Most video-game developers — along with most musicians, writers, movie producers and virtually every other kind of content creator — see digital piracy as an enemy to be fought with every weapon at their disposal. Not Markus Persson. While the Swedish developer of the indie game Minecraft says heisn’t happy about people copying his game illegally, he sees it as a necessary part of doing business in a digital world — and even a benefit in terms of spreading the word about his game. His perspective might help some other content companies think about their businesses differently too.
Persson says in a blog post that the digital world simply doesn’t mesh with an economic system that was designed around physical goods that can only exist in one place at a time, and can’t be easily copied. “We’ve got an amazingly effective way of distributing culture that is extremely beneficial for humanity, but it clashes with our current economical models,”he writes. The ability to quickly and easily make identical copies of movies, books, games and other content is something we don’t want to give up, Persson says, but “to people who want to get paid for their digital works, myself included, that is a bit of a problem.