'Just Enough' Piracy Can Be a Good Thing

A friend of mine used to pirate all sorts of things. He didn’t realize it at the time, but he grew up in the golden age of piracy: Napster had proven the idea just a few years ago, and sites like The Pirate Bay and Kickass Torrents had since stepped in to keep the dream alive and well. Fast-forward to today, though, and most of those sites have shut down. The Pirate Bay still manages to limp along, but copyright laws and watchful Internet Service Providers have made piracy a mere shadow of its former self. As for my friend, now he pays for a basic Netflix subscription each month to watch a few shows — but for the most part, nothing replaced all that content he once pirated. As Antino Kim, Atanu Lahiri, Debabrata Dey, and Gerald Kane point out in MIT’s Sloan Management Review, that may not actually be the clear win most would have you believe.