In 2013, the European Commission ordered € 360,000 in research to demonstrate that piracy affects the sale of music, books, films and games across the European Union. But interestingly, the results of these studies have never been publicized (except for one selected section), and this is probably because their conclusions did not match the earlier thesis adopted by EU officials. The results suggest that piracy not only does not adversely affect the sale of legitimate content, but may even help in this regard.
The detailed report prepared by the Danish Ecorys organization could have completely broken down if not for a Europarlarian, Julia Reda, a representative of the German Pirate Party, who presented him on his blog as a whole. What are his conclusions? “With the exception of the recently released blockbuster, there is no evidence to support the thesis that the infringement of copyright on the Internet affects sales,” Reda wrote.
According to the report, practically only one specific category, the most hit films, is “hijacked” by piracy, because in this case 10 downloads of the illegal version of the torrents, it translates into 4 fewer people in theaters. The total revenue for a particular movie is expected to be 4.4% lower in this case due to the illegal distribution of content, read more on flickr. Interestingly, the Commission used only those results to support its 2016 thesis that piracy reduces ticket sales to cinemas, completely ignoring the rest of the report. New domains available here.
As for other copyright-based industries (games, music, books), Ecorys did not find any solid statistical evidence of the negative impact of piracy through torrents for sale. Interestingly, with the conclusion of the game, it is clear that reaching for productions from illegal sources can make users decide to buy the original.
The Commission’s investigation in this case raises suspicion and quickly accuses the concealment of the report due to inconvenient conclusions. Admittedly, after Reda’s intervention, the EU decided to publish the report, but it seems that it had no other choice. Why should the EU hide these studies? Reda argues that the EU has been trying to force Internet providers to install filters for users dropping content to the Web for some time and probably counts on research to justify such actions.