News

Canadian Chamber of Commerce Justifies Fake Counterfeit Claims With More False Numbers

In a follow-up email (which I noted would be used for a blog post), Gray indicated that the Chamber had previously used the U.S. Chamber’s estimate of $250 billion in counterfeiting costs to estimate that the Canadian figure is $22.5 billion, since the Canadian economy is approximately 9% the size of the U.S. economy. That $250 billion figure was rejected in the U.S. GAO report, which noted:

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.

If it is now basing its numbers on the ICC report, it has massively overstated its claim since the ICC report actually produces a far lower number for U.S. counterfeiting. The report estimates U.S. counterfeiting imports at between $46 billion and $58 billion. It also estimates U.S. domestic production of counterfeits at between $12 billion and $14 billion. That leads to a total estimate of between $58 and $72 billion in counterfeits for the United States (there is an additional estimate for digital counterfeiting, which is irrelevant for border measure issues).  Using the Chamber’s approach that estimates Canada at 9% of the U.S. number, the Canadian estimated figure for tangible counterfeits would be between $5.2 and $6.5 billion (adding the digital counterfeiting would add another $750 million – $2.5 billion). The roughly $6 billion figure points to a serious issue, but it is a far cry from the $30 billion the Chamber touted this week.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has now cited a figure based on numbers the FBI rejects ($22.5 billion), a figure the RCMP won’t support ($30 billion), and when pressed on the issue, points to yet another source that upon review indicates it massively overstated its claim. Gray now admits that counterfeiting estimates are difficult to quantify, yet it is the Chamber that embarrasses itself by regularly citing dubious data to garner media attention and lobby for legislative reforms.

70 Comments

  1. “embarrasses itself by regularly citing dubious data to garner media attention and lobby for legislative reforms.”

    How you write stuff like that without collapsing from ironic embarrassment is a wonder of science.

  2. “How you write stuff like that without collapsing from ironic embarrassment is a wonder of science.”

    Pot.

    Kettle.

    Black.

  3. @Degen
    C’Mon John $30B, what’s the estimate ~$1000 per person per year? How many Canadians travel abroad every year? It’s hard to find solid statistics, but the number seems to be around 6,000,000 trips each year, so let’s inflate that to 10,000,000 and make the outrageous assumption that almost 30% of our populace travels abroad every year. That’s still an average of $3000 per trip based on the CCC’s claim. Perhaps what…MAYBE 1% of those traveling might risk being arrested trying to bring in that much goods. Even if every Canadian is the thief the CCC like to imply we are, the numbers just don’t support their claims.

    The UK and all-inclusive types of resorts in the tropics are the #1 destinations for Canadians. Not exactly haven’s of counterfeiting.

    We simply don’t have the culture nor the population to feasibly generate the kind of loss the CCC claims. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that a majority of counterfeit goods coming in to Canada come from commercial operations importing stuff en-mass from places like China and end up in stores like Dollarama. While this is NOT going to be $30B worth of loss, it should be commercial operations and container yards they target.

    Granted my analysis is purely qualitative but attempts to put the CCC claims in to perspective. At least it’s not based on data/reports which have already been debunked.

    According to a 2007 CBC reports, it’s estimated as many as 40% of the Canadian population has purchase knowingly or unknowingly (Some counterfeits are THAT good), counterfeit goods at some point. That would mean, on average, those who purchase counterfeit goods spend about $2300/year per person. Almost $200/month. I don’t think so.

  4. John,

    Geist doesn’t always get it right, nor would I say do you or I, but the content industry is by far the king of dubious data.

  5. Bill MacEachern says:

    Degen, please elaborate
    Instead of throwing mud without any substance.

  6. Crockett,

    ‘He may be wrong, but he’s not the wrongest.’ That’s the argument du jour? High standards you have there.

    Mr. MacEachern,

    Sorry to be cryptic. My comment is a reference to the fact that Michael Geist regularly and unquestioningly cites extremely dubious calculations and statistics himself — such as Howard Knopf’s infamous and outrageous claim that Access Copyright is demanding a 1300% increase in its tariff proposal; Geist’s own calculation that AC spends more on itself than it does on distributions to Canadian creators; his whole PlayBook Tax debacle; his recitation of Fair Copyright for Canada membership numbers as something meaningful; and the great numbers work he did in “proving” his side won in the Canadian copyright consultation (his side being primarily online form-letter clickers of uncertain citizenry coming from a known pirate organization) — and never admits the fault in these “facts,” as that would get in the way of his extremely biased media punditry and government lobbying efforts.

