According to torrent site poll downloading results in lost sales

So I stumbled across this poll on a torrent site and I just had to share it.  You hear all the time how content owners equate each download with a lost sale.  The filesharing crowd is quick to dismiss this.  Then they counter with anecdotal stories about filesharing making people buy more than before.  It’s all theoretical and it’s pretty easy for people to just say whatever when they are being surveyed, so knowing the actual truth is pretty much impossible.

That being said, according to this actual poll on a torrent site, 57% of the nearly 44,000 respondents are either buying less now that they discovered free downloads, or stopped paying for content COMPLETELY.  Nearly 44% claim that they stopped paying for content completely once they found piracy sites.  While 40% are either spending the same or more than they were before, with only 9% saying they are spending MORE.  You do the math, sounds like piracy is costing copyright holders losses, at least according to this poll.

Cue the “this poll was fixed by the MAFIAA” drones who believe any time the numbers don’t jive with the narrative they want to advance that the numbers must be wrong.

36 thoughts on “According to torrent site poll downloading results in lost sales”

    1. It’s a site that doesn’t comply with laws, why would I give them a single bit of traffic. It’s a known site, the poll is on the main page, been up there for months. They have more traffic than me anyway, they don’t need my links.

      1. First off your excuse is silly and childish. At least the name of the site would bring some credence to this supposed poll.

        Second, how old is the poll? it’s been up “for a couple months”? but does that mean it was completed a couple months ago, has been running for a couple months, or was posted from an even earlier time and the poll is actually older than that?

  1. You know the more I look at your “screen shot” of this supposed “torrent poll” the more it looks… fake… I mean really… it just doesn’t look like anything you’d actually see on a torrent site.

  2. Interesting read Nate. Thanks.

    If a math wiz would like to take those poll figures and look at what pirate sites control what percentage of traffic on the internet (example: MegaUpload was 42% of all internet traffic), we could probably get a good idea of how much each of the large pirate sites have hurt the industry.

  3. @DWB – Ars had a breakdown of traffic stats for file-hosts ->

    “Proportionally, BitTorrent and Megaupload likely have a much greater share of the Internet as a whole than they do in corporate networks. One previous study by Envisional pegged BitTorrent as taking up 13.5 percent of peak bandwidth usage in the US and 28.4 percent in Europe, and also said downloads from cyberlocker sites such as Megaupload, Rapidshare and HotFile take up 7 percent of all Internet traffic.”

    We know you love the pirates really, Nate. Without them you would have to find another job! 😉

    1. I had a job before I started doing this. Actually I was working in a couple of different capacities. So this oft-repeated myth of “nate would be unemployed” are pretty silly.

      I just like the idea of Me doing my current job more than I like the idea of someone else doing my current job. I’m good at this, I like the challenge and it’s an interesting problem to develop solutions for.

      1. “Working in a couple different capacities” . . . .i.e. you slung tacos by day and drove pizza by night?

          1. Epic fail. You accuse poor Bob of being a racist based on his good taste in fine international cuisine? You sir are the racist, INSINUATING that only Italians sling tacos and only Hispanics deliver pizza. . . or perhaps it’s the French who flip burgers and it’s the STALINIST CHINESE who make fried chicken. I’ll also have you know that when I have pizza delivered, the best driver in the city is named Gopal who grew up the hard way in the streets of Calcutta . . . crazy bugger drives like it’s the goddamn Autobahn.

          2. You’re racist for implying that I’m racist, and anyone who disagrees is obviously a racist. Racists.

            I also would like to insinuate that your penmanship is atrocious. And you feed your cats incorrectly.


    2. While there was some pirating going on a lot of Megaupload, and rapidshare’s traffic wasn’t infringing material.

        1. Hmmm, maybe I jumped the gun using “a lot”, I do not have any figures. anyway, I know quite a few artists who use/used rapidshare and megaupload to host their music legitimately. Perhaps a better wording would be that not all of their traffic was infringing material, that they had some legitimate uses as well. So basically, as Mr GRiM stated, while Megaupload and Rapidshare took up 7% of internet traffic or some such figure, not all of it was piracy.

