How To Turn A Legitimate Buyer Into A Pirate In Five Easy Steps

from the ip-in-the-oatmeal dept

As we've mentioned before, it's interesting to watch copyright issues break into the mainstream and get attention from bigger and bigger sources. This time, Matthew Inman used his famous (and widely read) webcomic The Oatmeal to recount the moral quandary he was placed in when trying to watch Game of Thrones. It's hard to get the full effect without the whole comic, so you should really go read it—but here's a preview:

Of course, plenty of people have been saying this for years: the biggest driver of piracy is a lack of legitimate offerings. Unfortunately, the legacy players think (or at least claim) that they are being innovative with their offerings, even as their customers tell them otherwise. Hopefully, as people like Inman continue putting all-too-common stories like this into the spotlight, they will begin to get the message.

Filed Under: copyright, game of thrones, ip, piracy, purchases, the oatmeal


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  1. icon
    Karl (profile), 21 Feb 2012 @ 8:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That exclusive market is what is driving demand.

    Exclusivity has never driven demand. Making a quality product is what drives demand.

    You have a point about the price. At present, HBO does not create these shows so that the shows make money; they create them as added value for their cable subscriptions, which is their income source.

    But if that added value won't drive consumers to their main product, then they won't spend the money on the added value.

    So, you've got it exactly backwards. Exclusivity isn't driving demand for the content. Demand for the content is driving their ability to exclude. And that's the only thing their product is; their ability to exclude. Their service, in and of itself, offers nothing whatsoever to consumers.

    Unfortunately for them (but fortunate for consumers), that exclusivity simply can't be enforced. Now, the demand for the show stays where it is - as demand for the show - and doesn't get translated into demand for their valueless, consumer-unfriendly product. In fact, the demand for their shows has to overcome the fact that consumers don't want to pay for something that offers no additional value to them. Unless the content is especially in demand, this won't happen - and, in fact, it doesn't in the vast majority of cases. Most people don't choose to pay for HBO (piracy or no).

    That business model simply isn't feasible anymore. If you want new programs to be produced, then you need to find another business model - because the one they have is failing rapidly. Given increased competition from other services that actually offer additional value to consumers - Netflix, Hulu, etc - the HBO model is bound to fail, even if piracy was somehow eliminated altogether.

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