I read recently that illegal downloading was up 30% in the UK over the last couple of years. After sifting through the general media outcry and big words they did say some things that made sense, among the many things that didn’t. The researchers say the main reasons for increase in downloads are:
- Better technology and faster broadband
- It keeps getting easier and easier to download illegally
- The new generation simply don’t care about the risks of downloading
- Availability is a big issue and a lot of content is only available to download
It does seems obvious that downloading would increase, especially if you take into account the various DRM and legal download solutions that are out there. Downloading legally is actually as complicated as rocket science, and slower than Swedish trains. It gets interesting when you look at the statistics that made up the research.
Pirating of Music, Computer games and Software in general is staying on a constant level, which is interesting fact on its own. But the 30% increase is the contribution of Movies and various TV content. I find that interesting because to me it says the Music and Computer industries have found various ways of handling piracy, that seems to be working. People are paying to stream music, the new online gaming doesn’t suffer much from piracy, and so on. Instead of stomping mice like rabid elephants they have focused on new and innovative ways to conquer the market.
The Movie industry with its Hollywood flagship are only whining and complaining. Every so often you hear about Joe Random and how his life was destroyed by the corporate juggernaut. People sharing files get absurdly high sentences to the point where murdering someone on the street with an axe is less of a crime than uploading a torrent-file. Yet this does nothing to deter the new generations from downloading. Equally obvious as the increase in illegal downloads is that the Movie Dinosaurs need to change their approach.
Look at the movie Avatar. The number one cash-cow of all times – and one of the most downloaded films ever. There is no correlation between how much money a movie will make, and how many times it is downloaded. It comes down to the simple truth that if a movie is good people will pay to see it. Perhaps Hollywood should think long and hard on that single statement. Right now they are putting billions of dollars into special effects on complete crap movies with insanely expensive actors, and usually equally crap 3D effects which they charge extra for.
As for TV, which has also seen a huge increase in illegal downloading, it comes down to content availability. To me it is obvious this will happen when you release a TV series in one country, hype it up, and then let other countries wait years before they get to see it. Sometimes a good series is cut from production before it ever reaches the rest of the world. And the argument I keep hearing goes “Why do you have to see it directly when it becomes available? Why can’t you wait until it is released here?” Because *drum-roll* people want to. It really is that simple. The whole argument becomes moot, with the movie industry burying their head i the sand because they do not want to solve the problem. If they ever want to come to terms with piracy they need to address content availability.
Nobody is downloading your run-in-the-mill reality shows, or any of the content that’s filling prime time on just about any channel. Millions of people are downloading TV content that maybe get a slot 00:30 a weekday, or where the whole show was just plain canceled mid season and abandoned by the networks (proceeding to become cult). If you don’t care enough about the show to even put it on TV, why whine about DRM issues when people download or stream – and you provide no alternative?
The illegal solution is made simpler each day by various tools – all while there exists no legal alternative. There is a market here, it should be hitting you in the face (unless its batting arm got tired). Why the Movie and TV industry don’t want to use it, or earn money, is beyond me. Instead they complain about illegal downloading. Stop whining and get a grip, start living in reality. Change. Adapt. Profit. It is that simple.
Make content available. I want to pay.