AfterDawn: Tech news

Americans don't think illegal downloading is a serious offense

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 25 Jan 2007 4:51 User comments (41)

Americans don't think illegal downloading is a serious offense According to a report issued on Wednesday, the majority of Americans don't regard illegal movie downloading and sharing as a serious offense. The Digital Life America survey from Toronto-based Solutions Research Group polled 2,600 Americans between June and late September, and found that about 40% believed that illegal movie downloading was a "very serious offense".
Compare that 40%, to the 79% who believed that stealing a retail DVD from a video store is a very serious offense. A majority 59% considered "parking in a fire lane" a more serious offense than movie downloading. "There is a Robin Hood effect. Most people perceive celebrities and studios to be rich already and as a result don't think of movie downloading as a big deal," said Kaan Yigit, study director at Solutions Research Group.

Yigit warned that in order to challenge Internet piracy, online download-to-burn services and new companies entering the market will need to be more flexible in first-run and catalog content offerings and pricing. "Otherwise file-sharing will continue to thrive," he said.


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41 user comments

125.1.2007 5:01

I'm not saying it's not illegal to download, but we have rights. I mean, it's free, it's provided for us dor the taking, those who choose to accept. Ok, say we goto the movies and pay the 8 bucks or whatever it is for the movie, shouldn't we have the rights to own that movie since we already paid to see it? So why can't I download it, I already paid to see it, what's the difference between that and buying it for 22 bucks? If they sold DVDs for like 4.99 (what they are really worth) hell yea I would go buy them, but getting one for nothing is more reasonable. I'm tired of the industries ripping us off. Why do they sell DVD burners if it's illegal to copy movies? Ssme difference, so why bitch when people download stuff.

225.1.2007 5:06

I don't think the industry is thinking of the consumers who are going to go spend $8 on a movie. They are more worried about the ones that don't go see the movie but d/l it for free and then the industry makes nothing.. But I'll agree what happen to the good old days when a movie was $3 - $5 to see in the cinema and $1 to rent it

325.1.2007 5:08

damn bastards, the actors are already filthy rich

425.1.2007 5:09

Hmm Lets see this has been a issue for some time now. I'm sure if i was a actor or a film maker or musical artist i would complain too....But lets get real people how much are they actually losing from this....they make what a Whopping 10Mil +???? All im sayin is i download stuff all the time..i figure if the song gets old or if a movie gets old then i would regret wasting money on it. When I download tho I have the choice of deleting it and getting as new one anytime. this is just my opinion.

525.1.2007 5:12

look at other countrys what dvd makers and movie makers need to do is make dvd's cheaper make movie players in other countrys cheapers but they don't for money take a look let say i purchase a dvd of freddy vs jason as a example the dvd is now 14.99 here in the u.s.a go to china the dvd legal copy is 25.00 u.s.a (profit for the company 10.00) go to japan even worse are 14.99 dvd goes to 30.00 to 40.00 depending upon store this is why downloading and purchasing illegal dvd's makes pirates money because why should they have to pay more per store per country and give more and more money to the MPAA and others this is why movie sales are down i as a avid dvd purchaser would rather go and purchase the dvd then go into a movie theature and pay 20.00 to see a film things need to get cheaper less expensive but because we have to pay movie producers actor's and other people salerys we are geting the raw end of the stick

625.1.2007 5:33

very very ture!

softmod (unleahsh X) 250 gb hdd!
I modded my xbox in 4 min!
iRiver PMC with a 30 gb hdd and Windows!
iPod 2nd gen. modded with iPod wizard!

725.1.2007 7:04

The thing is, that yes, they are rich. But how did they get that way? Off of us. If we don't do something now, like try and stop piracy, the movie theatre and radio experience is gone. Forever.

825.1.2007 7:59

To watch a is not worth the money they want to charge us. Its not a fair price. USA has over priced everything and many corporations are very greedy. Look at India...they can supply AIDS treatment to third world countries for $250 per person/per year. The USA charges over $10 000 for the same medication. Over Head Movies are the same. I will download and burn forever. Monkey see...Monkey do. I'm like a monkey. I see them burn us...i burn them. They are leading by example.

