“Walking Dead” Producer Hurd Speaks Out on Piracy

Says the Creative Community, Responsible Businesses, and Parents Can All Play a Role in Curbing Illegal Downloads

Flesh-eating zombies are not the only thing that concerns Gale Anne Hurd.

The Executive Producer of AMC’s hit series “The Walking Dead” spoke out yesterday about the harmful impact of piracy at Variety’s annual Content Protection Summit.

Hurd called on her colleagues in the creative community to help audiences better understand how paying for content supports the continued production of films and shows they love, reports Variety:

There’s a mistaken belief by many of my peers that piracy is somehow good, that viewers will develop a habit to pay for it,” Hurd told Variety’s Ted Johnson in a Q&A at the event. “I’m not sure they really understand other than anecdotal evidence that their ratings go up that the people who pirate are not then going to choose legal downloads or legal viewing in the future.

The apparent legitimacy of for-profit pirate websites can be confusing to fans, says Hurd. Even she was almost duped into using her credit card to pay to watch her favorite soccer team on an illegal streaming site, reports the MESA blog. Hurd believes responsible companies should not allow their products and services to be misused for the facilitation of theft of creative works.

Part of the problem, she said, lies in the enablement of these illegal sites. Google can block child porn and malware, but let’s illegal streaming sites show up all the time. And Fortune 500 companies aren’t doing their part, by continuing to allow their advertising to appear on those sites, she said.

“They have to believe it’s in their best interests [to stop], that it’s going to hurt their bottom line,” she said. “[But] right now they’re profiting off it.”

Hurd also noted the important role parents can play in teaching their children responsible digital citizenship.

A half a million people illegally watched “The Walking Dead” season four premiere within 16 hours of original airing, even though AMC made the show freely available on its website within a day.

“Walking Dead” Producer Hurd Speaks Out on Piracy | Creative America Blog.

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