Is Piracy Beneficial for Business?

Hello gym junkies,

Do you believe this is true? I recently read the book “Free” by Chris Anderson (WIRED editor) where he makes a lot of good points on the subject.

On a side note, I am doing my thesis about the same topic and I would like to prove the hypothesis. (Example: Will the 5/3/1 book sell more if Jim Wendler gave it away for free and why…)

Would you guys like to contribute to my research via a small 3 minute survey?

Here is the link if interested: Piracy - Survey powered by


Note: If you do participate, I would like to mention that all the data will be kept confidential. Plus, you can ask me for the results. PM me for email address.

In some respects, I do. I’ve known a few small-time bands that got a lot of exposure from spreading their music free online and at gigs (they also sold merchandise and cd’s too).

‘would jims e-book sell more if he gave it away free?’ - not this example, as you would already have the re-useable and valuble(?) product, why would buy another? but a new author might publish a short free ebook for advertising
however free coffees from a new cafe might encourage future custom

If people give it away for free, how is it piracy? If you plan on writing a thesis, you better get your terms straight.

Your questions are leading as there is about 4 of the questions that I couldn’t actually answer because I don’t steal.




I want to find out why people buy it after they pirate. If they dont, it is still ok. 65% did from my sample up till now.


That is the idea, to transform piracy into a distribution tool. You are right, it will no longer be called that way. But, it is piracy at the moment :slight_smile:

@Brother Chris

That is perfectly ok. I need answers like yours because I will compare the ratio later.

Thank you so much for your responses.

No, if people give away stuff that they own the rights to for free it is not called piracy.

[quote]RSGZ wrote:
In some respects, I do. I’ve known a few small-time bands that got a lot of exposure from spreading their music free online and at gigs (they also sold merchandise and cd’s too). [/quote]

Agree…I’ve known several bands as well who did the same. They cared more about the music and didn’t really care about the money. Granted, they are more of the underground type bands that would never see great wealth anyhow.

Also, Metallica started out by tape-trading and giving away their music to everyone they could during the beginning of their career. Of course, then they slammed Napster years later when users were taking money out of their pockets.

I’m not sure that piracy, per se, is beneficial for business. But I do think there are too many middle-men in the music industry collecting on the works of the artists…and I mean those who actually write their own music. I couldn’t care less about the pre-packaged stars who are marketed, dressed, and told what perform songs written by someone behind the scenes.

But in terms of things other than music, I do believe that open source and DIY ethics that have grown substantially in recent years is very beneficial for business. When some small-time group of people come up with something that gives big business a run for their money it helps stimulate creativity and invention, often time improving on a design that has so much more potential or is often deliberately inhibited or “locked” by the manufacture for whatever reason. And if you can open it, fix it yourself, or improve it in some way…then you don’t own it.

Just my two cents, though I may have gotten off on a slight tangent there. :slight_smile:

[quote]Kreuzkuemmel wrote:
No, if people give away stuff that they own the rights to for free it is not called piracy.[/quote]

Exactly. Piracy = theft. Giving away stuff =/= theft, therefore giving away stuff =/= piracy.

If you are talking about copyright laws, patents, etcetera. That is a different story. Which in that case this thread should be moved to PWI.

You are confusing a marketing tool(giving away a product as a form of advertisement to get your name out or entice people to purchase something else) with piracy. Piracy in the modern form is downloading something that you in no way could get for free except through that process(aka: not a free offer, or you would just use that).

Giving away free stuff is not exactly a new strategy, it has been involved in marketing and advertisement… probably since the concepts were born. Piracy is a rather new dent in business from the past 10 years, where products that are not supposed to be free are available for free through controversial means. There is no way to interpret piracy except as a loss in potential sales, but it’s not that cut and dry because you have to sift through different populations: people that pirate to see the product and buy afterwards(best case scenario: no loss, worst case scenario: slight loss from them waiting for a price drop), people that would’ve bought but pirated(loss), and people that would not have bought but pirated(no loss? maybe a loss to rental outlets). I’m sure that the numbers acquired on these are estimations at best.

Radiohead(just using them as an example as probably the biggest name band to do this) did not LET PEOPLE PIRATE their latest album, they just put the price at $0, and said “If you enjoy the album, send us a donation as your form of appreciation, but nothing is required.” You cannot confuse that marketing tactic with say, the old Metallica album that stared the fire, getting downloaded on Napster for free when the music label had intended for it to only be available in stores, for $15.

My apologies if I got a little long winded.