925.1.2007 8:39

ok i think people are over reacting with it. it is illegal but downloading hasnt yet taken place of buying CD's. There will always be people buying CD's that wont go away for a while. I think its ok to download music and movies for free, how ever, if the person who owns the site is getting money for these illegal files, then yes, that is wrong. Thats my opinion.

1025.1.2007 9:26


Wake up. Almost nobody does.

I'm not talking about commercial counterfeiting.....but then neither are they.

Downloading a movie or a CD is really no big deal to anybody; it's the classic 'victimless crime'.

The beef of 'the industry' is that they kid themselves that each download represents a lost sale.
But they aren't.
The true alternative choice would be not to have the item at all, period.

(and don't try that garbage that music or film or intellectual property is the exact same as a physical thing, that's cr@p and the whole world knows it - even if major corporations and some legal waffle doesn't.)

You'd think the US movie and music industry wasn't making vast profits from the way they carry on about this - but they are.

In any event the truth is that whether by national TV licences, pay per view channels, sponsorship from the goods & products we buy or buying the actual DVDs, CDs or going to theatres etc
we contribute and pay and 'support' both those industries, handsomely.
Very very few escape paying anything at all to these industries.

We know it and they know it.

So they should surely also know where they can stick their infantile lies about 'theft'.

The truth is that only thing downloading really does for 999 999 999 out of 1 000 000 000 of us is allow people to time when they see a movie or hear a song and to decide where they see or hear it.....and often, thanks to the policies of the 'tied movie theatre chains', even whether we see a particular movie at all
(naturally they claim there's little market for anything but the idiotic dross they continue produce in huge quantities and then blame us for going elsewhere).

It also has taken the place of videoing a movie off of TV......which they used to wring their hands over and cry their eyes out about too but couldn't stop or jail people for (we had more sense back then - or a less outrageously biased towards business Government and legal system).....but call it 'downloading' and try and associate it by insinuation with terrorism or child pornography and it's a different matter.
It's pathetic and absurd.

They haven't taken anything away from the already grossly and obscenely rich (industry and individuals).

The artist that doesn't want their art available to the widest possible audience is one I never heard of before.

They can huff and puff and even wreck some individuals' lives but they'll never stop sharing.

If they really were serious they'd go to the source and take every DVD/CD blank media producer, DVD/CD burner manufacturer and HDD manufacturer (and a host of others connected in the chain) to Court instead of picking on the defenceless to make an example of them.

But given the interconnections in business today that would mean taking themselves to court and that would never do, right?
Best just to keep up the charade and playing both ends against the middle (us).

But you can easily tell it's all garbage by the targets they pick on.

Bush once publicly said 'The Beatles' were a favourite on his iPod - long before they became legally available on iPod......any sign of an arrest there?

Yeah right.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 25 Jan 2007 @ 9:41

1125.1.2007 10:56

Well said matey well said indeed!!!!!!

1225.1.2007 14:28

also for some download a dvd can take a matter of minutes which is a whole lot better than waiting in line at the movies of finding it at the completely unorganized best buy or various store. Its just easier to Download dvds instead of buying them if they were cheaper and easier accessible maybe like being able to dl and do it for about 5-8 dollars id go for that. THe only reasonable movie service is netflix and we all know what people do with that.

1325.1.2007 15:30

Well let firts look at the facts. The reason movies studios are losing so much money, is not due to the fact that peeps are downloading illegally. 1. Movie studios have to produce movies people want to see, tired of the same crap over and over 2. They charge an arm and a leg for dvds and movie tickets ($10,now) 3. and most importantly, stop paying these overpaid actors so...much to pretend they're someone else; personally speaking I'm not going to support their house in Malibu. While firefighter, police, teachers and the like only get $40,000 a year.

1425.1.2007 23:16

The majority of stuff that is downloaded is done so solely because it is there and it is free. Most of the items (be it music, movies, games) wouldn't even warrant a first look if I walked past it in a store. Instant gratification is only a click away. And, let's face the facts. You can now download stuff faster than you can watch it, listen to it, or play it in the span of a normal lifetime. No company anywhere can compete with free. Let them shut down the file sharing. Then they will see what kind of profits they will really get.

