VHS Piracy… now that’s old school (part 1 of 2)

3 10 2007

Here’s a 60 Minutes clip about pirated movie content. The catch? This episode was aired in 1978 and the illegal piracy they’re talking about uses VHS tapes. What’s interesting about this clip is that those in the entertainment industry haven’t really changed their story in the past 20 years. According to this episode, piracy posed a major threat to the entertainment business in 1978. Strangely, Hollywood appears to be sailing full-steam ahead 2 decades later. The industry still argues that piracy is a threat to their business – no one is paying attention today either.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not advocating piracy, but you have to wonder why consumers don’t share the same perspective on piracy as the entertainment industry. It can’t all be about money, can it?

I would argue that for one side of the equation (the industry) it is all about the money – and they would be happy to grab as much of it as possible. For the other side of the equation (consumers), entertainment is a cultural experience that tends to be shared. These shared experiences help consumers understand themselves and their culture better (even if the cultural experience in question is the latest explosion-laden drivel from Michael Bay). Certainly we want our entertainers to get paid (or else they might stop entertaining), but from the consumer persepective compensation for entertainers takes a backseat to shared experiences with friends.

[courtesy: BoingBoing]

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