Over the past year I have become increasingly intrigued by the piracy issues plaguing Hollywood.
With any issue there is always two sides to the fence. I do not by any means condone media piracy, but I can't agree that taking broad-sweeping measures to prevent it has actually helped the RIAA and MPAA's image become more...well, wholesome.
And frankly, that's something they need. It seems like large companies tend to hit a plateau where they stop caring about the consumers buying their product...because, well they can. I feel though that this attitude does not bode well for them in the long-run as their sole focus in life becomes "squeezing pennies from a stone."
On the other hand, their product is being violated and shared freely through the internet. Obviously, they have a reason to be angry. However, as the good writers at Techdirt have brought out ever so consistently, they need to get with the times and change their business model to compete with online content. There are systems in place that take advantage of this namely hulu, netflix, etc. Unfortunately, these services remained constrained because of the paranoia expressed by Hollywood of losing "control" over their media and losing their positions as "gatekeepers" to content.
What I find even more interesting - and this goes back to my point about companies reaching that plateau - is that they are completely unaware of how they sound to the public. There has been so much backlash with the menagerie of lawsuits used by the RIAA/MPAA, and they do not even figure this into the drop in sales. I believe a number of people end up pirating to spite these companies.
Either way, the whole back and forth with this issue is ridiculous and this is why: HADOPI (the french copyright enforcer) has been using a "3 strike system" for repeat piracy offenders in France. Surprisingly, piracy had gone down in 2011. Unsurprisingly, music sales also went down by 3%.
The whole thing just reeks of poetic justice.