Quotes on piracy

February 14th, 2009 by Timo Vuorensola


Photo by Joriel Jimenez.

Almost every day we can read or hear some of the old-guard media assholes slowly turning their heads and understanding that piracy in it’s current, most common form – the digital download – is not a crime. But there’s still a long road to travel. Luckily, there are people in the influential positions not scared shitless to say how they really think things are.

Just few weeks ago Jason Holtman from Valve, one of the biggest game production companies in the world, was talking at Game Business Law Summit, explaining the ways to really solve one of the huge reasons why people do digital downloads instead of paying for the stuff. Now this is games, but the same thing goes with film.

“We take all of our games day-and-date to Russia,” Holtman says of Valve. “The reason people pirated things in Russia,” he explains, “is because Russians are reading magazines and watching television — they say ‘Man, I want to play that game so bad,’ but the publishers respond ‘you can play that game in six months…maybe.’ ”

“We found that our piracy rates dropped off significantly,” Holtman says, explaining that Valve makes sure their games are on the shelves in Moscow and St. Petersberg, in Russian, when they release it to North America and Western Europe.

The final sacred cow that Holtman took a stab at was the issue of piracy. “There’s a big business feeling that there’s piracy,” he says. But the truth is: “Pirates are underserved customers.”

I think the last line is really one of the best ways to put the problem, and the companies – in game, film and music – who understand this will evolve their products and distribution to meet the needs of the people out there and will survive the next 5-10 years.

A British distribution company Revolver tried this also few months ago, and released their horror film Mum & Dad simultaneously in cinemas, on DVD, as a download, and as VOD. One would think that since this has never been done before that the industry would be following with a great interest on how the new radical approach – which really tries to deliver a film day-and-date to all media distribution platforms – would work. But instead, the cinema association wrote an open letter and asked the cinemas across UK to boycott the film, since it’s taking them out of business.

So yes, there’s still a long road ahead, a lot of concrete-headed wankers scared as hell and ready to put their full arsenal and throw it against the new technology.

But the ex-boss of EMI Norway, Per Eirik Johansen, puts it very clearly:

“No one has ever won a battle when fighting against new technology,”

Mr. Johansen used to be a valiant fighter against pirates while still working on EMI, but now that he’s working on his own label, he has come out of the closet and is talking his mind freely.

He now believes the music industry’s fight against piracy has been useless and says he disagrees with the assertion that illicit file-sharing is the same as theft. Referring to an earlier EMI anti-piracy initiative, Johansen noted, “The message of that campaign is that there is a reason why we have copyright, and I agree.”

“But the main thing is that a whole generation already violates copyright, and the only thing we can do now is find better solutions,” he says pragmatically.

Quotes from GameDaily’s article and TorrentFreak’s article.

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6 Responses to “Quotes on piracy”

  1. Mikko Monto says:

    “Pirates are underserved customers.”

    Best definition of “pirates” I’ve ever heard.

  2. I initially misread that as “Pirates are UN-DESERVED customers.”
    But come to think of it, actually that’s just as well put.

  3. Andrea Moye says:

    Love is like playing the piano.First you must learn to play by the rules,

  4. Hi! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this site? I’m getting tired of WordPress because I’ve had issues with hackers and I’m looking at options for another platform. I would be great if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  5. Crissti says:

    Most piracy comes from a 3rd world country which is mainly governed by corruption and some greedy “politicians”.Do you want to fight against piracy,terrorism ? Fight against corruption and poverty and poorness.In a country where a monthly salary is few (~300-400) hundreds euros(dollars) what makes you think people will spend $40 or 35 euros for a movie or a game ? 40$ is 10% from the salary in a country where everything is expensive, and i meant specially at main life necessities such as electricity,water,food..etc, that’s why there are countries or towns without cinemas (normal ones not 3D, a 3D Cinema is Sci-Fi for some countries at the moment ), bcoz nobody (or max 10 people) is going to see a movie, which is better to see it on a large widescreen HD than watch it on tv or computer on a 17″ inch screen. .It doesn’t matter if it is from Niger or Congo or Russia or Romania or Malta or Tonga , there are great poeople everywhere.. try to give him a monthly salary around 4000 euros and you will see the difference,piracy, corruption,terrorism will drop a lot on the world scale, but that would be imposible in a country with corrupted+lazy government and without a solid economy with plenty factories to produce goods to sell.Take a look at China which during the recently world crisis ,they didnt was affected to much , in fact recently theyve registered an economical increasing profits bcoz they produce A LOT.Doesn’t matter if they copy things from other countries and produce them on an inferior quality and they target the cheap market which is full with 3rd world countries.Why the fight against piracy has not much success on some aspects ? Because nobody can help a poor country to advance and with a corrupted/lazy government this will never happen unless you ( as an international organisation) you replace them by force and that would not gonna happen or if it does, then might not work very well or with fast results.Trying to see through the a pirate eyes same as a police psychiatrist does with criminals to understand it what made that person to steal,kill (for money) or download something just for personal use to watch or play ,might not reveal to much unless you look 1st at whats the financial staus of him/her also in what kind of country/area he/she lives and i bet we will see a high percentages of piracy comes from a poor country , area or even from poor or single or “doomed” to a chair for the rest of their life without leg(s).The world is not perfect and not every mom can afford buy even a chocolate to her daughter everyday :) which done sacrifices to buy her a computer from some savings to help her with the school, but the daughter wants to see a movie like anybody else or the boy to play a game but they can’t buy it.It’s not their fault if they played a shared downloadable game , it’s the government’s fault who destroys their future or economy’s wealth and therefore dropping the international ratings making the potential (international) investors to leave or even not to apply different investments..
    Sorry for my english and thank you.