Posted by: stephanieessin | October 23, 2014

You wouldn’t steal a handbag. You wouldn’t steal a car. You wouldn’t steal a DVD.

An ongoing discussion about authorized and unauthorized access to media content stood out to me. They highlight that piracy is often thought of as more of a moral issue than a legal issue. They quote Andrew Keen on page 55 as suggesting that “the unauthorized circulation of intellectual property through peer-to-peer networks and the free labor of fans and bloggers constitute a serious threat to the long-term viability of the creative industries.” So— by pirating media we are immorally killing the creatives, and stealing from the industry.

However, the authors take a stance on this “moral economy” and urge us to consider the reasons why we share and consume media as a collective.“The social motives for sharing media are also varied and cannot be reduced to the idea of ‘stealing content’” (61). Perhaps, as they suggest, piracy isn’t an inditement on the audience as much as it is a marketing failure to meet consumer’s needs. Consider this:

Remember this anti-piracy campaign ad? I know it sure scared the pants off me when I was in middle school (sarcasm?). This ad is definitely reducing media sharing through pirating as “stealing”. They are also tying them in with other “morally wrong” acts such as stealing a handbag…something physical and “real”— stealing can also be committed on a digital, non-tangible platform.

Is piracy a form of stealing or media sharing and how could market strategists combat the issue?

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