The Fight Against Piracy

According to Universal Music’s Olivier Robert-Murphy, brands can help fight music piracy. He explains how now brands see musicians as more than performers and people that are creative and whom they can form broader partnerships with.

Some examples of these were Will.i.am with Intel and Lady Gaga with Polaroid. Intel hired Will.i.am as Creative Director. He helped Intel develop new technologies, music and in technology advocacy. The main goal was to improve the optimal sound experience the way that the artists intended it to be heard by their customers when playing through headphones or speakers. Lady Gaga was named Creative Director for a special line of Polaroid Imaging products. Polaroid was interested in her due to her fashion forward aesthetic and close connection to her fans. They worked on merging the iconic history of Polaroid and instant film along with the digital era.

will                                                  lady

 

Robert-Murphy said that now brands form partnerships with these musicians and they are able to give customers the same experience as free, but even better. The more people that like this option the more people that they can recruit to subscribe as well. This will help customers realize it is more than just the content of the song and it is more about the whole experience, including the technology and brands and branding are helping musicians and helping spread awareness.

 

 

Willi.am with Intel:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/217687/article.html

Lady Gaga with Polaroid:

http://www.polaroid.com/news/lady-gaga-named-creative-director-for-specialty-line-of-polaroid-imaging-products

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4 Responses to The Fight Against Piracy

  1. Daniel Kelly November 30, 2015 at 6:57 pm #

    Though the article did not provide much of a look into the nasty side of fighting internet piracy as it has been previous fought, it did provide a good answer for the future. Using artists’ creativity and making the money they need through something that positively gives the best experience to a paying customer. I admit that I have pirated music, television and film before but often recognize that if possible and if better, I would purchase the original. This is why I own so many legitimate copies of games and movies, as well as CDs. Sometimes they provide something that pirated copies cannot, whether it is physical ownership or something that distinguishes itself from piracy. I paid one hundred and twenty dollars for a copy of Skyrim in 2011 because it came with a real cloth map and statue, as well as an art book. It was a game that I could have downloaded a day later for free but owning the physical goodies made me a happier person and got me to pay. So it is good for artists to begin sharing in ways that cannot be replicated on one digital medium and making their money through that, improved sound quality on vinyl makes it more valuable than mp3s which shorten musical quality. And there is nothing wrong with making the product better on a physical copy than can be downloaded illegally. Making a purchased experience better and more pure, puts the puritanical and awful methods to consumer punishment look even worse. Consider the fact that some games from 2007 to 2009 could be installed only three times and that purchasing the game meant technically that you had only licensed the material. I have had to repurchase some games to play them again, paying more than their original retail value, just to own what I already bought. It is disgustingly favorable to corporations and punishes customers for buying a product when a pirated copy removes this Digital Rights Management software, making the product actually better. They have moved on to always online games, which forces customers to constantly be connected to the internet in order to play a single player, generally offline game simply because it gives them more control and reduces piracy. But then the code is broken and there is a pirated copy that provides an objectively better experience, and it simply does not make sense to pay for something worse. This is why I praise the music industry, because it wants to try something new and provide a better experience for people’s money. Maybe by providing a chance to win tickets, or cool in box toys for paying customers, something that tells me if I go to buy a product that I will have a better experience than if I downloaded it. Once that happens, piracy will have the lower ground when it comes to morals because providing a better experience makes them look like the good guys. Tearing down awful DRM in games made piracy the objectively better option for some gamers, it is a shame that certain industries have not figured out a better way.

  2. Isabel Goodman December 3, 2015 at 9:14 pm #

    Companies are doing everything in their power to remain relevant and stay afloat in today’s society. Intel and Polaroid have had longstanding relationships with their customers, most of which are very loyal to the brand. But what can they do to introduce new consumers to their product and also bring the artists in closer? They found a solution. They would bring the artists aboard their company in order to keep it afloat. This is a genius idea, in my opinion because it shows the company’s dedication to making the switch into today’s society. With Intel, they wanted to improve the sound experience for their customers by developing new technologies, music, and in technology advocacy. And who better to bring in then the artist Will.i.am himself. As an artist he knows what his music is supposed to sound like. By bringing in an expert and collaborating with people outside the traditional Intel community, they are growing larger than ever. These increased technologies are keeping up with their counterparts and also bringing in new customers due to their forward thinking and creative director. The same goes for Polaroid. The traditional Polaroid camera has come back in such a big way. This is now a pop culture phenomenon due to teenagers and Pinterest-savvy individuals who love the “old-school” look and feel of a Polaroid. This camera is an experience and it is something consumers are hungry for when technology continues to grow and everything is digital. Having this physical picture distances this product from tis competition. Another thing they are doing to differentiate themselves is implement Lady Gaga as their Creative Director. One look at lady Gaga and you know she is capable of doing this job. From her meat dress to her ability to sing, act, and dance in crazy costumers, she screams creativity and this was a strong move for Polaroid in a marketplace where they are already dominating. Consumers look to Polaroid for the physicality of it, but the company knows that the digital era is upon them and this current trend of picture taking and DIY projects to go along with the tiny pictures can only go on for so long. They must make the switch; slowly mind you, to a digital platform in order to continue to compete. They need a creative director and spokesperson like Lady Gaga to help them usher in this new time period and also help her fans, the same demographic who use Polaroid, to make the transition with the company. By having these artists involved, there is so much more to be offered to the consumer. The artist knows the industry and the company has the technology and the means to accomplish the goals of the artist and by extension, their fans. This new era of digitalization and implementation of new technology is helping the consumer more than they could ever imagine. Everything is growing and becoming more creative due to the forward thinking of companies and the people they place in executive positions within it.

