Typically my blind fire articles aren’t supported by $430,000 studies conducted by the European Commission in 2013, but now I finally feel some vindication for the stance I’ve taken on piracy since day one. Piracy has little to no effect on the thing that’s being pirated. Whether it’s movies, video games, or music, my attitude over the years, ever since the days of staying up hoping to christ that your mom doesn’t get on the phone and disrupt the dial up, while you wait for the last 3% of “Nookie” to download, has been that, people who pirate stuff are people who weren’t going to buy your work anyway. So, can we really equate that to a lost sale? In my opinion, your average person who’s pirating something has the “try, not buy” mentality, so you weren’t getting that money anyway. Sorry bud.
I’ve long made the argument that people who illegally download something, more often than not, will still end up unintentionally giving that product free promotion to people who may actually end up purchasing the product due to the psychological need to share good experiences with your friends. Just think about this for a second, how many things did you share today? What did you share on social media? What did you share at work? What did you share over text? Now, imagine you downloaded something you REALLY enjoyed, like a game, an album, or a movie. How soon before you share how great that experience was? How many people will you reach? How many of those people will pay money to try that thing? I’ve always looked at it as a lose win situation. Here’s a person who wasn’t going to give you their money to begin with, bummer. But, now you’ve got a rogue entity who has product knowledge that, if you’ve made a good product, has a high chance of being shared with others. There are plenty of others legs to stand on in the arena of piracy being wrong. However, the long standing argument that it devestating sales is, quite frankly, bullshit.