Are We All Pirates? And What Can We Learn From The Fashion Industry?

March 30, 2008


If we can`t beat them, should we join them?

Matt Mason has published a book thinking about this question and some more. It`s titeled The Pirate’s Dilemma: How Youth Culture Is Reinventing Capitalism.

For the Strategy and Business Magazine he gave an interesting interview. Here a few of his statements:

“Hollywood has simply refused to acknowledge the idea of simultaneous release because they’re so worried about the effect it will have on theater revenues. But according to the evidence, movies in the theater and movies on DVD are two different products. That tells me that if Hollywood accepted the presence of the pirates’ business model, (…), the movie companies could actually learn how to compete with them.”

“So rather than thinking about how we can stop piracy, let’s consider how we can come up with better ideas by thinking in the same way as the pirates. “

And a nice statement what the media industry can learn from the fashion industry:

In 2006, Congress began considering extending copyright protection to fashions — which had never before been protected — to try and bring them more in line with European laws, which are designed to protect smaller companies from having their designs stolen immediately by large retailers. Yet even during this reevaluation it was universally accepted that piracy is literally how the fashion industry innovates. Because people are able to copy the 3-D design of garments, they can create trends. And because those trends can be disseminated so quickly and the new rapidly becomes old, we have seasons in fashion. This allows the fashion industry to sell more clothes than if individuals could protect their designs for a long time and trends lasted a couple of years rather than a couple of months. The problem now is that copying is happening so fast in fashion that people are losing sight of the original.

The legal question facing Congress was how to protect the small designer from the potential losses from the copying of their designs. But what was so amazing to me was that everybody involved — the largest companies, the smallest designers, Congress itself — were all in agreement that the ability for people to be able to copy each other to a reasonable degree has to be preserved. You never hear anything remotely like that in the movie or music industries, or in any other industry that involves intellectual property.”

Never thought about that…

Here you can find more about piracy in the fashion industry…

I orderd the book of Matt… and will let you know…

Here a great speech about his book at the Medici Summit…




One Response to “Are We All Pirates? And What Can We Learn From The Fashion Industry?”

  1. […] Matt Mason did for Penguin Books a beautifully illustrated (by Nicholas Felton) “digital presentation” on the developement  of society in the digital age. […]

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