Piracy. Though the word is not nearly as new as the rise of digital downloads, it retains the power to make even the most affluent webmasters in eCommerce tremble. The digital format has led to positive and negative consequences for the market. Online platforms have a mass distribution effect unseen prior to the web. By and large, artists and creators of miscellaneous subjects enjoy increased consciousness. Yet, the digital eCommerce market is notorious for its dicey prospects, where inept entrepreneurs often wind up losing their investments. Even experienced entrepreneurs find themselves victimized by pirates occasionally. Of course, research is what draws the line between skilled and unsuccessful entrepreneurs. Examining the market, one of the first steps any webmaster takes before pursing an online business, is also the first defense against online theft.
Quantifying The Risks
Here at ProvideFree, it was written that the internet’s bot traffic may actually outnumber human traffic. Perhaps, a similar surprise would be evoked by the fact that almost a quarter of the entire world’s bandwidth is used for piracy. An NBCUniversal commissioned NetNames report estimates 23.8 percent of the world’s bandwidth in 2010 was used to breach copyrights. Although the latest statistics from that report suggests that copyright infringement is increasing worldwide, more than 33.3% of the bandwidth in Asia and the Pacific was used for piracy, making it higher than any other region in the world. Without a doubt, piracy proliferated in this region also finds its way into the rest of the world. Curbing online theft in this particular region would reduce pirated content online, and reduce piracy globally. Though there are no plain explanations to a particular region’s quest for piracy, one could postulate commonly faced problems in the region may be to blame. For Asia and the Pacific, the act of grouping the two together may be unfair since it would hold the largest proportion of the world’s population. Besides inaccuracies in regional divisions, a major cause for piracy could be the lack of access.
Content Producers Indirectly Encourage Piracy
Conceding to the truth, not all pirates wish to become thieves. Corporations, artists, and producers make great strides in marketing digital products to the entire world. Of course, the internet makes that step easier than ever. However, that magnitude of effort is oftentimes absent when it comes to accessibility. Financially-based corporations dictate a product to be sold only where it is profitable, and investors demand statistics and data to support it. Taking China as an example, the IFPI (an organisation representing the recording industry) claims that a “history of piracy” brings challenges to those wishing to sell digital content in the region. In spite of its negativity, the IFPI observes that the China is an untapped market. This evaluation of the region would be accurate, considering several examples. Google’s Android system, while immensely popular in the country, does not have a full version of many Google services including Google Play. Being the most reliable source for Android applications, Google Play is a core feature for any phone running the Android operating system. Apple Computers face a similar dilemma by releasing Apple Music in over 100 nations not including China. As one local Hong Kong publisher quipped about “poor China“, Apple fell short of recognizing their promise to embrace inclusiveness. Nonetheless, selling a product worldwide is not effortless. Regional laws can hinder company’s ability to sell in a certain market.
New Ways To Fight Piracy
Microsoft seemingly recognizes the large number of pirates that infringe on its Windows operating system. For its Windows 10 release, Microsoft supplements its usual anti-piracy technique of using product codes with a new approach. It plans on allowing pirated copies of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 to take advantage of the free upgrade offer to its newest operating system (See our article “Windows 10: Microsoft Provides Free Upgrade and Updates, Features and Reasons” for more information). Upgrades stemming from pirated operating systems will be marked using a watermark labelled “non-genuine”. A prompt will advise users to purchase a product key. This approach could be considered useful since it encourages unwitting pirates to purchase a copy of the official software in the future, acknowledging the fact that many illegal copies of Windows were sold by unprofessional vendors.
Don’t Give Up
Ultimately, security and theft will always be of concern to webmasters. Yet, that should not deter anyone from entering the eCommerce market. Regardless of the challenges, there are plenty of opportunities online waiting to be seized. Admittedly, future entrepreneurs have the luxury of learning from the mistakes of others.