Take Inspiration From AC: Black Flag’s Pirate to Expand Your Work’s Reach
What Bill Gates, Paulo Coelho, Edward Kenway and Piracy have to do with penetrating a wider audience of your work.
Edward Kenway’s descendants became members of the two opposing factions of the Assassin’s Creed series.
His son became a Grandmaster of the Templar Order, while his grandson became a Master Assassin of the Brotherhood. It’s a long story, so I’m not going to get into the details of it. But the point I’m trying to make here is:
None of it would’ve happened if it weren’t for his life as a pirate.
He influenced the growth of the Templar Order and the Assassin Brotherhood in North America.
While this is a fictional story, it is something to ponder about when you think about finding a wider audience for your work. Why?
Because piracy works in real life— it worked for Bill Gates and Paulo Coelho.
This is the reason why I don’t watermark my artwork.
A lot of digital illustrators out there watermark their work due to fear of unauthorized reproduction. This allows other people to financially benefit from their work without them knowing. The same happens to music artists — we download the pirated version of their songs instead of purchasing it.
This is obviously why it is prohibited by law.
But underneath the reduction of profit, is the extension of your reach to a wider audience. This is the case for Bill Gates and Microsoft as per David Kirkpatrick’s article on CNN Money:
“It’s easier for our software to compete with Linux when there’s piracy than when there’s not,” Gates says.
Piracy was a tool to eliminate competition.
The more people use it (legally and illegally), the more you reduce the chances of your competitor penetrating the market. While it sucks to let piracy slide because you’re not getting paid for your hard work, it will eventually payout in the long run.