Numbers Cited By SOPA Supporters May Be Fictitious

sacrilege's picture

Ignoring, momentarily, that the U.S. has already adopted international law which seeks to curtail online piracy (see, e.g., DMCA), and that these new bills seek to do little more than enact what amounts to police powers over foreign companies, it looks like the studies cited in support of piracy-gone-rampant may have never have existed. Julian Sanchez, a researcher at the Cato Institute, did his level best at tracking down the research behind the near-absurd numbers (the industry claims nearly $250B lost in revenues a year, and 750,000 lost jobs), but instead found only circular references.

So then, you may be asking yourself: how much does piracy actually cost the entertainment industry? $89MM. What’s the U.S. Taxpayer cost to enact new legislation (SOPA)? $47MM, by Sanchez’s estimates. That's 52.8 cents of U.S. Taxpayer money spent for every dollar in private enterprise saved, if the system works (which it won't), when there already likely exists a private remedy (private action in the host country).

From the GAO:

“First, a number of industry, media, and government publications have cited an FBI estimate that U.S. businesses lose $200-$250 billion to counterfeiting on an annual basis. This estimate was contained in a 2002 FBI press release, but FBI officials told us that it has no record of source data or methodology for generating the estimate and that it cannot be corroborated.


Second, a 2002 CBP press release contained an estimate that U.S. businesses and industries lose $200 billion a year in revenue and 750,000 jobs due to counterfeits of merchandise. However, a CBP official stated that these figures are of uncertain origin, have been discredited, and are no longer used by CBP. A March 2009 CBP internal memo was circulated to inform staff not to use the figures. However, another entity within DHS continues to use them.”

See Kevin Fogerty's piece at IT World for more.

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redpill's picture

Sac sighting, Sac sighting!

Bill the Cat's picture


I can't has freedomz on teh Interwebz?  I can't has freedomz at all?

trav7777's picture

250B?  That's a horseshit number AB INITIO.  How the fuck could anyone tell that lie with a straight face?

Hollyweird and these shit peddler confettier cousins just want their goddamned pound of flesh from everyone.  Their movies suck.  Their music sucks.  Their TV shows suck.

If the people pirating this shit didn't pirate it, guess what...THEY WOULDN'T WATCH IT OR LISTEN TO IT.  Like me and the UFC.  I can get that on a p2p site otherwise, I am not going to pony up the money for the PPV.  Fuck that.  If I want to hear a song, I go to Youtube.  I give a fuck about downloading the thing to my goddamned phone or some bs MP3 player and most other people don't give enough of a fuck to do so either.

The people who should complain about piracy are the radio stations...ipods+piracy killed them.  And pop music sucks shit and is totally formulaic.  Is there much of ANYTHING in "entertainment" worth a fuck these days?

JPM Hater001's picture

Bah humbug I say.  The amount wouldnt matter if we just reclassify the fuckers as terrorists.  Then we can kill them here and abroad...who's gonna pirate our shit now huh mutha flacker....

Just couldnt pull the full swear...sorry.

gwbrennan's picture

That Jazz station is excellent.  Perfect soundtrack while reading ZH.

fnord88's picture

"I can't has freedomz at all?"

You still have the most important freedom of all. The freedom to do exactly what they tell you.

Now shut the fuck up, dancing with the stars is on.

NumNutt's picture

Why am I getting the feeling that as soon as this latest peice of legislation is shoved up the tax payers ass two things are going to happen:

1. we will be expected to start paying more taxes to fund this peice of shit.

2. Sites like Zerohedge are going to vanish from the WEB.

Get ready, they are taking total control.....

LetThemEatRand's picture

The numbers supporting SOPA are bullshit which seemed self-evident to a lot of us before CATO said so, but the numbers that support the oil pipeline are all valid and we need to support it and get mad about not having another one (in a country that has no shortage of energy supply)? God forbid we would get together as a society and say no to the oiligarchs.   But when they want to take away our internet, let's get pissed!!!!!

Hive Raid's picture

B-b-b-but... Hollywood Jews wouldn't LIE, would they?!!

