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.


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  1. identicon
    Jim, 16 Apr 2012 @ 1:46pm

    Cable's Dying Days

    There's one thing that hasn't been mentioned much, and that is how the current cable/sat business model is one giant welfare system for literally thousands and thousands of jobs for middlemen, writers, actors, techs, etc. of thousands of unwatched, uncared about shows and sporting events on dozens of space filling cable channels that customers are forced at gunpoint to pay for. This includes the bulk of HBO programming that receives zero buzz.

    GoT then is way to simply force more people to sign up for this outdated business model to get one show, and keep the gravy train going. HBO doesn't care about the fact that there will be little to no market for DVD's or reruns, once the show is played out; it's just one show to get buzz to get people to sign up for cable/sat subs. In fact, now that season two has started, I don't think people would be interested in buying season one shows; they'll just catch up with season 2 now.

    Given the economy, the price of cable (which is about ready for another shock due to upcoming sports rights fee increases), and people's unwillingness to pay for this waste (and piracy being a tiny, tiny pimple on the butt of this problem), an occasional show like GoT won't be able to halt the landslide of customer cancellations. HBO is nothing special, just another cog in this creaking machine (although the rise of serialized TV did kill the aftermarket).

    Someone will figure out a way to cut the price required to make quality shows and get them on the Internet. Viewers will buy an episode, and if it doesn't suck, will buy another episode, and tell a friend to buy it (assuming it's not $10 for an hour episode).

    The entertainment business is in for a law-of-the-jungle world (that the rest of us live in now)...make something good or perish immediately. It will involve less $$$ going to cable companies (you're just the pipe now, guys), executives, middlemen, and performers, but welcome to the new world technology has wrought.

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