In a recent article published on the popular online publication Quartz, a rather interesting headline involving Bitcoin made waves on social networks.
With no shortage of negative press in recent years surrounding Bitcoin and its alleged use by money launderers, terrorists and evil-doers, Quartz decided to peg movie pirating to the list of illicit uses that the dregs of society have figured out to use Bitcoin, effectively for. Or did they?
The title of the article reading “Indian film industry is struggling with bitcoin-trading, sophisticated “pirates” read like an indictment of some sort of loophole found in the Bitcoin ecosystem. However, upon reading further into the article, you’d be hard pressed to find any mention of Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies of any sort except for one mention in the headline and one mention in the body copy.
“The last guy we nabbed in Jabalpur had people operating in Australia, the US and other locations. The last guy was trading in Bitcoin. The police is not fully equipped to understand those transactions, which are getting sophisticated.”
While Quartz often times has some fairly interesting posts regarding economics, society, health and other issues, they’ve been subject to going a more sensationalist route lately. Often times they will post op-ed articles syndicated from popular journalists and bloggers from elsewhere.
The article doesn’t talk about Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies at all besides this one sentence, yet they decide to include it in their headline. Maybe Bitcoin is an easy target for sensationalist views and comments about how dangerous it could potentially be, however in the case of this one major online publication, they seemed to only want clicks based on the newsworthiness of Bitcoin rather than the actual topic of the article.
What should have been covered here is India’s control over piracy domestically and abroad. People in the movie and music industry have taken broad sweeping and powerful measures against piracy, ranging from outright aggressive legal action to subscription-based services like Netflix or Spotify.
Even Zuffa, the corporation behind the UFC has moved towards a more subscription-based revenue model with their UFC Fight Pass package for MMA fans.
Regardless of the problems associated with the Indian or any other country’s film industry being hard to capitalize on and profit from in today’s economy, Bitcoin isn’t to blame. Rather, the people who control these media conglomerates are simply too thick or unwilling to change with the ways technology is evolving.
If Quartz wants to remain a reputable and news-worthy publication rather than a Buzzfeed or Upworthy, they should consider digging a bit deeper in their efforts to make a story around a failing industry that happened to have one “guy” who deals in the cryptocurrency be the centerpiece of their feature stories.
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