    I hope that’s enough elaboration. I would just repeat what you’ve said and make some point about pots, kettles and the relative weight of wrongnesses, but I believe actual debate requires thoughtful responses and real knowledge of the facts.

  7. Tax Payer says:

    Degen should get back to work at the Ontario Arts Council calmly and dispassionately crunching numbers and dispensing our tax dollars to his fellow writers and other creators.

  8. Deagan,
    Wow, so now you’re just making stuff up?

    “I hope that’s enough elaboration. I would just repeat what you’ve said and make some point about pots, kettles and the relative weight of wrongnesses, but I believe actual debate requires thoughtful responses and real knowledge of the facts. ”
    never stopped you before… and didn’t appear to in the last post either.

  9. Degan,
    “‘He may be wrong, but he’s not the wrongest.’ That’s the argument du jour? High standards you have there.”
    hmmm seem to be avoiding the actual fact that the stats are incorrect and grossl so. But hey avoiding fact and reason seems to work in your world.

  10. Tax Payer,

    I also pay taxes. As do all professional creators and arts grant recipients. What’s your point?

  11. @Degen “That’s the argument du jour? High standards you have there.”

    Yes, John seems to enjoy throwing mud at Geist at every opportunity but never seems to get around to addressing the topic in discussion. He accuses Geist of everything under the sun but never admits to similar behavior from his side of the isle.

    Accuse, deflect and never, NEVER admit your side is wrong is a valid tactic, just a fairly useless one.


  12. Crockett said: “Accuse, deflect and never, NEVER admit your side is wrong is a valid tactic, just a fairly useless one.”

    And John never replies to “valid” arguments counter to his opinion. Again, I state, in regard to the $30B figure…

    “According to a 2007 CBC report, it’s estimated as many as 40% of the Canadian population has purchased knowingly or unknowingly (Some counterfeits are THAT good), counterfeit goods at some point. That would mean, on average, those who purchase counterfeit goods spend about $2300/year per person. Almost $200/month. I don’t think so.”

    The numbers seem A LOT bloated to me John, what say you?

  13. It would be refreshing but …
    John once told me, and I quote (p) “I don’t care what your arguments are, I won’t listen. I am only concerned with stopping artists from having their rights taken away”

    So don’t hold your breath …

  14. Galbraith's Ghost says:

    Who needs economists, computers, statisticians, surveys, data, etc. when the “back of an envelope” suffices for “evidence”.

  15. db,

    What am I making up? Enlighten me.

    The rest of you,

    When I comment here, it is to point out hypocrisy in Geist’s methods and inaccuracy in his declarations. Todays comment is the former. I have no comment on the CCC’s numbers as I have not looked into them. Geist could be right about this one for all I know (based on his recent track record, I doubt it, but miracles happen).

    If you can look back through all my comments and find an instance where I have slung mud rather than validly called out Geist, I invite you to present it to us all.

    Crockett, I’m sorry you were so offended, but you need to understand that not everyone cares about your every thought. Try blogging (or running a national association) – you’ll develop a thicker skin soon enough.

  16. Also Crockett, when you paraphrase me, please try to make me sound smarter. I have standards.

  17. @DEGEN “Geist could be right about this one for all I know …”

    That little bit of humility looks good on you John, keep working on it.

  18. @Crockett
    Yeah, Degen doesn’t seem to be someone that actually wants to engage in an exchange of ideas, he’d rather just try to ram him view down everyone else’s throats.

  19. CasualObserver says:

    @Degen and opposite side
    I haven’t looked into actual figures, nor have I looked into the underlying drama that I sense in the comments here, but Degen made valid points in some of his posts that no-one has refuted.

    Most people here seem bent on trying to start a flame war with this Degen character, while he seems to subscribe to a higher form of argument. Perhaps someone knowledgeable could try to refute his claims?

  20. @CasualObserver “Degen made valid points in some of his posts”

    Which valid point did Degen make that you are referring to? Was it his opening flame against Geist or his second?

    At what point has John Degen even speak to the purpose of this thread other than to say “I have no
    comment on the CCC’s numbers as I have not looked into them.”

    John also likes to “to point out hypocrisy” but fails to mention that he gets quite upset on his blog if people don’t stick to the topic at hand.

    Unfortunately, this is just more of the same from him. Drama and all.

  21. CasualObserver says:

    @Crockett
    You’ll have to forgive me, I’m new around here. I was referring to Degen’s post including the following:
    “…such as Howard Knopf’s infamous and outrageous claim that Access Copyright is demanding a 1300% increase in its tariff proposal; Geist’s own calculation that AC spends more on itself than it does on distributions to Canadian creators; his whole PlayBook Tax debacle…”

    I haven’t actually looked into these specific claims, but they way people are jumping over almost everything he says (yet no mention of these) I assumed either no-one disputes these claims, or that these claims are so bogus and fraudulent that no-one wants to mention them.

