Tag: piracy

The death of copyright industry

The simple thing why copyright industry pushes ACTA, SOPA and similar laws is obvious: they have problems with their business. And the problem is simple: they can’t earn enough. They blame piracy for their problems, but actually,  piracy isn’t a problem for them. Piracy is only a symptom. The real problem is dramatically decreased costs of reproduction.

It is a big paradox: when your costs decrease dramatically, you can’t do your business in the same way you did before. When you need to change your business process, that will cost you money. But you can’t get money because of decreased costs. At first look this seems illogical, because decreased costs seem to increase your profit, but that’s not the case. The paradox is that when your costs decrease, your profits decrease too. So, get a look at the roots of this problem.

Pirate cat

The problem is, that every stinky cat is able to compete with copyright industry now. He can produce and distribute songs of "meow meow" for costs of rotten herring. So, britneys and biebers are going to fail. That's the problem of copyright industry.

Let’s say that costs of production and distribution is 10 bucks per CD. You then add 20% margin (2 bucks) and sell CD for 12 bucks. So your profit is 2 bucks per CD. You can’t change that margin freely: for example, when you try to increase your profit for 10 times, you get lots of competitors and they bring you down. And authors will flee away to those competitors who pay more. When you try to get less profit, you suffer from shortage of funds. Your profit isn’t directly related to your needs, but obviously related to prime costs.

Let’s say now, that you have produced 10,000 CDs and sold them. Your costs were 100,000 bucks, but you had covered them and got 20,000 bucks profit. This seems well to me. But now, try to calculate similar business in the internets. Let say, you sell 10,000 online albums. Your costs will be around 100 bucks for the distribution of the same amount of albums. And what happens when you try to increase your margin? Yes, there are lots of competitors who bring you down. So, your profit will be 20 bucks instead of 20 thousand.

And remember that not only distribution and production costs reduced drastically. With computers, recording costs dropped too: everybody can have his very own studio at home. Entry barriers for new authors are crashing down, that means increased competition too. Despite that, copyright industry try to increase their margins while reducing costs, but that is temporary process. For example, profits of Apple Music store skyrocketed several years ago, but competitors are already on the way.

That’s the point why all those lobbyists of antipiracy laws are flooding governments with their shit. That’s the reason why they put so much of their efforts. That’s the reason why they want censorship. And that’s the reason why they want to close the  internet. You get 1000 times less profit when you do business in the internet. This is because the production and distribution costs are lower up to 1000 times.

The problem of copyright industry isn’t piracy. The problem is decreased production costs, competition and industry’s inability to change. They’re simply losers who fail. They’re losing market because of changing World.



I’d like to thank Mister Galva Žmogų Puošia from Lithuanian blog Commonsense.lt for correcting my terrible mistakes I made here. By the way, he is lobbyist of Lithuanian bloggers and him and Skirmantas Tumelis are pushing law against ACTA. I hope they will win.


Continuing about ACTA. Yes, I am an anti-pirate

Translated to English by Donatas Pocius.

After I have written about the powers which have their own interests to push ACTA, there were a lot of talks, but only in the comment no. 130-something (that was article in Lithuanian, published in another my blog) one person finally named what position I represent. Yes, some kind of ideological pirate visited my blog and immediately recognised the enemy. Recognised in the way that people recognise ideological enemies – those with whom there is nothing to negotiate about. Such enemies, about whom it is said that there are us and there are them.

Yes, I am an author. Yes, if I would try to count how much money I have made during my lifetime only from writing (probably my third most important activity), the resulting sums would be very substantial (some of my younger readers might have not earned this much during their lifetimes). Yes, I am interested in taking money from readers, because I know I can earn from what I create. Yes, for very pragmatic and mercantilist reasons I am an anti-pirate and the apologist of authors’ rights. And so on. I do not deny this. It is true.

ACTA protests, Vilnius, Lithuania. 2012-02-11

Even their symbols are entirely different. Masks. Who would have thought 20 years ago that the new political power would fight not for economic rights, not for something understandable, but for abstract freedom of information? And that the masks would become the symbols of the political movement? Truth be said, most of the people even now fail to identify them as a political power. In this photo: protests in Vilnius against ACTA and censorship, February 11, 2012.

