(Newswire.net — October 3, 2017) —
The European Commission hired Ecorys, a Dutch consulting company, to conduct a study in order to form a link between digital piracy and sales of copyrighted content. The study was conducted in 2014 and cost the EU 360,000 euros (about $444,000 adjusted for inflation).
Interestingly, the results of the study were not published. It only came to light in 2016 when Julia Reda, Member of the European Parliament and German Pirate Party member, requested an access to documents.
The 307 page document titled “Estimating displacement rates of copyrighted content in the EU” claimed that there was no evidence to support the link between piracy and negative sales.
In wake of the recent EU anti-piracy plan the study again comes to the forefront of public attention, sparking discussion and raising questions.
It is suggested that people who pirate media also consume more media that they pay for legally. When looking into electronic games, the number is an additional 24 legally obtained games per 100 illegal downloads.
The effect on games has much to do with subscription services, online gaming and required accounts for playing games legally. Unofficial access to a game may lead to later sales or increased sales by word of mouth or popularity of the game.
The study does point to a large margin of error, claiming that “the standard error is more than half of the estimated coefficient.”
The study also goes on to say “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.”
Theatrical movie releases are negatively affected by piracy, with the study claiming that 10 downloads would lead to 4 less movie theater visits.
There was also a negative effect on books, while the effect of piracy on the music industry was considered neutral.
These results point to how we consume media and how frequently we go back to it. Most moviegoers consider watching movies in the cinema an experience. On the other hand music and game connoisseurs have different views on digital media ownership.
You can read the full study here: