Just saw a bullshit headline claiming Disney lost $600M on the Black Widow film due to piracy. The BS napkin math on this is that it was downloaded 20 million times. Then the article declared that each download is somehow a lost Disney+ subscription with $30.

This is obviously ridiculous logic. There's no evidence that a pirated show would have been purchased if not downloaded, let alone that a platform subscription would have happened. Nor do we even know that 20 million downloads represents 20 million individuals.

This isn't a matter of technical ignorance. These facts aren't hard to understand. They're intentionally misrepresented to benefit rich companies that want penalty payments in lawsuits. What utter hogwash.

@tomasino i keep deleting and redownloading disney movies and yet they're Still not out of business what gives

@tomasino Not to mention the folks who subscribe to Disney+ who downloaded it anyway for offline viewing.

@groovestomp or those exposed to the downloaded show who enjoyed it enough to purchase it later. There's so many facets here, but Disney is a fat corp and capitalism gives it a singular concept of "good": money. Any action that precipitates more of it is good. Lying about their loses is good.

*lights the house on fire*

@tomasino He he. This tactic appeared to work for the music corps back in the naughts; presumably that's why Disney is employing it now.

Outright lies when marketed heavily enough can be mistaken for truth, especially by those who stand to profit.

@groovestomp @tomasino if they didn't force it behind a shitty, absurdly high and geoblocked subscription but offered it as a #DRM-free one-time-purchase #download, #piracy would not be such a big issue.

I think that claiming absurd amounts of damages is something only the #Contentmafia does whilst not having to provide solid evidence for it.

Imagine if one could do the same with actual existing damages and claim millions for every scratch on a car...

For example, most downloads would likely come from people who could not subscribe to their service anyway - not (only) because they could not afford or didn't want to, but because #Disney refused to offer it to them.

Also #piracy - for better or worse - offers the better deal due to shitty DRM...

@tomasino Fully agree… and we’ve had this same argument for 30 years now, and somehow none of these media companies had to shut down because of piracy.

@tomasino and I bet that repeat that for each other film, even if the download would've come from the same person (and thus only a single subscription would've been 'lost').

It's also not guaranteed that the downloaded film was actually watched.

Maybe they should do some math on how much might be lost by fragmenting the streaming media landscape to the point that people are going back to piracy instead of actually getting one or two subscription services.

@FiXato @tomasino Maybe they also only counted "peers in the torrent cloud" in which case they're probably counting other "monitoring" groups as downloads too...

@tomasino That same bullshit line's been played for at least the past quarter century.

See this from 1998 debunking software-industry claims of "piracy losses":

Via Hacker News:

#Piracy #FakeLosses #Accounting #Disney #LiesThatWontDie

@tomasino And from the WSJ story that is on:

Fighting China's Pirates
Software Makers Try Lower Prices to Lure Users Away From Illegal Copies

After years of relying on legal and political muscle to fight rampant piracy in China, big software companies have started wielding a new weapon: lower prices. And the early results are encouraging.

@tomasino entertainment execs have been doing that for ages, multiplying the biggest number they could stretch to mean "views" by the biggest number they could claim as price and declaring that "lost profit". Too bad courts all over the world have no problem accepting this BS. See the case of The Pirate Bay founders,for example.

@tomasino fwiw we have a terrible internet connection so sometimes I, uhm, “locally cache” movies or shows that we actually pay to access via streaming

@tomasino Part of the $600M loss might be because they skimp on the relatively cheap costs (paying screenwriters) and splurge on the expensive stuff (CGI! Explozhuns! Kaboom wow!)


it's the same maths by which three marijuana seeds becomes a "multi million dollar drug sting", according to the police.

@tomasino The same accountancy method used by RIAA, BSA and MPAA. The most creative minds in Hollywood are always in the books not in the writers guild.

@ghostdancer @tomasino "The most creative minds in Hollywood are always in the books not in the writers guild." totally pirating this line

@tomasino i wish disney lost $600M on every film due to piracy

@tomasino and while it’s technically accurate to call missed sales a loss, it seems fundamentally misleading to call it that when 1) they didn’t spend any money making those copies and 2) the movie turned a profit.

