Friday, April 18, 2014

Evangelist Piracy

I've been volunteering my musical passion/experience at a local church out here in central Texas for about two months now. It's great to gain a broader understanding of people in the area and fun to compare/contrast the local culture with that of my hometown. 'Red-State-Bilbe-Thumpin'' folks are as nice as anyone else. One thing ties Americans together that is a pretty underrated statistic. Around 1:3 US Citizens are active bit-torrent users. That's right. I live in a country where nearly every other person is a 'pirate' , even in the church. While this is a regular point of controversy  ( file-sharing's impact on commerce versus availability of access to the world of information/tech. ) one thing that unites this taboo is evangelism. When people have the option to consume within autonomous  logistics or 'unlimited free trial' two interesting things emerge. First is apparent reach of content becomes far more clear. Check any magnet tracker and upon browsing anyone can discover what the most popular show around is. Second is elimination of buyers remorse. This side-effect is more interesting to me. Many software companies discourage piracy by offering freeware to introduce possibilities of a tool to customers. But those who gain working experience and learn from this 'unlimited demo' exchange make more informed decisions when purchasing software, invest more into that ecosystem, and tell every person they can how great that tool is. The grey area of actively seeking new tools and being gifted bootleg ware is as old as portable media. In response to this global culture of peers organizations like Adobe have completely restructured their licensing strategy by doing things like adopting the subscriber model or even F2P ( ie. Wix ). To me it seems the more information that consumers have the better the market will respond to the needs of what a 'legitimate' channel is. Have you been compensated for the number of software sales you've inspired? We don't talk about it.