Monday, March 7, 2011

Piracy in Emerging Economies

Media Piracy in Emerging Economies is the first independent, large-scale study of music, film and software piracy in emerging economies, with a focus on Brazil, India, Russia, South Africa, Mexico and Bolivia.
Based on three years of work by some thirty-five researchers, Media Piracy in Emerging Economies tells two overarching stories: one tracing the explosive growth of piracy as digital technologies became cheap and ubiquitous around the world, and another following the growth of industry lobbies that have reshaped laws and law enforcement around copyright protection. The report argues that these efforts have largely failed, and that the problem of piracy is better conceived as a failure of affordable access to media in legal markets.
     A three year study conducted by thirty-five researchers shows that Piracy in emerging economies is growing almost as fast the economy itself. This study focused on Brazil, India, Russia, South Africa, Mexico and Bolivia. It found that the this surge in piracy is caused by high prices, good competition, a failed anti-piracy education system, breaking habits is hard, criminals can not compete, and there is a overwhelming lack of enforcement.

     The high prices of media and entertainment causes nations that have a high poverty level to also have a high rate of piracy because who can argue with free when you don't have money to spend? Even if you are still buying the media from the underground markets it is cheaper then getting it legally. Also with competition being great amongst these underground media dealers, it keeps their prices down so those that cannot download the material itself can get it for an extremely reduced price at no repercussion to them. This is because the enforcement system of the laws that were changed to prohibit piracy forgot that outlawing something doesn't break the habit. Being that they do not have the ability to enforce these laws it is like they do not exist. Then you could ask why don't they teach people about anti-piracy? Well they tried and have failed, governments in these countries just can't convince the population that it is bad or wrong to use pirated media. So with a almost unregulated and uncontrolled piracy system in emerging economies, it will never go away.

     This large amount of piracy is not only bad for their local economies, it hurts international economies. Selling media, video games,  you name it causes the amount of monetary circulation through out the world to be reduced. Less money movement leads to weaker and smaller economies, and thus starts a snowball of an increase in piracy to make up for the fact that people have less money and media moguls want more. Unless we can start preventing piracy in places other then the United States, or other major nations, there will always illegal media trafficking and we can do nothing to stop it.

    However there is another way to look at this, it can be helping the local economies by adding another way to move money within the region. Causing less money to be moved out of the area and more being brought in. Piracy has its both good and bad, but the overall view is that it is bad for the global economy and needs to be stopped.


Smith said...

Interesting analysis. Why do you think economies have not taken a stronger approach to curbing the piracy? Do you think it would be worth the financial investment to enforce the piracy laws?

halochief996 said...

Piracy is an issue thats so controversial. Theres both a good and a bad side to this issue. The economy of video games and movies basically works simply like this: 1) Movie company/video game company makes product , 2) Consumers buy that product, 3) Movie company/video game company makes profit, 4) Movie company/video game company use some of that profit to make another new product. And the process starts all over again. Piracy basically allows the consumer to get a product without paying, and thus the company that made the product loses money.

The good sides to piracy are:
1) If you live in another country that doesn't sell the movie/video game you want, then you pirate. For example Japan doesn't get all American games, and America doesn't get all Japanese games
2) Sometimes people like to try before they buy. Take it as a rental without having to go to blockbuster or pay a subscription fee to Netflix/gamefly
3) Some products are very old. Cannot be found sold in stores or even found in blockbuster/netflix/gamefly
4) Its cheep and its free
The Bad:
1) Pirating cuts into the profit of the company
2) Also pirating destroys the ability of a company to make more products (by cutting into the profit of the company)
3) Its basically stealing. And you can go to jail for it, or pay a huge fine

halochief996 said...

Now Mr. Smith the reason why economies have not taken a strong approach to curbing piracy/making financial investments to enforce piracy laws, is it takes time, effort, and lots of money. And even then if you use so much money to try to stop piracy some programmer/computer genius will find a way to get around the system that prevents piracy. The best example is Ubisoft and DRM. Ubisoft is a great gaming company. One of their new games was Assassin's Creed. When they released Assassin's Creed they released it with a program called the DRM. Basically it was a little program that made sure that the game was not a pirated copy by forcing players to play the game while connected to the Internet. Well there are some gamers out there that don't have Internet so they can't play it offline. Also the is connected to Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed server. If that server crashes or needs they people who wanted to play the game have to wait until the people at Ubisoft are done doing whatever to the server. The DRM made many gamers unhappy. This did not help Ubisoft in the sales of Assassin's Creed for the PC. In fact more people pirated Assassin's Creed (DRM was hacked and easily disabled) for the PC instead of actually buying it. So trying to prevent piracy requires a lot of effort, ingenuity, and lots of money. Today the only thing companies do to prevent piracy is just get lucky. If they suspect somebody has pirated their game/movie they take action. Usually it’s the people that hack or are selling cheep movies and games on the streets. For example when Starcraft 2 was released, the Blizzard online police banned a good number of people who were suspected of having an illegal copy of their new game. Another example: The Hurt Locker was pirated by a couple of people. And the movie company tracked them down and made them pay 10,000 dollars. In a way the economy, movie companies, and video game companies just have to accept the fact that there will always be people who will buy their product and there will always be people who will pirate their product. All the companies just have to do is just keep on making more of their products, and don't spend time just making prevention programs that hurt consumers that actually buy their products. As for the consumers, it’s their decision whether or not they will actually go out and buy the product, or go to the internet and acquire the product for free. There are consequences for both decisions. Oh yeah in most foreign countries like China, piracy is legal. In China you can find a new American film, which is in theatres in America, on DVD for a very cheap price. Of course getting it through security will be a problem. If you are caught in the American Airport with a bag full of pirated films, expect to pay a lot of money.
So does that mean that we don't owe China so much money?

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