On piracy of media and software
written on 2011/09/23
You know, torrent sites, YouTube converters, blogs, and all the like….
I think piracy on the Internet is something detrimental to the industries it affects, but it’s also something that people in general don’t want to give up. I personally tend to download media for free rather than buy it. As to software, I occasionally download but I’m more guilty about it.
I bet music industries, programming companies, publishers and more all lose money from illegal downloads. However, is the lost profit made up for by the popularization of the product via widespread distribution? I don’t think so
Consumers can be categorized into four groups: people who buy the product and don’t know better/are too lazy to download for free, people who buy the product to support the developers, people who download illegally but would buy the product if they had no other choice, and people who download illegally but would never get the product if it wasn’t for free. Although we all probably fall into more than one of these categories, fact is, for every single unique purchase/download you only fall into ONE of the categories. Thus we can say that there are four groups, without any blurred lines.
I bet a lot of pirated products are downloaded by people who wouldn’t pay if they couldn’t download. And so with the industry claiming losses from illegal downloads, I can’t help but wonder if they take this into thought (they might, but I think that corporations would want to make their losses seem as great as possible to make the problem look worse). However, the people who do buy the products would buy the products whether there’s an option to download for free (which, by the way, takes more effort, time, and risks), and people who don’t buy but would buy if they had no choice would, obviously, buy because they had no choice. And we’re speaking theorhetically here, assuming that it is impossible to find/download pirated products.
But what about the popularity factor?