NOVEMBER 29, 2016
Its important for small business owners to succeed, and part of that success is keeping up to date with bills being pushed in congress. Although this information dates back to 2011, learning about what effects our business is a key factor in surviving this new age of Internet and media consumption.
On May 12th, 2011, a bill was introduced to stop websites from sharing or selling copyright and counterfeit goods. This was due to the fact that a lot of websites hosted outside the united states built communities around sharing media, like movies and video games, without permission. Now this sounds like a good idea, no one wants there content stolen or ripped off, but how do you punish those wrong-doers? The bill being passed would allow companies to completely shut down websites that deal mainly in pirating, with nothing more then a written letter. Not only that, search engines like Google would be commanded to remove links to certain websites. This bill didn't pass, for more really good reasons
Almost entirely similar to PIPA, SOPA was introduced in October 26th, 2011 to the House of Representatives. The difference is that SOPA will seek out any website that has any sort of copyright infringement. This means if you own a website with 24 pages, and 1 page just so happens to have one, tiny, instance of copyrighted material, your website will be shut down. Think about how it would also effect websites like Facebook, Youtube, or Twitter. Whole websites would be shut down because one user posted copyrighted material. Both bills failed to pass, but you can bet there will be more in the future.
Before the Internet became a play-ground of reviews and 2-day delivery on goods, we had to take a chance on all the products we bought. Sure we had friends, family, and magazines to guide us to a certain product, but every new product depended on advertising. Its new, its shiny, you want to buy this.
My perspective comes from trying to save money. If the software you want to buy doesn't have a free trial, or a demo, i say its OK to pirate it. My only stipulation is that If you end up using it, then please support the company that made it. The same goes for music, or any other medium. Lets make sure people get paid for the time and hard work that goes into a quality product.
I'll give you two real life examples of pirating.
A company named Hunted Cow created a cell phone game called Battle Dungeon. They had to remove their game from the app store because too many people pirated it. The pirated versions overloaded Hunted Cow's Servers, and they couldn't afford to support all that unpaid traffic. The problem is, Hunted Cow could had avoided this by creating a trial and placing a DRM license, so that only paid customers could play the video game. Its also a good example of why people need to help support small developers. Hunted Cow did eventually put it back on the app store, after making changes to the application.
'Game of Thrones' Most Pirated TV-Show of 2015 . With more then 13 million illegal downloads, HBO isn't canceling the show based on low revenue numbers. While there are no hard facts to measure loss vs gain in revenue, you can bet that the show still pulls in a massive amount of subscriptions from HBO GO, and the HBO Cable channels. Not to mention the growing fan base and money coming in from merchandising. If anything else, pirating helped the show gain a huge audience, spanning all over the globe.