Guillermo Garron

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A silly alternative to SOPA

Written by Guillermo Garron .
Date: 2012-01-15 14:37:00 -0400

I’m using the work “silly” in the title because, I do not know how the media industry really work, and I do not know how the royalties are payed.

But let’s suppose for a moment that my idea can be put in practice, so here are my two cents.

The SOPA bill is aiming at stopping piracy, we should all agree that piracy is a bad thing, it is only that they are using a nuclear bomb to kill a deer.

Piracy is biggest in poorer countries, and there is a reason, lack of money to buy original pieces, while those markets (poor countries) exists the piracy will continue, now let me explain why there is piracy in those countries, or at least why I think there is.

I live in Bolivia, actually a poor country, here it is not possible to buy a legal copy of Avatar, yes I can go to the movie theater, but if I want to see it in my home, I need to get an illegal copy of the DVD and take it home, and that copy is usually a bad quality copy, but there is no other option.

Why there is no option? well because the legal copy may costs 10 USD in U.S. so here and after taxes it may cost 18 USD. Now consider this other fact, an average family income is 300~400 USD, which is OK to pay rent, and food, as the cost of living in Bolivia is also low, like salaries, but what about imported goods, like movies and music?

An illegal copy of the same movie here costs 1.5 USD, and as long as people in countries like mine can’t pay 18 USD for a movie, and still want to watch that movie, someone will find the way to sell it at a lower price and profit on that.

My idea of a possible solution is that MGM, Sony, etc. may stablish a dealer in countries like Bolivia, and sell the movies at a fraction of the price, maybe with not the full languages support (just the local language, to avoid it being sold for example in Germany or any other countrie).

Let’s say a legal copy of the movie can be sold in Bolivia at 2 USD, everybody will prefer to pay the extra 0.5 USD and get a good quality movie, and the studios will see an extra profit that they are not getting right now.

An example about this, can be the iTunes market, good quality software is sold at low prices, and people here with iPhones and iPads are buying those apps, because they do not represent too much money for our cost of living.

As I said before, this might be a silly solution, but I’m sure it can be modified to a point it can work.


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