    In terms of staying on topic, I’d argue that Degen was, even if he wasn’t specifically referring to the actual numbers in this blog post. While not really productive in this case (since Geist is disputing figures, not presenting them), highlighting cases where someone was incorrect or misleading in the past does draw healthy skepticism to new statements of ‘fact.’ I’m not trying to defend Degen or Geist in particular since I’m not well versed in these issues, I’d just like some argument that I can learn from.

  22. CasualObserver says:

    @Crockett
    Having looked into those issues a bit more (and Degen’s replies/opinions) I now clearly see your point of view. Degen does indeed seem somewhat scattered and likes to blow smoke (to no enlightening end…) I understand if you thought I was a bit crazy when I first pointed out his ‘valid’ points.

  23. @CasualObserver
    …”but Degen made valid points in some of his posts that no-one has refuted”

    I’ve been there and done that. It doesn’t change the tone of his remarks, nor does he acknowledge any views or refutations, except his own. Eventually you get tired of responding to John, or refuting him.

    Is it a 250% or a 1300% increase? Interpretation. Depends on how you look at it. The fact of the matter is, that it *is* a significant increase at a time when modern technology should be driving a significant decrease. John makes a valid point about interpretations, but attempts to use that as a basis to reject the whole presentation and argument. If you agree to his interpretation of a 250% increase, he will shift the argument to a “professor’s salary” argument. He will never agree or acknowledge, even in principle, that advancing technology should be driving any kind of decrease.

    Stick around a while and you will see this as well. John does have some good points at times, but he tends to inflate his “points” into the whole discussion, and never changes his views even when his points are refuted or opposed. He isn’t open to discussion or even argument, he constantly and simply forwards his own views, and attacks anyone that disagrees. The lack of openness to discussion creates an animosity and general rejection of everything John has to say, including when he has made a valid point. If you agree with him on any single point, he will use it out of context in another discussion. As a general rule you are better off not to say/write anything even when you agree with a point John has made. And that is sad.

    Crockett has it right, and even backs it with a quote from John. John doesn’t seem interested in what anybody else has to say. But I’ll add an addendum, he is interested only when someone agrees with him.

    This isn’t the proper blog item for this discussion, the immediate previous one is. The only reason it has migrated to this one is John’s animosity to anything Dr Geist has to say. Note his opening remarks in this blog item.

  24. CasualObserver says:

    @oldguy
    Indeed, I have begun to discover who John is for myself, through reading his comments on this blog and his posts and comments on his own blog.

    I feel he has a tremendous way with words – very powerful and persuasive. Unfortunately this seems to hide the lack of logic, so it seems easy for him to trick people into his line of thinking. I suppose this is why, on his site, he is first self-introduced as a poet, then as a novelist, and finally as a Literature Officer.

  25. @Degen
    “I have no comment on the CCC’s numbers as I have not looked into them.”

    Then why bother commenting on a subject on which you have no knowlegde and done no research? Sounds like trolling to me.


  26. “And John never replies to “valid” arguments counter to his opinion.”

    See not a comment or even sniff of rebutal. $200/month/person John, according to the CBC, does that sound reasonable?

  27. by John E Dunn (not me) says:

    Microsoft: Many Cybercrime Surveys Hopelessly Flawed
    Cybercrime surveys are so riddled with statistical distortions the answers they glean are probably about as reliable as asking the average an American male how many sexual partners he’s slept with, a Microsoft research paper has calculated. [...]

    In Sex, Lies and Cybercrime Surveys authors Dinei Florencio and Cormac Herley use the analogy of common errors found in sex surveys to illustrate a similar problem in many cybercrime studies.

    The problem relates to the extrapolation from “heavytail” statistical means. When estimating an unknown quantity (cybercrime losses for instance) from subjective responses, small numbers of unusual answers can hugely distort the result if this result is taken to be representative of a whole population’s experience. [...]

    “Our assessment of the quality of cyber-crime surveys is harsh: they are so compromised and biased that no faith whatever can be placed in their findings. We are not alone in this judgement.”

    http://www.cio.com/article/684122/Many_Cybercrime_Surveys_Hopelessly_Flawed_Researchers_Find

  28. I’ll just quickly note that despite the anonymous CasualObserver’s deep conversation about my psychology with the equally anonymous oldguy, STILL no-one has refuted any of the points I made about Geist’s own use of questionable and biased data.

