Blog Post

Help find truth about DRM and Piracy

Umair Haque has set up a project which hopes to explore the cost of filesharing and antipiracy tactics. The idea is to compare the cost of filesharing versus the cost of DRM and other antipiracy tactics. The experiment is designed to understand whether rights management costs more in lost revenues than filesharing does – implying that media industries should pursue totally different strategies. The numbers won’t be 100% accurate, but it will be a start. A graduate student at London School of Business, Umair had emailed me and in our ensuing communications I had pointed out to him that it would be a good exercise. “The network operators currently are so afraid of the whole notion of peer to peer traffic on their networks that they don’t know how to monetize this beast and at the same time ensure that their paying customers don’t suffer,” I wrote. Umair replied, “I set this up because I had the germ of the idea, and then joi ito asked ‘how can we value the impact on sales of larry lessig giving away his free culture book online’ – thats what motivated me to turn this thing into reality.” So once again, I think it is a good start – go there and help this guy out figure stuff out.