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Rhapsody founder Rob Reid's 'Copyright Math' proves that your iPod could be worth $8 billion

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A tongue-in-cheek TED talk from Rhapsody founder Robert Reid shows the true damage of content theft, using a new technique called Copyright Math.

Copyright Math
Copyright Math

The MPAA is fond of throwing out numbers that show just how damaging copyright theft is to the US economy. Stealing content costs more than $58 billion annually, for instance, and robs 373,000 Americans of jobs. With his tongue planted firmly in his cheek, Rhapsody founder Robert Reid used a new technique called Copyright Math to reveal just how massive these numbers actually are. For example, $58 billion equals the total output of some of the country's biggest crops. "This is the equivalent to the entire American corn crop failing, along with all of our fruit crops," Reid explained during a recent TED talk. "As well as wheat, tobacco, rice, sorghum — whatever sorghum is."

Oh, but it gets worse. With the music industry seeking damages of up to $150,000 per stolen song, a 160GB iPod Classic could potentially be filled with up to $8 billion in pirated material. Be sure to watch the video below to get all the details — including just how rampant ringtone piracy has become — and you might want to bookmark it as well, just in case you're ever tempted to download a pirated song again in the future.