How to Stop Digital Piracy

How to stop piracy of movies, software and TV shows?  Charge a reasonable price.

In the 90s, my broke college friends went to extreme lengths to pirate copies of Microsoft Windows and Office.  It made sense as Windows and Office bought standalone would be nearly the same price as the PC hardware.  Even people who could afford Office pirated it because they considered the price unfairly high.

Music was widely pirated when the industry forced consumers to spend $18 on an album to get one or two good songs.  iTunes made single song purchases practical and now Spotify/Rdio provides all-you-can-eat plans for <$10 a month.  Now, most music is gone from BitTorrent (a pirating protocol) and all that remains are first-run movies and cable shows priced ridiculously high (like HBO’s slate).

Where Netflix has priced some TV and movies reasonably, people stopped pirating them.  Netlix says piracy is down 50% since Netflix entered Canada.

It likely makes business sense for publishers to price some content ridiculously high as a small percentage of the world will overpay for it and thus the publishers end up ahead versus democratic pricing.  However, industry shouldn’t complain about piracy since they are creating it.

Michael Girdley