EU Gov't Research: Piracy Doesn't Affect Music Buying
March 20, 2013 3:00 PM
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Study also finds streaming music doesn't cannibalize traditional sales
The EU's copyright commissioner, Maria Martin-Prat, was formerly a lawyer for the at
International Federation of the Phonographic Industry
, the parent organization of the U.S.'s RIAA, Canada's CRIA, and Britain's BPI. She once
[PDF] that backups have "no reason to exist", and for years
vigorously argued that piracy was killing traditional sales
. But ironically her own peers in the EU have just announced that government-funded research proved her and the IFPI wrong; traditional music sales don't suffer from piracy.
I. Pirates Download More Legal Music
The study was conducted using data on more than 16,000 European Union internet users. Researchers at
The Institute for Prospective Technological Studies
-- a part of the
European Commission’s Joint Research Centre
-- examined what the affect on a user's behavior by first removing the correlation of level interest in music, then comparing subjects with similar expressed level of interest in music who pirate, versus those who did not.
were intriguing. The researchers write, "It seems that the majority of the music that is consumed illegally by the individuals in our sample would not have been purchased if illegal downloading websites were not available to them. If this estimate is given a causal interpretation, it means that clicks on legal purchase websites would have been 2 percent lower in the absence of illegal downloading websites."
Legal streaming websites -- which the music industry
has often attacked
-- were found to have a "somewhat larger" complementary affect, increasing clicks on legal sites by 7 percent -- according to the correlation.
II. No Evidence Piracy is killing Music
The researchers say it is puzzling why the music industry is so obsessed with pursuing pirate punishments. While they declined to make any specific policy recommendations, they conclude:
Taken at face value, our findings indicate that digital music piracy does not displace legal music purchases in digital format. This means that although there is trespassing of private property rights, there is unlikely to be much harm done on digital music revenues.
From that perspective, our findings suggest that digital music piracy should not be viewed as a growing concern for copyright holders in the digital era. In addition, our results indicate that new music consumption channels such as online streaming positively affect copyrights owners.
It appears piracy really is "not a big deal". [Image Source: South Park Studios]
Of course, correlation does not prove causation, but it appears that even the poorly evidenced claim that piracy is
to lower sales is thoroughly wrong. Further, this is not the first work to show that. A
2009 study by the UK government
found filesharers to spent, on average, £77 ($126), versus a mere £44 for non-pirates ($72). So much for piracy "killing music", eh?
Scribd via TorrentFreak
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RE: Video Games
3/21/2013 8:51:03 PM
Meah rose colored glasses.
I've been a gamer all my life too, which might be longer than you. Because a lot of gamers today don't seem to recall the horrid, and I mean HORRIBLE, copy protection schemes of yesteryear. Like requiring a disk to play it even if the game itself was completely on your hard drive. Or only being able to install the game once, and only play it from that computer. I could go on and on.
Today I can buy a game, install it as many times as I want. I can even log in and play it from a friends computer or another location, it doesn't matter, everything is online! The convenience available to us today...it just blows my mind how many people don't seem to understand how bad things used to be!! Wtf?
Complaining that games require an Internet connection? At this point the Internet is no different than electricity or running water. It's essential, and you should have access to it 24/7. If you don't have it, something is horribly wrong. Hell even the phones in our pockets have Internet at all times.
Now you're on your soapbox, and people are cheering because it sounds great. Down with the corporations bla bla, making games completely free etc etc. But they don't know. They don't remember or weren't around when gaming wasn't this Mecca of freedom you're illustrating. There were - sometimes - soul crushing protection schemes to deal with. Seriously they really did go too far!
Yes, SimCity was a disaster. But not because of the DRM, but because they completely screwed up the server-side implementation of it.
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