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Pirates ain’t so bad after all. That’s according to the boss of Angry Birds creator Rovio, the brains behind the gaming phenomena that has swept (or should that be swooped) the world.
With all this talk of piracy crackdown, SOPA and the arrest of file sharing guru Mr Dotcom, Mikael Hed said piracy was actually good for business.

“Piracy may not be a bad thing: it can get us more business at the end of the day,” he said at the Midem music conference in Cannes this week.

However, the Chief Exec of Rovio did admit his company had “issues” with fake replications of his gaming apps and licensed merchandise, although he doesn’t appear too worried, unlike most others in his industry.

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“There is tons and tons of merchandise out there, especially in Asia, which is not officially licensed products.

“We have some issues with piracy, not only in apps, but also especially in the consumer products,” Hed admitted.

However, he feels unlicensed goods may not necessarily be a bad thing, provided they are not harming the brand.

Rovio has built a whole franchise around the Angry Birds gaming phenomena including a soon to be released movie , TV channel, clothing, mugs, Angry Birds Store, and already makes millions from the venture.

Angry Birds Rio is one of the most downloaded mobile apps ever and has been voted best mobile game of 2011 by buckets of different countries and won UK’s App of the year 2011.

The Birds game is currently Apple’s top paid app in 9 countries including US, UK and Canada, according to iOS App charts and is No.7 app in Australia costing $0.99.

 

The gaming boss also cited the “terrible ways” in which the music industry has sought to deal with dodgy downloads, hinting prevention of piracy via the courts or otherwise may not be the wisest move, The Guardian reports.

“We took something from the music industry, which was to stop treating the customers as users, and start treating them as fans. We do that today: we talk about how many fans we have,” he said.

“If we lose that fanbase, our business is done, but if we can grow that fanbase, our business will grow.”

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