How to Combat Piracy

by Nikolozi Meladze

Louis C.K.:

The show went on sale at noon on Saturday, December 10th. 12 hours later, we had over 50,000 purchases and had earned $250,000, breaking even on the cost of production and website. As of Today, we've sold over 110,000 copies for a total of over $500,000. Minus some money for PayPal charges etc, I have a profit around $200,000 (after taxes $75.58). This is less than I would have been paid by a large company to simply perform the show and let them sell it to you, but they would have charged you about $20 for the video. They would have given you an encrypted and regionally restricted video of limited value, and they would have owned your private information for their own use. They would have withheld international availability indefinitely. This way, you only paid $5, you can use the video any way you want, and you can watch it in Dublin, whatever the city is in Belgium, or Dubai. I got paid nice, and I still own the video (as do you). You never have to join anything, and you never have to hear from us again.

Amazing. ~~Music labels~~, movie industry and software companies try to make it as hard as possible to "steal" their products by literally crippling them. In the end paying user suffers. iLok is a great example. I utterly hate iLok and refuse to use any product that uses it.

I think a great lesson can be learned from the Louis C.K.'s experiment. Rather than focusing on making a product harder to steal (and hence more expensive) concentrate on making it easier and painless for the user to buy it.