A Simple Solution to Piracy?


Per capita, Australians are the biggest downloaders of pirated material in the world

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As the Australian government moves ever closer to enacting legislation aimed at preventing, or at least slowing the downloading of pirated material, a new study by consumer advocacy group Choice has come up with a very interesting and plausible conclusion.

My stance has always been that the media industry’s boundless greed contributes hugely to the level of pirating. The entire media industry’s infrastructure is based around money grubbing in order to cover its own unnecessarily exorbitant system of salaries and expenditure. Simply put; that exorbitant spending has to be recouped somehow, from us, the consumers.

Now, is seems, Choice has confirmed what I, and probably many of you, have been saying for some time. The study concluded that:

  1. The most frequent pirates are also the biggest consumers of paid and unpaid legal content and many exhaust the legal options before infringing online… and
  2. This doesn’t make piracy excusable, but it sure suggests that the best way to battle online piracy is to start making content more available and less expensive.

Hallelujah brother!!

Do you think this will make any difference whatsoever to the media industry’s approach? Do you think anyone within the media industry will even give a damn? Well, maybe if you believe in the tooth fairy you might. Me, I think there’s a snowflake’s chance in hell. The media industry will just go on its exorbitant way, expecting consumers to pay through the nose while whinging to governments about lost revenue and those evil pirates.


Credit: Vemiank

Credit: Vemiank

The truth of the matter is that media organizations are mega wealthy – ergo powerful, ergo influential – and governments are always going to repay powerful political support with a sympathetic ear. Quid pro quo – it’s just the way the system works.

Australia is also probably quite unique in that we have just one PayTV provider nationwide and very few legal streaming options. Our programming is also way behind the US. The internet has provided us with instantaneous news and reviews regarding new shows and movies but the actual product often arrives on our shores much, much, later. We are just the same as everybody else, we want to see it now!

While I do not condone piracy, at the same time I do condemn the media organizations whose exorbitant practices and boundless greed contribute hugely to their own problem. As Choice has so rightly concluded, there are other more palatable (and likely more effective) ways to combat piracy outside of government intervention and the law courts.

 

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About the Author

Jim Hillier

Jim is the resident freeware aficionado at DCT. A computer veteran with 30+ years experience who first started writing about computers and tech back in the days when freeware was actually free. His first computer was a TRS-80 in the 1980s, he progressed through the Commodore series of computers before moving to PCs in the 1990s. Now retired (aka an old geezer), Jim retains his passion for all things tech and still enjoys building and repairing computers for a select clientele... as well as writing for DCT, of course.

8 Comments

    • Agreed Megaman, piracy can and does hit the smaller developers hard. As I said, I do not condone piracy. However, in this case, I am discussing piracy as it relates to the mega media organizations rather than smaller independent operators.

      • STEAM sales happen all the time, daily, weekly, monthly and entirely seasonal. I don’t mind waiting for a game to come on sale, I have tons of games to pass the time.

        Maybe not even a year after Tomb Raider released, it was 3.99. Also, awesome games like Metro2033, recurring multiple times a year, for 3.99.
        The list goes on.

        People are impatient.

        Guilty, I’m impatient when my computer can’t keep up with me, it’s too slow. XD

  1. I too Jim don’t agree with piracy but do object to us Australians being ripped off by these media companies and most other software suppliers. The government has had numerous chances to fix the problem but have done nothing as the need the support for their re-election.
    If we Aussies all united and didn’t buy their software for 6 to 12 months then the media companies may get the hint.

  2. Too true Jim,

    The price of movie tickets in Australia has come under scrutiny with the top price of an ordinary ticket hitting $20 in some cinemas.
    Then we have Graham Burke of Village Roadshow defending the prices with the old pitch that our wages are higher than the USA when challenged about the price of tickets in the USA at US$8.00 – 10.00.

    Then he probably thinks that Mr & Mrs Average are wealthy when he said,
    “Gold Class is also a very cheap night out, because two movie tickets at $35 is $70, plus a bottle of wine, some sliders or sushi, you come out of it having had a great night and a terrific movie for probably $110.”

    Box-office takings across the industry fell 2.3 per cent to $1.1 billion last year, according to figures from the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia.

    …..FELL to $1.1 billion…….? Wow

    Last time we went to a movie was mid last year, there were no more than 10 people there at the evening session.

    Jonno.

    • It’s not only the movie theater prices Jonno, think of the overall revenue stream:

      Release to cinema = revenue
      Release to PayTV = revenue
      Release to free-to-air = revenue
      Release to DVD = revenue

      That last one really irks me. The price of a first release DVD here is just ridiculous ($30+), and that’s on top of all the other revenue already collected!

  3. When I was in college, 1981 to 1984, in New Zealand, one student would BUY a computer game (software) then sell it to the other students for $1 each. And the game would normally be anywhere from 50 (NZ) dollars to 100. The most recent game I paid for, was more like 30 (New Zealand dollars). And when you consider the games were NOT as advanced as they are now, on a TRS80 for example, a simple graphic (white squares, not superfine dots) of a car going round a track. But when this computer game (from the 80s) was running during the college Open Day, there was a queue like tickets for Star Wars 4 around the computer room…

  4. “Piracy is typically an act of robbery or ….. ” according to Wikipedia. But most people would say they are being robbed, and are helpless – so it’s a fine line. Almost ever show, movie, song is copyright protected. Some even believe that if you purchase a product in one format, to make yourself a copy in another format is illegal.

    I might of been a fan of honesty, but hard times make life impossible since we’re at the mercy of greed. I believe in saying “for the needy, not the greedy”, therefore, I must agree with Jim.

    Long live torrents and do use VPN’s, Mindblower!