Strong opinions, weakly held

Piracy is about user experience, revisited

Last month, I wrote a post arguing that people illegally download content because it’s convenient, not just because it’s free. Along comes The Oatmeal to make the point in cartoon form. We should all cast a dubious eye on businesses that want to generate scarcity where it doesn’t really exist.


  1. Game of Thrones is not the best example. HBO wants to release the DVDs/digital when they think it is best for HBO to make boatloads more money. It’s their product, isn’t that their right?

    Of course we still get to laugh at HBO’s frantic clinging to a dying business model. But I don’t think “The DVD isn’t out yet and I want to watch it NOW” is the sufficient justification for torrenting.

  2. Of course they have the right not to distribute it on DVD or online if they don’t want to. And I wouldn’t argue that downloading the shows via BitTorrent is justified. But HBO refuses to sell people the shows when they could, with the knowledge that they compete with BitTorrent, which makes them available for free. Maybe that is good business for them, but it doesn’t seem like it would be.

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