Back in 2014, the European Commission paid the Dutch consulting firm Ecorys 360,000 euros (about $428,000) to research the effect piracy had on sales of copyrighted content.
They spent almost half a million dollars just to be proven wrong! Lol, I guess I'd be embarrassed enough to hide those findings as well.
But seriously, it's pretty screwed up that the EU would try to hide this information.
It doesn't gel with the dominant narrative. It removes the justification for the state to destroy lives in the name of stopping piracy. Screwed up, you bet. Surprising, no.
I meant surprising to *them*.
They were hoping to find piracy would be harmful. Rational people like us already knew it wasn't harmful.
"In 2014, on average 51 per cent of the adults and 72 per cent of the minors
in the EU have illegally downloaded or streamed any form of creative content,
with higher piracy rates in Poland and Spain than in the other four countries
of this study. In general, the results do not show robust statistical evidence of
displacement of sales by online copyright infringements. That does not
necessarily mean that piracy has no effect but only that the statistical analysis
does not prove with sufficient reliability that there is an effect. An exception is
the displacement of recent top films. The results show a displacement rate of
40 per cent which means that for every ten recent top films watched illegally,
four fewer films are consumed legally. People do not watch many recent top
films a second time but if it happens, displacement is lower: two legal
consumptions are displaced by every ten illegal second views. This suggests
that the displacement rate for older films is lower than the 40 per cent for
recent top films. All in all, the estimated loss for recent top films is 5 per cent
of current sales volumes."
So the worst effect is to new movies, and even that is just 5% overall--just a *little* bit lower than the 100% effect the industry claims (i.e., every illegal download is a lost sale).
The game and media distributors have been hammering into the collective consciousness that piracy is the same thing as theft. This study suggests a very different reality, one that does not surprise me at all. While still clearly wrong, piracy in no way rises to the level of outright theft. That lie has been outed now.
TechSpy is a community of awesome people posting and discussing the latest tech news. It’s part of NewsBoiler, a network of social news sites covering today’s pop culture.