Just like the "6 million Jews" fraud that they've shoved down the throat of every elementary school child and every movie-goer in the country; they've been selling the 6 million number since BEFORE World War 1 !  Perfect smoke-screen-of-pity/guilt to protect their international banking crime syndicate and their heritage of Bolshevik/Neocon agitation and mass murder (20 million Russians less than a century ago).


Better look now, because they will shut it down once they've promulgated enough Talmudic law to revoke the 1st amendment on the net.

AchtungAffen's picture

Randians and racists, one single (oily) heart...

flattrader's picture

>>>but the numbers that support the oil pipeline are all valid and we need to support it and get mad about not having another one (in a country that has no shortage of energy supply)?<<<

...and the pipeline would have contained the dirtyest form of crude transversing US fresh water aquifers and fertile farmland to go to a US port to be shipped abroad and refined elsewhere for the benefit of others...

But, why confuse the morons?...they will choose whatever bullshit numbers they want to "believe" in--reality be damned...

trav7777's picture

freedom?  LOLZ

The US is one of the LEAST FREE NATIONS ON THE PLANET.  We think we're free because we can favorably compare ourselves to fucking IRAN or North Korea?  ROTFL.

What about like 100 other nations?  JFC, you can't go a day in this place without having someone in "authority" trying to be your fucking mom.  While our kids play dodge ball with fucking foam balls made for 2 year olds (seriously).

You're breaking about 10 laws right now and you don't (and can't) even know it.

Element's picture

The obvious answer to the tyranny is mass, and I mean  M A S S  civil disobedience

That's not anarchy.

That's people saying we are the boss, and we always have been.

We make the laws, and those laws are for us, and we can end those Laws and abandon them, altogether, any time we want to.

The same goes for any government, any leader, and any administration.

TPTB just don't want us to realise that we can do that, to any of them, any time we decide to.

We don't even need to challenge TPTB, and we don't need to ask their permission.

We just don't obey anything that we don't think is honouring our personal or community's best interests.

Who the fuck are these 'law makers' to any of us?

To hell with the lot of them.

Why is this so obvious, yet so few have the balls to simply stop playing their game, altogether.

'Copyright' ... who gives a pound of poo-tickets about that? 

Maybe they'll copyright the English language next, and thus shut us up, as we won't be able to afford to verbalise any more?

Creativity is for us. It is not for some to have and for us to not have, unless we get poorer so they get richer.

Fuck that, to Hell with them and all their dismal petty 'lorz'.

StychoKiller's picture

"There's no way to rule innocent men.  The only power any government has is to crack down on criminals.  Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them.  One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.  Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens?  What's there in that for anyone?  But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted--and you create a nation of law-breakers--and then you cash in on guilt.  Now that's the system, Mr. Rearden, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with. -- Dr. Floyd Ferris

Emphasis, added by me.

Element's picture

You know, there's a part in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion that says basically the same thing.

SMG's picture

Give me liberty, or give me death!


PS.  I'll fight the death, so you damn well better give me liberty.

Nage42's picture

>Give me liberty

Holy "that ship has sailed" Batman!  Didn't you get the memo?!?  They removed your last remaining liberty a few weeks ago... that tingling feeling of where your nationalism should be is just ghost pains of the legs they cut out from under you.

Can you say: "OMG! They stole my cheeze!"?



Ha ha, they don't seem to be too bothered about counterfeiting FSR's.  Awesome. 


Errrrr, counterfeit and FSR......sorry about the redundancy. 

a growing concern's picture

I think the Bernank downvoted you.  How did he get an account on here, anyway?

uranian's picture

oh, the government lied. now there's a fucking surprise eh?

Sweet Chicken's picture

lulz I came in to post this exact sentiment. +1

Terminus C's picture

Governments don't lie... they just have a different understanding of the truth.  It all boils down to what your definition of "is" is.

macholatte's picture



Advertising is legalized lying.
H. G. Wells



A democracy which makes or even effectively prepares for modern, scientific war must necessarily cease to be democratic. No country can be really well prepared for modern war unless it is governed by a tyrant, at the head of a highly trained and perfectly obedient bureaucracy.
Aldous Huxley

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society.
Edward Bernays

Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.
Joseph Goebbels

All over the place, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume.
Noam Chomsky


Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way round, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise.
Adolf Hitler



infinity8's picture

How about the big pharma ads? Can't advertise smokes but it's okay to advertise pills that you can't have legally unless prescribed by an MD. So, why advertise to the masses with the endless, retarded side effects quoted to appease the lawyers?

