Piracy is a Service Problem
Enrique Dans writes about Popcorn Time, the great movie application created by a group of Argentinean hackers that allowed users to search and view torrent movies, according to Time, in an interface better than Netflix’s.
Basically, it’s the version of Netflix that you’ve always wanted — and maybe have been willing to pay extra for — but that Hollywood may never allow.1
Popcorn Time gained an incredible traction in a short time and challenged the movie establishment. But its creators decided to shut it down and release the code into the public domain, because _standing against an old fashioned industry has it’s own associated costs. Costs that no one should have to pay in any way, shape or form._2
Some days later, YTS –one of the main torrent sites– announced that they are taking over the project. Popcorn Time is again available for free.
Piracy is not a people problem. It’s a service problem. A problem created by an industry that portrays innovation as a threat to their antique recipe to collect value.2
When Apple launched iTunes’s music store in 2003, it demonstrated to the music establishment that people were willing to pay for music in .mp3 format, if they could do it easily and securely. (Up to then, the music industry had been fighting music in .mp3 format.) Results? Apple became a new player in the music distribution business. Since February 2008, Apple’s store has become the biggest music vendor in the United States, and since February 2010 the biggest music vendor in the world. On January 2009, Apple announced that it was removing DRM3 from its music catalog4.
The way to stop movie piracy is to offer the movies in digital format, for a price, the same day they appear in movie theaters.
Popcorn Time closing letter. ↩ ↩
Digital Rights Management, or DRM, is a technology that prevents digital files from being copied to other devices that the one where they were originally purchased, and is intended to prevent media piracy. ↩
cfr Wikipedia, iTunes Store. ↩