Shamus has a three part series on PC game piracy in which he makes some concrete recommendations to the game industry. Part of Shamus’ premise is simply that video game piracy is a problem partly driven by the industry itself, with ever-increasing paranoid reliance on clumsy copy protection and authentication schemes that treat ordinary users like criminals and which do nothing to deter the thieves. He argues that the industry should accept a baseline level of piracy and attempt to incentivize users to buy the product rather than attempt to forestall it completely. His specific recommendations are:
1. Make sure the pirates canâ€™t offer a superior product
2. Get closer to the community
3. Offer a demo
4. Entice them with valuable updates
5. Clean House
How does this apply to anime? It occurs to me that the rationale for the fansub industry is quite similar to game piracy. Region-encoding, release schedules, and unequal pricing seem to be the methods by which the anime industry attempts to control their product and which has created the vacuum which fansubbers have rushed to fill.
Do Shamus’ recommendations apply? It makes for an interesting thought experiment.