How to discourage piracy amongst a small community?
March 22, 2010 10:30 AM Subscribe
Seeking ideas for discouraging piracy of a DVD which has a small potential audience of only a few thousand, well-connected people.
posted by puffmoike to Society & Culture (28 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
A friend has just made his first proper video production of an amateur motor racing competition in Australia. There are four major meets each year, and he is hoping to sell a DVD of each directly to many of the competitors. Nobody has tried to do this before.
He is already well known in the particular racing community, has excellent marketing opportunities (he operates the biggest relevant online social networking / forum in Australia) and has a good-looking online storefront. His earlier 2-minute YouTube videos were very well-received, which encouraged him to purchase much better equipment and dedicate much more time to editing a professional-looking production, complete with driver interviews, onscreen results tables, legally-sourced music, etc. Having seen his all-but-completed first DVD we are very confident that it will completely exceed most people's expectations.
My big concern, however, is that whilst most of the racing community will be very impressed by it, and will be very keen to watch the DVDs, they won't necessarily feel compelled to pay for them...
There is a photographer who makes a decent living by selling CDs of photos of competitors at each meeting. But the photographer creates individual CDs, so that the only way for a person to see lots of photos of themselves is to buy a CD. Creating individual DVDs isn't practical, so my friend is going to have to try and sell the same DVD to everybody, many of whom are going to be quite good friends. And because it takes a lot of time for one person to create a snappy hour-long package from three days worth of footage, there is going to be an inevitable two-week delay between the race meeting and the DVD being available.
There are enough competitors -- with more than enough disposable income -- who will really enjoy the DVDs that this should be a success. But obviously if a sizeable proportion of the competitors choose to wait until a mate burns them a copy of the DVD, a segment turns up on YouTube or a full-length torrent appears, then my friend might not sell enough DVDs to make it worth his effort. And then there simply won't be any more DVDs made.
In short I'm convinced that as a group the motor racing community will really want my mate to earn enough money to want to keep making more DVDs. But I'm not sure how he should best encourage each of them individually to do the right thing.
If Hollywood can't find a technological solution for this problem my mate certainly won't be able to. So I suspect his best hope is to appeal to people's honesty. But I'd be very keen to hear any suggestions of how best to go about this.