    Questionable and biased data IS the topic of this posting, is it not? Geist is attempting to use his authority as a researcher to show that one of his ideological enemies is massaging data for biased purposes. I’d say it’s pretty relevant indeed to show that Geist’s authority on such a matter is dubious considering his own work in the field.

    I am listed as a poet and novelist on my blog because that is what I am (and have been for two decades). Should I deny these facts? I also list my day job and explain that I don’t speak from that position on the blog. I fail to see how that full disclosure represents any attempt at deception.

  29. Came to read about 30 billion
    I am dissapointed – I read all the comments hoping to find a discussion of the citation of “dubious data” referred to in the first comment, only to find the commenter sidle away from his own words by saying “have no comment on the CCC’s numbers as I have not looked into them. Geist could be right about this one for all I know”. So then why the comment, and the very first comment at that.

    Shame on you Mr. Degan, you’ve wasted my time.

  30. …”Questionable and biased data IS the topic of this posting, is it not?”

    Yes it is. This posting is about using numbers from sources that are either disavowed or cannot be verified.

    This is quite different from your pet peeve, where the numbers are available and undisputed, but produce different amounts depending on if you compare subsections of numbers or the overall package. You get quite upset when people point to a certain subsection and point out that it’s a 1300% increase (which it is, and you cannot dispute). A more liberal interpretation of the whole package comes up with an estimated increase of around 250%. The data itself isn’t “questionable or biased”, although a narrow interpretation is only valid in narrowly defined definitions.

    For this posting it is the source and accuracy of the numbers themselves that are in dispute. For your pet peeve, the numbers are not in dispute, it is the interpretation.

    You are conflating issues of interpretation, with validity of the numbers themselves. Not even close to the same thing. You even admit that you haven’t looked into the CCC numbers at issue here. In effect, you are blindly attacking the messenger and flat out ignoring the message. In the scope of this blog posting, there is nothing you have brought up to “refute”. As Phil states; you are wasting our time, with an irrelevant vendetta.

    In the scope of this posting, the dubious source of these numbers is old news. The only thing “new” is the CCC attempt to reuse these untrustworthy numbers as though they still had validity.

  31. @Degen “no-one has refuted any of the points I made”
    Actually John if you look above I went one better than that and agreed with you, “Geist doesn’t always get it right”. Now that that’s out of the way maybe you could actually see past your obsession and speak to the actual topic at hand?

  32. Relax
    Why does everyone get so upset when someone challenges king Geist’s assertions or comments. He doesn’t react the way you all do, just relax. If dr. Geist was not interest in comments, he’d close his comment section. In addition, I doubt dr. Geist wanted only his cheerleaders comments up here…so much for dialogue.

  33. Phil,

    So, I forced you to read through the comments? I suppose I’m also stopping you from starting your own discussion about dubious data? You are easily manipulated, it seems. Welcome home.

    Ip cop,

    Protecting the dear leader is standard procedure in these here parts. Challenges are met with name-calling and denial of fact. Little else. Oh, the occasional fake agreement, but it usually doesn’t take long to see the bile flowing.

  34. @Ip cop
    It doesn’t bother me that someone challenges Dr Geist’s, research, statements, conclusions, or postings here. It’s good to see an opposing, thought provoking, view.
    It’s the commenting on previous topics, without appropriate background buildup, into inappropriate and unrelated, postings. The blog posting immediately previous to this one ( http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/5847/125/ ) would have been much more appropriate, and much closer to being on topic. If someone hasn’t been following all the previous issues and blog topics, they can get quite confused.

  35. ruffledfeathers says:

    polarity
    I like Dr. Geist because he doesn’t take side. He just wants openness and fairness.
    Keep up the hard work!

  36. @oldguy
    I really agree with you on this. John’s posting on this particular topic have been nothing but trolling. If he had decided to bring it up in a more appropriate discussion, then most people probably would have been fine with it. It’s not even like he’s actually disputing anything Dr. Giest has said here, which he even pointed out later.

  37. Degen said: Protecting the dear leader is standard procedure in these here parts. Challenges are met with name-calling and denial of fact. Little else. Oh, the occasional fake agreement, but it usually doesn’t take long to see the bile flowing.

    You described yourself perfectly.

  38. O_o
    IP Cop, we have had the pleasure John’s contribution to this blog for years … 

    You will notice in this thread, after several requests, there has been no actual discussion on this thread topic from John, just an opening salvo then more name calling from the get go. That’s John’s style, any opportunity for an attack, rarely a discussion of the issues at hand.

    Understand this is not an disparage on him as a person (he is very dedicated), just an explanation of his track record.