          1. I know some people used MU for legit purposes, the problem is that the overwhelming majority didn’t. So if what you were hosting was so valuable, you’d think those legit users would do their homework. Cyberlockers shutdown all the time, so it’s essential to know who it is that’s hosting your content. Wouldn’t be that hard to know who MU is and the controversy surrounding them.

            You should read the Megaupload indictment, these guys not only knew what was going on with their service but actively encouraged and participated in it. Their sympathizers can employ all the cognitive dissonance they want, but these guys are guilty.

  4. I never meant to say you’d be unemployed Nate, just that hunting pirates might have more erm… interesting stories to tell – after all, I’ve read most of the posts here, and some of them have been quite entertaining.

  5. it’s not surprising that people who download for free have stopped to buy completely, for the following mere facts:

    From what I understand:
    -pirated content is of a much BETTER QUALITY than commercial content: scaled to one’s needs, flexible, transportable, storable.. in a word way more convinient.

    – pirated content is WAY MORE DIVERSE than commercial content: you can get movies and music from all over the world, in any languages with all the subs you may need. You get keener advice from bloggers of ddl links, than from your videostore clerck.

    Once the industry stops being arrogant, and rather starts to understand that these new means of distribution are here to stay, then they may understantd what consumers want, and may start to realize that the avenues for profit are just as big as ever.

    Or maybe they do realize it, but they know they are not the players of tomorrow, because they’ve been too slow to change.

    1. Better quality? Yes, cam rips from a theater are so much better than actually watching a movie live. Seriously bro?

      The main advantage of pirated content is that you don’t have to pay for it, that’s 99% of why people think it’s better. The rest is minor details.

      Diversity is pretty easy to offer when you aren’t actually paying the people who created that content. I could put together an amazing car dealership full of cars from all eras and manufacturers if I could just take those cars from other people. Of course you can offer more when you are cutting artists and creators out of the fruits of their labor.

      How does anyone besides The Pirate Bay owners profit from The Pirate Bay? Getting a bunch of freeloaders to pony up a nickle worth of Bit Coin? That’s your new paradigm eh? A virtual currency you can’t buy a Snickers with? Killer business idea bro, tell it again.

  6. “Pirated” Content can be higher quality than those that you can get through legal means online, because for one, they exist when sometimes a legal copy is impossible to get. Also, most pirated content are rips of a disk or directly from the TV, so instead of buying the 720p version of a show on i-tunes one could download a 1080p somewhere online. The problem with torrents is that they’re hit or miss on quality, but I’ll delve into that later.

    Second your car dealership analogy doesn’t work unless you were creating the cars yourself, for free, and then selling them without the car companies permission. The only thing you’d be taking from that company would be the idea for the car, not the actual cars themselves.

    Next the pirate bay doesn’t produce any direct profit for the producer of the content, but it doesn’t cost them much either since most people who use pirate bay would either not have paid for it anyway or would pay for it later if they enjoyed it enough.

    Like I was saying while the content quality of torrents are hit or miss, what people go to them for is convenience. So, if their is a service offered that is as convenient but with a guaranteed quality than people will migrate away from pirating to the legal service. One such service is Spotify, or Netflix. Studies have shown that Spotify has decreased piracy of music in sweeden more than any anti-piracy legislation ever has. Link:

    1. Okay but explain to me how a ripped version of a blu ray movie is higher quality than the actual blu ray? And if the show is broadcast in 1080p I’m pretty sure it would be available in that same format in blu ray, no? But by your reasoning, shows available in 1080p on itunes wouldn’t also be popular on The Pirate Bay right? Cuz those pirates are just people dying to pay money for product right? I mean you seem to not want to concede that the main motivation people have for pirating is because it’s free. That’s really the #1 reason, can’t we all just admit that?

      Of course I’m not compensating the manufacturers of the cars in my fictional chop-shop car dealership. I’m a pirate remember, I don’t have to compensate anyone but myself. The important thing is that I’m offering a diverse selection right? Who cares how I got the selection. Maybe I just let random “users” drive cars onto my lot, which I then paid them for, regardless if those cars were legal or not. How am I supposed to know if the cars on my lot are legal or not, I have no responsibility to verify if my product selection is legal, the most important thing is that I’m making money, right? And if the cars just happen to be stolen, that’s not my fault. Unfortunately I don’t keep records of who gave the cars to my lot, so it’s not my problem. Just adapt or die…and lock your car doors.