It is strange that a couple of days have passed, there were huge discussions where I was being attacked by the defenders of allegedly my (or other authors’) rights, and the whole deal was cracked by a real, ideological pirate. Maybe it is even a sign. I belong to the old generation. To those who have to disappear from the internets. And those who are replacing us – we cannot understand them, they are entirely different from us, we cannot even perceive their thinking. But they recognise us. Such as myself or as those guys who so resented me and argued without even understanding what is really going on. It is just that people such as myself or those other anti-pirates already do not understand how the world has changed.

By the way, in that other article I proposed to the anti-pirates speaking particular nonsense to pay for reading my article. And I did so very honestly: they could read, they could evaluate, and then decide whether they want it or not. I did not propose to buy a pig in a poke, as those to legally go to cinemas have to. For some reason none of the anti-pirates were interested, but I do not think this is because of entirely pure hypocrisy. It is much more likely that they simply do not believe in that idea of payment themselves, thinking it is futile. Maybe, in their point of view, even the attempt to show that there is at least one honest fighter for authors’ rights would not pay off.

But I do not want to talk about them, I want to talk about the changes. Because as unpleasant as it is to accept this, I am also an anti-pirate. An anti-pirate, because I am trying to find a way to save the currently existing system of authors’ rights. That system, which is not needed by the new generation. That system, which, let us be honest, is simply collapsing.

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ACTA – a silent muzzle for everyone

Translated to English by Donatas Pocius.

I am not trying to ask how much somebody could pay to a certain Minister of Agriculture of one or another EU country, who participated in some sort of secret European Union circles which created the ACTA for us, because everybody knows that the ministers do not take bribes. I just want to write about how ACTA is directed not only against pirates, but also against everyone. And how everybody will suffer harm from it – pensioners, schoolchildren, students, mothers posting on internet boards, farmers, and everyone else. Everyone without exceptions. Apart from a few interested groups, of course.

It is clear that there was no inevitability in signing ACTA. It is also clear that it was done like that not without a reason. The interesting thing here is that the Lithuanian Ministry of Agriculture, led by Kazimieras Starkevičius, did not put document any at least resembling ACTA on its website, although it participated in its preparation. At least I could not find anything about it. One way or another, it is obvious that when Ministry of Agriculture prepares the agreements on trademark protection, piracy etc., it looks similar as if the provision of heating in Vilnius would be regulated by some sort of fish breeding inspection, which would ground its decisions on data from telescopes.

Maybe that is why it is entirely unsurprising that this ACTA agreement, organised by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Agriculture, is starting to generate protests even in Lithuania, an exceptionally passive and protest averse country. Even here the demonstrations are proposed. This is because everybody knows that under the cover of ACTA, the new limitations, new laws etc. will be created, with excuses that under ACTA Lithuania has an obligation to do this and that.

Bread sharing is piracy

Not so long ago this picture looked like a joke. Now it starting to get clear this is not a joke. Anti-pirates have aimed at independent manufacturers and producers, small businesses, farmers and all the people in general.

What delirious nonsense is done by some law enforcers even without ACTA is well illustrated by a British example, where the court punished a photographer for making a photo of a bus allegedly leading to the theft of intellectual property. So there is hardly any doubt for anyone what is going to become of ACTA when it is signed.

On the other hand, the secrecy of ACTA’s preparation is not surprising: there were no talks, there was nothing at all. Only with one day remaining before the signing of the agreement, when the entire world was already screaming about ACTA, some representative of Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it will be signed because somewhere some ministers of agriculture decided so. As if it was inevitable. That leads to an interesting question – what is the minister of sorts Audronius Ažubalis doing, if all the announcements about this agreement on MFA’s website are made post factum – about the signing which has already been made?

By the way, it is interesting to remember the experience of other countries here. For example, thanks to Wikileaks, very interesting information has become available about the strengthening of anti-piracy measures in Sweden and the reasons for this. After reading what is going on there, there is no doubt that those fights against alleged pirates are just a one-sided game in which the European countries (including Lithuania) are losing and in which the money is taken by a few American companies actively lobbying both in the USA and in other countries all over the world.

Therefore, as nobody has asked this yet, I am asking: mister Starkevičius, when are you going to resign? And you, mister Ažubalis, when are you going to resign?

However, there are some other quite interesting aspects of this ACTA agreement, even if one tries to forget all the evil it hides. For instance, it is very interesting to analyse who is interested to push it through. I would distinguish four key groups of major pushers of these agreements. And these groups are not as obvious as it looks from the first sight. So, let us take a look what sorts of interests are hiding there.

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