    Then he has the curious quirk to complain when finds himself on the receiving end of the same treatment? As John likes to say, “Are there no mirrors in your world”

    You can seen the reason for our exasperation  … But really it might be a little too quiet around here without him ;)

  39. @Dedgen “Oh, the occasional fake agreement …”
    Further, it appears if you agree with one of John’s points he will happily call you a fake. Then go on to ask why no one is agreeing with him.

    Sigh …

    John I love ya, but you need to work on your people skills!

  40. A honest request ,,,
    Ok, after everyone has had a good nights sleep I think it would be good to dial things back a bit. When some one roars in like a bull in a china shop it is easy for people to get defensive and even offensive.

    But as oldguy said we do need a variety opinions, even ones we don’t like, to have proper debate.   When it degrades into a cat fight no one is being served well.

    I think it would be productive if people are going to post here that they respect the purpose of the thread and at least speak to the topic at hand. It will be if course almost impossible to keep personal ideology out, but let’s at least make an attempt to speak to the issue raised rather that just a plot of ground to plant our soapbox.

    An to help John het past his block I will state here that, in my opinion,  Prof. Geist is neither infallible nor not driven by a certain amount of personal
    Ideology. Some of the things he has posted on this blog have at times been either wrong or interpreted from a strong viewpoint. Yet this is something we, including all who blog here, must honestly account for also. 

    So once again I ask for personal attacks to diminish and let us actually debate the important digital & copyright issues that affect us all. Maybe we can actually learn something and come to better understanding.

  41. Why do you guys feed the troll. Dedgen knows the only way for him to gain any attention is to constantly attack Geist. The guy hasn’t gone a day where the professor isn’t in his mind since he began bashing him for what seems like ages ago. He should just change the name of his blog to drgeististheantichrist.com

    He cares not what the topic is at hand, only to belittle others.

    If the man had any class what so ever, he would just stick to his writing and forget what professor Geist is talking about. Let him stand on his own merits and idea’s, while not bashing anyone else’s for awhile.

  42. A calm and hopefully no storm
    It would be nice to simply discuss some issues for a change..it might be the reason people like me read the articles and then out of here fast. Anyway, I’ll start. I work in IP and there is no way counterfeiting is a 6 billion dollar direct problem. I would accept that Canada has a 1 billion dollar problem give or take 250 million. The motion picture people assert their loses at around 150 million or around 225 million if you include online or digital loses. However after movies, I see few other industries that will lose the remaining 750 million. Industry however will claim that the loses are not just their direct sales, their is the secondary loses by their suppliers and support businesses. One major problem is it is difficult to measure an illicit activity..and remember the billion dollar figure would dwarf credit and debit card fraud by about 750 million dollars. In my opinion, 1 billion is too much but a number I can live with, as a guide.

  43. Not to be critical
    I didn’t intend to come here and be critical of anyone. There are really passionate and knowledgeable people coming here to read and I just see a lot of potential great dialogue to be had. This is an interesting topic and should be debated, but in good spirit.

  44. Also lets not foget if I locally buy a pair of counterfeit jeans which are usually the same quality as the real ones, I save money and then I put the rest of the saved money into the local economy. Now this money doesn’t just disappear it goes back to the economy from the person selling the counterif fit jeans.

    Money just doesn’t dissapear once it isn’t spent on “counterfeit” things. Also if the loses to conterit fit items are so great that tells you one thing, your product is overpriced if people are willing to buy fake goods to save a few dollars. But ofcourse its easier to lobby the gov and bitch and whine while taking your manufacturing products overseas and paying salve labor wages (http://www.thenation.com/blog/161297/wikileaks-haiti) then to actually fix their dying industry.

    Mr Geist can we get a write up on how much Canadians lost from companies taking their manufacturing to third world countries. Also how about a study thaty shows what happens to money that is saved from buying fake products and “piracy”.

  45. What I find disturbing, and revealing, about this report and others like it, is that these kinds of reports are used as a basis in lobbying efforts. Without questioning the source and methodology of these reports, our government then enacts laws and allocates financial resources based on these “reports”.

    This can be, and often is, misleading on a massive scale. Our elected representatives cannot possibly do a decent job if this is the kind of information they obtain.

    Short of making lobbying illegal, we need to make it honest. I would recommend there be a requirement that every such “report” be publicly disclosed and backed with full disclosure, of sources of data and the methodology used to analyze the data. It should not be allowed to be used in lobbying efforts until 6 months to a year of such public disclosure. And finally, when it is used, it must be accompanied by all 3rd party analysis of such a “report”.

  46. So your saying lobbyists must in fact put in a full days work doing real research? Bar tabs will be suffering everywhere!

  47. …”lobbyists must in fact put in a full days work doing real research?”