TwelfthVulture's picture

What about the comedic value?  Do you not value that?

Having trouble falling asleep because your legs are moving?

Then, take this magic pill.

Side effects may include:  Stroke, seizure, vomitting, severe abdominal cramping, rectal hemoraging, high blood pressure, blindness and/or paralysis.

Yeah, Doc, I need that extra 15 minutes per night!  Damn the risks!

infinity8's picture

don't forget frontal lobe dislocation.

LetThemEatRand's picture

don't forget the pipeline that us freedom loving americans are supposed to be pissed that Obama blocked (temporarily).

toomanyfakeconservatives's picture

Pharmacetical adverse drug reactions still kill over 100,000 Americans every year... and barely a peep from the media or governement. The WAR ON DRUGS... the wrong drugs.

trav7777's picture

if there were even TEN MDMA deaths, they would scream from every rooftop they could get access to.

People drop dead in droves from prescriptions and hospital fuckups and nary a peep.  Freedom?  This isn't fucking freedom.

I saw freedom in Colombia just a couple weeks ago...mountain road, no guardrail.  Intersections in the city with no signage in ANY direction.  Guess what?  Motherfucking PEOPLE managed to get by without the goddamned NANNY STATE mother-in-law government breathing down their fucking necks trying to micromanage every aspect of their lives.

People are gravitating toward RP and will continue to move toward that message because they just want their fucking Uncle Sam to STFU and get out of their grille.

infinity8's picture

can't argue with any of that.      amen.

Burnbright's picture

You know Trav it is funny that RP says freedom brings people together and all your rants in this particular article I could not agree more. 

Element's picture

Yeah we somehow survived the last 100,000 years without a mandatory fluoro safety vest.

I guess we musta just got lucky

trav7777's picture

funny how much Adolf and Bernays agreed upon

ISEEIT's picture

The Veil between left/right becomes more thin daily. The pace accelerates. Each of us just needs to give a little to get a lot. We do not need to let this happen. It can still be different. Sure, by the skin of our skinny, chin, chin, but that still counts right?

Let's not go there people.

Write in Ron Paul.

He is not a 'saviour'. He is just an old dude telling the truth as best as he knows how.


WTF else are we to do?

Don't do it.

Stop. Everything literally is at risk. The 'vacation' of Liberty is literally at risk. When you choose sides in this war bear that in mind. It is not us VS them, it is them VS us.

Understanding the distiction is key.

flattrader's picture

>>>He is not a 'saviour'. He is just an old dude telling the truth as best as he knows how.<<<

Not a savior?  His Christian Reconstructionist nutball followers certainly think know the ones who want the all those pesky national civil rights laws out of the way so they can impose the death penalty for gays, adulterers and delinquent children on the state level?

It's clear most Americans don't give a damn about gays or if women have access to safe abortions, but they will draw the line at the death penalty for adultery..kind of hard to get a stiffy and fuck the neighbor's wife when you have to worry about public stoning

>>>At the John Birch Society 50th anniversary gala, Ron Paul spoke to another favorite theme of the Reconstructionists and others in the religious right: that of the "remnant" left behind after evil has swept the land. (Gary North's publication is called The Remnant Review.) In a dispatch on Paul's keynote address, The New American, the publication of the John Birch Society, explained, "He claimed that the important role the JBS has played was to nurture that remnant and added, 'The remnant holds the truth together, both the religious truth and the political truth.'"<<<

That's a direct quote.  He speaks their language.  He is one of them. Ron Paul's Reconstructionist religious remnant holds the "political truth" together?  The Birchers?  What crap. I like my government secular and want to keep it that way. For those of you who still don't understand the threat to secular goverment, read on


>>>Though a committed Baptist, Paul writes on his website, “My faith is a deeply private issue to me, and I don’t speak on it in great detail during my speeches because I want to avoid any appearance of exploiting it for political gain.

