Piracy is a fact of life on the Web, and network television shows now exist everywhere, even where they aren’t supposed to be. That was the conclusion of a panel at South by Southwest Interactive on how the companies creating content can find ways to profit from the piracy.
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The first step is to understand that piracy isn’t going away and accept that media companies will lose a certain portion of revenue each year to thieves, said Jameson Hsu, CEO and co-founder of gaming platform Mochi Media, speaking on the panel. “Piracy is a game of cat-and-mouse and there is always a certain part of inventory you allocate to theft and you should write off a portion of your revenue to theft. It’s part of how society works,” he said.
That said, companies like MySpace have implemented fingerprinting technology that limits piracy by detecting copyrighted content that was illegally uploaded, said Jason Oberfest, senior VP of business development at the social networking site. “The technology applies just as easily to TV content where it is uploaded. Networks we have partnerships with can detect it and it’s up to the content owner to decide how to monetize and what to do,” Mr. Oberfest said.
There are ways to work with pirates, said Roy Schwartz, VP of business development at the popular political news site Politico.com. “If someone is downloading a movie for their own use, there is no monetization model to go with that. But where we are trying to monetize piracy is where there are eyeballs. If someone is grabbing content and viewing it, there are ways to monetize it by working with them by an increased distribution model.”