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Piracy does not affect music sales

EU says Big Content claims just rubbish

Two European Commission researchers have found that digital music piracy has no impact on music makers. The two authors, Luis Aguiar and Bertin Martens, are from the EU's Information Society Unit and they claim that music consumption channels such as online streaming positively affect copyrights owners. The study is the opposite to what Big Content has been telling the world for years.

"Although there is trespassing of private property rights (copyrights), there is unlikely to be much harm done on digital music revenues," Aguiar and Martens claim. 

Music consumption in physical format has until recently accounted for the lion’s share of total music revenues. If piracy leads to substantial sales displacement of music in physical format, then its effect on the overall music industry revenues may well still be negative, the report said.

The researchers used data from Nielsen NetView to examine detailed behaviour of 5,000 Internet users from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Compared to Germany, Spain show 230 per cent more clicks on illegal downloading websites. Italy presents an important difference of 134 per cent while the UK and France have 43 per cent and 35 per cent more clicks respectively.

France has 150 per cent more clicks than Germany. Spaniards have 20 per cent more clicks than the Germans, while Italians have 25 per cent less. The UK presents a small difference with Germany in terms of streaming; with only nine per cent more clicks.

The report said that the differences were because limited access to legal digital purchasing websites, were influencing the illegal downloading activity of consumers. In other words if there is a lack of a legal alternative for a given piece of content it will be pirated.


Last modified on 20 March 2013
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