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Kopimashin auto-generates $10m daily loss for the music industry

by Mark Tyson on 22 December 2015, 11:31

Tags: The Pirate Bay

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Pirate Bay Co-Founder Peter Sunde has created a new device which might well infuriate music industry moguls. The Kopimashin is an 'art project' which is designed to automatically generate a $10,000,000 daily loss for the music industry based on the industry's own value of a copy. All the device does is make 100 copies of the Gnarls Barkley track 'Crazy' every second, which tallies up to over 8 million copies a day of the $1.25 music track.

Peter Sunde was in prison last year due to his involvement with the Pirate Bay. However he hasn't lost his core values which make him frustrated at the value the entertainment industry puts on copies. In fact those values are a direct burden upon his life, as he still owes various film and music companies millions in damages, reports TorrentFreak. Despite the recent memory of prison, Sunde has created this controversial art project racking up millions in losses for the music industry for every day that it is switched on. Incongruously Sunde believes that in the real connected world piracy positively affects digital goods sales.

"I want to show the absurdity on the process of putting a value to a copy. The machine is made to be very blunt and open about the fact that it’s not a danger to any industry at all," Sunde told TorrentFreak. "But following their rhetoric and mindset it will bankrupt them. I want to show with a physical example – that also is really beautiful in its own way – that putting a price to a copy is futile."

The Kopimashin is made up of a Raspberry Pi with a three line LCD display, running some custom Python code. As mentioned in the intro, it copies a $1.25 music track 100 times a second. However the copied track is sent to /dev/null so isn't permanently stored. The lines of the Kopimashin LCD report the device serial number, the number of copies made so far and the supposed dollar value in losses for the record labels.

KH000//Kopimashin

Sunde is making 13 Kopimashin devices to distribute to various exhibitions and galleries. He also recently contacted the Guinness Book of Records, who are reviewing his application for inclusion in the book.



HEXUS Forums :: 5 Comments

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This slightly misses the point as nobody is getting the copies (indeed, nobody can get the copies as they are not stored) and so no loss is made by the music industry. The loss is made where someone who would have bought a copy downloads a free one instead.

This is not to say that I don't think the music and film industry overcharge on the goods they sell. But I somehow doubt they will take much notice of this ‘art project’ (to use the term as loosely as it reasonably goes).
Froggywoggy
The loss is made where someone who would have bought a copy downloads a free one instead.

That's the main contention point about piracy. The industry sees each downloaded copy as a lost sale, but it should be self evident that not every one of the pirated copies would have resulted in a sale if it wasn't available.
Froggywoggy
This slightly misses the point as nobody is getting the copies (indeed, nobody can get the copies as they are not stored) and so no loss is made by the music industry. The loss is made where someone who would have bought a copy downloads a free one instead.

That's the whole point of the project from my understanding though.

The industry often quotes astronomical ‘loss’ figures because they attribute £0.79 to every single track that's downloaded, which completely ignores that it might never have been a sale.

Perhaps the individual downloads the same song 10 times because they keep changing laptops. Or because they want different bit-rate version for different devices and don't know how to transcode. Or they already subscribe to Spotify and don't buy music, but regularly make CDs for the car on a long journey. In each case, music industry says it's a £7.90 loss when actually it's a zero loss.

Likewise, this project is actually a zero loss, but would be considered a multi-million dollar loss if you ascribe a $1 dollar to every copied track.
Mostly ‘the industry’ doesn't assign such figures nearly as much as the press likes to :p
Doesn't this totally miss the mark? At best it seems like an over-contrived attempt to labour a point (I suppose that isn't uncommon in art though). What you buy is a personal licence to listen to a track - for example iTunes copies the track to your iPhone/iPod from your computer, you have 2 copies but only paid once. Thus downloading (assuming illegally) and infinitely copying the track to your own personal /dev/null is at most a $1.25 loss on the initial sale, not so sensational at that amount.