The $8 billion iPod | Rob Reid

The $8 billion iPod | Rob Reid


The recent debate over copyright laws like SOPA in the United States and the ACTA agreement in Europe has been very emotional. And I think some dispassionate, quantitative reasoning could really bring a great deal to the debate. I’d therefore like to propose that we employ, we enlist, the cutting edge field of copyright math whenever we approach this subject. For instance, just recently the Motion Picture Association revealed that our economy loses 58 billion dollars a year to copyright theft. Now rather than just argue about this number, a copyright mathematician will analyze it and he’ll soon discover that this money could stretch from this auditorium all the way across Ocean Boulevard to the Westin, and then to Mars … (Laughter) … if we use pennies. Now this is obviously a powerful, some might say dangerously powerful, insight. But it’s also a morally important one. Because this isn’t just the hypothetical retail value of some pirated movies that we’re talking about, but this is actual economic losses. This is the equivalent to the entire American corn crop failing along with all of our fruit crops, as well as wheat, tobacco, rice, sorghum — whatever sorghum is — losing sorghum. But identifying the actual losses to the economy is almost impossible to do unless we use copyright math. Now music revenues are down by about eight billion dollars a year since Napster first came on the scene. So that’s a chunk of what we’re looking for. But total movie revenues across theaters, home video and pay-per-view are up. And TV, satellite and cable revenues are way up. Other content markets like book publishing and radio are also up. So this small missing chunk here is puzzling. (Laughter) (Applause) Since the big content markets have grown in line with historic norms, it’s not additional growth that piracy has prevented, but copyright math tells us it must therefore be foregone growth in a market that has no historic norms — one that didn’t exist in the 90’s. What we’re looking at here is the insidious cost of ringtone piracy. (Laughter) 50 billion dollars of it a year, which is enough, at 30 seconds a ringtone, that could stretch from here to Neanderthal times. (Laughter) It’s true. (Applause) I have Excel. (Laughter) The movie folks also tell us that our economy loses over 370,000 jobs to content theft, which is quite a lot when you consider that, back in ’98, the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that the motion picture and video industries were employing 270,000 people. Other data has the music industry at about 45,000 people. And so the job losses that came with the Internet and all that content theft, have therefore left us with negative employment in our content industries. And this is just one of the many mind-blowing statistics that copyright mathematicians have to deal with every day. And some people think that string theory is tough. (Laughter) Now this is a key number from the copyright mathematicians’ toolkit. It’s the precise amount of harm that comes to media companies whenever a single copyrighted song or movie gets pirated. Hollywood and Congress derived this number mathematically back when they last sat down to improve copyright damages and made this law. Some people think this number’s a little bit large, but copyright mathematicians who are media lobby experts are merely surprised that it doesn’t get compounded for inflation every year. Now when this law first passed, the world’s hottest MP3 player could hold just 10 songs. And it was a big Christmas hit. Because what little hoodlum wouldn’t want a million and a half bucks-worth of stolen goods in his pocket. (Laughter) (Applause) These days an iPod Classic can hold 40,000 songs, which is to say eight billion dollars-worth of stolen media. (Applause) Or about 75,000 jobs. (Laughter) (Applause) Now you might find copyright math strange, but that’s because it’s a field that’s best left to experts. So that’s it for now. I hope you’ll join me next time when I will be making an equally scientific and fact-based inquiry into the cost of alien music piracy to he American economy. Thank you very much. (Applause) Thank you. (Applause)

100 thoughts on “The $8 billion iPod | Rob Reid

  1. this is awesome

  2. ♪♫♥ !

  3. You do realize that he is making fun of it right?

  4. I do now. LOL

  5. FOR JUSTICE!

  6. This is Morgan Webb's husband, really.

  7. still has the quality sticker in his breast pocket.

  8. The only downsides are these lectures are done in Ted halls, Not in front of parliament or the US equivalent.

  9. How did he get 8billion for the 160GB? 150,000 x 40,000 = 6billion

  10. why pass the buck? get your ass in there and make it happen!!! Stop relying on others to improve "your" life.

  11. no one cares about your logic

  12. he used copyright math.

  13. If al-qaeda bought a few iPods and filled them with illegal music they could crash the US economy! Imagine what a terrorist organization could do if they filled a 2tb hard drive, the world economy might crash! 😀

  14. I thought he said porn when he said corn…

  15. I beg to differ: I'd believe its be the cost of Video Gaming piracy and video game hacking.

  16. Wow…..

    I truly pity you.

