With all of the disruption over copying music online, maybe the record industry should read this article from BBC News, based on information provided by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. The organization claims that over one billion counterfeit CDs will be sold worldwide this year.
Now, our friends at the RIAA could take a couple of things away from that. First, 1 billion CDs at 10 tracks per CD is 10 billion tracks, at 5 million bytes per track is the equivalent of 50PB (Petabytes) of data. This is the equivalent of a constant stream (for an entire year) of 12.680 Gbps, which is a whole lot of data. On top of that, these are actually being sold (as in, for profit by somebody) and thus they are truly competing with the record companies' ability to sell CDs because they often prey on unsuspecting customers.
Of course, when it comes to physical piracy, they have some major disadvantages when compared to online piracy. For one thing, the laws are not nearly as beneficial in terms of their ability to invade individual privacy and violate individual rights. Generally speaking, they must request that law enforcement agencies follow-up complaints in the physical world, whereas the DMCA provides them with the ability to get a subpoena without having a case investigated.
On top of that, if they get their way, they will be able to be judge, jury, and executioner because they will have the authority to wield terrorist-like technology to disrupt or even destroy your computer and the contents of its hard disk, without due process.
Perhaps it isn't such a mystery why they are spending so much time going after the "small fish" online.