Heading to the RSA tonight for a talk by Tim Harford – author of The Logic of Life – I haven’t read it but he wrote this little piece in the FT Weekend magazine ‘Piracy’s Hidden Treasures’ is standard Freeconomics fayre but this bit caught my attention
‘…the customers who will pay most for corporate software are, well, corporations. They won’t want to risk being caught and sued for piracy, so an extra pirated copy in the corporate software market probably isn’t a lost sale at all. The guilty party isn’t a customer, but a home-user or a student who would never have stumped up full price. Thanks to piracy, though, that home user is now learning how to use Word and PowerPoint and making the legal copies of Microsoft Office more valuable.
Mr Gower the other day was chatting about the Torrent model where a service actually works better the more people that use it – I guess this is along those lines – the more people that use a service the less likely they may be to jump ship or try something else thus strengthening, in this case, Microsoft’s presence in a given market through pirated downloads – nice.