The Value of Piracy

I read this great interview with Mat Mason the author of The Pirate’s Dilemma, which discusses how piracy can be a good thing….

People are downloading, emulating, knocking stuff of 24-7 over the net all over the world.

This book discusses how piracy has become a new business model and argues that youth culture is pushing the world towards a more democratic model of capitalism.

Whether we like it or not piracy is prevalent and not on the way out….the challenge for businesses perhaps is how to deal with it.

I liked this snippet which illustrates how Nike handled a situation….

“What’s an example of a company that responded effectively to piracy?

In the book, I talk about Nike and this very famous shoe, the Air Force One. It was launched in 1982, and it’s been kept alive by the hip-hop generations’ love for its simple iconic design. Well, this didn’t stop a 22-year-old hip-hop DJ from Tokyo called Nigo from making his own version of the Air Force One. He had a fashion brand called Bathing Ape and took the Air Force One, ripped off the swoosh, and added a shooting star logo and released them in limited quantities for around $300 and these became really popular. Bathing Ape is now a multimillion dollar brand all over the world. Although there was a definite case for infringement, Nike didn’t sue him. They competed with him in the marketplace. They saw the way he was using garish textures and colors they hadn’t experimented with, and they decided to do the same. There’s no point in trying to sue somebody if they help you sell more of the original. Bathing Ape is doing really well and Nike actually bought shares in Bathing Ape. They invested in them.”

This interview also discusses how pirates are a “shadow R & D force”

have  a peak it’s a decent read….

If this kind of banter interests you, you can read more on Matt’s blog the Pirate’s Dilemma


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