‘Walking Dead’ Producer: “There’s a Mistaken Belief That Piracy Is Somehow Good.”


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Are we simply lying to ourselves about the supposed benefits of piracy, just to make ourselves feel better?  Absolutely, according to Walking Dead executive producer Gale Anne Hurd, who sees little gain in unpaid ‘awareness’ or ‘exposure’.  “There’s a mistaken belief by many of my peers that piracy is somehow good, that viewers will develop a habit to pay for it,” Hurd recently told an audience at at Variety’s Content Protection Summit.

“I’m not sure they really understand – other than through anecdotal evidence that [piracy causes] their ratings go up – that the people who pirate are not then going to choose legal downloads or legal viewing in the future.”

The issue is a fresher one for the television industry, but similar in many respects to the problems experienced by the music industry.  Just recently, Breaking Bad producer Vince Gilligan noted that his show has gained viewers and notoriety through gray, pirated channels.  “It’s helped the show gain popularity and brand awareness,” Gilligan noted back in October.

“It has led to a lot of people watching the series who otherwise would not have.”

Bulls*%t, according to Hurd, who questioned whether those viewers are of any value whatsoever.  “It creates a habit,” Hurd noted.  “I don’t think it’s something we should encourage.

But Hurd also questioned the habits of Google, a company fiercely resisting any real content filtering (and that goes for music, too).   And, closely-aligned Fortune 500 companies, many of whom continue to openly advertise on pirated sites (with Google oftentimes serving the ads).   “Did you pay for this?” Hurd recalled asking her daughter.  “Would you like to continue to be clothed and fed?”

30 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    Nobody has seriously believed that for a very, very long time.

    • Chris

      You’ve obviously never read Torrentfreak then – a freetard paradise of mis information and blatant lies

      • Anonymous

        Please note the word seriously. :)

        I assure you that I enjoy TorrentReek every day of the week. Especially this week, as a matter of fact — never has the Pirate Bay been kicked around that much! :)

        And while we’re at it:

        It is highly recommended for all musicians and other right holders to inform Guyana’s government that the worlds most notorious organized crime organizations now is Guyana’s responsibility.

        It is my experience that politicians take it very seriously when you politely inform them that their country may suffer severe trade sanctions unless they do what all other countries have done the past year: Prevent the criminal organization from using the domain in question, in this case .gy.

        The Pirate Bay say they still have 70 countries to run to. And that sounds like a lot.

        But at the going rate, it means they’re out of domains by 2015.

        • Dan

          Yep they are getting a slamming – not that the freetards will take any notice – only when they start getting busted and their arses slung in jail will these parasites realise how much damage they are causing to small artists and labels

          • Anonymous

            The Pirate Bay takes the situation extremely seriously.

            Each time they have to run, it costs: Their traffic dropped 15% this week after their recent domain failure, and they know they’ll be out of domains very soon.

            This means they will be forced off the streets and down the alleys, using special software, etc.

            If you want to speed up this process, you can do musicians and music fans a favour by writing a polite letter to the government of the country that is hosting the criminal organization, currently Guyana, and explain the situation.

          • Dan

            and so they should – I notice their little chief thief Gottfrid Svartholm is complaining because the nasty people have locked him up – shame the rest of their scum leaders and followers aren’t rotting in the same cells

          • Anonymous

            It’s a matter of time.

            And speaking of time: The Pirate Bay was just kicked out of Guyana after just one day! :)

            For a brief moment, they’ll be back in Sweden. The .se domain registry has stated that it will suspend the domain name as soon as there is a court order, so it’s time for music fans to send a polite mail to Sweden’s government…

          • PiratesWinLOL

            Yeah, this is serious stuff. In worse case, after only 10 years, they might even have to spend anywhere between 2 and 3 seconds coming up with a new name.

          • Dan

            whereas Gottfrid Svartholm will spend 2 – 3 years in jail the thieving twat. And you’d join him if I had my way

          • Eli Comber

            Listening to you guys going on about pirate bay and domains is highly amusing. You are so incredibly uninformed. The piratebay is going domain less and like all P2P sites will be invisible soon. Most intelligent people who use the web each day can get a VPN.

            I love reading what people wrote in the past. Change your business model, tards

          • Eli Comber

            Wow such heavy hate there Dan. Are you a disgruntled ‘artist’ yourself? Have you thought that its not because nobodies buying your music because its being pirated its actually because your shit?

  2. GGG

    It’s not completely apples to apples with TV/film and music. It’s certainly not good for those because with the exception of DVD sales, there’s not really any other way to monetize fans after an airing. Not like WD or BB merch is a huge thing. The one big post-show income is…wait for it….streaming!

    Piracy is still terrible for music, too, but comparatively there’s potential for a silver lining. Which we can make even better with more normalized streaming. Exposure is the dirty word people use to “justify” piracy. Well, here’s a way to monetize it.

    • Anonymous

      Wait until Google invents ContentID for Google Search. That will enable them to monetize piracy in its search engine just like it monetizes piracy in its video engine.

      Users get free content. Google and right holders split revenues.

      Everybody’s happy.

  3. Walter white

    He completely ignores The role Netflix has. Ever since Netflix got their hands on it the ratings have improved. Ill agree illegal pirating is bad but he doesn’t paint the whole picture.

  4. dave chappelle

    then deliver content better. innovate and stop clinging to obsolete mediums.

    • Dan

      Letting freetards steal it and give NOTHING back to the creators is not “innovating” or “clinging to obsolete mediums”

    • Versus

      How exactly will that prevent theft?
      If the content is not good, then why are people bothering to steal it?

  5. Chertonsby

    There also appears to be a mistaken belief that “Walking Dead” is somehow good– or even a real show.

    What does she think about Syria or Barbie Dolls whether porn leads to aberrant behavior? Producing a dumb show makes us all curious what you think… about everything!

    P.S. Dude, viewers that lack “any value whatsoever” are a perfect fit for your program.

    • Eli Comber

      For sure. I thought this was the comments on sopranos.

      Seasons 1-6 of that amazing show 1080p HBO rips never paid, awesome quality.
      No harm done, did tony die a poor starving man because I didn’t buy DVD or blu ray :\

  6. Anonymous

    Piracy is a habit – a consumer behaviour. Behaviours require behavioural solutions to modify negative behaviour. Why not reward fans who buy and help tell others how good the show/music/video is ? Or provide an awesome rewarding experience that involves the content which makes fans WANT to pay for it?

    • Eli Comber

      Sure if that works for you. Unfortunetly ive lived in this digital internet wonderland for over ten years now and bittorrent is amazing, there’s nothing in the market more convenient even in 2013.
      Should have been licensed. Oh well doesn’t matter, because my digital nirvana gets bigger with 4k content soon ;)