The Pirate Bay celebrated their 7 year raid anniversary a few days ago, so the question needs to be asked, what can the music business learn from The Pirate Bay? The Pirate Bay has been court blocked in various countries, however, that still hasn’t stopped people in those countries from accessing the website, via proxies. On top of all that, the site has gone through numerous changes, like removing its tracker then moving to magnet links, and a few months ago the torrent site moved to the cloud. The site has also switched domain names on multiple occasions.
All of these changes make the site more resilient and it all started seven years ago, when the Pirate Bay was first raided.
So let’s think about this for a second. The Pirate Bay, is a site that wants to escape the long arm of justice and in order to do so, they keep on innovating so that they remain open.
So what has the RIAA (the music labels lobby group) done during the last 7 years on the innovation front. All I keep on reading, is that Google keeps on getting millions of take down requests from the RIAA and the labels. They still want legislation enacted that will put the internet under their control. They still want others (like ISP’s) to enforce copyright breaches. Basically, they still want others to pay for their own short comings.
Let’s see what an alternate history could have been created, if the RIAA innovated instead of legislated.
2003 – The Pirate Bay and MySpace is established. The RIAA and MPAA take the opportunity to purchase the technology and employ the creators. With integration between both technologies, both sites are relaunched as The Entertainment Portal. Users that want to upload, need to create an account, however users that want to download don’t need to be members. Downloading is all free and the The Entertainment Portal makes money from advertisements.
2004 – The Entertainment Portal want to engage more people to upload their collections, especially hard to find and long forgotten titles. They even give out awards to the people who upload the most, much in the same way they give out gold records to artists who sell.
In the meantime, The Entertainment Portal has been working on advancing the MySpace technology, so that users can also personalise it and share their own stories.
2005 – Cyber lockers start to become a threat, however The Entertainment Portal is too busy innovating to care. A video sharing technology is released. It is called YouTube. A new feature is also added where users can do status updates. Everything is rebranded to become The Portal, a one stop shop for anything to do with entertainment.
2006 – A streaming service is offered for both music and movies. Users can also stream new release movies into their homes on the same day of release. The Portal encourages users to do movie launch parties and to share it over the Portal. Users are also encouraged to create their own “hangouts”, where they can play radio DJ to other people in the hangout.
… to be continued