Pirates Are the Solution, Not the Problem

Another brilliant post in TorrentFreak (via Oxford) regarding the roles pirates are playing and will be playing in the mainstream economy:

““Digital piracy has been claimed to endanger whole industries” said Ms Croxson. “A natural question to ask is: Why do some companies develop water-tight technology to safeguard their intellectual property when others appear more relaxed about copying?”

Many pirates say that they would never have bought much of the stuff they downloaded or copied. If you fall into this category, you might be a ‘good’ or ‘promotional’ pirate. Croxson says that piracy is only a threat to sales when people who originally intended to buy, didn’t, and pirated instead. The others – of which there a many, many millions – never intended to buy and these, says Croxson, cannot possibly harm the seller.”

That last point is pretty interesting.  I think there is a corrolation between how much work it is to pirate something versus buying it that factors into the decision making for a lot of people.  Everyone loves to get something for free and even if they’d intended to buy something, if they found a really easy way to get it for free they probably would.

Right now, most digital piracy still requires at least a tiny bit of tech savvy.  For the younger generation this is part of growing up, but for those over, say, 30, it becomes more of a challenge to keep up on things like bittorrents and p2p hacks.  This demo tends to have more cash as well and will pay for things provided they actually want them.

As piracy becomes easier and easier we are going to see the tensions grow with legal retailers and distributors. There will have to be a way for everyone to work together and ideas like the ones proposed above are the first steps in that direction.

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