Piracy War: Unveiling the True Pirates

Dec 7, 2011
entertainment industry
The piracy war exposes the entertainment industry's greed and the need for market reform.
The entertainment industry's lost battle against the "enemy" of piracy had a new and sensational chapter with a ruling in the American justice system absolving the Hotfile site of responsibility for the "piracy" committed by its users. The court understood that the site (a variant of the more famous Rapidshare) had no intent in the process. The logical and obvious conclusion points to the defeat of the mega entertainment industry, whose denial is not by conviction but by circumstance. A different perspective on the problem would make things more logical and less painful, but it would end the gravy train for many middlemen.
Last year, an article by the International Development Research Centre clearly pointed out that most arguments against piracy are fallacious and that it is not a legal problem, but a market one. In general terms: if the entertainment industry charged a fair price for its product, no one would download anything in torrents. The problem is that the digital technological shift changed the rules of the game and benefits that the industry had kept for centuries went down the drain (but whose rights were philosophically debatable, such as those to keep the production of knowledge locked up). Wake up or die.
Suppose piracy is when an individual sells another's content without having the right to do so. In the transaction between two individuals without charge, there is no piracy, right? The industry swears there is. But there isn't. The dissemination of content has existed since humanity has existed and if it is fair to prevent someone who does not hold this right from profiting from this distribution, it is pertinent to compare the witch hunt of p2p to the repression that the Catholic Church practiced in the Middle Ages to prevent people from accessing the information in books. The priests already knew then that information is power.
The IDRC article exposed other fallacies of piracy witchcraft, such as the non-existence of a proven link between organized crime and piracy and that a price adjustment would be much more efficient to bring the market back to normality. Then, another problem. One of the aspects addressed in the book The Hollywood Economics talks about how the film industry subverted its costs to serve the industry and not the filmmaking activity. In other words: today, films are made to give money to lawyers (who earn the most money in Hollywood), distributors, insurers, special effects companies, etc. Directors, actors, screenwriters and the like - who are actually managing that activity - are secondary financial players. In other words: cinema has nothing to do with cinema and that's why films are so expensive - to feed a bunch of people who have nothing to do with the activity. Looking at it this way, who is the pirate: the one who downloads films on torrents or the industry that "hijacked" the community of film artists' ability to make films?
The financial greed to feed this industry of aggregates built on top of the mega entertainment industry is what makes the costs unviable and the reason why the war on piracy exists. It is possible to generate entertainment content at much more affordable costs and for which most people would be willing to pay realistic prices. Technological evolution has made the costs of a film without Hollywood excesses much lower today than it was ten years ago. The friction now is a normal adjustment in which an inefficient industry needs to readjust to reality - making films without burning money uselessly - but this implies making the industry give up the rings to keep the fingers. Historically, tyrants in power lose everything rather than give up part of their strength. And it is difficult to imagine that this time will be different.

© Cassiano Gobbet 2023 - 2024