The Digital World that the Entertainment Industry has to grow to accept

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The Digital World that the Entertainment Industry has to grow to accept

Picture taken from http://www.edge-online.com/news/western-europe-rife-with-online-piracy

Picture taken from http://www.edge-online.com/news/western-europe-rife-with-online-piracy

Online piracy has been playing on my mind a lot lately. I would think most people who have access to the internet have one time or another downloaded songs, movies or a game that they did not have the legal right to do so. It was part of the allure of the internet…getting anything that you want for free and whenever you wanted it.

Entertainment companies saw digital distribution of their wares as a threat and responded as such with bodies such as the RIAA, MPAA and other anti p2p organizations to crack down on P2P often using legally questionable methods and intimidation techniques. What they don’t realize is the age old lesson that once freedom is tasted, it is hard to take away that freedom again.

Their first mistake was to try to use illegal means to try and enforce their legal rights.

Their second mistake was to sue people for exorbitant amounts to act as a deterrent to others.

Both these mistakes galvanized the ordinary netizen to empathize with the average Joe and view RIAA and MPAA as a trigger happy organization eager to extort money out of people. They lost the trust and credibility of consumers and fueled a strong sentiment to rebel against what they saw was a bigger injustice than piracy itself.

Their third and probably worst mistake is to view P2P and digital downloads in general as the enemy rather than the huge potential that it is.

ITunes, Netflix and even private trackers have shown that people are willing to pay for digital content if it’s

  1. Easy and accessible
  2. Cheap
  3. Fast

Stuff like this would be unlikely to be easily available in Malaysia

People of today are exposed to an increasingly wider range of media than before. This allows the average consumer to have more niche tastes than before, which are often too small to be met with it being available in a physical format. Case in point, I like music from Japanese anime. Sure I can go to the local store and hope that they have the the CD…or…I can just search for it online and grab it within a few clicks immediately from the comfort of my own home.

The digital format is here to stay and it’s time for the entertainment industry to realize that. PirateBay was the success that it was because of its immense variety of files available there. Was it fast? No. Was it of good quality? No. But was it easy and free? A big yes to both.

Now imagine if a recording label or movie house could make digital formats of their movies/songs and have them made available for download at an affordable price? I could let’s say go to Paramount and search their entire collection, make a payment and download their movies. I could search albums and play previews to see if I would like something. Or have low res/quality versions for people to download for free while the higher quality ones have to be bought. People will put down their money if they think it’s worth it. Think about it, putting things online is a lot cheaper than generating a physical product. And if you implement P2P technology to reduce bandwidth costs, it really seems like a no-brainer.

It is likely that the concern that many of these companies have is that these people will then share these copies they got from the net with other people. What they don’t realize is that yes although this will happen to a certain extent, first of all, most users don’t have high upload speeds as they are users of ADSL. Uploading things like movies or high quality mp3s are often a painful process. Secondly, when you pay for something, there’s less incentive for you to share it. Also, there’s nothing stopping them from ripping their own physical media or loaning it to share people who are determined to do so.

Another thing they should realize is that many artists, movies, games, songs are just simply not worth your time if you had to fork out cash for it. Allowing people to trial or preview these things easily will serve as a quick prune of poor quality crap.

Convenience is key…and for most people outside the US, there’s simply no option besides piracy to get certain content. By keeping this content off the net or charging silly prices for it, they are missing a potentially huge market. So I wonder, what’s keeping these guys from getting their act together? :/

0 Comments

  1. Haris says:

    “Another thing they should realize is that many artists, movies, games, songs are just simply not worth your time if you had to fork out cash for it. Allowing people to trial or preview these things easily will serve as a quick prune of poor quality crap.”

    I think they do realize this. But great points otherwise. I think one of the biggest barriers to convenient worldwide access to all media, any time, any place is the existence of many countries with many different laws that tend to complicate things when borders are crossed.

  2. Maverick says:

    That was a good read bro, it kinda made me think actually. I already download anime and stuff without thinking twice, because I know that finding an original copy on the shelves is not easy, or not available here. Other stuff like movies, games and songs are exactly like you said, its too expensive and not easily available.

    I play alot of games, and trust me, most are original, I only download pirated copies to test out the game, if I like it, I’ll go buy it online, at about 100-150 a pop, Its acceptable if the game is really worth it, prices drop after a while too and also pirated copies tend to give lots of problems. 😀 I also download alot of TV series, which I’m not sure if its illegal, but the point is, it will never air in local TV stations, and even if it did, would be a season late.. and censored. 🙁 Movies on the other hand, the overpriced DVDs or even BluRays are so not worth it..

    But I think its safe to say that Movies are the biggest hits on P2P channels, and IMO, the directors and producers, movie-makers in general, aren’t the ones to blame, its the middle man, and management, studios are the culprits. If you think about it, most of the revenue from physical media sales would go to the studio, and makers of the DVD/BluRays, I’m pretty sure that the director would want his movie to be seen by as many people as possible, even if he earns abit less, but the studios are all about the money, which comes from physical media and ticket sales. IMO, the technology and the concept is there, but the studios are reluctant to execute because it may dampen income..

    Anyway, we’ll see how things go, but for now, illegal torrents FTW!

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