Fight ’em or Bite ’em

Bite ’em in the hip hop sense that is – thats the way Matt Mason, ex founding editor of RWD magazine and author of The Pirate’s Dilemma, sees the options companies have when facing piracy. Matt spoke today at the RSA and it was pretty good – the main points were essentially that piracy is everywhere and always has been and that it needn’t always be a bad thing. Essentially it seems of a battle between established business models and the intersection between technology and the barriers to entry that technology reduces – Music Industry Vs P2P or rapid prototyping vs the sneaker industry. Pretty standard stuff for Freeconomic readers out there and his solution of ‘if the pirates don’t add any value fight them but if they come up with something useful nick there idea and compete with them’ is also simplistic but I liked the cut of his jib. He gave the same talk recently which you can see below.

The nice thing is that he’s not an academic or really an economist – he grew up DJ’ing for pirate radio stations across LDN and then editing RWD so he has fresh approach (even if much of this field has been covered already).

I bought the book and so far its actually way more interesting than the talk – focusing on the DIY nature of punk and how it was influenced by the situationists and then on punk DIY ethic in relation to Warhol. It actually reminds me of an awesome book I read a while ago called DIY – the rise of Lo-Fi culture but also Pirates Dilemma also seems to be a lo-fi remixed version of Smart World by Richard Ogle. Mason focuses on the transition between underground and overground and it seems to offer the idea that piracy or ‘remix’ culture (I FUCKING HATE THAT SAYING) can act almost like an outsourced open source R&D lab – I guess that it what the Wikinomics people have been saying for a while.


One response to “Fight ’em or Bite ’em

  1. Article by Matt Mason in today’s Guardian guide, covering mostly what you’ve mentioned here.

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