    Not quite. I am saying any “report” they use to support their efforts must be properly qualified. That qualification should include the above requirements, and also include any opposing or refuting documents as part of the lobbying submission.

    It will make the lobbying task harder, and possibly make it more honest.

    Any lobbyist that wishes to make a fool of themselves by pushing or recommending actions based on suspect or refuted “reports” will deserve what they get. They will need to have a bar tab *and* brains.

    If we get right down to it, I’d also like to see all “lobbying” be restricted to written submissions only. In this day and age of modern electronic communications, there is no need for a “personal meeting”. Such submissions and communications to an elected representative should be a matter of public record.


  48. “Why do you guys feed the troll.”

    As one who is in an opposition position, I believe that John’s opinion is valuable here. I just wish we didn’t have to resort to name calling and constant attacks.

    That being said, I’m about to give up on John and ignore him altogether since he obviously isn’t interested in intelligent debate, resorting only to attack Dr. Geist over numbers he, self admittedly, has done no research in to confirming or debunking.

    John, this makes you a hypocrite, in blindly supporting a something you have no knowledge about you have become the fool you “claim” Geist to be. …because only a fool would blindly support any cause. How’s that for “ironic”.

    Still waiting for a response… $200/mo/person….

  49. It’s just business
    “It’s just business”. We’ve grown accustomed to accept this excuse for anything from black lies to starting wars. What went so wrong?

    Nap.

  50. “It’s just business”
    The United States are ALL ABOUT business. War, as long as it’s not on your own soil, is generally good for business…’nuff said…

  51. It’s just business
    …”What went so wrong?”

    I’ll hazard a guess, it’s when you involve politics and the political system into “just business”.

    It’s a natural progression when lobbying, political contributions, and the legal system, becomes a very effective “competitive weapon”.

    Add in the full panoply of concepts surrounding the word “consumers”, instead of “customers” or “audience” or “fans”.

  52. IamMe,

    I’m not sure what kind of a response you’re waiting for. I didn’t attack Dr. Geist on the CCC numbers. I pointed out the irony in his attacking what he calls fake numbers when his own attacks on Access Copyright have been entirely based on fake numbers. $6 billion in illegal activity is, in my opinion, more that just a serious issue. It’s damaging to the legal economy, which I guess I’m silly to assume everyone here supports as a concept.

    As to the AC numbers, I don’t accept 1300%, 250%, 200% or even 100%. I think all of those estimates are false, and intentionally so since they ignore the fact that a much larger repertoire is in play and many, many more use rights are being offered through the tariff than were on offer through photocopying licences. No-one, not Knopf, not Geist, not any of the objectors to the tariif has addressed the fact that a comparitive between the old per-student fee and the new per-student fee can’t be made, since those fees cover radically different things.

  53. “As to the AC numbers, I don’t accept 1300%, 250%, 200% or even 100%. I think all of those estimates are false”

    Interestingly, it is the first one which is in fact not an estimate at all, $45/$1.38=1300%

    “No-one, not Knopf, not Geist, not any of the objectors to the tariff has addressed the fact that a comparative between the old per-student fee and the new per-student fee can’t be made”

    Oh, I think it is easy enough for individual universities to make that comparison. They know what they have been paying A-C for years, and they can easily calculate how this new tariff would compare. Since they are not jumping up and down at this great new deal, I expect the rest of us can summize that it wouldn’t be good for them.

    What YOU don’t address is the effect of this anti-competitive tariff which, once implemented, would make using content from outside the A-C repertoire more expensive than it might be if the universities were allowed to keep paying a per use fee as they currently do. This is the book publishing equivalent of the Microsoft Tax, and not only should universities and non-A-C affiliated publishers be objecting, but the Competition Bureau should be stepping in and nixing it as well.

  54. @Degen “It’s damaging to the legal economy, which I guess I’m silly to assume everyone here supports as a concept.”
    John, there is of course damage to the economy caused by counterfeit goods, as there is in infringement of digital goods. The issue of this thread was not to condone the activity but to address the knowingly fraudulent representation of the amount of harm. Since laws and remedies are being considered on these ‘numbers’ it is in everyone’s interest to make sure they are correct. The proportionality of law and remedy to the circumstances is a fundamental building block of our society … unless you’re content with being caned for jay-walking.

    So once again this is not about Geist, we know you don’t agree with him, he’s not on your birthday party list … we get it. So please if you are going to participate in these threads then speak to the topic at hand, as this is what you request people do on your own blog site, we’ll take the flaming as a given.

