Copyright Infringement Part of Advertising?

Copyright debate

From Tech Dirt 14/09/09:

Famed rapper 50 Cent (Curtis Jackson) was apparently on CNBC recently talking about his "business acumen." I have to admit that having three different people all trying to interview him at once is rather annoying -- as they almost never let him complete a thought. However, when they ask him about piracy, and whether or not it makes him angry (around 2 minutes), he responds that: he sees it as a part of the marketing of a musician, because "the people who didn't purchase the material, they end up at the concert." He says that people can fall in love with the music either way, and then they'll go to concerts. He notes that you can't stop piracy either way, so why try to fight it?

The idea that low grade quality material – be that music, film or other content – on the net can actually fuel consumption for the genuine article is far from new. It’s also a theory to which I wholeheartedly subscribe and have witnessed certain behavioural trends which bear it out many times.

I’ve always argued that such problems must be dealt with at the source; punishing those who would never have bought the content in the first place makes little sense.

More liberal concepts of copyright and methods of rights management are growing in popularity and many of the proponents are content producers themselves. For instance, Leo Laporte of TWiT fame often draws an analogy between content producers making material available online and street-side fruit sellers in New York. His theory, of course, is that while a small minority of ‘theft’ occurs, this pales in significance to the greater volume of sales gained by virtue of the optimised location with greater public access and a certain extent of ‘sampling’ of goods.


  1. For a long time I've assumed that piracy and counterfeiting of goods is part of the process of price discrimination.

    That is, the people who produce the original item arrange for the item to be pirated/counterfeited to perhaps a poorer quality so that they can sell it in a market and for a price that would be detrimental to their brand.


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