[LINK] Mysterious $900m Piracy Report

Tom Koltai tomk at unwired.com.au
Tue Mar 15 22:29:59 AEDT 2011

Linkers could try the following search:

"Emilio Ferrer" +sydney

It would appear from the consulting agreement

that :

John Harston
Managing Director
Suite 10, Quay West Centre,
96 Gloucester Street
Sydney NSW 2000
sphere at sphere.com.au


John Harston, Phil Nott, Emilio Ferrer were the "approved" consultants.

Each of the above would appear to be highly degree qualified.

Yet, as the only person in Australia that has ever taken accurate metric
measurements over a period of time, I would question seriously the 900 M
figure especially in relation to the P2P RIP graphic I posted last week.

Further, that no-one in the world has carried out long term analysis of
sampling versus increased record sales.
We attempted to do some of this in 2009, unfortunately the sales numbers
appeared to become highly malleable when ARIA learned that we were
analysing their charts.

Before that occurred, P2P was signalling chart numbers [extremely
accurately] both up and down by approximately 12-15 days.

P2P became the new "sampling" that replaced DJ ego talk talk radio.

In Australia there is still no access to last.fm or Spotify, forcing
Australian young people to look for alternatives to try out new artists.

P2P and mp3 file sharing is essentially the new millenniums replacement
for the headphones in the record shop booth.

If the Hon. Mr. McClelland, the Minister is not made aware of these
access issues, he may in fact be shooting the music industry in the foot
if he gives them what they are asking for.
Because without a legal means of digital sampling, how are today's
generation going to know what to buy ? 

Possibly the Minister might go to the people and ask young people what
they think...

