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. identicon
    MrWilson, 20 Feb 2012 @ 6:33pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Customers, not distributors, determine the value of the product. If the bulk of possible customers will not buy it at the price of an HBO subscription, then it is not that valuable and thus the refusal to release it to a wider market is living in denial that the distributor is overvaluing the content.

    Releasing it to HBO subscribers only is like releasing an album on eight track. It's an aging, obsolete medium. If you don't release it when people want it in a medium they want it in, you're losing out on a lot of sales. Cable is hemorrhaging customers. With fewer subscribers, you won't be able to make up those dollars you claim to want to make.

    Do the math. You can make 3 dollars from selling the product to 30 customers who are willing to pay 10 cents for it or you can make 2 dollars from selling the product to 2 customers who are willing to pay a dollar for it. 3 dollars is more than 2 dollars. You can make up the difference in volume since you have virtually no cost to reproduce digital content!

    If piracy really is a problem, why would you feed it by being more obtuse? Refusing to serve customers who want to give you money only makes them pirate. Then you are creating your own problems.

    Also, if you're spending money you can't recoup on production value, spend less money on production value. Paranormal Activity was made for about $15,000 and made $193,355,800. Hire better writers to make the story compelling rather than throwing a few hundred million into expensive CGI.

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