An Important Lesson About How to Reduce Piracy

Interesting. It appears that the expansion of Netflix into Canada had reduced piracy by ½:

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings dropped a surprising statistic during an interview with Dutch website Tweakers last week, as he made the rounds promoting the launch of Netflix Netherlands.

When asked if Dutch viewers would switch from piracy to Netflix, Hastings said sure, some will switch, and that piracy helps “create the demand” for easier, legitimate ways to watch video through the Internet. Pressed for examples of markets where Netflix has actually brought about a decrease in piracy, Hastings pointed to Canada. Here, he claims, “Bittorrent traffic’s down by about 50 per cent since Netflix launched three years ago.”

There are some facts in the entire copyright debate, particularly as applies to entertainment:

  • It’s inconvenient for people to pirate things.
  • They are willing to pay when the institutions who control the content aren’t dicks who make “legal” use of the products even more inconvenient because they want to wring every possible penny from their users.

Of course, it’s rather unlikely that the the powers that be are going to stop acting like a dicks, seeing as how they have the political pull to turn what should be civil infractions into felonies though their pet congresscritters.

H/t PP at the Stellar Parthenon BBS.

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