1526.1.2007 3:54

Downloading movies n music is definitely not an offense at all. Entertainment is an art that should be free. Museums only take donations. :) the MP_aa n RIAA often complain about the small guys losing their jobs cuz of "piracy". This is ridiculous, how about paying the producers and actors less (dey mite not be able to buy their fifth ferrari or their fourth mansion) n pay the small guys workin on the set?? Actors n producers make 2 much. The movies shud cost 3 bucks a ticket and dvds should be no more than 5 bucks. then i wud prob stop dl.

1626.1.2007 4:14

Personally I dont think downloading should be illegal or is illegal because first of all its only a problem because the RIAA and MPAA seen how profitable this could've been if they thought of it first. Thats why you see some of your favorite sites getting took down and the same site they adjusted with a fee you have to pay in order to use it. It's all BS and they are greedy and will continue to be greedy as long as Hollywood and the Music Industry get bigger. There isnt any real good music or quality music out like it used to be years ago. You go to the store and buy a cd and its like 1 maybe 2 songs on the whole cd thats good and they want you to pay $14-$20+ for those crappy cd's its crazy.

1726.1.2007 7:00

movie studios hate priacy for two reasons: it costs them money (a lot of money, lets not kid ourselfs) and it threatens the very nature of media delivery. if file sharing becomes legal there will be a very turbulant transitional period for the large media companies. they will break into a thousand little companies and it will be more of an every man for himself type deal. if file sharing is legalized movies and music will not disapear. a long long time ago a company called bell labs, then owned by at&t invented a devise called a television. at&t and bell labs couldnt figure out how to make money off this stupid device because it got its signal from airwaves, at&t was use to charging per conection. they couldnt figure out how to make money off of it so they sold the technology. the people that bought the technology figured out that they could make loads of money off of advertising. if file sharing becomes legal this is what will happen: there will be a million and one mom and pop movie and tv show studios popping up. they will distribute their content for free from websites. the websites will also have advertising and im sure the programs will have inbedded advertising. they will distribute their content from websites because they wil be able to upload a load faster than any p2p network. people will use it rather than p2p cause they will be able to get it super fast and not have to upload plus they will know it suports the makers and they wont have to search around for it. companies that use to much placed advertising, too complex of a membership sign up, or just make crappy stuff will die out, people that make quality stuff wil thrive and make money. large media companies wont be able to make the loads of money they are used to and will be unable to sustain themselfs and will split into a thousand peices (can you say media ownership overhaul, dems?). the reason america fights pircay so hard is because we make so much money from media production. ok, bollywood makes more movies than us, but the rest of the world doesnt give a shit about their 3 hour musicals. the rest of the world is adicted to american tv and movies, they love our stuff. if we legalize file sharign in our own country then america will have one less thing to make loads of money on, and well be one step closer to being chinas bitch.

1826.1.2007 7:28

I dont really agree with the last comment because if that was the case people could still do it now. People are downloading/uploading all sorts of media on the net whether its their stuff or other peoples. As i was saying on my last post you really have to look at the big picture and its all about money. If you think about look at how many people use the internet then look at how many people download stuff then look at it from the MPAA and RIAA's side its a excellent source for marketing if they stop all the free downloading sites and replace them with sites they can control and gain a new profit from. over the last 8years and how P2P has grown they want a big piece of that pie and the only way to get it is to chase away as many of the people who make these free sites and dominate with their own. Every P2P site thats up that has a fee they own them and control the content on them. Free sites they dont so its all a means of divide and conquer so if you really think that they are losing money you gotta be out of your mind to think that. People still go out to the movies including me. People still go to stores and buy music and dvd's. They put way to to much emphasis on paying these actors millions of dollars to do nothing at all and 80% of these musicians to talk about nothing. Point being they are EXTREMELY greedy and they want to get every nickel and dime out of people no matter if they sell you crap. I know i wont buy it if its rather poopy if its available for download.

