Imagine that! We’re all pirates.

18Apr09

online_piracy
Imagine if Fuji film tried to sue those who were advocating digital photography.
Imagine if the laborers who were paid decently to separate cotton sue Eli Whitney after the invention of the cotton gin exploded the American textile industry.
Imagine hard working laborers suing Henry Ford for invention/popularizing the use of assembly lines.
Imagine scribes suing Gutenberg for eliminating their need to exist with his widely used printing method.
Imagine carriage makers and horse breeders filing a class action suit against poor Mr Ford again for hurting their profits by inventing a well known product called the “automobile”.
Imagine theater owners, puppet show entrepreneurs and street performers taking Philo Taylor Farnsworth to court claiming that his new product the “television” was responsible for decreased attendance thus hurting their ticket sales and performance fees.
Imagine network radio stations suing the hundreds of people involved in popularizing music videos for hurting their sales because less ears were listening to their advertisements which made them rich.
Imagine Claude Chappe suing Alexander Graham Bell for coming along with the telephone thus crippling his telegraph business into extinction.
Imagine if Fuji film tried to sue those who were advocating digital photography. Imagine Newsday, NY Times or the Boston Globe suing “the internet” for reducing their subscription numbers.

Ridiculous.

Think about these examples when arguing online file sharing. Throughout history, new technology is introduced that swallows the previous platform. File sharing is no different. People who fight it will not win. Even if cases are decided on today, in 5 years they will be obsolete. When the 12 year old today becomes the 21 year old consumer, it will be a nonissue.
The longer people try and fight file sharing, the faster the technology and awareness to that technology’s capabilities will grow. Companies need to capitalize on new sources of income. Capitalize on the new means of distribution! If a thousand consumers who paid $1 for something in the past turn into a million consumers who will spend their money on something else that’s related, CAPITALIZE ON IT!

The gaming industry have been early adapters to this model. Their sales are not dipping but actually growing. Accept file sharing and offer your consumer something special if they spend the money. The sooner companies do that, the faster technology can grow and contribute back into business. One download will not necessarily translate to a lost sale. No study has been done to determine the proportion of users that would buy the material they download, if downloading were not available. You don’t stand a chance with out accepting it. Over a third of the US population file share. That number will not stop growing. Don’t lose sight of the larger picture. If you don’t you don’t stand a chance anyway.

Watch all four parts, or click HERE for the full version.

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2 Responses to “Imagine that! We’re all pirates.”

  1. 1 alicia

    yeah, but Bill? Do you pay for the movies you stream on line? Are you paying for those songs you download? I don’t think anyone disputes new tech, but why should we not have to pay for it? When talking pictures, as they so quaintly used to call it, came out – it DID in fact bankrupt hundreds of people in the film industry. Film makers not able to afford the new technology were gone and forgotten. Should they have sued – of course not. And American’s are sue happy anyway. I just think it wouldn’t hurt for people to remember that it takes thousands of people to make a movie…and they don’t work for free.

    • 2 billmeis

      No I don’t. I’d say I see the movies and or pay for something associated with that movie about 2% of the time.

      You are absolutely right, though! There are A LOT of downsides. Unfortunate and unfair. But, it’s not a question of right and wrong anymore when the technology is this wide spread. For example. If someone steals a car and goes to jail for it, that’s just. What about hundreds of millions of people world wide stealing cars on a daily basis, outnumbering those who actually pay for cars AND they don’t think it’s wrong? The question is changed entirely. The foundation needs to adapt because fighting it is a losing battle.


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    I'm a 27 year old musician, writer and music business minded individual. I've worked in A&R, new media and promotions for Sony Music Entertainment, RED Distribution, Facedown Records and Superhero Artist Management/Productions. I'm currently a metal publicist for E1 Entertainment. I grew up in New York, which is where I reside now. I've lived in California and Prague. In Prague I taught general and business English. I continue to freelance at Superhero and would love to take on more writing projects. My favorite ice cream flavor is coffee and I love the New York Mets.
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