> -----Original Message-----
> From: link-bounces at mailman.anu.edu.au 
> [mailto:link-bounces at mailman.anu.edu.au] On Behalf Of Mitchell, Pru
> Sent: Tuesday, 15 March 2011 8:54 PM
> To: link at mailman.anu.edu.au
> Subject: Re: [LINK] Mysterious $900m Piracy Report
> Kim
> Thanks for linking to the update on this.
> In response to a question on twitter, we did some of the same 
> research last week, and the only digital reputation we could 
> locate for Sphere Analysis was a December 2010 report for 
> Shelter NSW http://www.shelternsw.org.au/docs/rpt10leveraging-sb45.pdf
> By Emilio Ferrer
> Shelter Brief 45
> ISSN 1448-7950
> It all makes an intriguing information literacy case study 
> for students. Pru
> ________________________________________
> From: link-bounces at mailman.anu.edu.au 
> [link-bounces at mailman.anu.edu.au] On Behalf Of Richard 
> Chirgwin [rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au]
> Sent: Tuesday, 15 March 2011 8:08 PM
> To: link at mailman.anu.edu.au
> Subject: Re: [LINK] Mysterious $900m Piracy Report
> (Kim: sorry for the repetition - I hit reply to you rather 
> than reply to the list)
> My small contribution to this for The Register is that the 
> Australian Content Industry Group has already appointed a 
> lobbyist in Canberra: 
> http://lobbyists.pmc.gov.au/register/view_agency.cfm?id=126
> Which probably explains how they got at the A-G. He should 
> hang his head in shame as a sucker.
> RC
> On 15/03/11 6:09 PM, Kim Holburn wrote:
> > 
> http://torrentfreak.com/secrecy-and-darkness-surround-mysterious-900m-
> > piracy-report-110314/
> >
> >> Secrecy and Darkness Surround Mysterious $900m Piracy Report
> >>
> >> Anti-piracy reports that are commissioned by the entertainment 
> >> industries are suspicious by definition, but the mystery that 
> >> surrounds a recent study goes far beyond that. Despite 
> being widely 
> >> covered in the press, no journalist has actually seen a 
> copy of the 
> >> report. Even worse, the company that produced the in-depth 
> report was 
> >> registered only four months ago, and appears to be 
> carefully hidden 
> >> from the public.
> >>
> >> To convince the government that harsher anti-piracy legislation is 
> >> needed, a coalition of Australian entertainment industry outfits - 
> >> under the umbrella name Australian Content Industry Group (ACIG) - 
> >> commissioned a study on the economical impact of Internet piracy. 
> >> Although by itself this is nothing out of the ordinary, 
> the lack of 
> >> transparency and shadiness that surrounds it is stunning.
> >>
> >> In late February the report in question was first mentioned in a 
> >> speech by Attorney General McClelland, who was speaking at a 
> >> conference on future directions in copyright law. At the time the 
> >> public were not yet aware of the report's existence. 
> Journalists too 
> >> remained in the dark.
> >>
> >> The same could be said for the Australian Content Industry 
> Group. The 
> >> copyright coalition, which doesn't have a public website, was 
> >> virtually unknown at that point also. The group consists 
> of a variety 
> >> of entertainment industry outfits, most prominently Music Industry 
> >> Piracy Investigations (MIPI), but until then had only 
> appeared in a 
> >> few recent government consultations.
> >>
> >> That's some background on the report, now let's fast forward two 
> >> weeks.
> >>
> >> On March 6th, Australian newspaper The Age published a series of 
> >> articles on Internet Piracy. Interestingly enough, the 
> aforementioned 
> >> report was at the center of the series that quickly made 
> headlines. 
> >> In particular the hit piece "Nation of unrepentant pirates costs 
> >> $900m", written by freelance journalist Neil McMahon, was 
> picked up 
> >> by dozens of other news outlets.
> >>
> >> Curious about this seemingly influential report that dominated the 
> >> headlines last week, we decided to take a good look at the company 
> >> that conducted the research - Sphere Analysis. However, this was 
> >> easier said than done.
> >>
> >> Like the Australian Content Industry Group, Sphere 
> Analysis doesn't 
> >> seem to have a web presence. With no website and no employees, not 
> >> even a single reference to the company could be found. How 
> could this 
> >> be? Wouldn't it be logical that such a big report would be 
> written by 
> >> a renowned company?
> >>
> >> To us it seemed a little suspicious to say the least, so the first 
> >> question that came to mind was: Who are behind Sphere Analysis?
> >>
> >> With help from the Pirate Party, we found that Sphere 
> Analysis is a 
> >> business name registered to the 'Sphere Property 
> Corporation'. This 
> >> company, which again has no web presence, appears to 
> operate in the 
> >> real-estate business. Not the type of business you'd 
> expect to write 
> >> an analysis of Internet piracy on the Australian economy.
> >>
> >> Interestingly, 'Sphere Analysis' was registered less than 
> four months 
> >> ago, which means that immediately after it was registered they got 
> >> this major contract. So who are these people?
> >>
> >>
> >> To find out more about the company, calls were made to several 
> >> numbers associated with Sphere Property Corporation but 
> again without 
> >> results. All calls went to so-called 'virtual offices', 
> where either 
> >> the company name didn't ring a bell, or where the person 
> who answered 
> >> the line was not allowed to give out information.
> >>
> >> Additional research eventually led us to an alleged employee of 
> >> Sphere Property Corporation, Phil Nott, who lists himself 
> as a Real  
> >> Estate Consultant on Linkedin. No other employees were 
> found and Mr. 
> >> Nott has two Linkedin profiles, each with just one connection.
> >>
> >> Aside from dealing with real estate, Sphere Property 
> Corporation also 
> >> seems to be connected to the investing company Sphere Capital 
> >> Advisers and the recruitment business Sphere Associates.
> >>
> >> None of the above companies has a website of course, so 
> that's pretty 
> >> much where our Sphere Analysis trail ended.
> >>
> >> Now that our interest in the report had been pushed even 
> higher, we 
> >> wanted to know how Sphere Analysis concluded that illicit movie, 
> >> music and games downloads cost the industry $900 million a year as 
> >> well as 8,000 jobs. Aside from a few key figures quoted in The Age 
> >> article, the full report was unfortunately nowhere to be seen.
> >>
> >> But we were not the only ones left in the dark. The journalist who 
> >> wrote the original article for The Age confirmed to 
> TorrentFreak that 
> >> he wasn't provided with the full report either. His 
> article was based 
> >> on information he was given by 'someone' he didn't want to name 
> >> without permission.
> >>
> >> In an attempt to get a copy of the report, we then began emailing 
> >> several outfits that fall under the Australian Content Industry 
> >> Group, but without a response. In addition the Australian Pirate 
> >> Party submitted a Freedom of Information request to the Attorney 
> >> General's office, but that is still being processed.
> >>
> >> So here we are. After a week of sending emails, making 
> phone calls, 
> >> and digging through all kinds of information we were unable to get 
> >> our hands on the full report. On the contrary, the mystery 
> >> surrounding the report is even greater because of the vagueness 
> >> surrounding Sphere Analysis.
> >>
> >> This is worrying, especially when the Attorney General clearly 
> >> indicates that it influences future legislation. The Pirate Party, 
> >> who helped us in our quest for information, agrees.
> >>
> >> "Where such reports or studies direct the policy direction of our 
> >> governments, there is a democratic imperative that the 
> information is 
> >> made available transparently, that the methodologies are sound and 
> >> adequately reflect reality," said Pirate Party's Rodney Serkowski.
> >>
> >> "The Age article inferred that the Attorney General was basing the 
> >> government's policy direction on these research figures. This is a 
> >> very, very shaky foundation for public policy - especially 
> when there 
> >> is a growing consensus that the institution of copyright requires 
> >> radical structural reform, lest it becomes irrelevant," he added.
> >>
> >> And then there's the issue with hiring the brand new and 
> unfindable 
> >> Sphere Analysis to conduct such an important report.
> >>
> >> "This study, carried out by a virtually unknown entity with access 
> >> only being granted to one journalist is highly dubious, 
> even for the 
> >> copyright lobby. Any study that gets reported as fact 
> should be made 
> >> available to the general public. The fact that it is not casts a 
> >> question over its contents," said Pirate Party's Simon Frew.
> >>
> >> So, will Sphere Analysis step forward immediately with a 
> full copy of 
> >> this apparent policy-setting report either to us or another news 
> >> outlet? Is transparency the way forward or are we to 
> blindly accept 
> >> spoon-fed 'statistics' from faceless groups, regurgitate them as 
> >> fact, help build credibility where none has been earned 
> and then work 
> >> the whole thing into law? That can't be the way forward.
> >
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