Today's Obsession: New Perspectives on Piracy
photo: an illegal DVD market in Kunming, Yunnan by Flickr member Hector Garcia
Techi has an interesting writeup of the causes and effects of digital piracy. The basic premise of the article is that media companies create the climate for piracy by keeping the media priced and available in means and prices which are far, far off market expectation.
I agree with that, but only in the event of a stable market, which is problematic in the case of the net. Since the net’s public popularity is really only about twenty years old, and the wide availability of media is even younger, the expectation from several viewers is that the media should be free, because if someone’s giving it away online, why shouldn’t it be? The market is very slowly righting itself so that audiences are learning that they should pay creators for their content but it’ll take a while.
The most interesting part of this piece is the second point of assertion: saying that someone who’s downloaded an asset for free has caused the company to lose money is false, because there is nothing to guarantee that same person would have bought the property otherwise. Something I’ve never seen said in the mass media, to be sure. Go read, and pick up a few uncommon perspectives on digital piracy.