Of “digital piracy”…

Wasn’t I saying it all along? The net result of abandoning DRM (Digital Rights Management) would be positive for most companies. Various studies show this again and again from different perspectives. This time it is a behavioral study of an Oxford economist Karen Croxson discussing the potential customer behavior and result of the piracy on the net sales. And the conclusion is still same: piracy does not hurt sales, even helps sometimes.

Really, if one abandons DRM and lets go of the piracy hype, the result must be positive. Here is the list of things to consider:

  1. The customers that buy your product would buy it anyway.
  2. The customers that would not be buying your product will not buy it anyway
  3. The customers that are influenced by the “ease to copy” and decide to copy instead of buying are extremely marginal in number.
  4. The experience with your product, the rumors, the hype, the word-of-mouth advertisement would generate many more customers than you might lose in the previous category.
  5. Customers loyal to you are not annoyed by your silly DRM schemes.
  6. You do not need to waste money and time on the DRM.
  7. People who spent time breaking your DRM schemes and making bad publicity went to do the same for your competitors.

And the list goes on and on. I cannot think of any logical (as opposed to “feel good” or “appear good to the boss”) reasons to fight piracy and create DRM schemes. Happily I am now only annoyed by DRM as a customer and I can vote with my wallet for the products with good sense and reason.

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