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How Iron Maiden turns piracy into profits

Piracy is an untapped opportunity. Piracy means there exists a market which ‘content providers’ have not tried to understand and exploit.

In a typical non-constructive manner most media companies (or agencies like RIAA & MPAA) resort to ‘fighting’ piracy. They look at it as a threat instead of an opportunity. They spend millions and billions on it; they sue people; try to get laws changed through bribes (which is legalized in US and is called lobbying) only to cut one head of hydra. There are many smarter people who turn piracy into an opportunity.

Instead of thinking of piracy as a threat if they look at it as an opportunity they can monetize from it – well not in the way the infamous German law firm does where they deliberately upload movies on torrent sites and then send ‘ransom’ letters to those who downloaded the movies.

Netflix, a company that is challenging the traditional model of content distribution, uses pirate sites to find what kind of work people are looking for so that they can make it available on their ‘affordable’ network.

My favorite band Iron Maiden has also done something incredible which could encourage other artists to do the same. When Iron maiden realized that there is huge amount of piracy of their work in South America, most notably Brazil they set out to deal with it. But unlike MPAA and RIAA, Iron Maiden din’t send a fleet of lawyers to go after these fans.

What did they do? They went there themselves.

Iron Maiden increased their concerts in South America as they knew, thanks to downloads, that there is a huge fan following which, due to whatever reason, can’t buy their music.

So where RIAA and MPAA wastes millions of dollars every year fighting piracy, Iron Maiden din’t spend a dime. Instead of wasting any money they raked in approximately $2.58 million from the concert in São Paulo alone. At the same time they din’t send anyone to jail, the way RIAA or MPAA does; they created more fans.

This is a lesson RIAA and MPAA can learn from Iron Maiden. There are many reasons people ‘pirate’ stuff. Piracy shows that there is admirer of your work, find a way to satisfy these customers.

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Source: Cite World

Swapnil Bhartiya

A free software fund-a-mental-ist and Charles Bukowski fan, Swapnil also writes fiction and tries to find cracks in the paper armours of proprietary companies. Swapnil has been covering Linux and Free Software/Open Source since 2005.

13 Comments

  1. This blog is really about things I really like: FOSS and heavy metal;) The linux player reviews always show a good taste for music.

    Cheers :)

  2. Great article. I think this is all great. However, I also think there is a place for services like Bandcamp to help disrupt the music empire. Bandcamp allows artists to set their own price and reap the profits. Many bands set their price at a voluntary donation others set them closer to traditional CD prices and everything between. This reduces the need for me to pirate because the prices are coming down to reasonable levels. I may grab their music for free if I know I’m going to go see them live or to try it out before I buy more. HOWEVER, I know that when I pay I am not sending the lions share to a giant entertainment corporation. I am directly supporting the bands.

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