Mary Branscombe (marypcb) wrote,
Mary Branscombe

More people just want to take the movie with them

Macrovision sent me a report they had done on how many people are copying DVDs in the UK and US. It's from a fairly low number of respondents - only a few hundred people - and the conclusion Macromedia draws is, not surprisingly, that people would have bought more DVDs if they couldn't copy them. Actually, a lot of people wouldn't have bought them at all, most would have bought some but certainly not all of them and the vast majority would only have bought them if they were on sale rather than paying the full retail price.

But when I look at the actual figures, and I'm making this graph bigger to make sure the figures are legible, it reminds me of the year that the music industry complained about unit sales of CDs not growing as fast as they had and then noticing that the industry had released 20% fewer CDs in that year.

Yes, people are copying DVDs they've rented or borrowed from friends (and yes, some of them are copying discs that might be pirated in the first place). But half of them - well over half in the US - are copying a DVD they've paid for. To me, that's a huge pent-up demand for legitimate copying - to transfer to a portable media player or to have on disk so you can pack up the DVD boxes and hide them in the loft. Something that HD-DVD was going to offer, but the studios never got round to it. No consumer demand, they said; it's not mainstream. These few hundred people don't make it mainstream, and the proportions will be smaller in the wider population, but if the studios want to sell more DVDs, how about offering a copy mechanism that lets me get a PMP-resolution copy without faffing about ripping it?

As we're discussing copyright issues, I should note that these graphs are taken from the Futuresource report written for Macrovision which includes this statement about re-use in the media, and I quote with my journalist hat on...
"Members of the press may use a press release in its entirety or take segments from it as necessary; they may also use a graph, a slide, or a section of a supplied research report less than fifty words long, provided all text is identified as “Source: Futuresource” and all graphics are credited with “Futuresource, Copyright 2008”. "
Tags: dvd, graph, numbers, piracy, technology

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