    To legitimately hold the ideas that you espoused in your comment, a person must have been ingrained with a special, all consuming kind of hatred from the moment of birth by parental figures that were nothing more than walking, talking, small/close-minded hate machines.

    ….but at the same time, I halfway assume that you're just a troll. Mainly because your screen name is that of one of the most well known cult leaders of all time.

  17. as did I

  18. you asinine little person lol

  19. Who else thought it would be a 10,000gb iPod?

  20. 194 people work for SOPA

  21. only in america…..

  22. Dumbass

  23. No, it was a joke

  24. YES! FINALLY! Someone who will speak the truth!! Those damn anti-white multicultural-FORCING liberal elites like Obama, Biden, and Clinton (just ignore the important fact that all of them are white).

    @FirstTube11100 Stop being anti-capitalist! Multiculturalism is a phenomenon that is bound to happen in a global economy with the exchange of ideas and products between people of different nationalities.

  25. something that always kinda bugged me about the whole copyright thing is they never make a note of those that are net-nuetral, net-loss, and net-gain. The reason I bring this up is because if your net-nuetral and you pirate you don't effect profits because you neither promote or nor can afford the product. Then you have net-loss these people can afford but just pirate thus effect profits. Then you have net-gain these people might pirate but in tun create profit buy causing people to buy.

  26. Great stand up comedian

  27. I completely agree with Rob, but (like most TED Talks) the facts here are completely bogus. If anyone actually goes over Rob's 'research' again, you'll find that he's comparing numbers with a 12 year difference in between them and the impossibilities he shows are really just proofiness in application. No, illegal downloads are not ruining the industry, in fact, I believe them to be benefiting it. However, we don't need someone lying about the actual facts to try and prove a point.

  28. Liars definitely are using statistics.

  29. Easy, their loss is $1 dollar for that song. The 'fact' that you will copy it, for personal use, about 150 000 times, makes them come up with this number.

    Funny thing to add, you can listen to most songs for free, on what was the name of this website again…. youtube?

  30. Whatever gets the people to believe copyright is only in the riches favour is good for us all.

  31. A New Challenger Appears!! Hero!! 😀

  32. Copying someone else's comment on a TED talk about copyright 😛

  33. Totally, and I want to apologize for bringing TED to the brink of bankruptcy.

  34. America isn't a "white only" country.

  35. The old, outdated and greedy showbiz-industry obviously wants to go out kicking and screaming – and thats all good, it only makes them die faster.

    Fuck em! Times have changed, I'm not paying for bad actors, producers and investors to make 100 million dollars a year any more, those days are gone.

  36. Funny, I went from this watch?v=xMj_P_6H69g TED talk to this one…These two TED talkers should talk.

  37. Where are the whites going then? Are they gunning us down?
    And why do you keep capitalizing CULT? Are you implying that there are a whole bunch of other races getting together and planning to overthrow the racist white people? Haha.
    America was discovered by some white European dudes, but that doesn't mean we own the country. All of the different races that are here today have helped make this country what it is now. You sound kind of racist yourself. 🙂

  38. I have a problem saying that white people discovered the country when there were people already living here. It's a bit like saying I discovered Tokyo because I was the first person in my family, state, etc. to go there.

  39. Can anyone say crock of s**t?

  40. wow, i am never believing another anti-piracy commercial again

  41. I agree totally. I was just making a reference to what we are taught in school today. 🙂

  42. They still haven't quite figured out how to make rocks effective weapons yet. Give the poor bastards some time.

  43. Woa!!! no one wants to pay for a ringtone? Who the fuck would have guessed? /sarcasm

  44. pmsfl then downloaded a mp3 for free 🙂

  45. cuz there is no alqaeda. sorry couldn't resist 🙂

  46. Actually, Christopher Columbus, the man who "discovered" America, wasn't even white.He was Spanish. And the country what it is now? This country is falling apart because of every culture, whites included. People of other cultures come here, mostly uneducated, begging for handouts, and our government gives it to them, all-the-while this generation gets lazier and lazier. Whites are always going to be targeted, just because we hold the most power. If we ever become a minority the roles will switch

  47. What the fuck are you talking about?

  48. a type of grain

  49. in a way you were… I think your right in one way and wrong in another. it's like going to mars and finding out your not alone there when you get there. You'd be the first human (as far as we know) to discover life on mars but not the first life form to exist on mars. Now think of a random member of an indigenous tribe finally finding mars in the night sky and being the first in his/her tribe to discover it. I think you know what I mean.

