I'm curious how you believe those incompetent companies should adapt to the challenges of this digital 21st century - and I truly mean that. If you have some solutions, I'd like to hear them, because I've had a tough time figuring out how to fix the situation.
The complaints against the monetary damage incurred by piracy have realistically negligible consumer associated opportunity costs. Incompetent companies in the industry would have you believe that online piracy costs the economy...for example $250 billion per year.
The assumption is that if 10,000 people for example download my $1.00 song, then I have lost $10,000 in business.
This assumes that every single one of those 10,000 people that downloaded my song would have purchased it if they had not pirated it and assuming, here's the critical part, I had it made available to them.
But instead, if you approach the problem with depth rather than simple sweeping assumptions you discover that the vast majority of the piracy taking place doesn't incur an outside opportunity cost to the company, because the company doesn't take the steps to capitalize on their intellectual property. The opportunity cost is internal, they're missing the sales because of their own incompetence.
Say of the 10,000 songs that were pirated, 6,000 were downloaded in Spain. But my song is not available for purchase in Spain. If I don't sell my song in Spain, then I cannot realistically claim that's how much money piracy has cost me in Spain. I don't OFFER the residents of Spain a legitimate means of giving me their money. How can I complain that Spain is costing me $6,000 of lost sales? I'm costing myself $6,000 by not offering my song in a country with that much demand for the song. It's my problem as a business.
And what's left over usually tends to be delivery, pricing, and convenience problems. If I'm now a movie studio and release a movie on Blu-Ray only, but 50% of the country wants it in a downloadable form and the other 50% in DVD form, I'm missing sales by my own stupidity. When it comes to piracy, the actual number of what can reasonably be considered theft, or financial damage incurred by a third-party to a company makes up a tiny percentage of the cake. The vast majority of piracy happens because the business is out of touch.
I've seen this with our own business. When we excluded or poorly supported some markets, piracy was insane there, but when we provided competitive pricing, convenience, and support, piracy numbers in that market crashed and burned. Hell, just PROVIDING the product in a market you ignored will slash piracy in that market.
Piracy is not theft. It's poorly satisfied consumer demand.
Let me give you a practical example that will have immediate relevance. How much demand is there on this forum alone for Star Wars Prequel complete scores and Harry Potter complete scores?
If these things leak and you download them, are you financially damaging LucasFilm or Warner Bros. money by acquiring something that they can't make any money off because they don't offer it?
Consider how much the movie studios bitch about piracy in Southeast Asia. They treat the region like shit, don't release half the movies there, and then bitch about how people trying to acquire something they themselves are not trying to make money off of is financially damaging them.
I just read this on Ars Technica....NBC Universal's own hired research firm looked at piracy and basically said what I just said to NBC Universal: