What made-up figure would you believe?

I assume you already have the good sense to be extremely skeptical of any figures you read in the paper claiming that the music or movie industry has lost ONE HUNDRED BILLIONTY DOLLARS TO PIRACY or whatever the made up figure is this week. I expect that each time you see one of these bullshit claims reported lazily as “fact” you instinctively cringe and wish that the paper in question actually still employed “journalists”. You know – who, when given some frankly unbelievable figures by a self-interested lobbyist, would actually CHECK THEM OUT.

I bring this up because apparently The Guardian in the UK still does employ some journalists, one of whom has recently bothered to look into some of these figures. They didn’t even stand up to the most basic of mathematical checks, let alone a detailed analysis of the questionable assumptions inherit in the flawed methodology used. Once a BBC journalist (the BBC apparently still has some, too) pointed out the errors, the lobbyists quickly amended the figures (which were out, even on their own assumptions, by a factor of ten) and then STAYED VERY QUIET while the original lies continued to be parroted by lazy hacks around the world.

Do read the article for their response when called on it. What a bunch of dodgy brothers, and what a flimsy case they truly have for the nasty legislation they want enacted by our governments for their exclusive benefit. If they didn’t have huge pots of money at their disposal for corrupting politicians, you’d really have to doubt their ability to win through this fight.

It’s a pity they’ve got so much, really. Let’s hope more consumers vote with their wallets and refuse to contribute any further to their cause.

And let’s hope journalists start treating their dodgy claims and bullshit figures with the skepticism they deserve.

2 responses to “What made-up figure would you believe?

  1. Hmmm. All the figures are made up.

    This is the same industry that controls production and distribution. Same for book publishers. So, suppose I want to BUY a song, a soundtrack, a film, or a book that is no longer available through distribution: “Sorry, thats out of print”. Or “we can’t get that from the wholesaler any more”. LOST SALE.

    When you want to pay for something that these monopolistic distributors don’t want to sell, what choice do you have but to obtain it through other means? This CANNOT be claimed as lost revenue for the creative industries, because they did not want to sell it to you in the first place!

    So by the time you exclude all the exchange and naughty downloads of the things people did not want to take your money for, the amount lost is far far smaller. And it was all estimates anyhow. Make that wild-arsed guesses. Based on bullshit.

    Talk to some authors, and some musicians sometime about how much THEY get. The net has finally given them a distribution channel that is low cost. They can sell at reasonable prices to the punters now, and cut out the media companies. The creaive artist makes more, and the customers are happy. Is it any wonder the media companies are fighting back? They are seeing their position in the food chain being destroyed by technology. Like the buggy-whip makers when the automobile was invented, their future is bleak.

  2. Hear hear, Jeremy.

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