It’s the entertainment industry’s release schedule that breeds piracy

piracy intellectual property

After working in the entertainment industry for well over a decade, specifically in the music business, I’ve been witness to insane release schedule practices that blew my mind way before illegal downloading of mp3’s (read: Napster). At first I could understand that delaying a CD release could build demand for the product (i.e the record). A single or two goes out to radio 2-6 months in advance of the release, a video hits music video channels a few weeks later, early reviews come out, etc, and this builds anticipation for CD release. Makes sense. But after Napster and mp3 sharing, why wait? If people are illegally copying and trading mp3’s, that they find online because the record ‘leaked’ to torrent sites, clearly the demand is already there and people want the product! They WANT it…so sell it to them! This article below is an interesting one and is focused more on films than music but the way i see it, and i’m sure you’d agree, it’s all one in the same.


“In the empirical literature over copyright enforcement and the internet one correlation keeps resurfacing: the fewer legal options there are, the more piracy there is.

If you want people to buy media, you have to offer it for sale. If it’s not for sale, they won’t buy it, but many of them will still want to watch or hear or play it, and will turn to the darknet to get – for free – the media that no one will sell to them.

This isn’t a surprising research finding. Everyone who’s ever run a business or worked in any kind of sales job knows that rule one is to make a product that people want and then offer it at a price they’re willing to pay. Doing this won’t always make you rich, but no one ever got rich without starting from there.

But whenever this amazing finding is revealed anew, the entertainment industry’s PR arm springs into motion to tell us all that people just shouldn’t take stuff without paying for it, full stop. Taking things without paying for them is stealing. All those people who downloaded Wreck it Ralph or any of the other movies and TV shows that were released in the US months before their UK release are just crooks, and they’re bad, and they should stop. Because stealing is wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Let’s set aside the rhetorical dishonesty of equating copyright infringement with theft for a moment (the law distinguishes between the two for a good reason – the former is a regulatory violation, the latter is a crime) and focus on why the entertainment industry would ever want to defend its right not to sell us the things we want to buy from them”.

Read the rest here.

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