Thoughts on Piracy
The great piracy bogeyman, ripping out all profit from poor, starved indie game developer’s hands!
Except that it doesn’t.
Some of the greatest scams in the history of mankind, those claims that “Piracy is killing the X industry!” are not only outright lies, but they also hide horrible truths. Truths such as the fact that companies only say those things to hamper innovation and cripple all forms of competition, all for the sole purpose of artificially mantain monopolies over whole markets, only so they don’t have to worry about DOING THEIR OWN JOB of adapting to the needs of the market, otherwise falling into oblivion and perishing.
To do such, those companies rely on a series of horrendous legal means (which shouldn’t be legal, by the way), bribery and all sorts of threats, direct attacks and, not that oddly, all sorts of hipocrytical behavior by doing the very same thing they are trying to destroy. Most mature and honorable behavior indeed.
“So, if the anti-piracy industry is wrong, what are we supposed to believe in?”
How about believing that piracy actually boosts sales? That piracy stimulates the creation of new, quality intellectual content? That piracy is an outlet for a incredibly powerful market, that only recently has seen any proper handling?
Honestly, whole industries claim that they actually lose money over each and every time their content is pirated (which is really curious, I might say. Tell me RIAA, is it you then who actually pays for all those servers and power bills out of all the websites I have downloaded MP3s from?), but no one so far seems to have even TRIED to calculate the amount of money all those companies save on advertising, given their content can easily and quickly be discovered, reviewed and thus, get known by so many people (thousands, perhaps even millions of people who haven’t heard of those companies before!). Say, a blockbuster torrent like Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, which in a single, particular torrent, has, at the time of writing, 18182 seeds, 25802 leeches and 61570 people who have finished downloading it. Given we can say that by definition every seed has already finished downloading it, we get to the figure of 25802 + 61570 = 87372 people who were reached by this single piece of free advertising (disregarding whether they had heard of the movie before or not, just like traditional advertising).
Those are some powerful numbers, right there. (and I haven’t even talked about the friend factor in advertising!)
And this is the point I was getting at: piracy is not an enemy, piracy is a phenomenon that can net me 80+k possibly new users (okay, for someone as obscure as me, if I get two new followers I’ll throw a party, but you get the point), ENTIRELY FOR FREE. Given that I barely have money to pay for a decent internet connection, anyone can assume I won’t be spending on advertising on the near future.
You see, piracy isn’t the enemy. Obscurity is.