The Content Industry has Made Everybody a Pirate [Video]

Fred Wilson, managing partner at Union Square Ventures, passionately argues that “everybody is a pirate” of copyrighted digital content because internet content isn’t convenient for consumption. The content delivery system is flawed, he believes, and “in a world where everybody is breaking the law, you got to look at the law: is it the right law?”

So geeks, do you think this guy is right? How would YOU envision a copyright law that would actually benefit both the content industry and the rest of the world? Let us know in the comments section below!


16 Responses to The Content Industry has Made Everybody a Pirate [Video]

  1. I agree with him wholeheartedly. Copyright law needs to be changed to adapt to a modern era. Many argue that the ideas of Copyright and Intellectual Property have been perverted by the industries rather than the artists. Laws need to change and the cost point of the content has to be adjusted so that consumption of legally viewed material is easier than that of illegally viewed material.

  2. If they want to reduce pirating, they need to make their content available for purchase. Let’s say cable tv and Showtime costs you $100/mo. 12 episodes of Dexter (the only thing worth watching on Showtime IMO) will cost you $25/episode. I would much rather pay $25 to download the whole series, rather than the $300 and get almost all crap.

  3. everyone should be like – good olda games – best content usage for users of any digital product – i wont buy th9ngs off itunes if i cant sell or leave to my friends

  4. Just go to a system in which once something has been seen/heard it is in the public domain (but limited)… This would enable people to share… But the original creatorsa should always maintain the right to manufacture and sell physical versions…

  5. Guys absolutely correct. The laws were written before the internet and have not been properly re written or amended to take the new technology into consideration.

  6. It will never change. And here is why. Big companies spent the 90s gobbling up copyrights and getting copyright law changed in there favor. There whole business revolves around it. They have alot of money and power with politicians. They buy whatever laws they need. The DMCA only passed because alot of people were not internet savvy at the time. But SOPA? It was stopped (for now) because more people are internet savvy. But the corporations will win. They never die, they have unlimited money and have all the lawmakers on there side. It is only a matter of time until we are all put in jail for watching a youtube clip.

  7. Its not the law thats the problem. Its the content holders. As long as these specific points are still enforced there will always be pirating

    1 – Different movie release dates around the world:

    As long as a movie is released in the US on one date, Canada a second, EU a third and then Russian and China a 4th and 5th you are bound to end up with piracy as people dont want to wait 1-4 weeks to see a damned movie that has been out in another country.

    2 – Same pricing all over the world:

    If you want to be international and want pirates to vanish or get less then you also have to realise that it only takes 1-2 seconds on google before I can find out that I am being raped here in my country price wise, ie having to pay 20 US for a movie that someone in the US pays only 10 US for.

    3 – Cheap affordable streming for ALL!!!:

    As a european citizen I actually like to watch some of the US shows. Most of these shows will never get shown here and since I dont live in the US I am then forced to pirate them. IF and tahts a big IF, i could pay like 10-20 US a month (imaginary figure) and get access to stream most of the shows I wanted to watch in the US and doing so legally and without getting hit with a "you are in the wrong country" kind of notice I would actually support that. But bar that happening I will be forced to pirate the shows I want to see if I will ever expect to see them.

    4 – Allow people to buy your products at a reduced rate but exemplify what you get extra for buying the stuff at the store instead of a digital download:

    IE release a BluRay movie as both a digital download and a regular release with the digital download being substantially cheaper, but at the same time make sure the real box release is actually worth paying the extra for. ie commentator tracks, booklet with images from the recordings or whatnot. Entice the customer sa to why they should pay for the box release, and some will. And thos that only want the movie gets the option to do that, without having to deal with getting a box, booklet and what not they might not need.

    And this is just some of the pointers I could come up with…..

  8. A big thing I see among people is the long sighs of having to skip through all of the previews after having bought the DVD (some of them either not being skip-friendly or you have to fast forward slowly) and having to sit through all of these FBI warnings and copyright law stills that are never able to be skipped. Why should anyone that paid for the damn thing have to sit through FBI warnings, copyright stills, and previews that would be better put in a special feature option on the title screen? That’s only one major flaw with it all.

    You know what you get when you pirate? The movie. You put the DVD in and the movie’s already playing. Your popcorn’s still warm, nobody’s half asleep from the wait, and you get a better overall experience.

  9. The duration is way too long for copyrights. They need to expire after about 5 years or so to keep the artists producing rather than making a few hits and milking them forever.

  10. Some companies have figured out that if you make the content easier to access than downloading an illegal file that people are actually willing to pay for it. Netflix is a good example of a company that made it easier to stream a movie whenever you want than to spend the time downloading and then watching a movie on your computer. People were willing to pay for it even though they could alternately download movies for free because they offered a superior product and ease of access than piracy. Steam did a similar thing by offering games at reasonable prices and offered automatic game patching which made the whole PC game process vastly easier. Steam even allows you to play your games on an unlimited number of computers as long as you do so one at a time and download the service on that computer. That ability to access your games and saves from anymore is superior to a pirated copy of that game. By making things easier and reasonably priced they have been very successful in curbing piracy and getting people to pay for their digital products.

    The wrong approach that many media companies take is they bog down their products with heavy handed DRM that makes the legally purchased products more difficult to use and less convenient than pirated copies of that same media. It stands to reason that people will not pay money for an inferior product that they can acquire a better version of for free. Ultimately some companies will have to come to the realization that they need to charge less for their product to be successful but mostly they need to make it easier to access the content and provide a superior product to what a pirated version would be.

  11. Start by reformulating the question. The purpose of copyright is not to benefit content companies, it's to further the development of the science and the arts.

  12. In the UK it is still illegal to rip a CD, let alone a DVD. I doubt that there is anyone between 10 and 35 that has never ripped a CD, or got a friend to do it for them.
    Copyright law is stupid. Yes the content makers need to be protected, but in a world where you make me a criminal for listening to music I have bought, things need to change.

    I bought a 6month LoveFilm subscription (think Netflix) just before Christmas, at the start of February they changed from Flash streaming to Silverlight. For Windows and Mac users, no problem. For Linux users, the service is now unusable. The reason given for the change? The Film Industry wanted stronger DRM, and yet LoveFilm is still allowed to rent DVDs by post.

  13. Premise fail. Nobody is a pirate. 1. Nobody has been slaughtered for their digital goods. 2. when I make a copy of a file from you, YOU still have the file. When I STEAL something from you, YOU no longer have that item (whatever it may be).

    This is propaganda put forth by the likes of the MPAA and RIAA and everyone has just accepted it.

    I'm not saying it's not illegal, and I'm not saying everything should be free – it's just absolutely NOT piracy. (in fact, it's not even theft, let alone piracy)

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