Music, movies, games and many other kinds of data are offered these days online for free. For the most part, this is without the consent of the party that actually manufactured the said product. This is called piracy in colloquial terms. I have been a user of such content for as far as I can remember, mostly without realizing it. I guess most of us have bought those pirated movie CDs, or those PS2 game disks, because the rates of the originals were very high. But has anyone actually thought about the loss that the manufacturers of such data face?
I’ll come straight to the point now. India has started blocking piracy sites. And we, as consumers, have raised such a hue and cry over it without thinking about the other side. By the other side, I’m talking about, of course, the creators of such content. Most of us just think about how we’ll get or weekly fix of that brilliant TV series that is being aired overseas. Or how we can lay our hands on the most awaited game of the year. Or even on the vast amounts of music on the internet. Bottomline is, we are feeding on all the free stuff on the internet which was made by those hard working producers and directors with their own money.
Think about it from your own perspective. Supposed you think of creating something. Let’s say, an invention that can reduce water consumption in coolers( I’ve taken this example ’cause I’m living in a hostel where they have coolers in rooms, and you have to fill them with buckets of water everyday). You would have spent your time, your money as well as your mind for making it. And then it turns out that someone just copied what you did and distributed it for free in the market. That’s how the producers must feel.
You may say that this way people are watching movies which they wouldn’t have spent money on watching in a hall. But that again doesn’t help the manufacturers of the content. After all you’re watching the movie for your self, and by watching the movie you won’t be obliging them.
I think that the music industry has somewhat understood that. Some music bands release their first album for free on the internet, and if people like it, then of course they tend to buy the new albums. So, according to me, what is required by the movie industry now is to meet us free stuff loving consumers halfway.
What can be done is, 1/4th, or a particular fraction of the movie can be released online. And if the people are really curious about what happens in the movie, then they can go to the movie theaters and watch the full movie. Or buy the original DVD when it comes out. This should work out better for both the manufacturers as well as the consumers. The viewers will never feel that they have spent money on a movie that they didn’t want to watch, as they would have gone to watch it only after watching a part of the movie before. And for the producers, it will lead to an increased turnout as compared to the conditions now.
A similar thing can be done for Music, with artists releasing say the first 2 tracks of a 10 song album for free. The gaming industry already has this in place in the form of demos of the games being released.
A blanket ban cannot work, as the consumers can and will seek out new ways to try to fool the authorities, so this measure should work in a better way.