Breaking Bad Creator : “Piracy Is A Problem… We All Need To Eat and Get Paid”

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.

Zero Dark Thirty, Best Picture Academy Award Nominee, Exploited by AT&T, Verizon, MetroPCS, Nissan, H&R Block, British Airways, Progresso, and more…

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One thought on “Breaking Bad Creator : “Piracy Is A Problem… We All Need To Eat and Get Paid”

  1. This fight is going better. More a-listers are speaking out and there is (looking at an earlier post) finally a focus on transactional models that bring to the discussion what is necessary; standards for tracking and reporting based on computer science concepts that can be implemented and reported. Excellent. I recently noted a blog from a colleague lamenting timbl explaining that drm standards as much as so many of the digerati hate them are necessary. That is good news for the creative industry over all. It is not possible to stop piracy on the internet. There is every possibility to improve the situation such that it is a reasonable business.

    The revelations about privacy, government snooping etc. even the problems with the obamacare website are bursting the myth of the web bubble: that it is an irrresistable juggernaut of technology innovation, resistance is futile, yadda yadda. The web isn’t going away and no one believes the creative industries can be turned back in time, But there is finally a sober conversation that technology serves human needs and not the other way around, that technologists are not the moral arbiters of social progress and in fact in too many cases have been social morons.

    Until we have transactional standards for transparent auditing and models for transactional pricing we won’t be there, but at long last the conversation is realistic and those who say “it can’t be done” are being held in the same regard as the tea party for the same reasons: fools for the pirates of the economy are still fools.

    Que bueno.

    You may want to write some articles about developments in digital fingerprinting and tracking for media files. Laws without teeth are games for monopoly money. This has to be real and it has to have consequences both good and bad.

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