With all the controversy over DVD duplication and recent pushes to ban it outright, many are believing that DVD piracy is a huge issue. The industry sure treats it as such, with constant revisions to protection mechanisms and a score of other methods to prevent users from copying a DVD.
Is piracy as rampant as they claim, however? According to recent research by the NPD Group, DVD copying occurs among very few of computer users. They claim that, compared to the 12% of people who burn their own music CDs, a mere fraction will rip a DVD:
Not so, says the NPD Group, a research group that has monitored the behavior of 12,000 Americans with software on their computers. Only about 1.5 percent of those even have DVD ripping software. And 2/3 of them used it in the first quarter of this year.
Considering that some of that duplication may be legal, the actual amount of active piraters could be a lot less. They don't elaborate on why people aren't copying, but the higher cost involved in buying music than renting movies may give people more incentive to go for music over DVDs. With companies like Netflix and Blockbuster making large amounts of movies available for relatively little cost, as well as a movie having less replay value than a song, people may simply not want to have a mass movie collection.
Of course, that has little bearing on movie downloads – a handful of people may rip a movie, but then distribute it to many others who have no idea how or no inclination to rip a DVD. Still, the figure is interesting.