The e-learning industry has a lot to lose from piracy. It’s not just the financial losses that businesses will incur. It’s also the brand damage that comes from allowing learners to access illegitimate content and the broader impact on the culture of learning itself. In this article, we’ll discuss five different ways that online piracy affects the e-learning industry. We will also explain what content owners can do to help protect their content.
1) Financial Losses
E-learning piracy is a prevalent problem in the industry. Financial losses are the most obvious way that piracy damages e-learning. If someone pirates a product, the company that made it doesn’t get any money for their work. It’s not just direct losses from pirated versions; there could be indirect financial costs as well. For example, if people use pirated versions of a product, they might never buy it, making your company miss out on potential income from further sales to those people. According to the Chamber of Commerce, worldwide copyright infringement costs the United States around $30 billion each year.
2) Discourages creation
E-learning piracy discourages the creation of new content. If it’s easy for people to pirate content, fewer people will want to create it in the first place. Why bother if they can’t make money from their work? It also means that companies are less likely to take risks on new talent or projects because there’s less profit potential. More broadly, piracy could stifle innovation in the industry since it makes it more challenging to make money from new ideas.
3) Causes the loss of jobs
When piracy happens, it doesn’t just affect companies that produce e-learning material. The loss in profit can lead to job losses or reduced hours for employees at those companies – and they’re not the only ones affected when this happens. There are support jobs like customer service reps who help people access the content they’ve paid for. If piracy makes it harder for people to access their content, there will be fewer support jobs. Furthermore, when companies don’t make money, they have less cash to invest in new talent or projects.
4) Damages company reputation
Another reason for e-learning security being a high priority for many businesses is the fact that it can damage a company’s reputation. If people are pirating content, that means they’re getting it illegally. When other people find out, it can make them think less of your brand for allowing piracy in the first place. They might assume that your content is bad as you don’t bother to make it harder for people to pirate it. It can also damage your brand in the eyes of other companies – if they are worried that their content will be pirated, they might choose not to work with you because there is a risk that some or all their revenue could be lost to piracy.
5) Damages the culture of learning
Piracy hurts the culture of learning. If people know that they can access content for free, why would they bother to pay? When a company spends time and money creating e-learning products – or supporting them once they’ve been made – it’s not just a loss of revenue. It also means the culture is going in a direction where learning isn’t valued as much anymore. The problem is that when people don’t see a reason to pay for e-learning products, it also means they’re less likely to value the time and effort that goes into creating them. Without the profits that companies need to continue operating, the industry won’t be able to support talented instructors or developers, and people won’t have the resources they need to improve their knowledge.
It is, however, impossible to fully quantify how piracy affects e-learning because of its broad implications for multiple industries and fields. But if you want some advice on protecting your content from being pirated, contact us at Onsist. Through our combined efforts with the industry’s top brands, we have already helped more than 700 clients protect their content from being pirated. Reach out to us today to find out how we can help you.