Warner Bros. Finally Realizes That 'Pirates' Are Underserved Customers

from the took-you-this-long? dept

We've discussed in the past just how backwards Warner Bros. has been at times in responding to "piracy." So it's a bit amusing that many, many, many years after plenty of us have been pointing this out (and have been told directly by folks at Warner Bros. that we're "full of it") that the company is finally recognizing that those who infringe are really just underserved customers, whom they didn't give a good reason to buy:
Pirates Make Purchases: Few subsist on copyright infringement alone; typical pirates steal in addition to making legitimate entertainment purchases like boxoffice, DVD and even online transactions. Even the most diehard pirates spend some money, though less than more casual infringers. "One of the main things we're doing is looking at why they do things legitimately on certain products and not on others," said [WB's director of business intelligence, Ben] Karakunnel.
Apparently, they just started looking at this data only 18 months ago. Frankly, the fact that they weren't looking at that data seven or eight years ago suggests a dysfunctional management team. What's really silly, of course, is that plenty of folks have made this exact point to people at Warner Bros. and elsewhere for years, and were told that we were just "defending pirates."

Another thing they realized was that in foreign markets, a lot of unauthorized copies are because WB didn't make translated/subtitled versions available quickly enough -- another point that sites like ours have been making for years and which WB just figured out:
In the international markets, illegal WB content in which pirates dub or subtitle themselves is increasingly popular. For one unspecified program Karakunnel used as an example, it wasn't until the third day after its initial airdate that one such pirate-created translated version accounted for 23% of pirated files of that particular program. By day 10, it accounted for 74%.

Said Karakunnel, "If we can get dubbed or subtitled language versions in the first two days, we can beat them to the punch."
Kudos to Warner Bros. for finally figuring this out, but it's pretty amusing that the company thinks this is new, when just a couple years ago it was denying that any of this was possible.

Filed Under: customers, movies, pirates
Companies: warner bros.


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  1. identicon
    Josh Taylor, 11 Dec 2010 @ 2:24am

    President of AFA's words to nerdy fans and the WB

    As President of the Anti-Fandom Association would like to tell the fans: Get a freakin' job, you nerds!!!

    Fandom is the number 1 cause of piracy on the internet and reality. People who call themselves fans needs to make some real art and stop copying other people's work of the net, tracing characters of comics and mangas, copying the author's original cartoon characters off the TV, including Butch Hartman (Fairly Odd Parents, TUFF Puppy, Danny Phantom), Michael Dante DiMartino (Avatar: The Last Airbender), the late-Yoshito Usui (Crayon Shin-chan, Super Shufu Tsukimi-san), Derek Drymon (SpongeBob Squarepants) and Rumiko Takahashi (Inuyasha, Urusei Yatsura, Maison Ikkoku, Ranma 1/2).

    Real art makes real money. Fandom does not. Fandom steals creative ideas and robs money off the creator.

    Our motto is "Be a fan, go to Jail."

    We at AFA are 100% behind the MPAA, the RIAA, The Copyright Alliance, Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), the World Trade Organization, the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the creators who care about protection of their creative ideas.

    AFA is making sure that ACTA is signed, and COICA gets passed into law so that we will put all fans behind bars who can't really get a real life and a real job. Criminalizing fandom will rid this world of people's "Fandom addiction", create more jobs and restore the balance of the world's economy.

    Fandom is for nerds who likes steal other people's creative ideas. Fair use is a nerd's own word and excuse just to avoid getting caught of creative copyright theft.

    We at AFA are urging Obama to create a non-profit government organization called the American Federation Against Creative Copyright Theft (AFACCT) so that this nerdy fandom can be put to an end. We are encouraging creators to protect their works and ideas from being fandomized and telling nerdy fans to find a new occupation or face excessive fines and extremely long term imprisonment.

    And a message to Warner Bros from AFA: Don't give up to these nerdy fandom losers. Fight back, sue and send them to Sing Sing.

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