Piracy helps, says speakers at a Canadian media conference

Amidst all of the turmoil surrounding the war on digital piracy lately, some indie producers including Gavin McGarry, the president of Jumpwire Media, were very candid on the issue, even siding with piracy while speaking at the annual Prime Time gathering of major Canadian indie producers met in Ottawa. There was a startling theme drawn by many, including McGarry, that piracy actually helps businesses, content providers, and creators of media.

Piracy helps, says speakers at a Canadian media conference

It seems that Canada is trying to become a pioneer in spreading art and media through the burgeoning Internet and the wealth of possibilities that it provides. That some there would legitimize piracy, however, is in direct contrast to what the majority of media outlets and producers around the world have fought for in the continuing piracy versus copyright debate.

The rebels in Canada have shown wisdom in analyzing all possible avenues of ever-evolving markets, including legal and illegal digital file sharing and downloading.

As the 2012 Prime Time conference closed out its last day in Ottawa, major indie producers left a lasting mark there this year. Numerous panels, beginning on February 29, the Leap Year Day, have shown overwhelming support for digital piracy, saying that illegal downloading secures indie producers more business and markets for their product.

There was even a panel titled: “The Ins and Outs of Illegal Downloading.” Robert Tercek spoke vehemently at the panel saying, “that content producers could avoid piracy by reasonably pricing their product for consumers.” Tercek, the founder of General Creativity, said flatly that: “If they make their content available, this part of the issue will go away.”

There is no question that the limiting of and withholding of digital rights for content has caused many consumers of entertainment media; movies, TV programs, and music, to flock to illegal file sharing methods to secure content.

In Tercek’s keynote address at Prime Time he stated that “[everyone is] awash in content . . . TV is turning into an app. It’s just another app that runs on someone else’s platform”. Each year over 300 million online videos compete for attention against 250 studio film releases and the myriad of TV shows gracing the airwaves.

What Tercek and many of the indie producers suggested, was that the major studio producers need to embrace new innovations and use them to help distribute their content in newly emerging markets. The implication is that granting more accessibility to media can make money, and that the piracy will ebb and eventually dissolve for lack of need.

This might be a slightly naiveté assessment of digital piracy, but it hits on interesting points, such as researching and embracing how to provide content to the people that desire it, on their terms. Happy consumers would be less likely to illegally acquire content that they have the means to access, legally and affordably.

Gavin McGarry, president of Jumpwire Media said, “We’re really coming to a place right now where piracy and file sharing is actually doing what it’s supposed to do: It’s showing new markets, it’s taking the content business to new places and it’s helping build big businesses for new and emerging companies but also for some of our big leading content providers.”