I wrote yesterday about affiliate link practices, the core of which I found at the bottom of a note in Evernote. This is the second of the two things I found there. I don’t recall now what prompted me to write it, but I think it’s a good analogy.
You’re standing in the middle of a highway. Toward you comes a car and should it hit you, you will surely end up in the hospital, if not end up dead. The car absolutely will not move to avoid you under any circumstances. You have three choices.
1. Scream and yell at the driver of the car to get him to leave you alone.
2. Let the car hit you and then use the law to recoup damages.
3. Move out of the way of the car and share the road.
The road is the internet, the car is a kid uploading copyrighted content, and you are the television, movie or music industry. The industries have chosen options 1 and 2.
In a perfect world, everyone would pay a fair price for everything of value. Given that this is not a perfect world, people need to look at this realistically. The pirates will always be one step ahead. It is logically impossible to think it can ever be otherwise because law enforcement, the media industries, even security experts, can’t predict new methods of piracy. All they can ever be is reactive, not proactive.
Media makers need to learn to share the road, and that means putting media into all the available channels. TV and movies need to be available in Netflix, Amazon and iTunes. Books, magazines and comics need to be available in print, in iBooks and on Kindle. Music needs to be available on CD, in iTunes, Pandora and Spotify.
People are willing to pay for media – the billions spent on media every year is proof of that. Piracy isn’t preventing the industries from making more money, the industries’ ridiculous restrictions prevent them from making more money. Consumers don’t care about licensing issues. They don’t care that Starz jacked up the fees on Netflix so high that Netflix can’t afford to pay them, which resulted in Netflix losing all of the Starz content. All the consumers know is that there’s one less place they can legally watch that content. Consumers don’t care that AC/DC doesn’t like iTunes and won’t license their music to Apple to put up for sale. You can’t complain about people “stealing” your content when you don’t put it up for sale in places they’re looking to buy it. Share the road. You can’t stop the car from running you over.
For another great take on this, check out The Oatmeal’s “I tried to watch Game of Thrones and this is what happened” comic. (NSFW for language)