Jonathan Taplin: How Piracy is Killing the Content Economy

Jonathan Taplin: Well, I would argue that piracy is problematic.  I come at it from a very simple way.  If you look at the music business, pretty much every piece of content in the world is available legitimately. Whether it's through iTunes or Spotify or anything else, all of which you have to pay some money, it's not a lot, but it's some money.  And yet still the amount of piracy out there is huge in the music business, which says to me that free can never, you know, free always wins over something that costs something.  The second problem I have is that much of piracy is ad supported.  So Pirate Bay or most of the big pirate sites are supported by advertising.

So the history of the media business is always that advertising was the support for making content.  When Procter & Gamble put money into making soap operas, it was literally to pay for the content, the advertising paid for the content.  The problem with Pirate Bay, or any of the big pirate sites that take in millions of dollars of advertising is none of that money ever goes back into paying for content.  So in that sense they're not recirculating the money to build the content economy.  And ultimately if all the advertising money moved from legitimate to pirate, then there would be no content economy whatsoever.

Whether we can overcome that is really a matter of decision on the part of advertisers.  Do they want to be on these pirate sites or do they want to support Spotify?  Do they want to be supporting, you know, illegal content or do they want to support legal content.  And that will make the final decision.

Directed/Produced by Jonathan Fowler and Dillon Fitton

 

Free always wins over something that costs something.

Why the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner won’t feature a comedian in 2019

It's the first time the association hasn't hired a comedian in 16 years.

(Photo by Anna Webber/Getty Images for Vulture Festival)
Culture & Religion
  • The 2018 WHCA ended in controversy after comedian Michelle Wolf made jokes some considered to be offensive.
  • The WHCA apologized for Wolf's jokes, though some journalists and many comedians backed the comedian and decried arguments in favor of limiting the types of speech permitted at the event.
  • Ron Chernow, who penned a bestselling biography of Alexander Hamilton, will speak at next year's dinner.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

A new study says alcohol changes how the brain creates memories

A study on flies may hold the key to future addiction treatments.

Scott Barbour/Getty Images
Mind & Brain
  • A new study suggests that drinking alcohol can affect how memories are stored away as good or bad.
  • This may have drastic implications for how addiction is caused and how people recall intoxication.
  • The findings may one day lead to a new form of treatment for those suffering from addiction.
Keep reading Show less