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Piracy: are we being conned?Is piracy really sending the entertainment industry broke or are the claimed hundreds of millions of dollars in annual losses and thousands of job cuts just a load of hogwash? From bogus figures to highly exaggerated press releases, analysts and academics claim there is no limit to the hyperbole record labels and movie studios will use in their relentless lobbying campaign.This month, a new lobbying group, the Australian Content Industry Group (ACIG), released new statistics to The Age, which claimed piracy was costing Australian content industries $900 million a year and 8000 jobs.But the report, which is just 12 pages long, is fundamentally flawed. It takes a model provided by an earlier European piracy study (which itself has been thoroughly debunked) and attempts to shoe-horn in extrapolated Australian figures that are at best highly questionable and at worst just made up."The main objective is to lobby politicians with this and to scare the public into compliance," IBRS analyst Guy Cranswick said."The quality of data and analysis is very weak as its political objective is so clear.Piracy figures derived by the entertainment industry have also been heavily criticised in the US and Europe. In some instances, the industry has admitted to grossly inflating its numbers.