Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Re: what do pro-piracy advocates actually think

On the side of the companies, they do what the shareholders know to be true and tried methods. Which in fact just artificially prop up an old and dying model. We won this fight in the music space, and now the music market is more accessible than ever.
On the side of the consumers it's loose and uninformed moral arguments that are propagandized by the companies and then regurgitated by everybody else down the line.
On the theoretical side it's about safe investments: second seasons and third seasons of successful franchises, reboots, shows that rely only on name recognition and nothing else, and so on. USA's market has relied on licensing for ages, and is exactly that: few truly new shows. This sort of titles, especially the unimaginative ones, are the ones that are actually hurt by piracy, as is confirmed by all studies on the matter. Major hits and niche titles generally don't see a difference, or see a positive effect from piracy. Japan instead has relied on BD sales, merchandise, and, well, whales. This means that shows that would be hurt by piracy never did well there anyway, or were not produced at all. One season is enough to sell the source material and the merch. However, Western people find that model hard to understand. Americans specifically are used to their own slow moving entertainment that does 10+ seasons of every even mildly successful title, until they've driven it into the mud several times over. So they can't comprehend an industry that isn't hurt, or is even helped by piracy. Thus the moral argument: "because this is how the American legacy industry works, surely that's the only possible choice for the Japanese industry too!"
If there's something that the pro-piracy side does not understand, it's that the Japanese industry is actively moving towards the American model of milking everything under the cash flow from overseas licensing deals. The pro-piracy side remembers what was 5-10 years ago. It's still not there. There's hope. If the American market moves towards selling the source material by using the anime, this movement of the Japanese industry could be reversed too. Besides, the actual creators will fight tooth and nail for their freedom too.

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