Gizmodo is reporting today that the EU commissioned a report into piracy and its affect on sales. The 300-page report, which cost a 1/3rd of a million quid to produce, basically concluded that piracy has little effect. I would hazard my own guess that they worked out that if someone is going to pirate something, they’ve probably not going to buy it regardless - so there is no money lost.
The report also showed that piracy can lead to an increase in sales. I can only presume that more people using a product helps promote that item to others.
It would seem that films suffer the most from piracy. Personally, if film didn’t try to charge £15 a disc for something that you might only watch once or twice, then it might get somewhere.
I think what pisses me off the most is the fact the report was suppressed. It was only the German Piracy Party that requested the information. If the EU received a report that said big business was losing out… they’d be kicking in more laws with stricter DRM and punishment. It didn’t, so the conveniently shelved it.
Equally, I’d love to know how this report cost so much money.