by Mike Masnick
Mon, Sep 17th 2007 10:48am
It really is amusing to watch how the companies who are most worried about "piracy" (which is a misnomer) always seem to treat their legitimate customers the worst. We've all wondered why the movie companies put up those annoying anti-piracy ads that waste the time of the folks who actually paid. But, what's most amazing is how many of these content companies are so focused on "piracy" that they miss the fact that they need to provide a reasonable experience for people who actually want to purchase their content. Making life difficult is only going to drive those legitimate customer prospects towards the very activity they were most afraid of. Take NBC Universal, for example. The company is so worried about the threat of "piracy" that it's making up ridiculous stories about the harm caused to corn growers due to piracy. However, at the same time, it gets into a petty argument with Apple and pulls all of its content from iTunes -- which is where the majority of folks who wanted to pay for NBC's TV shows would go. The end result? NBC Universal, for all their worries about "piracy," just made life much more difficult for legitimate purchasers, most likely driving some of them to experiment with unauthorized downloads, just to get the content they would have happily paid for. For some reason, you don't seem to see these types of actions from the companies who aren't freaked out about piracy -- but perhaps that's because they know the way to succeed is to offer a better customer experience and more value, rather than worrying so much.
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