While lawmakers and Hollywood execs try to come up with ways to combat piracy in ham-fisted, knee-jerk ways that punish everyone, the CEO of Rovio Mobile — better known as the company that makes Angry Birds — has joined his voice to more sensible suits who see online piracy as an opportunity to learn and grow.
While admitting that his company has issues with piracy and unlicensed products that make money off the wildly popular game, Rovio Mobile CEO Mikael Hed said earlier this week, “We could learn a lot from the music industry, and the rather terrible ways the music industry has tried to combat piracy.”
Rather than seeing piracy as a foe that needs to be drawn and quartered as a warning to others, Hed explained, “Piracy may not be a bad thing: it can get us more business at the end of the day.”
“We took something from the music industry, which was to stop treating the customers as users, and start treating them as fans. We do that today: we talk about how many fans we have,” he said. “If we lose that fanbase, our business is done, but if we can grow that fanbase, our business will grow.”
Hed’s comments echo those of Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanion, who recently said, “As an entrepreneur, as an investor, I see piracy as a great opportunity for some savvy entrepreneurs to offer a better service and make a lot of money in the process.”