1926.1.2007 8:16

First of all, people say the MPAA is loosing money. This is far from true they are just putting a spin on their situation to drive their piracy propaganda, which is something they need to curve of course to stay alive. What they donít want to show is that a small amount of piracy can actually help them sell more as a form of advertising. Second, they say that box office sales are down and their loosing money. Again this is not totally true as box office may be down, DVD sales is WAY up so they are getting it on the back side instead of up front. Third, stealing isnít necessarily a "very serious offenseĒ as quoted above. If I steal a gum ball versus a Hum-V is stealing the gum ball a "very serious offenseĒ, I think not. Letís not exaggerate the situation. Forth, both the MPAA and RIAA have monopolies which go against the no monopoly clause our government has place upon us but unfortunately big money talks louder then us common people. Ask any artist what they think about their governing body and you get a picture of how bad the Movie and Music industry represses and STEALS from the artists. I loved it when the RIAA went after non-profit web sites promoting artists trying to make it in the industry. In summation Iím not for theft but it is ludicrous what the industry gets away with so if people get away with stealing some of that back more power to them, just donít get caught because the judicial system likes big money.

2026.1.2007 18:57

To Hollywood and the recording indsutry... F@#K off! If you want to blame anybody for so called illegal downloading blame Bill Gates, Al Gore, or broadband ISPs. Don't blame us. We get ripped off by you people all the time. I think that paying $9 for a movie, $5. for popcorn and $3. for pop and not allowing us to bring in our own snacks, or making us pay for our music again and again each time a new format comes out is screwing us, so we are just returning the favor and screwing you back! I hope you guys go out of business real soon. I know that you guys hate illegal downloading, and if you guys are o.o.b. you won't have to worry about it anymore, and we'll just entertain ourselves then! It's funny that many citizens and politicians are claiming that the big oil is price gouging us, but nobody is pointing any fingers at Big Hollywood or the recording industry. I wonder why?

2127.1.2007 12:05

How many times have you bought an album on the strength of the single and the albums crap! Same goes for dvd rentals you cannot take it back and say can I have my money back it was rubbish. I download to try it, if I like it I buy the cd or dvd.

2227.1.2007 14:36

I think 5-year-olds who download cartoons illegally should be hung on the courthouse steps!!! That way, we can nip this piracy in the BUD! :-D

2327.1.2007 17:25

Honestly, I don't see what all the damn fuss is about...I swear, MPAA and RIAA are just trying to launch these scare tactics of sorts. I, like most of you, don't think that downloading is illegal...I mean, hell, just because I d/l'ed some music that I didn't have to be like $20 bucks for for only 2 songs that I will actually listen too and/or get a movie that I have wanted to see, it isn't what you call a serious offense. Now murdering someone is a serious offense! If you ask me, d/l'ing songs and movies isn't hurting the companies, they are just pissed because they are just money grubbing idiots. If I were them, I would focus more on helping the homeless or something useful. As far as that last statement:

"Otherwise file-sharing will continue to thrive,"
Sorry about bursting your bubble, but it isn't going anywhere...just going to grow and grow and grow. V

2427.1.2007 17:28

Yeah. We think that silly stuff like murder, robbery and other pranks are SERIOUS offenses. How could we have been so stupid.

2527.1.2007 21:13

I remember when a first run movie was 50 cents and I'm just a middle aged guy. That shows you how movie prices are over inflated now.

2628.1.2007 2:53

as one comment said, the industries are losing a lot of money from piracy!?! no! thats so wrong, simple fact is with most file sharers; if they couldn't download the movie what so ever they wouldn't pay for it at all! its as simple as that. who is to say just because i download 'x' film, that if i couldn't download it i would of gone out and bought it!? that makes no sense. people download because its there, and its easy as that.

2728.1.2007 3:28

If a movie is good, I buy it (or rather watch it in a cinema). If I don't have money for it, I wish that I was't feed the MPAA with that. And of course, if a director can makes a good movie, I don't want to pay a stupid actor's house in Malibu. So the easyest ways would be donation pages. An actor's work would be to impress the audience, so it will pay for his work.

