Pirates are Essential for Progress and Innovation

Going against established laws and copyrights have throughout history enabled a higher level of innovation to take place then would otherwise have happened. The public needs pirates to enhance the market. Big firms with high profits tend to get satisfied instead of aiming to constantly improve upon their services.

If we didn’t have pirates and copying then Walt Disney would not be the empire it was today. 20th Century Fox is another major company today that started with pirating film since the Motion Picture Patent Company (MPPC), consisting of 10 major companies, was using bullying and monopolizing to keep small independent film companies out of the market. There are a few more that started of as pirates to later on go and build an empire. The problem is that they forget their past and act as the big bullying actors of the past.

Once a firm becomes an established entity with a good profit they often restrict innovation in order to maintain their business profits. New innovations means a shift of power which is often bad for established players. One example is the delaying of FM-technology that RCA did to keep their share on the AM market even though they realized that FM radio was clearly a superior alternative. This restriction and suing of people to delay progress keeps repeating at each introduction of a new innovation that shifts balance within the market (radio, tv, cds, mp3, torrents etc). Another way of restricting innovation is locking down content in complicated laws and¬†bureaucracy¬†needed to clear rights. Netflix is an innovator that has had to fight it’s way to the position it is in today but that still has a long bureaucratic path in order to launch their business more global.

Innovation shakes the profitability of the market for the established players, sometimes to the better but sometimes to the worse. It is often the small and new players that are most keen on evolving their business ideas in order to make their way into the market. The larger a firm gets the larger the bureaucracy becomes and this means that the organizational learning most of the times gets very limited in its possibilities. The bigger control a firm has over the supply to a certain market the harder they will sue and use dirty tricks to keep other out of this market. With only a few players in the market the power shifts away from the consumers and towards the suppliers.

Pic: CC-BY-NC-SA, .nele
Sources: History of Film – The History of the Movies , Piraterna : de svenska fildelarna som plundrade Hollywood , Edwin Armstrong: Genius of FM Radio

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Josef Ohlsson Collentine

A transparent and kind American/Swede who likes cultural patterns and Social Media. A creative early-adopter who sports, discusses and explores. More about me
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