Nevertheless, Paul’s support among the country’s most committed theocrats is deep and longstanding, something that’s poorly understood among those who simply see him as a libertarian. That’s why it wasn’t surprising when the Paul campaign touted the endorsement of Phil Kayser, a Nebraska pastor with an Iowa following who calls for the execution of homosexuals. Nor was it shocking to learn that Mike Heath, Paul’s Iowa state director, is a former board chairman of “Americans for Truth About Homosexuality,” which the Southern Poverty Law Center classifies as a hate group. Should Paul win the Iowa caucuses, it will actually be a triumph for a fundamentalist faction that has until now been considered a fringe even on the Christian right.<<<




>>>>Ron Paul has long been a favorite politician of Christian Reconstructionists. (Gary) North was a Paul staffer during the Texas congressman’s first term and has called him the “mahatma of self-government.” As Adele Stan reported on Alternet, in 2008, Howard Phillips, a Christian Reconstructionist who founded the Constitution Party, was the keynote speaker at the rally Paul convened in the shadow of the Republican convention. (That year, Paul endorsed the Constitution Party candidate for president over John McCain.) “The people who I know who are big Ron Paul guys are old school Reconstructionists,” says Paul supporter Brian D. Nolder, the pastor of Christ the Redeemer Church in Pella, Iowa.

It might seem that Paul’s libertarianism is the very opposite of theocracy, but that’s true only if you want to impose theocracy at the federal level. In general, Christian Reconstructionists favor a radically decentralized society, with communities ruled by male religious patriarchs. Freed from the power of the Supreme Court and the federal government, they believe that local governments could adopt official religions and enforce biblical law.<<<

Shizzmoney's picture

It's like Hollywood doesn't understand the level of crap they have spewed out the last few years.

But it's the pirates fault no one goes to see Cars 4, The Lion King remake, <Insert 70's Sitcom> remake, Short Circuit remake, Hangover 2 (basically the same movie, just in Thailand), etc, etc.

Hephasteus's picture

It's all part of the plan. Really good government propaganda can't be made in a free market. You have to be reliant on the government and it's enforcement division to crater.

Then you can have forced phones for a 1 a month. Forced cable tv for a dollar a month. Corporate government where corporations tell them what they need to buy. Senators on sleep pills that wake up at 3:30 in the morning and go to work without knowing why they are doing it. Yep McCain fucking did that.

trav7777's picture

people just don't understand Brave New World.  They can't get the message, it seems.  We are freaking THERE.  "consumption up to the limits of hygiene," the feelies with explosions and helicopters.  A true magnum opus.

infinity8's picture

I started work after the 1st of the year at 2 different locations that have a fucking teevee on all the time. I haven't been a watcher for years, no cable, maybe a total of 4 hours a month with news, a little comedy or a documentary. I CANNOT BELIEVE how crappy it's become. Who is watching this shit? Ice Road Truckers is still on? Can't remember the last time I went to a movie in the theater. Rentals are 98% disappointing, to say the least. I wouldn't take this shit if you GAVE it to me, let alone pirate any of it. (and I have no problem paying for music that I want)

TwelfthVulture's picture

You can't have the music YOU want, unless you also pay for the shit THEY want you to buy.

infinity8's picture

Maybe I'm having a stupid moment but, I don't understand you. I pay cover charges to see hard-working bands I like. I buy Ween and Splitlip Rayfield and Jimi Hendrix CD's (among others). If it's worth it to me, it's worth it to me. I don't do iTunes, if that's what you're referring to . . . don't own "i" anything.

YoDudeRock's picture

I'm with you iShit sucks.

Careless Whisper's picture

"...nearly one-quarter of all Internet traffic is copyright-infringing..."   (Chris Dodd, Motion Picture Association of America, Chairman and CEO) November 4, 2011   (third paragraph from last)



Star Jonestown's picture

16% of all broadband traffic last summer was consumed by bit torrent.  source: gigaom.  So, considering all the other methodologies used to pirate goods, "nearly one quarter" is a reasonable statement.  

People are stealing stuff that's cheap because they can.  


Pancho Villa's picture

This is the same Chris Dodd who helped to engineer the current housing/banking depression?

And now he is trying to shut down the internet?

This guy is a real piece of work.