Friday, April 13, 2007

Are piracy complaints legit?

A few days ago, the US decided to file two piracy complaints against China. Humphrey Cheung of reports that

"Susan Schwab filed the complaints with the World Trade Organization in Geneva and alleged that American companies lose billions of dollars a year to Chinese piracy."
Now you should first think about this for a second; if this music had no pirated alternatives would all these people go out and spend their cash to buy it? The music and software companies seem to exaggerate these claims, and as they have a pretty strong representation in Congress they generally can drive their objectives pretty far. In a country like China legal copies of many CDs can cost many times more then their pirated counterparts. Now lets look at the salary comparison,
"A professional employee could earn an annual salary of approximately 100,000RMB (approx. US$12,000) while a factory worker or an ordinary employee could expect about 36,000 RMB (approx US$4,340)."
With those numbers its hard to understand how anyone can spend several times more for the same exact content. So instead of filing useless complaints, how about investing into other sources of revenue that can be generated via their products?

In related news Microsoft will soon offer music without DRM.
"Microsoft is jumping on the DRM-free music bandwagon and will be offering unprotected EMI songs in its Zune Marketplace. Jason Reindorp, Zune’s head of marketing, announced the move, but didn’t add any specific pricing or timeline. He added that Microsoft has been advocating DRM-free music for quite a while."
Perhaps another move to help improve the Zune sales, but at least it's a move in the right direction.

Source, DRM and Salary and Complaints.