2828.1.2007 5:49

This constant complaining over illegal download losses the studios have incurred has taken on the characteristics of an Urban Legend. It may have been true at one time but not any more. Considering that most of the major file share services have been shut down, it's damn difficult to find a site with any kind of selection, not to mention one that is close enough to the primary pipe to offer any real speed. I have a high speed DSL connection to the Internet, via my ISP: AT&T, and past attempts to download large files, from now defunked services such as EDonkey, took several hours. Another issue is streaming, anyone who has tried to view legal content on-line such as video from Google, You Tube, or C-Span knows how choppy the service is and normal operation requires several annoying restarts. Iíve worked with these companies when they were installing DSL and the name of the game is money, serving the most customers with the least equipment. Typical network architecture is ripe for congestion without imposing severe service restrictions to reduce long delays to any one customer. I have no doubt that AT&T and other large telecommunications firms are not conforming to the rules of Net Neutrality, the current US Government agencies that monitor these things are way to cozy with the corporate world and have no incentive to go after a behemoth like AT&T. I find it's easier to pay $16 a month to Blockbuster for 2 movies at a time through the mail, never have to leave the house. I make a copy and return it to them. Everybody gets their cut and I have a copy that I can watch as many times as I want !

2928.1.2007 7:09

mufin_man , I have a BB acct. For $16 a month to have 6 movies at a time every week or so is fantastic. To download current DVD's wouldn't be worth it for me. Most of the file sharing services have not been shut down. With more cropping up every day. A lot of people use p2p for screeners. And ts-cams too but they usually suck. To get good DL speed you have to know how. There is an art to it, or so I've heard :)

3028.1.2007 7:30

^^bittorrent is the key to good speeds! well an established bittorrent community should i say

3128.1.2007 8:32

"Considering that most of the major file share services have been shut down, it's damn difficult to find a site with any kind of selection, not to mention one that is close enough to the primary pipe to offer any real speed. I have a high speed DSL connection to the Internet, via my ISP: AT&T, and past attempts to download large files, from now defunked services such as EDonkey, took several hours. " you are kidding right? more titles are available than ever before. it is easier and faster than ever before. You need to sit at the kids table next family holiday! the 14-years old will clue you in! "Iíve worked with these companies when they were installing DSL and the name of the game is money, serving the most customers with the least equipment. Typical network architecture is ripe for congestion without imposing severe service restrictions to reduce long delays to any one customer." As far as net congestion tha tis atotal fallacy. I;ve worked with these companies since we went from 300 baud and you are hearing what was said when we 300 baud to 1000 times the number of customers at 4800, or a 20,000x increase in throughput on the same copper in the space of three years! When I started the upper limit of perceived consumer use was 1200 baud as this was the fasted a human could read an ascii stream! If anything we are getting faster at delivering infastructure and throughput. by the time hd is as ubiquitous as hd typical household throughut will be 100 to 500 mps

3228.1.2007 17:25

I'm happy that there is some people in the USA with common sense in regards to these kinds of issues. When they break box office records after records i think it should be avaliable for download.

3330.1.2007 7:57

And all this time I thought sharing was caring. Could I be wrong???

3431.1.2007 18:59

I believe in intellectual property rights, however the internet offers a new avenue of sharing music, movies etc. freely amoung peers. For those in the industry this is just another venue and they should be paid their fair share. How about an open license (cheap) to download, use and burn that goes into a common pot to be distributed to rights holders based on popularity or other such measurement. Those who use P2P or any other method to download pay no cost except the standard cut a rights owner gets (not the distibutors fees). This would give something to creators and eliminate the excessive markups most distributors want and give greater exposure to the creators. Some sort of balance and common sense is needed to maintain freedom and protect rights without excessive controls and punishments. BluesJack...listening to the blues; it makes me happy!

3531.1.2007 20:11

This is an old arguement and I aggree with many here with regards to the blatant contradictions that the movie industry seems to stand behind. There could be no money loss due to piracy if the movie industry did not allow for blank DVD media to be sold which serves as the primary catalyst to DVD piracy being possible. Currently what I see as a mojor problem for the movie industry and it's still to be released to DVD movie titles are the abundance of screeners currently available in the streets on the so-called black market as well as college campuses.