  55. But since you brought it up … again.
    @Degen “No-one, not Knopf, not Geist, not any of the objectors to the tariif has addressed the fact that a comparitive between the old per-student fee and the new per-student fee can’t be made, since those fees cover radically different things.”

    Comparisons, numbers & statistics are are tricky thing, what is the exact increase .. who can say? The fundamental issue here then is the all in one package or nothing. It may be that the annual $45 fee will allow a variety of ‘uses’, possibly even at good value, but when offering an all or nothing deal one must be prepared for the user to choose the nothing option.

    If I just want a single sandwich but have to pay the buffet price I may choose to go without or look for a subway outlet who will make it the way I want.

  56. @Degen
    “As to the AC numbers, I don’t accept 1300%, 250%, 200% or even 100%. I think all of those estimates are false, and intentionally so since they ignore the fact that a much larger repertoire is in play and many, many more use rights are being offered through the tariff than were on offer through photocopying licences.”

    The AC numbers are more subjective, based on the institution involved, and previous level of commitment to AC, but still easier to substantiate. Regardless of whether it’s 1300%, 250%, 100%,…whatever, it’s well established and accepted that the increase is substantial when compared to the old AC regime. It’s not simply the cost of the levy though. The heavy reporting requirements and intrusive audit requirements add substantial cost in man-hours. In comparison, the CCC numbers are clearly based on numbers which are already questionable in nature.

    Getting back to the CCC claims of $30B…John, I’ll ask you straight out in a SIMPLE yes or no question…

    In YOUR opinion, do YOU think a consistent average of ~$200/month/”offending consumer” (An approximate estimate of 13,000,000 Canadians or roughly 40%) in counterfeit goods sounds like a reasonable estimate?

  57. Holy jebus, it’s like talking to a wall.

    I’ll not bother to explain for a third time how my original comment – the first comment on this thread – is completely relevant to the posting. Y’all can just struggle to try and fit the concept into your brains.

    I WILL point out that once again Darryl defends wrong math with wrong math. The $45 and the $1.38 are charges for completely different things, therefore one cannot be an increase over the other. That’s like saying when I bought my metropass it was only $121, but now some greedy car manufacturer wants me to pay $28,000 for a car. Why that’s a 4300% increase in my transportation costs!

    Generally, Darryl, when a consumer buys something of greater value, they pay more for it. That’s how the ‘legal’ economy works.

    And Crockett – really? – that’s your final answer to all this business about right and wrong numbers? “Numbers are tricky things, so who can tell”? Funny how the numbers are so very important in one of your comments, and you know, cool and casual in the very next comment. How very Geistian of you.

    You can stop trying to educate me on the economics of all-you-can-eat buffets. It wasn’t a relevant analogy when Darryl tried it, and it’s not relevant now. Post-sec institutions use the AC repertoire, will continue to use it, actually NEED the flexibility of a blanket license and have more than enough money to pay the tariff and any other licenses they choose to purchase (btw, anyone looked into whether individual transactional licenses are on offer from the other large database companies currently hoovering up student fee monies?).

    This whole blanket license panic is just the latest distraction in what is fast becoming an educational sector debacle. September is around the corner, and universities find themselves way offside on copyright, on the advice of a few theorists with little left to lose. It’s going to be an uncomfortable summer for university administrators.

  58. IamMe, I think your simple yes or no answer is leading and prejudiced from the start. I think averaging these things out per Canadian is silly, because most counterfeiting is done on an industrial scale, as is most importing and exporting of counterfeit goods.

    Would I be terribly surprised if the maximum number in this instance is more correct than the minimum? Not at all. Nothing surprises me in the world of counterfeiting and piracy.

  59. … and I had a previous response to Darryl and Crockett, but the administrator is examining it for crimes against truthiness.

  60. @Degen
    Nice evasion, we should all be so good!! Unless you’re a machine, EVERYONE has a bias, whether we admit it or not. I think we’ve established yours. ;-)

    “IamMe, I think your simple yes or no answer is leading and prejudiced from the start. I think averaging these things out per Canadian is silly, because most counterfeiting is done on an industrial scale, as is most importing and exporting of counterfeit goods.”

    In the 2007 CBC report, the CCC claims were at the consumer level. Perhaps the CCC has changed their tune since then? Even so, claiming a $30B loss for an ~34M population is not realistic.

  61. “You can stop trying to educate me on the economics of all-you-can-eat buffets. It wasn’t a relevant analogy when Darryl tried it, and it’s not relevant now.”

    I suspect you would find most people think it is entirely relevant. Pay one price, and all you can can eat. The business model is exactly the same. You will have to do a little better than flat out denial if you want anyone to believe you. The parallel is obvious. How is it not relevant?