  50. idk why you have so many negative votes. Why on earth would anyone be against multiculturalism? honestly it is the path away from racism available it allows a blending of races based on personal choice. Race is just a detail, the truth is we all have the same basic design, but slightly different features and that is something we should accept so we can deal with real problems like cancer and other illnesses without killing each other like a bunch of idiots.

  51. Me neither. People seem to have their panties in a bunch because I made a minor mistake in my history. I'd also like to point out that I wrote that comment late at night, so I do have an excuse for my error. 🙂

  52. I know he wasn't white, just a mistake. 🙂 And even if the country isn't what it used to be, it's still something.

  53. question for the wise to answer.

  54. You should never believe a statistic again … they can all be manipulated … think of it like a news channel, one station will say "fuck the lefties" and the another one will say "fuck the right" and they are covering the same story.

  55. The idea of 58 billion being lost isn't about the difference from current profits to past profits, it's about how much potential money is lost because people are pirating various things like movies, songs, etc… If you pirate 1 song than thats the equivalent of taking away 1 potential dollar from profit. You downloading a song only accounts for a piece of that $150,000 loss that is said to happen on each song, pretty much that song is pirated 150,000 times over instead of being purchased

  56. If a person is pirating some media content, it doesn't mean that this person would've bought that content ever! And that's the case for more than 80% of the media content that is pirated. Too much greed, they are making too much money and is wrong, like many other things in this World.

  57. How could you change that quickly? His girl's a fucking model!

  58. This old guy gets to bang Morgan Webb? Well he is like insanely rich.

  59. Your blatantly wrong, take a look at the Copyright Damages Improvement Act. It explicitly says $150,000 PER COPY PER SONG. At least skim over what you're talking about before you state something like it is a fact.

  60. *You're

  61. I'm annoyed. My nephew lives in the neighboring room and he lately became excellent at attracting the women. He discovered the Master Attraction website by Jake Ayres (Google it). Now I hear him bringing ladies back. He's continually pulling the hottest women back and I hear it, which is nasty. I wish he never discovered that site.

  62. That's a straw man. Please look it up and better yourself.

  63. Well due to piracy… //every1 or many people gets to watch that particular movie..n hence it gets famous – without piracy one cant be famous and one cant gain more profit : )

  64. Also the Vikings got to it first. Also no one "Discovered" gravity nor electricity. They just made found out what they are

  65. It was my understanding that we say this because the Europeans were the first to travel there and the natives had been there since America was in a single landmass with Asia (I think), I'm fairly certain. Also I think the word 'discovered' is used because without us (or someone else) 'discovering' it, It would not be known to the modern world, thus undiscovered. The natives didn't have contact to other continents (we created routes for trade, migration and information).

  66. Your thinking of 'invented'. As in: Newton didn't invent gravity, he discovered it. Discovered means to make something known, it wasn't known, per say, before then.

  67. And, like me, they might prefer to do a try-before you buy. Watch a low quality pirate movie. Like it, watch it in full quality legitimately.

  68. I like this talk, but he makes a big mistake 40,000 * 150,000 is 6 milliard not 8 billion

  69. i scroll down to the comments and the first thing is a racial argument about who discovered America… Not even bothering to read the change of subject adventures anymore. I'm done.

  70. That is wrong by faktor 1000

  71. That is due to the difference between American and continental European usage of the term "billion." In American usage, 1 billion is 1 thousand million, i.e., 1×10^9; in continental European usage, 1 billion is 1 million million, i.e., 1×10^12. This American speaker employs American usage, so a billion dollars is $1×10^9. (For more, look up "long and short scales" on Wikipedia.)

  72. but he is not in the US bubble anymore. He is talking to an international audiance shouldn't he use the system wich is consistand?

  73. MusikCassette, I think you will find that the speaker's usage is widely adopted in international financial circles. As a matter of fact, 1×10^9 is nearly the exclusive meaning of "billion" in Anglophone countries. (Even the Brita have largely stopped using the alternative "thousand million.") Given that he is speaking English, it is only reasonable that he use the term in its most common English meaning

  74. first things first: If you want to answer me please answer me by pure chance I saw it. I think talking in English does not mean you talk to Anglophon countries. And billion is not exactly an english word. Its term wich is used in many languages in most of them as 10^12. Because that is what the word says that it means, bi-million, a million million, a million^2.

  75. ****standing ovation required***

  76. This guy is a hero…

  77. 75,000 Steves.

  78. I've been watching this over and over again and it's been entertaining

  79. Attraction. (Google it if you want pretty good emails on picking up girls.) The guidance concerned with attracting women at clubs in the emails from that website got got him his 1st sex in around 3 yrs. I've been displeased though on the grounds that I heard them all. Nasty.