      Next the pirate bay doesn’t produce any direct profit for the producer of the content, but it doesn’t cost them much either since most people who use pirate bay would either not have paid for it anyway or would pay for it later if they enjoyed it enough.

      That is pure speculation and you know it. You have no proof to back that claim up, just saying it doesn’t make it true. In fact, according to the pirate site poll that this whole thread is about, the users there are saying that they USED to pay for things but STOPPED once they could get it for free. So your speculation analogy doesn’t even hold up to the users of the site, they are telling you the exact opposite.

      And you and I seem to agree on Spotify, however, the freeloaders don’t agree with you. Read my blog, I’ve been told by users that Netflix isn’t viable because “most people don’t have $10/mth to spend on Netflix”…that’s what the freeloaders have told me. Oh and they don’t accept Spotify because according to them they can’t listen to whatever song they want whenever they want. Even though that kind of convenience I would think would be worth paying for, but according to the people you are defending, if Spotify doesn’t allow them to listen to ANY song they want, ANY time they want for ZERO dollars per month, then it is not superior to piracy. So that’s where the bar is lowered, pirates want everything under the sun, for zero dollars, with no ads and no compensation going to the artists. That’s who you’re defending.

  7. @Nate Glass
    “I know some people used MU for legit purposes, the problem is that the overwhelming majority didn’t.”

    No one actually knows whether or not the majority of MU’s content was infringing or not, and no one ever will since the DoJ has not issued an order to the servers holding MU’s content to hold the information as evidence, which would kind of seem logical don’t you think? instead all that data is set to be destroyed without it ever seeing the light of day again.

    I have read MU’s indictment, the money laundering was bad, but the evidence of to support the case of a “conspiracy” to commit commercial copyright infringement seems circumstantial to me. For example, the hashing system used by MU to prevent child pornography and repeat pirate links off MU, is pointed out in the indictment to somehow prove that MU supported piracy? Another is the e-mails between the company employees that indicate their knowledge that MU is used for copyright infringement, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they condoned it or disregarded DMCA take down notices. In fact similar e-mails were exchanged between Youtube employees in cases against them. Everyone knows that Youtube is used for copyright infringement, but they obey DMCA take down notices (even bogus ones) and their are a lot of legitimate uses too. Yet the DoJ wouldn’t shut down Youtube because an indeterminate amount of users used it for copyright infringement.

    1. When you know what is going on on your service, when you encourage it, when you participate in it…you’re guilty. When you’re scraping YT to populate Megavideo, you lose safe harbor.

      If you read the entire indictment, I’m curious how you felt about the email Kim Dotcom sent to Paypal where HE alleges that other filesharing sites like Filesonic and Fileserve are criminal operations. If you think all filesharing is legal regardless of how criminal the actions of the operators are, even Kim Dotcom doesn’t agree with you. You’re in the bubble man.

  8. That is like going to the welfare office and asking everyone there if they are getting government assistance. NO SHIT the results were like that. This is about the general population and the numbers overall. You misrepresent the facts with posts like these.

  9. LOL anyone can go n vote in that poll. So you know what soon as MAAFIA learned about it they sent their boys to go n vote in order to skew the poll in favour of their arguments. I guess Mr Nate Glass have voted atleast 100 times..

    “Without order nothing can exist – without chaos nothing can evolve.”

  10. “Of course…whenever the numbers don’t jive to your story you claim they are fixed. Utterly predictable sheep.”

    The same argument can be used against MAFIAA, RIAA, MPAA,..etc and sheep like Nate Glass.

  11. Nate, you are very silly sir. I do not disagree with what you are doing however (Fighting piracy).

    Bottomline: People flock to convenience. Missed your favorite TV last night? Don’t have cable? A lot of networks make you wait until it comes out on DVD (Or try and catch the replay). If more networks allowed you to subscribe to a series, or their entire catalogues you may see a dip in piracy. I know in Canada it can be very difficult to legitimately watch your favorite TV shows or movies online. If you do not have cable/satellite, your only other choice is to pirate.

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