  62. It’s not relevant, Darryl, because as usual you take it to the point of absurdity.

    There isn’t an all-you-can-eat buffet I’ve ever heard of that makes sure their customers can’t also go to any other restaurant they like, or even shop at the grocery store if they prefer. When you walk into Mandarin, do you start loudly complaining that all you want is one eggroll? Ain’t no-one stoppiong you or Crockett from getting your single eggroll elsewhere. As to your insistence that all-you-can-eat creates a financial disincentive to go elsewhere… do you eat all your meals in the same place?

    As I said, an irrelevant analogy.

    Can I assume you’ve given up on the percentage increase argument?

  63. So then why do you have a problem with the universities NOT signing up with A-C and their new tariff, but instead deciding to buy their egg rolls piece meal elsewhere?

    I think what you are really saying is that they should buy the Mandarin buffet AND purchase content elsewhere.

    You know if A-C were willing to allow them to continue buying piecemeal then the universities could choose what is most cost effective for them. Instead, A-C is forcing them to make a difficult choice and then balking when they choose to walk.

  64. @Degen “… and I had a previous response to Darryl and Crockett, but the administrator is examining it for crimes against truthiness.”
    John, please leave this old dog to lie. EVERY post of a certain length of characters is delayed while it is analysed for offensive content by a computer, not by a person. My posts are just as delayed as yours are and you know it.

    Now on to relevant discussion.

  65. Darryl,

    Honestly, if you would just READ every once in a while.

    How many times do I have to say that I don’t care if the universities walk away from AC and get their content elsewhere as long as the creators are compensated? Not signing on to new licences or the tariff (you don’t actually sign-on to a tariff, btw, it just sort of sits there as the rule for everyone) is not a problem until the universities actually continue to use the repertoire, which they clearly will.

    No-one is balking at the walking, because the walking is all talking.

    I am indeed saying universities should be subject to the tariff and buy other content elsewhere if they want to, because AC doesn’t cover the other content. The fact is that AC’s repertoire is large and ever-expanding and is in wide use throughout Canadian post-sec. No-one is actually “walking away,” and those who think they are walking away are in for an uncomfortable surprise when they find they haven’t.

    The idea that universities could “continue” to buy piecemeal is, well, wrong. Yes, Darryl, I’m saying you do not have your facts correct. The tariff is designed on previous licences, which were of the blanket variety. Read the Copyright Board decisions, please.

  66. “…until the universities actually continue to use the repertoire, which they clearly will.”

    Where do you see them “clearly” doing this? Because opening themselves up to being sued is so what they are going to do, rather than just find alternatives.

    “The idea that universities could “continue” to buy piecemeal is, well, wrong.”

    Why? I don’t see a problem with it. At least not with the way AC explained it.

  67. Ki,

    Universities would not be complaining loudly about the terms of this tariff if they did not have every intention of continuing to use the repertoire. That is clear. I repeat – the sector was convinced to leave the negotiating table by the relentless lobbying of free culture theorists who convinced them fair dealing would cover their use of the AC repertoire. Those theorists were wrong; the sector has recently realized just how wrong they were, and would dearly love to have an agreement in place come September. They are scrambling and, absurdly, STILL listening to the same folks who got them into this mess in the first place. They should stop with this ridiculous brinkmanship about transactional licenses and approach the Copyright Board in good faith with a bargaining price.

    The key word is “continue.” Past licences were for the entire repertoire, not piecemeal. The tariff is designed on the past licences – status quo is blanket coverage. This piecemeal business is, as I’ve already stated, meaningless brinkmanship from the same folks who brought us “don’t worry; fair dealing is your friend.”.

  68. @Degen
    Universities would not dearly love to have an agreement in place come September since they all already have one. The interim tariff gives them a deal for several years with no need to panic. The transactional license fight is not about getting repertoire deal in place, it is about dropping the repertoire deal that is already there.

  69. @Degen
    What is they just simply don’t want the increased repertoire and the associated increase in cost? What if they just want what was there before?

    In this sense, AC is indeed pushing extra content (and the associated costs) on them that they may not necessarily want.

  70. I agree they have no need to panic – if they are content to see the tariff eventually moved from interim to settled. That doesn’t appear to be the case.

    If they’d worked out a good-faith agreement on new licenses, instead of listening to the free-culture monorail salesmen, they wouldn’t have to spend their summer formulating policy and procedures on how much professors can use before they cross the fair dealing line and the interim tariff takes effect.

    And I also agree on the motivation for the transactional fight – in fact, everything the sector has done in this fight has been about dropping their repertoire deal, rather than bargaining for it in good faith. Sad.