**This is a Work-In-Progress. I am going through my own bookmarks to find the most helpful resources, but my own list is far from exhaustive. If you have a link that should be here PLEASE let me know!**
Research, court decisions, and anecdotes on the effects of copyright and piracy in creative industries.
These are the numbers: independent, academic, and government studies that provide hard data. Research does not always support piracy or proove, unequivocally, that it either hurts OR helps the creative industries. What it does do, however, is challenge the dominant narrative (piracy = theft = loss of sales = downfall), force questions of our assumptions (they just want everything for free!), substantiate or refute speculation (Hey, maybe letting people share freely might help us after all…), and counter the emotional, knee-jerk reactions to anecdotes (I can’t feed my cats because PIRATES!) The fact is, we’ve all heard the Piracy costs us BILLIONS! story. Academic institutions, governments, and independant researchers and don’t make catchy commercials telling the other side of the story.
UK Movie Pirates Spend (Way) More at the Box Office
Piracy Doesn’t Affect Box Office Returns
File Sharers Buy 30% More Music Than Non-P2P Peers
Bit Torrent Piracy Boosts Music Sales, Study Finds
Clickonomics: Determining the Effect of Anti-Piracy Measures for One-Click Hosting
Piracy and Movie Revenues: Evidence from Megaupload
Government Accountability Report
“…widely cited U.S. government estimates of economic losses resulting from counterfeiting cannot be substantiated due to the absence of underlying studies.”
“…Data that we collected for the titles O’Reilly put out showed a net lift in sales for books that had been pirated. So, it actually spurred, not hurt, sales….”
Court decisions often contradict each other. A judge in one jurisdiction may dismiss a case allowed everywhere else. But, ultimately, laws are upheld or rejected by judicial authorities. And where there is serious contention or ambiguity – like that on piracy and copyright – judges interpret, challenge, or even overturn laws previously endorsed by other branches of government.
File-Sharing For Personal Use Declared Legal In Portugal
“the right to education, culture, and freedom of expression on the Internet should not be restricted in cases where the copyright infringements are clearly non-commercial.”
Spanish Judge: Piracy May Boost Sales
“local judge noted that it’s impossible to determine the damages a seller of pirated copies had caused, because it’s unclear how many people would have bought the products for the original price…..those customers either buy a pirated copy at a low price or they don’t buy an original at a price between 15 and 20 Euros……it is conceivable that a customer, after hearing or viewing the pirated copy, may decide to purchase the original, finding it to their taste, so that the sale of pirated copies, far from harming, benefits the market for original items.“
Arguments must never rest on unsubstantiated personal stories and anecdotal evidence. However, personal stories inspire us, connect with us, make us pause and reconsider, and sometimes spur on real research.
Douglas C Merrill (former Google CIO)