In a recent BBC interview Breaking Bad’s creator Vince Gilligan has been quoted talking about the effect of internet piracy on the show.
Piracy is “ultimately a problem and will continue to be a problem going forward,” Gilligan said. “Because we all need to eat. We all need to get paid.”
It’s been reported that the show’s final episode was illegally downloaded over 500,000 times in 12 hours of the first pirated copy turning up on piracy and torrent sites. Many have seized on Gilligan’s remark that piracy helped the popularity of the show. That’s highly unlikely as those seeking the illegal copies, were seeking them as demand for the show grew from conventional marketing. These people were opposed to paying for the show from the many outlets where the episodes were legally available like Netflix and Itunes. Gilligan clearly understand the impact…
“The downside is a lot of folks who worked on the show would have made more money, myself included, if all those downloads had been legal.”
Many piracy apologists and proponents are quick to suggest (incorrectly) that not every illegal download represent a lost sale, but we disagree and here’s why. Looking at the links below you can quickly see that the piracy sites are monetizing the access and availability of the illegal downloads with advertising. Additionally some sites even charge greatly discounted transactional fees via dubious payment processors.
Simply put, piracy is about infringement as a business model. Every illegal download generates revenue for the pirate sites and ad tech companies, none of which is “shared” with the creators.