Some more pirate etiquette suggestions
We're still seeing a good increase in traffic and even a modest increase in sales (very modest based on the amount of rampant piracy), but we're also seeing a few problems. So, (aside from not pirating in the first place), here are some other etiquette observations and suggestions:
1) Image leeching sucks. Fortunately, our images are hosted at Akamai, but leeching images CAN hurt sales by impacting page load times. Be courteous. Also, bear in mind that we can see everybody's IP when you do that. We're not doing anything with this information, but we are unique in that we were founded by a law school drop out and would prefer to engage with the community.
2) Quality of torrents is crap. The quality of the pirated content that we've been seeing is piss-poor. I wouldn't buy the discs based on the quality of the torrents. I'd have to think that any hypothetical promotional value is lost.
3) Be courteous and don't click on things like Google Ads for our products if you are torrenting content. We pay for them. While you can argue that you are not hurting us by pirating our discs, when you click on our ads, you cost us money but more importantly you impact our ability to successfully market our products to paying customers.
4) Some people are awesome. Some people are morons. Some people are awesome, and do end up buying and spreading the word, but the idea of posting reviews doesn't seem to be resonating with the freeloaders. Some people also wrote to us that they hope we go out of business. Very classy. I think that we are as liberal as content companies go.
In sum, the world of piracy is like the rest of the world. It's a bell curve, with freeloaders on one side and upright citizens on the other. The takeaway is that the world has plenty of genuinely nice people and buttheads on either end of the spectrum. It's just that the pirate bell curve seems to have a few more buttheads.
As long as pirates don't interfere with our ability to do business, we don't believe that they cause much harm. But while there are pirates who purposely try to cause harm, there are also companies that have offered to pursue our copyright claims to sue pirates on a contingency basis. It's a big business because the civil penalties for piracy are so ridiculously high - in the hundreds of thousands of dollars per file. It also goes against everything that we believe as a company. It punishes only those who are not careful enough to worry about covering their tracks, which we believe that most of the bad seeds will do.
Anyway, a little decency from both sides can go a long way.