Storybook pirates need no defending. What's not to love about Captain Hook?
But copyright pirates are often blamed for all manner of social ills, from the low quality of the music those whippersnappers listen to these days, to Hollywood's troubles at the box office. In the Guardian, pop culture guru Matt Mason makes a plea on their behalf:
When an online copy of Scrabble called Scrabulous appeared on Facebook, it quickly amassed 2.3 million fans who played it every day. It was an amazing user-generated ad campaign, and sales of real Scrabble boards increased. All Hasbro and Mattel (the owners of Scrabble) had to do was swoop in with their cheque books and make it legit; instead they treated Scrabulous as a simple case of piracy and threatened to sue. It may have been smarter to cut a deal rather than anger potential customers. Thousands signed up to the "Save Scrabulous" Facebook group. One fan threatened a hunger strike. Hasbro and Mattel are still talking tough, but if the backlash continues they may be forced to eat their words.
Managing directors take note! Don't let your legal department make a decision about pirates without talking to marketing first, because pirates can sometimes refresh the parts other ad strategies cannot reach.
The same piece also has a story about how remixers have saved us from "rubbish trainers" (that's "crappy sneakers" to Americans) by tarting up Nike's classic Air Force 1 on their own dime, and under their own brands.