My friend Phips responded to my post from yesterday with a counterargument: Piracy is a big problem. I wasn't very specific in my post yesterday, but here's some clarification. I agree, piracy is a problem. Companies like to claim, and probably believe, that piracy is ruining their industry. And that may be true to some extent. But what's really ruining their industry is that they're trying to limit their customers to the business model that those companies are comfortable with.

The saying "information wants to be free" doesn't mean "you can't charge money for it". It means you can't try to put limits on it. As Phips pointed out, and as I was getting at with my quote from Tim O'Reilly yesterday, companies that make it easy for their customers to use their content are never the ones complaining about piracy. All music sold on iTunes is DRM free, meaning once I buy it I can put it on all my devices, share it with all my friends, or even put it online for someone else to download for free. But instead of complaining about piracy, Apple even makes it easy for pirates to use their pirated music in the new iTunes Match service.

Piracy is a problem, but it's not the problem.

Posted
AuthorConnor Graham