I don't wish to mention specific titles but I can honestly say that practicly every popular title now advertised in the theaters are being peddled around town to my amazement. I was so shocked that I did some homework online and found out the origin as I had personally believed that hollywood had abandoned the practice of providing screeners to it's industry insiders for award consideration. I've read where Dolby owned CINEA has attempted to stream line the distribution process which I commend them for but they have apparently over sold their capabilities.

My question is, could they have provided to the authorized viewer another media to pre-view the screeners on other than standard DVD? Hell HD or Blu-ray would have been perfect as the watermarked original as of now could not be reproduced at least not in any mass fashion. Apparently people who benefit from viewing screeners legally turn out to be normal unaccountable people who hold in very low regard the importance of protecting the physical media which is somehow being leaked directly to the streets. I think too much is made of the likelyhood that downloading plays the major part in illegally distributing privately viewed and owned screeners.

Never in all my life have I seen so many Screener titles so widely available on the street? I travel by train and or bus to a from work and I pass countless peddlers who with the assistance of portable players play these titles for their would-be customers. The bottom line is someone in HollyWood is responsible, not some online surfer torrent site member. The weirdest thing I read was from 2004 where the studios behind the movie CRASH believed that the abundance of CRASH screeners served to favorable promote the film.

I believe the screeners could work if they (Hollywood) and it's movie companys immediately think of a new and more favorable disc or chip media to view the Screener. Another suggestion is to stop placing them in so many viewers hands for private in home viewing where the special licensed DVD equipment and standard DVD media can be illegally manipulated. This is where Hollywood is taking the biggest hit as screeners apparently are made available while a given movie title is still in the theater and long before the movie title is available for legal private purchase and home viewing.

The way it is currently going they (Hollywood) could just send authorized person or persons private screening movie tickets.:P Just my two cents, I hope someone heeds my advice.:P

361.2.2007 17:49

I've never understood what the difference is if I download an movie from a P2P network, or record it from TV, HBO, etc. Many years ago, we audiotaped music from the radio. What's the difference? I could understand if I sold it, but for home use only, what's the difference between that and VCR/DVD recorders? For years, I used my VCR to time-change for my viewing schedules. Jim

371.2.2007 21:24

you know what's sad? We generally download more than we have time to watch. If d/l one movie equals 30 days in jail, imagine the sentence someone running a major distro site would get. If I ever hear a friendly knock at the door & I see guys with dark coats & UZIs standing outside, my DVD collection is hitting the fireplace!! LOL

381.2.2007 21:32

I see guys with dark coats & UZIs standing outside, my DVD collection is hitting the fireplace!! LOL

Most of the time they don't knock they kick the door

Microsoft: Ps3 cant do 60fps on 1080p. Guess what they were WRONG!!!!!
(11/19/05 - 9/19/06) Microsoft: Sony's 1080p support on PS3 is all Hype and Not Needed.
(9/20/06) Microsoft: Xbox 360 to add 1080p support.

392.2.2007 2:50

Originally posted by xhardc0re:
you know what's sad? We generally download more than we have time to watch. If d/l one movie equals 30 days in jail, imagine the sentence someone running a major distro site would get. If I ever hear a friendly knock at the door & I see guys with dark coats & UZIs standing outside, my DVD collection is hitting the fireplace!! LOL
It would take me 30 days straight just to watch all the movies I have. Between BB's 6 out at a time (in store program now) and p2p, it's getting out of hand. I still haven't watched Transporter 2.

The other poster mentioned no difference between p2p and recording a movie from TV. I agree. Aside from the location of the media when you retrieve it; just what is the difference???

"Is that 3 thousand dollar bounty on the shark in cash or check?"

"We can do it the easy way...Or we can do it the REAL easy way."

4023.2.2007 5:04

The next thing that the RIAA will go after is your TV viewing rights. They will get the courts to allow them into your homes so that they can inventory your TVs, DVRs, radios, VCRs, Computers, etc. And then they will want to charge you $5.00 per month for each to protect their earnings. That way they will beter enabled to suport their glutanous drug induced lifestyle.

4124.2.2007 12:51

How come nobody gripedwhen we taped music off of the radio? Then, cam VCR's for home use, and taping from premium channels. The next logical step is the Internet. What's the dif?

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