Five Reasons Why I Don't Care if My Stuff is Pirated - A New Way of Thinking

An article just came out in Wired (http://goo.gl/Nyaf9) and it featured many of my quotes. I have approached copyright, products, and business models in a very non-traditional way. I'm sure that I'm doing it the right way -- most others disagree. The article is about how I have chosen to share my photography from http://www.StuckInCustoms.com with a Creative Commons Noncommercial license, but it falls into an overall digital online strategy.

I also just happend to watch the new TWIT about copyright with +Leo Laporte , +Nilay Patel , +Andy Ihnatko , and +Harry McCracken. I'm 100% in Leo's camp -- but with a slightly different flavor, one I am sure Leo would appreciate.

All of my stuff is pirated. Everything from my HDR Video Tutorial to eBooks to Apps. Fine. It's all there on PirateBay and MegaUpload and all that stuff. Here are the reasons why I don't mind:

1) Theft of bits are like the Tic Tacs that get stolen from the 7-11. It's the cost of doing business on the Internet.

2) It is a LONG life. Many people that pirate stuff now from me just don't have any money. But, they like me and want my stuff. Some day, when they have money and get their financial act under control - maybe even in five years - I'll still be around. And then, they'll think, "You know what? I like that Trey guy... he put out stuff in the past that I like, and now I will start buying his new stuff."

3) The "pirates" are part of my community. Not everyone in the community has equal means. Pirates are not cretins riddled with immoral behavior in every part of their life. These are all generally good people who would gladly support me, their friendly local neighborhood artist, if they could easily afford it. They can't now, but they will be able to some day... I give them something now, and they will give me something later. For example, 24 years ago in high school, I used to pirate Sid Meier games on my Amiga (including a game called Pirates). Now that I have money, I buy every single game that Sid Meier puts out.

4) Pirates have friends that have money. It's still word-of-mouth, the most effective friend-to-friend marketing in the world. If pirates like what you do, they'll tell their friends. Not everyone is so handy with bittorrent and this sort of thing. Since I make purchases simple on my website at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com , many will come make the purchase because it is easier than pirating.

5) Last, and most important, as soon as I opened everything up, our business has grown and grown. Our team now of about 10 people are happy and everything is profitable. It is strange to see a chart over time that shows an increase in revenues and an increase in piracy. Now, piracy is not the reason that revenues are increasing, but they are not hurting revenues.

I'm proud of my artistic work and the creations that I have put on the internet, and for every thousand pirated downloads, I plant a thousand seeds.
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