The Piracy Profit Plan
The Great Copyright Infringement Lawsuit has become a symbol of fear, at least in the US. Organisations fear it — the last thing they want to do is to have to pay millions for the silliest indiscretion. Other organisations thrive on it — “Ah, so we made some crappy content. Let’s see if we can sue someone and make up for our losses.” And the Little People — the Joe the Plumbers, as it were, must delete that collection of MP3s, or live with the fear that the RIAA will come a-knocking one day, and take them for every last penny, and some more.
Even with the so-called crackdown, piracy refuses to quit. Obviously, the content creators are fuming at the thought of all that money they aren’t making. And then MTV had their “aha” moment — could it be that there is money to be made even from piracy?
Henceforth, when MySpace users post any content that infringes on MTV’s copyrights, they won’t demand that it be taken down. Instead, they’ll slap an ad on it, and hopefully make some money there. This isn’t a new idea, though — Google’s been there too. If content owners find their copyrights being infringed on YouTube, they can choose to either pull that content, or put an ad on it.
Yes, you hate ads. But would you rather be watching a real music video with ads, or an ad-free video of some idiot lip-syncing in front of a webcam (though they’re not always mutually exclusive)? The bottom line is that if companies think they can make money off your desire to share with people, they might sit back and not bother you so much about your “crimes.” This means there will be more content for all and though we may be hoping for too much, may be they’ll even encourage file-sharing.