Observations about Piracy and Antipiracy, Installment 1

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By Steven Hawley.

As I continue to learn and think about piracy and anti-piracy, I’ve begun to compile some observations about them. Over time I will develop these further.

First, to define what “value” is, and recognize that value can’t always be protected:

1) The higher the value of the content, the more likely it is to be subject to piracy

2) The higher the value of the content, the easier it is to justify anti-piracy.

3) Value has three inter-related dimensions: the Time value (“Live” has more value but the value lasts for the shortest time), the Frequency value (A prize fight happens once, while a Major League Baseball season runs 5-months and 80-games), and the Monetary value (The fight is $99.95 pay-per-view, while the MLB.TV subcription is $24.99/month).

4) Some content will remain “out of reach” to technical anti-piracy solutions. For example, programming distributed over local over-the-air broadcast – think of high-value content such as league sports – can rarely, if ever, be traced to an individual receiver that initiated the piracy.

5) Despite today’s gaps in piracy detection and anti-piracy coverage (such as the above), it is worth the investment to protect what one can; according to its value (also see above).

There will be more observations to come.

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