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Monetize piracy instead of fighting it

  Fillrobs's Photo
Posted Jan 20 2012 12:42 PM

So it seems SOPA is dead and will disappear. PIPA is still left as I type - but will probably go the same way. The problem with these acts is that they were too general and allowed too many powers that would go against the freedom of the internet.

The Problem with piracy
The problem is that too much money is lost to file sharing - whole industries have been destroyed through the loss in DVD, CD sales. This stifles the industry and ruins the enjoyment for us all.

Take the film industry - film production companies will have their income reduced due to a drop in DVD and Blu Ray sales - they can't just rely on the box office income - which is diluted between many parties - the film distributor, the cinema itself etc etc - therefore the next film that they go to produce, is done without as much cash in their pockets. They then play safe and go with well known tried and tested methods to make a film that they know is popular. This leads to dull and boring films - that are "safe" - they will use the same actors, that they know brings in the money at the box office - new actors and actresses find it hard to break into the it shrinks the industry.

They even film the next 2 or 3 sequels to it at the same time - only actually produce them once the 1st film has gone out. It means cheap film making and, in my opinion poor movies.

The same can be said for music. Through piracy the artist's pocket suffers - this restricts them in making more music. It causes the record companies to play safe - to go with artists who make music along a set formula. If their music doesn't make enough money, they don't re-invest in the artist. Of course we always need new music artists and they do come along - but they make less money from music sales - they have to make money from touring and performing. Ultimately the music industry suffers as do we all as there is less money to invest in new artists.

Why do I care? As long as I get it for free? Well if you think like that then think of what the world would be like if there was only 2 film production companies - only 2 as all the small ones had joined forces due to the lack of profit available. Each company produce only 10 movies a year each - each movie has 4 sequels - Police Academy style - we all loved the 1st one, 2nd and 3rd got progressively worse - nobody remembers the rest. Sure, there will be small independant films - but these will be few and far between if they make no money.

Music suffers as well - we end up with many one-hit-wonders - no investment for developing artists. Music that all sounds the same.

The only way to solve online piracy
File sharing is unstoppable. People say that there are legitimate reasons for file sharing - I'm sceptical - I've never seen anyone using it for anything other than piracy. So no point trying to stop websites running this as a service. As we have seen, governments cannot stop it.

The only way to solve online piracy is to take away the fuel. If they gave the products away, there would be no need to steal it. Hold on! Give the product away? How does that work.

Advertising within the products is the solution to music and film piracy. Prior to making a film - the film company sells advertising to brands who then get their names associated with the film - the entry scenes would be flooded with the product placement - add advert intervals into the film's play schedule just like on TV that show the adverts. A film lasts forever - and obvious brand placement will always remain associated with the film. Take Top Gun - imagine that Red Bull had the deal - people would remember Red Bull associated with Top Gun - made in 1986!

For music albums and singles the same deal struck - so albums and singles would be introduced and followed by adverts. The artist could agree to record them - even use the tune to create the ad. So you would listen to the album and have to hear a 20 second sound bite of the brand associated with the track(s).

New artists would have to gain popularity by giving their music away - once they reach 5000 downloads - they could look at brands interested in advertising with them. The brand pays more as the album/single does better.

There could be a whole industry built around this - promoters sending out links to songs and movies - downloads commands higher advertising revenue.

Youtube already do this - the rest of the industry just needs to follow.

Sure - you may say that there will be people who will strip the adverts out and share them. The authorities can make laws against that. If a file sharer shares a file that is not of the correct size and date they get reported to the providers of the music or films to the file sharer site. If they dont take it down they dont get any further music or films.

OK - you say "what about sies that just host the media that has the advertising removed?" well these made illegal - it's a small direct law that says "sites hosting stripped ad media is illegal". There may still be a small section of the web that choose to download these files - but the majority of users would download the legitimate version because it's easily available.

DVD and BluRay player manufacturers, PS3, XBox - and any video player manufacturer could add a web registration section to their video players that make the user add an email address/physical home address, before they can watch any downloaded videos/mp3s - as they go to watch/listen, their email address is sent to the owner of the media (the film company or music artist/record company) where they can send targetted advertising to the end user. It's just an extension to social media - we already happily click Like in Facebook or Allow in Twitter to connect our web habits. This would just be an extension through watching films and listening to music.

At the moment the film producers and music companies get very little from downloads - giving the media away for free but with embedded advertising is the only way they can recover from illegal file sharing.

I am happy to discuss this with anyone - contact me at my website at Solid State Disks - The Home of Solid State Disks - which has nothing to do with illegal file sharing of course - this is just my own opinion.

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