Piracy Good: Message To Content Producers

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Content producers at a conference in Ottawa recently received a surprising message. Piracy is good. Canadian Indie producers were told at a media conference on Thursday that illegal downloading of content actually secures more business and reveals new emerging markets for them.

Gavin McGarry, Jumpwire Media President told an afternoon panel, "We're really coming to a place right now where piracy and file sharing is actually doing what it's supposed to do: It's showing new markets, it's taking the content business to new places and it's helping build big businesses for new and emerging companies and also for some of our big leading content providers."

In a presentation entitled, "The Ins and Outs of Illegal Downloading," Robert Tercek, Digital Media Consultant, told attendees that if content producers priced their product reasonably for consumers they could avoid piracy. Tercek pointed out, "If they make their content available, this part of the issue will go away." A former editor of Billboard and author of "Free Ride," Robert Levine, agreed that the key to getting paid was providing access to products rather than throwing up barriers.

"We are awash in content," explains Tercek. "Each year 300 million online videos compete for attention against 250 studio film releases and TV is turning into an app." In the broadcast world, digital giants like Google and Facebook are turning TV into more software competing against emerging social media sites and services. "Google is not stopping. They bought Motorola. They're building expertise in the real-time insertion of advertising. They're moving into display," told Tercek.

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