Where is the map, Billy?

Original author: economist.com
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Big business indulges piracy
“The merchant and the pirate have been the same figure for a long time,” wrote Friedrich Nietzsche. "Even today, business ethics is nothing more than an improved ethics of filibuster." Of course, companies will not agree with this statement. Typically, piracy damages businesses. It undermines the sale of legitimate goods, deprives the company of its valuable intellectual property, as well as other creams that the brand could get. Commercial piracy can take very different forms than those usually portrayed in adventure films. However, stealing the results of someone’s research, artistic ideas or even journalistic materials is the same theft.

This principle is worth it to uphold. One way or another, companies are forced to work in the real world, where, despite all the efforts of the recording, software and other industries, piracy overcomes any obstacles. Thus, resigned to the fact that a certain number of thefts cannot be prevented, some companies decided to use this to their advantage.

For example, for each copy of a musical composition that is sold legally, there are 20 similar copies distributed over peer-to-peer networks. File sharing statistics can tell a lot. For example, it allows, even before the release of a music album, to determine in which countries the new composition is gaining the most popularity. Although at first it seemed that record companies opposed the use of such information, now they are studying it quite actively. Last month, BigChampagne, the main analyzer of the music industry, included pirate video tracking in its service. Knowing which television programs are the most popular on the Internet, owners of media channels get the opportunity to more adequately plan their broadcasts and build an advertising policy.

In other industries, piracy helps open up new markets. For example, software. 90% of computers in China operate using Microsoft's Windows operating system, but most copies are acquired illegally from pirate manufacturers. Officially, the software giant has a whole anti-piracy department. However, informally, the company condones the pirated copying of its products, because it helps it capture the market and bring additional income in the long run, because when users decide to legalize their programs, they will have time to get hooked on Microsoft products. Too hard a fight against piracy can push users away and force them to switch to free open source alternatives. “Our software products are easier to compete with Linux,

Another example from the agricultural sector demonstrates how piracy can literally sow a new market. Brazilian farmers wanted to use the genetically modified soybean seeds that Monsanto developed as a herbicide-resistant crop. The government, under pressure from various "green" opponents of the technology of genetic change, announced a ban. Unable to legally obtain genetically modified seeds, farmers began to buy pirated versions, many of which were imported from Argentina. In the end, more than a third of Brazilian soybean fields were planted with genetically modified crops and in 2005, the government revised its decree and allowed the use of genetically modified seeds. And then Monsanto began to legally sell its products in Brazil.

Innovative Pirates

nigoPiracy can also be a source of innovation if someone takes a product and successfully modifies it. In the music industry, unofficial remixes can drive sales of the original composition. Also in Matt Mason’s recently published book, The Pirate Dilemma, gives an example of Japanese designer Nigo who took the famous Nike Air Force 1 sneaker, removed the original logo, redesigned and released under his own label A Bathing Ape, limited to $ 300 for a couple. But instead of suing Nigo, Nike realized that he had noticed an unfilled market sector. The corporation bought back part of the shares of his company and issued an additional series of “remixes” of its sneakers. Mr. Mason argues that "the best way to profit from the activities of pirates is to copy their products."

Air force 1
Air force 1
A bathing ape
A bathing ape

However, one should not forget that these separate happy stories are only separate exceptions. In most cases, companies are forced to fight piracy against themselves by filing lawsuits. And, as a rule, this is the most correct decision. But before you act, you should carefully study the question of whether it is possible to turn piracy to your advantage.

Translation from English:
Roman Ravve

Specially for worldwebstudio

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