  80. I've read through some of the posts on here. I realize that is a very good youtube video. My brother would like to become perfect with chicks. He gleaned a fuck load from Master Attraction. (Google it if you want pretty good emails on picking up girls.) The guidance concerned with attracting women at clubs in the emails from that website got got him his 1st sex in around 3 yrs. I've been displeased though on the grounds that I heard them all. Nasty.

  81. Thumbs up if you googled sorghum after watching this.

  82. This is one of the problems with Ted talks. Real cute, real clever, but he doesn't address where the numbers come from or if there is, even if overstated, a huge hit when people steal music.

  83. People also wrecked machines in early 19th century

  84. Legend. 

  85. According to the RIAA, the value of my iPod is equal to the GDP of Manitoba.

    I'm rich!

  86. wow ! amazing talks, i always fed up with the copyright infringement loss in music and movie industry.I do listen music and watch movie online, and i also pay to get copies if that worth to buy. 

  87. are you suggesting me to cancel cable and use that money to buy copyright products instead 

  88. cable people would be so mad

  89. And yet, the MAFIAA insists that file sharers are the criminals.

  90. Here, I want to distinguish between ideas and products. If you invented something first, like creating fire by smashing two stones together, for example, you will want to share with others, that is the idea. But if you pack 2 stone and sold on store shelves, it's products. What we need to protect the products rather than ideas. Because simple that you can only protect one tangible things (including digital products), not able to protect one unseen. Even if you want to do it, which is to protect one idea, it is beyond your ability, even though it goes against the laws of nature.
    When you share one idea with another person will be a process occurs. It's learning. Man with his perception of exposure to any object, the brain memory function on the information it receives. This is a natural process. Means that the original idea was that you share doubled up. It became the possession of two persons. Even in case you did not intentionally want to share ideas but want to sell products that contain the idea that you can not prevent someone who bought a product that- with your ideas contained in that- discover ideas from your product. And when he discovered that, of course, the idea of him becoming. You can not force him to remove it from the brain, and can not forbid him to use it in the thinking process. We should be clear that this process is not someone act  access database record or document in your room to looking for information about your idea that this is a process of learning from what shared or owned legally. Prohibiting people to learn, discover also damage many times the numbers that copyright mathematicians given.
    P/s: sorry for any inconvenience about grammar, English is my foreign language.

  91. About six years ago, my old computer broke down, resulting in the loss of hundreds of pirated games and movies and thousands of songs. Not long afterwards, the world economy collapsed. Coincidence? I think not!  

  92. they did the math/

  93. Logic, cynicism and sarcasm. Great little talk. Governments have a long way on clamping down file sharing, most torrents are gone….sadly.

  94. By their logic, if I pirate a song, they loose 150 000 dollars, but if I buy it they loose none? so basically is there something i can not do with a licensed copy that i can do with a pirated one? distributing it is still the same process, potentially losing the same ammount of money, roughly (even though that doesn't make sense, because most people that pirate content wouldn't have bought it anyways, and some are encouraged to buy the product after trying it for easier access through itunes or something) 

    TL;DR pirated copy = 150 000 $ lost,  licensed copy = 149 995$ lost by their logic.

  95. Hilarious and enlightening re copywrite

  96. Why won’t the media industry accept licensed copies of my $100 bills?? I WORKED HARD FOR THEM! Fucking rogue regimes!

  97. What economic loss do I cause by pirating this video?

  98. This guy is now completely vindicated by that hidden EU Study!
    https://gizmodo.com/the-eu-suppressed-a-300-page-study-that-found-piracy-do-1818629537

    I can't stop laughing!

    GLORIOUS

    #DystopiaNow
    #TurnTheShip

  99. So, if I have a 10TB hard disk filled to the brim with music which I pirate, so that makes 10,000,000 Megabytes of music, or 2 MB per track makes 5,000,000 songs.
    Each song cost $150,000 when pirated.
    $750,000,000,000 or 750 billion.
    Now I copy this illegally again to RAID1 for backup. Now its 1.5 Trillion.
    Then I send my friend a set of mirrored disks.
    3 Trillion. So by copyright math, I have just stolen the entire supply of money from their hands.
    I hold the world's wealth in my hands mwahahaha!

  100. There never was a lose, art was always there since humanity can think… the value of money is irrelevant for art, it would exist without it. What money always did was building a system, a society that lives for unreachable dreams and greed… The industry holds the imagination in prison and the art becomes more and more the same… Just listen to the radio…

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