For a long, long time most pirates have been arguing that the reason they download movies illegally, is because there hasn’t been an adequate alternative. By that they mean region free, day one downloads at a convenient price. For years, movie studios and copyright lobbyists have ignored this and branded all pirates as evil, but now there might be a whiff of change in the air, as Warner Bros’ chief of anti-piracy operations, David Kaplan, has said that he sees piracy as a “proxy of consumer demand.”
But it gets better, he went on to say that: “Accordingly, enforcement related efforts are balanced with looking at ways to adjust or develop business models to take advantage of that demand by offering fans what they are looking for when they are looking for it.”
This was all part of a preliminary speech set to be expanded upon in the upcoming Anti-Piracy and Content Protection Summit, due to take place this week in Los Angeles. It shows a marked turnaround from previous efforts at culling piracy, which have seen Warner Bros issuing masses of DMCA takedown requests and targeting individuals with legal action. Finally though, the studio seems to be accepting that piracy is often a better form of media access for people and that it should perhaps offer a comparably simple service itself.
Kaplan also went on to explain that if fans used portions of their films, “that do not directly substitute for the full length feature, episode or game,” that Warner was willing to (and does) turn a blind eye, suggesting further understanding that commentary on media or simply the use of clips from a production, can help in promotion rather than hinder people’s desires to watch it.
However, d0n’t think because of all this innovative talk that Kaplan and his teams don’t have a woody, business core. He has no problem going after commercial pirates – those that stand to profit from infringement. “I think our top priority would be to remove the financial incentives from those who would profit by building businesses based on the unauthorized exploitation of our intellectual property. A close second would be educating consumers about the importance of IP protection and the availability of legitimate alternatives to piracy.”
The important thing to take away from all this, is that while Warner is still keen to stamp out piracy, it sees it as something that can be beaten with competition, not just legal might.
KitGuru Says: This is a big step and Warner should be congratulated for taking a more honest and realistic view of the world, in finally seeing that pirates aren’t to blame for all the world’s woes. However, it needs to act on that thought and innovate its services if it really wants to make an impact on those downloading TV shows and movies illegally.[Thanks TorrentFreak]