Images  1

That’s the title of an interesting article in [e-reads].  Here’s the beginning:

Simon van Meygaarden, a friend and correspondent based in the Netherlands, holds some views about illegal downloading that diverge from our own (including the term “illegal downloading”). In particular he believes that financial losses due to such downloads are an infinitesimal fraction of the potential legitimate revenues.  He has actually demonstrated mathematically that for every $1000 of potential to be made by an authorized content provider, only $1.40 ends up in the pocket of an unauthorized user.

Read Simon’s calculations.  Then I’ll have a few of my own.

Richard Curtis


Illegal Downloads – What are we talking about?

Let’s start with a term that is misused more than “piracy” and “crisis” together, the illustrious and infamous – turning on my hollow voice – “Illegal Downloads”.

A download is the transfer of data from a server or host computer to one’s own computer or device. Let’s define my number of downloads as “N”.

The author concludes that illegal downloading costs $1.40 out of every $1,000.


  1. Maybe you should read the article more closely.

    The point that I think he’s trying to make is that, rather than adopting the obviously idiotic hysteria of “every downloaded book is a lost sale!!!”, he’s trying to actually build a mathematical model to more accurately estimate losses. I don’t think he’s there yet (maybe missing a few factors), but it’s certainly a more intelligent way of approaching the problem than the usual WAGs.

    You may also disagree with the numbers that he plugs in to his model to arrive at $1.40, but that’s a different issue.

    The nice thing about mathematical models is that all the assumptions are out in the open for you to question and belittle (and improve upon).

The TeleRead community values your civil and thoughtful comments. We use a cache, so expect a delay. Problems? E-mail