P2P is killing piracy

A media pirate -- someone who sells pirated DVDs and CDs for a living -- complains that P2P has put him out of business. People might be willing to buy legit music online even though P2P exists (hence the iTunes Store, whose biggest business challenge isn't convincing people to shell out for tunes, but rather to shell out for crippled, proprietary, iTunes-locked tunes), but they won't buy from pirates in the face of P2P.

The music industry likes to lump P2P and hard-goods piracy together, but they're not the same thing at all -- in fact, they're dire enemies. Piracy's biggest competitor is P2P.

According to Tony, the first 2 hours of every Saturday and Sunday morning at the local flea market always proved the most exciting. “We’d take 60 cases of CDRs down in the van and as soon as we got there a crowd would swarm around us. We had no competition and it was obvious the punters had no other suppliers. Inside 30 minutes, 90% of the stock would be gone with some customers taking 2 or 3 cases each, presumably to sell on. After 3 hours we were cleared out and on our way home, always with huge amounts of money.”...

Tony is very clear about why his rags to riches story has gone back to rags again. “File-sharing, P2P - call it what you like. When you asked a customer why he wasn’t buying anything, 9 times out of 10 it was ‘BitTorrent this, LimeWire that’. Add that to the fact that huge numbers of PC users have burners and fast broadband and its obvious why I had to get out and earn a living another way. We had it good for a while but I don’t think those days are coming back.”

Link (via /.)