In the digital age technology allows information to be spread and copied much more easily and quickly.  For most marketers, this is a good thing - the content you are producing can spread faster and more easily - helping you to grow your brand.  For instance, articles on this blog, the videos we make, our webinars, and other content can be shared on Twitter, Facebook, email, LinkedIn, and other blogs.  People can download and distribute our content almost instantly.

But in some cases this is a bad thing.  If you sell digital content, or if you have a brand that people try to copy, your job can be a lot harder. Piracy is a big deal to some marketers.  Some blogs (called spam blogs or splogs) completely duplicate all of our articles, trying to get the SEO traffic for themselves, in effect stealing what we have earned with our hard work.  Monty Python finally embraced a certain level of piracy and put their own video clips on YouTube because everyone else was doing it for them (and after they did so, DVD sales rose over 1000% because they linked to the videos from the clips).  PayPal, eBay and most banks regularly have their brands pirated for scams and fraud, which imp-acts their brand value and image.

Counterfeiting and piracy cost the U.S. economy alone between $200 billion and $250 billion per year, and stole as many as 750,000 jobs. What do you think about this issue in marketing?

Want to help marketers understand the piracy issue better?

Answer the CMO Council's "Protection from Brand Infection" survey and share your thoughts.  The CMO Council will compile the results from lots of marketers and share a summary.   Answer marketing survey -->

Originally published Apr 4, 2009 2:38:00 PM, updated October 01 2019