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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Piracy is not all one way - it also benefits consumers

I have been tracking this argument that piracy is bad and hurting companies for quite some time. Evidence is now available showing that some form of piracy, others calling this in a less offensive term, Fair Use, is actually good for the companies. This is not surprising at all.

I do not have solid evidence but from experience, the loss of revenue attributed to piracy is probably money well spent than big budget advertising campaigns and trade shows. What benefit could one derive from a week's trade show? Giving someone a few copies of software is probably money well spent in spreading the words of it.

Piracy also has demonstrable benefit to consumers. The latest one is forcing Microsoft to cut the price of their Office suite for students and according to Microsoft
"It is also part of our drive to address piracy issues," Microsoft Australia education marketing manager Donna Magauran said.
Piracy acts like a ceiling setting a upper limit which a company can charge and that it could be tolerated by the community. Without the hackers, will Microsoft cut the price of Vista to 1/3 of the original price in China?

Lately, DRM is on the way out because it is offensive to customers and giving them a bad taste.

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