Feeds

Embrace chaos, beat pirates... buy my book, says Mason

Freetards will save the future, claims author

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

The only way to be beat content pirates is to join them, claims author and digital strategist, Matt Mason.

The author of The Pirate’s Dilemma – How Hackers, Punk Capitalists, Graffiti Millionaires and Other Youth Movements are Remixing Our Culture and Changing Our World, told an audience at MipTV that the limitless opportunity of digital content piracy and sharing cannot be stopped.

"The bad news is it's going to get a lot worse. Copying is going to become more of an issue for more industries," said Mason.

Yet rather than head to the courtroom Mason proposes that the act of piracy should be viewed as a mark of innovation rather than theft.

Former pirate radio DJ Mason said that the reason people listen to pirate radio is that it is playing unknown or underground artists, and typically is closer to emerging talent. Commercial radio stations, on the other hand, are constrained by advertising, record companies and agents.

While attention is given to movie piracy, Mason said sites such as BitTorrrent are also streaming TV shows that have yet to be picked up by international TV networks, giving them a cult following outside their home markets.

Since freetards are "an incubator of innovation", Mason said both ISPs and the content industries should "embrace the chaos".

"These periods of chaos become the new order in the end. The smart thing to do is copy pirates. If you can't control it, and people keep doing it and want to share this content, really that's a market signal that there's something going on outside your market," he said.

Mason cited iTunes, YouTube and Hulu as examples of this way of thinking, offering access to content that had previously only been relegated to pirate transmission.

If it's smart, the established industry can sell things that pirates can't copy, Mason said: convenience, customer service, and user experience. For example, he said, cinema box office receipts are still growing in some countries, in spite of movie piracy. Mason attributes this to the cinema experience: "If the experience keeps getting better and better, we’ll be okay," he said.

Transmedia also "pirate-proofs content", he said. When consumers can access some legal content for free, he said, content creators should back this up with more options to pay for extra content. "Now we're seeing the content industries get much more aggressive about innovating, variable pricing. Anything that legitimises the behaviour and makes it part of the new normal is a great way to go," he said. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.