Does Piracy Kill The Creative Industry?

Creative business hates pirates, if anything they are the scourge of the world . They kill the industry, they make it hard for creatives to profit from their work. If you asked the Riverwood guy with a struggling studio, he would tell you that ‘Pirates Eat Our Sweat’.

According to the Attorney General of Kenya, Prof. Githu Muigai, the industry needs a sound legal standing in order to experience sustainable growth. It is the general feeling that copyright breach is a massive threat to the growth of creative business in this country.

On the other hand, new research by the London School of Economics destroys all the notions that we may harbor about piracy and the growth of creative industry. This research shows that creative industry is thriving despite the rampant piracy all over the world fuelled by broadband.

As per the research findings, the music industry is not in decline. On the contrary, it is realizing healthy revenues arising from diversified channels such as digital sales, subscriptions, streaming  live performances..

So is piracy killing the creative industry?

File sharing, peer to peer networks and torrents have been fought in court by creative industry players. Yet, when they successfully shut down one network, another springs up in its place. The record labels that took Youtube to court a few years back are now the most vibrant accounts on the same network. Using it extensively to promote new albums , artists and videos.  Some are completely bypassing TV and going online first. Mixcrate and Soundcloud are thriving too.

According to the study, Creative Industry should maximize on the potential of the internet and innovate on the content creation and distribution therein. The research shows that high piracy does not necessarily deprive the creator revenue. The research showed that top torrented movies and albums are always at the top of the box office and charts therefore creating a direct correlation between piracy and sales.

Are We Advocating For Copyright Anarchy?  This Is Nuts Isn’t It.

Make no mistake, piracy is still theft – a criminal offence punishable by law.  However, the creative industries seem to be doing better in the face of piracy.

Creative Industry has finally realized that some sharing will actually encourage people  to buy. For example, a new artist releasing some work on Sound Cloud under a Creative Commons license is far more beneficial that attempting to push a single through the distribution chain.

New adaptation of technology has created high growth channels of music and film streaming that are now multibillion dollar industries that could make pirating redundant. What piracy has done is force the creative industry to look at it’s processes and be more agile.

Piracy is the correction stick that forces the industry to constantly up it’s game. If it wasn’t for online file sharing, we would still be buying DVD’s and CD’s . However, piracy has forced the industry to innovate on the delivery and in the process unlocked new revenue streams that will propel the industry forward.

So what is your view? Do you think Piracy is killing the creative industry?  Let’s debate.



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