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« Evo-Bio of Music | Main | Down on Digital »

September 18, 2003

Digital Crack

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Friedrich --

Have you caught the lead article in the WSJournal's "Marketplace" section today? It isn't online, unfortunately.

Geoffrey Fowler writes for the newspaper about recent developments in digital piracy. The newest DVD/CD burners -- which are (surprise surprise) much faster and smaller than they were just a few years ago -- have given rise to a new generation of music, software and video pirates. Getting started as a digital pirate used to take about a million bucks and some serious square footage. Today, capitalization and space demands have become so minimal that piracy has gone mom 'n' pop.

An interesting wrinkle is that organized crime syndicates have discovered the advantages of the new equipment too. The movie business, in fact, fears the syndicates more than it does the mom 'n' pop burners. Why? To quote Fowler: "Trafficking in pirated DVD-Rs and DVDs is almost 100% more profitable than trafficking in heroin."

I'm picturing furtive tough guys hanging out near urban schools, trying to get kids addicted to pirated movies ...

Best,

Michael

posted by Michael at September 18, 2003




Comments

Apparently, the Motion Picture Association is setting up confidential rewards and hotlines to encourage the locals in many Asian countries to rat out the pirates. One little issue, however:

The reward has to be less than the cost of a new burner, or else pirates turn themselves in and use the reward to buy more machines.

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on September 18, 2003 1:58 PM






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