(obviously shoplifting from the likes of disney isn’t the heinous crime it’s made out to be.)

@alys @tomasino but it's not even a missed sale unless there's evidence that it would've been a sale if it weren't downloaded, right?

@raboof @tomasino i'm not disputing that, just saying that even if we were confident about missed sales, describing them simply as a loss would be misleading.

@alys gotcha, I misinterpreted, sorry about that!

@tomasino The only hogwash is that we don't live in the reality that these companies have dreamt up, where we would be able to literally drain their bank accounts by just copying some files back and forth across a peer-to-peer connection.

In the fantasy universe they present to the world, we would have them gripped so tightly by the balls that they would be paying us to use their shitty streaming services.

@tomasino It's not difficult to get along with these customers. I've said this again and again for 20 years, and I am still confident enough that these companies have their front doors stuck so far up their asses that I'm in no danger making such a statement:

Let's scroll through my list of things stuck in streaming-service limbo... Hmm... Glow Up: Britain's Next Make-Up Star Series 3. Here's the offer: I will pay whatever price you wish to name for one (1) copy to own and keep of this show.

@tomasino And don't bother typing out all your lame excuses. I've heard them all before, I'll do that bit for you:

"Oh, boohoo, licensing is so difficult. You live in a weird region. It's not that simple. Tax payer money went into this nationally produced show. It's so hard to set up and maintain the infrastructure to deliver DRM-free digital content (even though this is what the pirates are doing literally for free). It's not that simple. Booho."

Any 👏 Price 👏 You 👏 Wish 👏 To 👏 Name



Can confirm. I personally pirated it 193 times just to inflate the piracy claims, while I only have 31 Disney+ subscriptions.

I agree that it's bullshit. It's bullshit from at least 3 different angles.

But if they wanted they could inflate the numbers even further. Because at the end of many torrent connections lies the beginning of a small sneaker network.

But to be fair, at least in the Netherlands, the consumer is already paying for that "feature". Via the thuiskopievergoeding (home copy compensation), so it feels wrong to not make use of it.

I'm trying to say that if you live in the Netherlands you should share your legally obtained media with other people. You pay for this right every time you buy storage technology so you may as well use it. 😉

@kingannoy @tomasino IANAL Alas the changed the law and now you can get prosecuted in NL for uploading as well as downloading.

@ken_fallon @tomasino
I was talking about "uploading" to a USB-drive, and then handing it over in person, also called sneakernet!

But I was also not talking as a lawyer, or talking about what was legal, I only meant what was moral, and even then it was a little tongue in cheek. 🙂

But yeah, don't take my advice as legal advice please 😅

@kingannoy @tomasino It sounds more like you're storing your valuable data securely in an offsite location, and your friend is simply doing regular data verification to confirm the backups are not corrupt.

@ken_fallon @tomasino
You have to be quite rigorous with the verification step. I usually ask my friends (plural, don't forget to distribute your backups widely!) to do a audiovisual confirmation of the validity of the backups. And just for extra security, the next time I see them I quiz them about what they saw, (be sure to make this as pleasant as possible, you don't want to lose those off-site backups because they think it's a chore!) over drinks.

@tomasino I'm a freeloader, and I find the idea of pirating that garbage insulting.

Disneys shouldn't worry, the loss will go away when people delete the movie.

@tomasino Are they still trying not to pay the star her share? Could be related.

@tomasino The 20 million downloads could even include part downloads, or some sort of botched number that makes every connection count, which counts ever seeder every reboot

@tomasino The thing is, the pirated show WOULD have been purchased, and in fact it IS purchased. The harder they can make it to pirate, the more money people give them, since they still want to watch it. What Disney is claiming is they were prevented from stealing $600M through blatant extortion, just like a burglar claiming you're stealing money from them by locking it in a safe they can't break into.

@tomasino I am surprised that anyone wants to watch their PC trash. Stop Pirating Disney!! So that it enters their thick skull that no one likes their stuff anymore. Peace!

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