While I have never been one to condone piracy, at the same time, I have held the **AA associations in great contempt in their ridiculous witch hunts and heavy handed lobbying efforts the last few years.
The root problem I have with the whole battle is not that I think media should all be free, but that DRM and campaigns against fair use hurt the honest consumer far more than they provide a defense against the dishonest.
A new report on NPR today talked about the growing piracy of film & video and that it has indeed been coming for a long time. It’s something, that just like music piracy, will continue to grow the longer the industry fails to deliver an easy-t0-use, fair-use model of selling content to the consumer.
Additionally, I think the quote from George Lucas on the topic is spot on when he says that if this continues, the industry of Hollywood itself will have to shrink because it no longer makes sense to spend tens, or hundreds of millions of dollars on a product whose scarcity and monetization you cannot guarantee. (In part because there’s no longer any scarcity of content – and DRM is the only scheme out there to try and create a false scarcity, and it’s not going to work.. nor do I believe it should).
This is going to cause a lot of heartache and extremely painful contractions and re-alignment in our business in the next 10 years. For my part, I’m hedging my bets by extending what I’ve learned in this business, into other businesses as well.