Kim Schmitz (Dotcom), owner of previously shut down Megaupload, tweeted a few months ago his approach to shutting down piracy. Not possible, you say? First of all, the man had been bypassing many international, especially American, laws pertaining to piracy until recently. In any case, let’s look at his tweet and break down exactly whether or not this would work.
Tweet: How to stop piracy: 1. Create great stuff 2. Make it easy to buy 3. Same day worldwide release 4. Fair price 5. Works on any device
Create great stuff.
Sounds either easy enough, or too simplified. People all around the world are creating amazing works of art and science. So why create more things if there is now more a risk than ever that anything one creates will be pirated? Pirating software is much easier to come by nowadays than ever before and anything and everything that can ever be created will be guaranteed to be on such softwares. Back when Limewire was still around, many people used to say artists were losing millions due to such software offering free content. However, another group of people stated how it helped audiences connect with newer upcoming artists who wouldn’t otherwise have had demos published. Yes, so Kim Dotcom is correct in saying then that creating things is step 1 of stopping piracy, because pirating doesn’t exist because things exist. Piracy exists because that thing isn’t exactly easily and readily available.
Make it easy to buy
Think about it. You want to go eat some amazing Chinese food as celebration for graduating. You know of this great place down in NYC, but you’ll be spending the week up in Guelph. Does it not make logical sense to order takeout from down the street instead of driving down to another country for the same thing, albeit the quality being a little different? If only movies, and other media forms were more readily available, most people would then pay for the quality of the original than the pirated but only if both were equally available. Since most continents besides North America don’t have access to most American television shows, they’d much rather not wait entire year for an overpriced DVD boxed set and would rather pirate it off Google in a maximum ten minute search. To counteract this problem, once again overly simplified version is to make it easier to buy, but how can big man companies do that? It’s not overly difficult for them, and Disney and Sony have proved as much.
Both companies have recently launched a new plan whereby movies released in Asia will be streamed simultaneously with the theatre release date to counteract the cinema piracy occurring in their countries. Genius in my opinion and a great step for all other corporations in the media industry to follow. Let me explain, if you Google a movie right now and scroll a few links down, you’ll be sure to find ‘insert movie name free online watch now’. Now this move from Sony and Disney will ensure that before you see those watch for free online links, you will more than likely see the link to stream it legally from their website instead. Now I don’t think this is completely a diminish piracy forever plan, but it can show main audiences that both pirated and legal versions are available at the same distance, then they will be more than likely to go for the non shaky camera version.
Same day worldwide release date
As I have already re-iterated, it’s quite simple and easy of a task for big major companies to do such an important step. This is probably the main reason why, internationally, people pirate. So thinking in business profit seeking terms, if companies are losing so much revenue due to all the pirating acts, why have they not been releasing their creative works at the same time, all around the world? Is it that they have not realized it, or is it because the cost to do so overrides the amount of money they can make (also reduce majority of the pirating)? In Hollywood movie terms, it takes time to translate these movies into other languages and have them either subtitled or dubbed into the foreign language. Movie companies analyze where and when to release movies and how much they can make by releasing them to vast countries. They divide the world into sectors and these sectors have their own local distribution process. This website looks at the reasons why it’s not always going to be possible for movies to be released globally at the same time. An interesting example is the censorship differentiates from country to country. My wonderment is that most of these reasons are not necessarily things that can’t be done before the global release date. The post production process is defined to do such actions, so they can all most likely get them done simultaneously for all countries. Yes it will require more time and money, but if Hollywood makes pirating as bad as it is, this trade-off should be beneficial to them.
Works on any device
The world would be a better place if everyone had access to everything, all with what they already own. One of the reasons why pirating is simpler than legal copies is because most people own a computer or laptop and have access to such softwares. Rogers and other companies have implemented television shows available to be seen on any mobile device with your account number.
The simple solution is once you take all the creative work you have, stream it online, at the same time worldwide, and have these applications available in all mobile devices as well as computers, the pirating problem (or at least the major reasons for pirating) drops substantially. Then, all you’re left with is the price differentiation. If this idea can be further explored and implemented, I as well as Kim Dotcom firmly believe that the major pirating audience will not go out of their way to find a pirated copy. If the NYC amazing Chinese restaurant has a franchise opened up in Guelph, why go to the tacky one down the street?