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AppRising delivers insight into new broadband applications, exploring their impact on networks and their implications for public policy.

AppRising is written by Geoff Daily, who covers broadband applications and the business of online video. Based in Washington, DC, Geoff regularly advises applications developers, network operators, community leaders, and public officials on how to maximize adoption and use of the Internet.

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December 3, 2007 11:47 AM

Fighting Piracy By Making Content More Easily Available

Finally - some good news from the content piracy front.

MTV has announced their intent to make all episodes of the long-running animated series South Park available for free online in the coming months.

Why are they doing this? In an attempt to combat rampant piracy.

This isn't the first time I've seen efforts to make content more available as a way to deter pirates. MTV parent company Viacom, for example, made Daily Show archives available online a while back to great success, for example.

And these moves seem to reflect a growing shift in the mindset of some content owners on how they perceive piracy. Earlier this year, Disney spoke out about how they're beginning to look at piracy less as an illegal activity that needs to be squashed and more as a competitive threat.

It's exciting to watch as it's beginning to dawn on content owners that you can't fight piracy by building in more restrictions around your content. The lack of easy access to the content consumers want through legitimate channels is what sparked piracy in the first place!

The best way to beat pirates is at their own game: make your own content more accessible through legitimate channels and users will have less of an incentive to become pirates.

I imagine we're still a long ways away from figuring all this out, but efforts like MTV putting South Park online are a huge step in the right direction.


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