Is the Entertainment Industry Coming Around on Piracy?
Another entertainment titan seems to be a bit less asshatish when it comes to piracy. Games of Thrones is an entertainment juggernaut right now, it’s also one of the most (if not “the” most) pirated shows on television. Games of Thrones is on HBO which is owned by Time Warner. When asked about piracy, CEO of Time Warner Jeff Bewkes said that it’s “better than an Emmy.”
We’ve argued the word of mouth generated by piracy is rarely mentioned as a positive from it all. Nevermind studies show that piracy helps if anything. Here’s his full quote from a company earnings call this week:
We’ve been dealing with this for 20, 30 years. People sharing [subscriptions], running wires down the backs of apartment buildings. Our experience is that it leads to more paying subs. I think you’re right that Game of Thrones is the most pirated show in the world. That’s better than an Emmy.
The comic industry has also seen an attitude change of late with publishers more willing to embrace DRM free products. When Image Comics decided to go DRM free Image publisher Eric Stephenson told Wired:
My stance on piracy is that piracy is bad for bad entertainment. There’s a pretty strong correlation with things that suck not being greatly pirated, while things that are successful have a higher piracy rate. If you put out a good comic book, even if somebody does download it illegally, if they enjoy it then the likelihood of them purchasing the book is pretty high. Obviously we don’t want everybody giving a copy to a hundred friends, but this argument has been around since home taping was supposedly killing music back in the ’70s, and that didn’t happen. And I don’t think it’s happening now.
Piracy is not going to stop; everybody’s doing a completely ineffectual job of stopping it now, and I don’t think that this is going to add to it… Now that the technology has caught up to us, then the attitudes and the opinions [in the industry] have to catch up as well. And that takes time, because it’s a shift in the paradigm. There are a lot of people who still don’t quite understand it.
We’ll be following to see who the next big domino to fall will be.