Date: 2010-08-17 04:07 am (UTC)
Digital piracy is really a much more complicated beast than either side makes it out to be. Certainly there are pirates ripping off content creators, and enjoying someone else's work without remunerating them appropriately is wrong, yet the high days of the original Napster also saw a boost in CD sales - presumably because people were able to listen to tracks they wouldn't have purchased, discovered they liked them, and bought the albums. Some piracy equated to increased sales, rather than the opposite, as you would expect.

It's something I've been thinking about for roughly a decade now, ever since I sat down with my buddies when Metallica was first getting in a huff and said "What the Industry should do is make a marketplace where you could listen to samples and buy individual tracks, see, maybe burn your own CDs at kiosks, or buy MP3 files, and the site you buy them from could recommend similar music you might want to buy..." Sadly, I didn't patent the idea, and thus I get no iTunes royalties. C'est la guerre.

I think, at the very least, it's unlikely to decrease sales. It seems to me that the rigorous pursuit of filesharing violators is a giant moneysink for any small business, and thus the best bet is to appeal to the better nature - it may only work some small percentage of the time, and it may only garner a small percentage of what actual sales would have made, but, hey, it's money you wouldn't have gotten by ignoring the reality - a nice middle ground between the extreme approaches: "oh, lawks, any exposure is its own reward!" and "You wouldn't shoot a policeman. And then steal his helmet. You wouldn't go to the toilet in his helmet. And then send it to the policeman's grieving widow. And then steal it again!"
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stephiny

July 2011

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