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Removal of Restrictions Can Decrease Music Piracy says study.

Removal of Restrictions Can Decrease Music Piracy, Study Suggests Finally some facts in the discussion

Studies from the MPAA or RIAA tend to be laughably unscientific, to the point of even drawing the opposite conclusions than the data supports. Rarely are the methodologies exposed (an essential step for scientific analysis) nor the raw data ever shared. For scientific rigour, a study needs to be published so that anyone else in the world could reproduce the study and get the same results.

Studies from the “AAs” lack any of these things, and should be laughably dismissed, not used as the basis for bad law.  All real research shows that there is little – if any harm – caused to copyright owners from unauthorized distribution. (I reiterate my call for any study that has been peer reviewed that shows economic harm from unauthorized distribution. There are none.)

The research challenges conventional wisdom that removal of DRM restrictions increases piracy levels; the study shows that piracy can actually decrease when a company allows restriction-free downloads.

“Removal of these restrictions makes the product more convenient to use and intensifies competition with the traditional format (CDs), which has no DRM restrictions,” Vernik said. “This increased competition results in decreased prices for both downloadable and CD music and makes it more likely that consumers will move from stealing music to buying legal downloads.”

One sure way to determine if you’re looking at a genuine scientific study or a piece of corporate PR is to look at who (really) funded the research. Usually it’s some closely allied associate of the “client” who give exactly the report that they’ve been paid to produce. This research was funded by Rice and Duke universities.

Oh, as evidence of the extreme harm unauthorized distribution has done, look at the financial disaster that is “Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of All Time“:

rank movie ± downloads worldwide grosses
1 Avatar (2009) 21 million $2,782,275,172
2 The Dark Knight (2008) 19 million $1,001,921,825
3 Transformers (2007) 19 million $709,709,780
4 Inception (2010) 18 million $825,408,570
5 The Hangover (2009) 17 million $467,483,912
6 Star Trek (2008) 16 million $385,680,446
7 Kick-Ass (2010) 15 million $96,188,903
8 The Departed (2006) 14 million 289,847,354
9 The Incredible Hulk (2008) 14 million $263,427,551
10 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007) 14 million $963,420,425

Just shocking how these movies performed. Perhaps the only heinous crime here is that none of these movies have yet made an official “profit”. Now that’s a crime.

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  • Jon Chappell · October 12, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    The chart isn’t something that can be applied on a general basis to the entire industry. Avatar, for instance, relied on 3D technology that could not be adequately replicated at home. Kick-Ass is the lowest-grossing on the list by a long way yet is ranked at #7. It was affected much more by piracy than Pirates of the Caribbean (no pun intended). There is no direct correlation.

    I would be more interested to see results further down the list. I know small filmmakers who have 70%+ piracy rates.

  • HowardG · October 14, 2011 at 5:05 am

    That’s not a crime – that’s Hollywood!
    “Abondon hope all ye who enter within.”



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