Pirate Week (or how I stopped worrying about piracy)
It's a big enough issue around digital products that it always comes up when digital content (music, stories, art) is discussed. But it gets far more attention than it deserves.
So this week, as I head out to GenCon, we're having PIRATE WEEK over here at ideatrash. First we'll review why it is (and isn't) a problem. Tomorrow we'll talk about the two types of solutions, and then we'll get into the meat of the solutions themselves.
This is a real issue for me - I discovered the first torrent with some of my work on it just a week or so ago.
You'd think that digital piracy (or theft) harms content creators in pretty straightforward ways. Every person who pirates my story is one less paying customer. By and large, that's true. But there's one important caveat.
That's assuming everyone who pirates my story would have paid money for it. I definitely will be losing some money, but I can't easily calculate how much. On top of that are the compelling studies showing that piracy helps everyone but the very top sellers. I don't think that statistic justifies piracy; why would you pay for something that you got (illegally) for free? (There is an answer, though - more on that in a few days.)
So from the point of view of content creators, we're definitely losing money to pirates, and maybe getting some benefit - but we don't know how much, or when, or how. That's a crappy way to do business. So there still needs to be a way to manage and reduce pirate activity around our own works. And that's where we'll pick up tomorrow - look for "Being Boarded by Pirates".