Two simple steps to limit online piracy

Two simple steps to limit online piracy

pirates are your competition, be better than them!

One of the best ways to fight piracy is to compete with pirated content. Indeed, many studies have shown that people often choose between legal and pirated content without discriminating. Their choice depends on the availability of the product, the quality offered and the risk involved.

It is therefore important to ensure that your product is available on legal platforms that are convenient for the user and known for their security.

Indeed, the rise of legal music platforms such as Spotify, Deezer and Bandcamp allows all musicians to share and sell their work. Even independent artists without a record label can gain visibility and monetize their work easily. Studies show that music piracy has dropped dramatically since users have adopted them.

Your work is less likely to be pirated if it is available in good quality on one of these popular platforms. 

Numerous studies (including one by the French agency Hadopi itself from 2011, unfortunately no longer available online) have also shown the correlation between piracy and the amount of money spent on culture. Those who pirate the most are also those who spend the most on culture - concerts, festivals, cinema tickets, Netflix and Spotify subscriptions, museums.

They are therefore often people with enough financial resources to pay for quality content.

These users pirate audio and video content not because they don't have the money, but because they can't find the content they are looking for - it may not be available on a convenient platform, for instance. Indeed, they will not pay for a new subscription to a streaming platform just to gain access to one specific tv show or album.

If the platforms offer is diversified, though, they will have no problem to pay for quality content. 

You have to make sure that your work is available on platforms that are used by your targeted audience.

Whether you are a video or audio author, make sure your work is available in good quality on one of these services. Pirating it will simply not be worth it for many users - too time consuming, too burdensome and too risky.

Create a free product


If you are a software or application developer, a free version with fewer features is often a great way to attract consumers. The free version is good enough for some, but if your product is good, it will often encourage users who need more advanced features to pay for a more elaborate version. 

Similarly, frequent updates that add useful features for your audience will also help to discourage hackers.


Educate those around you


Remember that your work as a creator is just that, work. And work needs to be paid.

Do it personally with your friends, family, but also on social networks, on your blog, and anytime you have the chance. 

Would you ask a plumber to redo your entire installation - several days or weeks of work - in exchange for advertising? Would you ask your baker to give you a free baguette because bread is a basic necessity? 

And yet, that is exactly what some people imagine - that they have the right to get else's work, for free. An album, a film, a book - these are the result of several months of work, and often a significant material investment. 


Have the content removed


Despite all these efforts, your product will be pirated. 

The second step is therefore to make it as inaccessible as possible. To do this, you will need to find out if the product is available online - whether on YouTube, in illegal file sharing communities or on blogs. 

For example, you can set up Google Alerts, use Copyscape if your content is written, and do regular searches to see if your content is being distributed anywhere without permission.


You should then request the removal of the offending content, and ask Google to remove the links to it. 


A specialized company has professional and automated tools that allow a much faster analysis of the networks. It will identify quickly if your content is available illegally somewhere and ask for its removal in compliance with the rules and procedures of each country and site. Indeed, like a hydra whose head grows back as soon as it is cut off, even if the content is removed somewhere, it will most likely reappear elsewhere.

Hiring a company to monitor and request removal on your behalf will save you time and money.

Next week we will talk about how the lockdowns affected the numbers of online piracy.

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