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EU buries report that says piracy is harmless

by on22 September 2017

Big content would not allow it

The EU paid a Dutch consulting firm, Ecorys 360,000 euro to research the effect piracy had on sales of copyrighted content and then buried it because it would anger the Big Content mafia.

Big Content has blamed piracy for its inability to make the huge profits that it once did. The fact that it releases films so bad that no one wants to see them has never crossed its mind. It also claimed that film and software piracy was costing it trillions.

To find out the truth, the EU commissioned Ecorys to get to the bottom of it.  The final report was finished in May 2015, but was never published because the report concluded that piracy isn't harmful.

The 300-page report said there was no evidence that supports the idea that piracy has a negative effect on sales of copyrighted content - with some exceptions for recently released blockbusters.

The report states: "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."

A blogger sais that a report like this is fundamental to discussions about copyright policies - where the general assumption is usually that piracy has a negative effect on rightsholders' revenues.

She slammed the Commission’s reluctance to publish the report and says it probably wouldn't have released it for several more years if it wasn't for the access to documents request she filed in July.

Reda said: "All available evidence suggests that the Commission actively chose to ignore the study except for the part that suited their agenda.:

In an academic article published in 2016, two European Commission officials reported a link between lost sales for blockbusters and illegal downloads of those films. They failed to disclose, however, that the study this was based on also looked at music, ebooks and games, where it found no such connection.

In the case of video games, the study found the opposite link, indicating a positive influence of illegal game downloads on legal sales. That demonstrates that the study wasn't forgotten by the Commission altogether, it just wanted to quote selected bits which Big Content would approve of.

Last modified on 22 September 2017
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