Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Piracy or No Piracy - Its your choice

Yesterday I visited Crosswords – wanted to buy the album Indian Ocean's Kandisa….but oh ! It was priced too high – a lofty 360 bucks for one CD, versus I could get the songs for free – thanks to Piracy.
I could not really make up my mind to spend 360 bucks for just being right. So I bought my next favorite “Ali Zafar - Huqa Paani” which was priced at 150.

This is what is called Incentive Caused Bias. Even though I know that I am doing something wrong by playing pirated songs, 360 bucks is too high an incentive for me to take the wrong path. If the incentive were lower (say 150 bucks), I would have gone for the original one.

And this is where pricing comes into play. This reminds me of the price (P) vs. volume (V) chart, I studied in the economics class. It says volume decreases when price increases. In order to increase the volume, you got to reduce the price. The final objective is to find an optimum price point, which maximizes the revenue (P*V).
(I wish the highly qualified members of Indian Ocean had taken some classes in Economics too :-)

I am not saying that efficient pricing can completely solve the piracy problem – see the incentive here – If you go for original, you get 10 songs in 150 bucks and pirated, you get 150 songs in a 10 bucks CD. And there is nothing extra you are getting in that 150 bucks CD –
Even the quality in downloaded songs matches the original ones these days.
So how low can the original CDs be priced?

But then why a person like me, who has easy access to the free downloaded music, would choose to go for the original CDs.
The idea of buying original CD first struck me when a colleague of mine, who incidentally is a close relative of Indian Ocean’s Rahul Ram, narrated the ‘Indian Ocean’ story. The portion relevant here is - These people left their promising careers (Rahul Ram is PhD in Environmental Toxicology from Cornell University) to form their band. Though they are doing quite well now, lots of struggle came their way earlier. Despite of their songs being popular, they were not making enough to sustain themselves. Because we don’t pay for music.

Here I recall another incident I read long back in some magazine. It goes something like this (in the writer’s words) - “I was traveling by train and reading a Bengali magazine. A copassenger asked me what I am reading and said he would also like to read the same. I was finished reading, so I offered him the magazine. But he said he would buy his own copy and read. When I asked him the reason, he said, if we wont support our literature, how will it sustain”

Now I am not saying that we have to go to this extent, nor I am a part of any anti piracy camp. I also play MP3s with songs, which I get for free. Still I realize that we should support our favorite artists…

The first thing an artist wants is the fame and the love of the people, but then he needs to earn also…..


At June 02, 2006 4:08 PM, Blogger Ravi said...

So you are saying-

1. The price of the cd was too high. They need to consider pricing the music cds a bit low.

My take: Have you considered the possibility that the music distribution company responsible for selling might have actually found the 360 bucks price tag to be actually the one maximising revenue? The album you are referring to is pretty old and consequently is not that hot-selling as when it was released, you know.

2. We should support artistes we like by buying legal music cds

My take: Agreed but with a pinch of salt. You know how it is always with albums. One or two songs are the ones that are really good. The rest of stuff are plain inane fillers. Now I am not talking about great albums like Kandisa, Tanha Dil or Duur. I happily buy these albums. I am referring to the countless other albums of some newcomer who makes a huge mark with one great music video, and releases an album filled with nothing else but hogwash other than that song. I refuse to buy the whole album just to listen to this one song. I've heard of services that offer to make your own cd for you legally, but it take a lot of effort. So unless the music industry finds a way of selling me individual songs, I am sorry I am not here to support all that crap they fill an album with.

At June 09, 2006 2:21 PM, Blogger Jammy said...

Emotional dilemmas. Can't live with them; can't live without them.

At June 22, 2006 2:57 PM, Blogger The Constant Variable said...

Just bumped into this blog from, I dont know where...Good post..Have thought on exactly similar terms, not only while buying CDs, but also books...

Some how, Dont feel as guilty about it though...Finally its definitely Chalta Hai...What say???

At June 22, 2006 4:10 PM, Blogger Shilpi said...

There is another camp who is of the opinion that art should not be restricted. What will be the first wish of an author (like a blogwriter :) - that more and more people read his book and appreciate it. Same for singers. Putting a price to it would definitely reduce its accessibility (to some extent at least).

But that's the difference between an amateur writer (like blogwriter) and a professional writer.

I also read pirated books and listen to pirated music (I know chalta hai), but I am shifting to authentic ones...

At July 11, 2006 3:08 PM, Blogger Common Man said...

Good one shilpi

At July 24, 2009 12:07 AM, Blogger kenden said...

i am not a supporter of piracy. but consider the following fact.
i was a real fan of rap and reggae in those (school) days.
If you remember right we didn't had cds but the tape. So we played them so many times they tend to either spolled on walkman or those ol school decks. Solution we bought them again.
i bought the same apache indian cassette 35, 55, 75, 115 and 135 during the span of 1.5 years.

Now see what goes around comes around. Hence the mp3 revolutions. all things changed.

Don't worry about artists they will never run out of creativity. Its the damn overcharging music company that will suffer. Now some smart ass may say who will pay the artists. Believe me they will pay. 'Sabko apni dukan chalani hai'.

Watch the following movie. it may change the whole perspective.

and yeah all the docu are totally free to download.

1. Good Copy bad Copy.
2. Steal this film I and II.




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