  3. Joseph Belli December 4, 2015 at 2:02 pm #

    The piracy of music or any media has been a threat to the celebrities and artists that create this media for probably almost the past 20 years. I used to pirate music, movies, and television shows more in the years past, but recently, I have changed my ways. As far as music piracy goes, I have altered my thoughts and realized that it is important to support the artist. They are providing entertainment that, in most cases, has been long awaited and when we decide to illegally download it, rather than buying it, the artist gets no compensation or any tallies towards their album receiving accolades. I like how Megan Gordon, the author of this blog post, decided to show how brands are offering solutions to artists who suffer from piracy and still need to get paid for their talents. Through watching many of Will.I.Am and Lady Gaga’s music videos, it is apparent that they are both very creative people. Will.I.Am features plenty of colorful and futuristic themes in his films, while Lady Gaga may have a more mysterious and dark tone to her videos. Either way, big brand names like intel and polaroid are realizing their secondary creative talents, and using them for mutual benefit. With their creativity, as well as their advancement to positions within the company to utilize that creativity, the companies are receiving a new point of view that they may have not experienced without bringing them into the operation.

    In my eyes, this idea of preventing piracy ties in with the sole idea of self branding. Using Lady Gaga and Will.I.Am as an example, they obviously produce music. Well, so do millions of other people. Regardless of their success as musicians, there are other people out there who create and sell music and do it successfully, too. If they only have one talent or ability to their name, they will slowly become less successful because if there is one thing that I notice, it is nearly impossible to fully combat piracy. There will always be another copy of the material put online for anyone to download. That being said, you need to make yourself marketable on multiple levels. The two stars mentioned above are using their creativity to help other companies make changes that will benefit them. It relates to what we, as students, need to do, also. If I graduate, solely with my accounting and finance degree and nothing else to my resume, what will companies think of me? Probably something along the lines of, “I just saw about thirty people of the same qualifications yesterday.” Why would they hire me? However, if I were to make myself different from anybody else, proving that I have experience in the field or I have leadership capability along with other positive aspects, they would realize that I am more capable for the job than other applicants who solely have their degree.

    Overall, I think that the way companies are using musicians and other famous people to increase their branding and ultimately improve their company is an excellent way to combat piracy. However, piracy’s reign over the internet is nowhere near finished.

  4. Ryan Jolluck December 4, 2015 at 6:31 pm #

    I don’t think that there will be ever a way to stop or combat piracy effectively, there will always be people that will pirate things. In an age of information and the internet, it is very easy to get what you want for little or no cost. One of the best, most practical way to reduce piracy I have heard is to make products more accessible. Online stores like iTunes and Steam make music and games convenient to purchase, making one of the reasons people pirate go away. The wrong way to go about fighting piracy happen in 2011 by the US government. House Bill 3261 was introduced to the U.S. Congress. It is known as the Stop Online Piracy Act or SOPA. Such an act provoked large opposition by the public and the internet. Both Google and Wikipedia protested its contents. Google “put a big black box over the prominent logo on its home page, with a link to a page from which users could sign a petition entitled “Tell Congress: Don’t censor the Web.””. And Wikipedia went offline for 24 hours, which the founder, Jimmy Wales, “calls the strike an ‘extraordinary action’”. Support for the bill in Congress wavered as a petition with 4.5 million signatures opposing the bill was created. SOPA was not the only bill at this time that prompted such a public outcry. In early 2011 PIPA (Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act) was a Senate originated bill that had similar implications to SOPA. The internet has always been seen as a place of anonymity, free speech, no governing entity, or censorship. But, both these bills will make it harder for “sites — especially those located outside the United States — to sell or distribute pirated copyrighted material such as movies and music as well as physical goods such as counterfeit purses and watches”. The bills aim to combat online piracy but in the process leads to censorship and restrictions on the internet. The bill also stipulates that it will “require sites to refrain from linking to any sites “dedicated to the theft of U.S. property.” It would also prevent companies from placing on the sites and block payment companies like Visa, MasterCard and PayPal from transmitting funds to the site”. SOPA’s legislation “mandates that ISPs alter records in the net’s system for looking up website names, known as DNS, so that users couldn’t navigate to the site” and “if ISPs choose not to introduce false information into DNS at the urging of the Justice Department, they instead would be required to employ some other method, such as deep-packet inspection, to prevent American citizens from visiting infringing sites”. The legislation will also include the ability for ISPs “adopt tactics used by the Great Chinese Firewall to sniff for traffic going to a blacklisted site and simply block it”. These bills were eventually stopped in early 2012 by the public outcry of the internet users and the tech giants of Silicon Valley. The ideas brought forward by Will.i.am with Intel and Lady Gaga with Polaroid are good and creative ways to fight piracy rather than the blunt force approach of the SOPA and PIPA bills. If you can make your purchased product better than the pirated copy, it can help reduce the number of people that will resort to pirating property.

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