictures and video, television programming, literature and software. In its wake, these creative industries suffer devastating economic losses and an assault on their ability to compensate artists and furnish legitimate employment opportunities. These dire consequences call for an urgent response by policymakers, consumers and the creative industry itself.

Jeffrey Hardy, ICC BASCAP Coordinator

Of course, some may say that the creative industries do largely have themselves to blame for taking so long to react to what the market demands. Until they can provide users with content in a cheap and easily available format, that allows them to use and transfer their media on to the myriad of devices that are currently available and at a time that most suits them for listening or viewing, piracy will still hold a strong place in the market to give users the ease of use that they desire.

The full report can be read here.


Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
I would also blame the TV and film industry in particular for overpaying their so-called 'artists'. The music industry can't really be accused of that in most cases. There it's more a case of taking a disproportionate cut from overpriced and second rate product.
Posted by hoggig over 7 years ago
Just reading through the study and have to say it's quite frightening how wild assumptions can be used to tell a story vastly different to that which exists.

For music, how can the fact Itunes downloads have increased substantially year on year be ignored? Sure revenue is down but isn't this have as much to do with people choosing the tracks they want instead of £10 on an album for 1 track?

Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago
crazy, noone can accurately assess the impact of internet piracy. I suspect the people who used to sell hard copy pirated material are bigger losers than the actual industry. Seems they pick a large number and release it in shock and awe fashion.
Posted by hoggig over 7 years ago
The calculated loss in Revenue and Heads in the industry is a calculation based on substitution rates which are estimated and futher factors all of which are estimated or arrived at with flawed logic.

The most worrying thing is, this just fuel's Mandelson's fire.
Posted by kamelion over 7 years ago
Have they factored the recession into their figures or have they just picked a random number?
Posted by TGVrecord over 7 years ago
I would happily buy DVDs and CDs especially as they are relatively cheap at the current time but like many people I cannot afford them thanks to cost of living rising quicker than my salary. My Council Tax is going up by 3.7%, petrol is far more expensive, rail fares have gone up, fuel costs have doubled in a short timescale. I could go on but I suspect you get the picture.

By the way I do not buy pirate material.
Posted by drteeth over 7 years ago
I buy more music and films since I started pirating...go figure.
Posted by c_j_ over 7 years ago
"The study shows that in 2008, the most impacted of the creative industries experienced lost revenue of €10 billion and 185,000 jobs due to piracy."

No it doesn't. It cannot possibly *show* they did. All it can do is *claim* they did, and these claims are usually made with seriously flawed logic (e.g. it is wrong to assume every download is a lost sale; folks may simply not bother to listen/view if there's a serious cost involved, or in the case of movies they may just wait for the TV showing).
Posted by Aqualung over 7 years ago
The way these people pull statistics out of thin air is worrying,not for the fact they do it,but more for the fact they can with a bit of lobbying convince law makers they are correct.No wonder bankers were able to pull the same stunt.
Posted by bobdelamare over 7 years ago
I just read the piracy section but there is not a single "fact" in the whole thing. It just supposes. It's bullsh*t.
Posted by njalondon over 7 years ago
These figures work out at roughly £1 for every man woman and child in Europe, I find it hard to believe that the losses are really on that scale. If they'e going to make up data at least use credible numbers. The timing of this report just as the Digital Economy Bill is about to be voted on is very suspect.
Posted by njalondon over 7 years ago
Oops figures wrong, it's £500 for every person in Europe or £2 per week. Fantasy numbers.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
quote"1.2 million European jobs could be at risk as piracy costs......"

I smell a cash cow passing wind.
Posted by otester over 7 years ago
This report was actually found to be retarded.
Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
I've actually gone back to buying CDs. I tried downloading but the quality just isn't good enough. 256k mp3 is a joke. If it was 256k WMA it might be acceptable for the car or when I'm out walking but certainly not for listening at home. Even 320k mp3 ain't good enough with my setup. Maximum rate VBR WMA is tolerable but tbh now that I've rebuilt my server I'm re-ripping a lot of stuff to lossless.
Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
..oh and the buying experience is crap as well. Play seem to be serving their tracks from a Sinclair Spectrum with a Microdrive attached. Amazon just didn't want to take my order for some reason.

So no. Give me a straightforward CD and I'll rip it myself, thanks.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
quote"So no. Give me a straightforward CD and I'll rip it myself, thanks."

Which in alot of cases still breaks copyright laws... But i agree with you AndrueC if its a question of quality, ripping or copying yourself is the best way. Even if they stopped the Internet tomorrow, people would just rent CDs/DVDs and copy them there self. In fact i bet thats what alot of people will start doing if LOTS start to get their internet cut off... Go rent a DVD/CD for a few quid and copy it, rather than pay £10+ and buy it.
Posted by colrob over 7 years ago
njalondon: ' £500 for every person in Europe or £2 per week. Fantasy numbers.'

I agree. How can they possibly arrive at such numbers - or indeed any reliable figure?

The concept of 'losses is flawed anyway, since it assumes that if someone didn't download this way they woul definitely have bought in the conventional way.

Isn't this a bit like that well known furniture retailer which says (repeatedly) "Save £***"? Actually no, because I wasn't going to buy anyway.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
quote"Isn't this a bit like that well known furniture retailer"

If its the store that has 3 letters that makes up its name and begins with D..... They almost actually owe me money for all the times ive came close to smashing my remote control as i panic mash the buttons to switch channel from their advert bile.
Posted by otester over 7 years ago

Tried FLAC and a good sound card?
Posted by jasperx over 7 years ago
Would these be the same businesses that inflate the price they charge for their product in Europe ? And then, supported by the European Court, sue anyone with the audacity to arbitrage the price-fixed European market.
Posted by chrisv8 over 7 years ago
The "lost revenue" of supposed illegal downloading , is just an illusion.based on the assumption that all the illegal downloads equal the same ammount of lost sales. I beleive that those who do download illegaly would NOT purchase the same material, as A) they wouldn't buy it any way and B)they only do it because "they can" (it's a bit of a game). some of these illegal downloaders have thouands of downloads, so many in fact, that it would take years to re play them all. it's just a competition between them to boast who has the most on their devices
Posted by otester over 7 years ago
It's the human tendency to hoard stuff.

I've got 3.5TB of space and nearly run out...To be fair 1TB of that is apps.

They start making some 2.5/3TB's soon or I'm screwed.
Posted by sylvantos over 7 years ago
jasperx - you got it absolutely spot on.

chrisv8 - you simply dont get it do you? You are under the assumption that illegal downloaders are doing it for kicks and because they can, and at the same time they are doing it as some sort of competition??

I think you will find most people, me included will very likely buy a product they have downloaded if they like it. Most people I know are like this.

And to use the term illegal downloader is a misnomer. If a product is and available for download publicly then it's hardly illegal. You need to be very careful what you call illegal downloading.
Posted by pigfister over 7 years ago
so why do hollywood keep posting record breaking profits from the cinema?
Posted by bikerrob48 over 7 years ago
The word is rip off, if they bought the price down as they do when it has been on the shelf a while, we would be mostly happy to buy.If you go to a supermarket they are subs by the food sale.
Posted by otester over 7 years ago

Downloading pirated content in the UK is legal.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
^^^ No it is not the rights holder have every right to launch a civil case against you for doing that.... Please dont go there again a dozen people said you were wrong before and made you look stupid, lets not go over that again.
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