Apparently piracy is way more damaging than other, more pathetic crimes because it causes something like infinity billion dollars in damage. Ars reports that NBC/Universal’s Rick Cotton claims that law enforcement wastes too much time on things like bank robberies when they should be focusing on piracy.
“Our law enforcement resources are seriously misaligned,” Cotton said. “If you
add up all the various kinds of property crimes in this country, everything from
theft, to fraud, to burglary, bank-robbing, all of it, it costs the country $16
billion a year. But intellectual property crime runs to hundreds of billions [of
dollars] a year.”
What Cotton seems to forget, as Ars points out, violence associated with things like burglary is pretty bad, whereas you don’t really see anyone getting shot while downloading a movie. On top of this, the claim that intellectual property crime runs in the “hundreds of billions” is completely ludicrous. If that were true, it would mean that piracy costs the entertainment industry more than its total revenue for 2006. I wholly believe that there is some lost revenue by people downloading stuff instead of buying it, but the vast majority of pirated content would have never been purchased and can’t really be counted as lost revenue. However, even if you did count it as lost revenue, I don’t know if you would come up with hundreds of billions a year. This just goes to show that the industry is seriously out of touch with reality. Maybe we’ll start breaking into their homes, but stop downloading movies. After all, based on their numbers they’d be doing better off if we did that.