Below is an excerpt form my most recent posting on the Canadian Intellectual Property Blog. The post discusses a recent study detailing the effect of illicit on-line file sharing on the film industry.
Those of us who remember the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) music piracy witch hunt of 2004-2007 and the colorful, if not flamboyant ranting of the late Jack Volenti of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) may be predisposed to thinking that on-line file sharing has had a dreadful effect on the music and film industries.
A recent study, however, may dispel that myth, at least as it relates to the film industry. Researchers from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich and Copenhagen Business School have found that far from hindering sales, on-line file sharing has even had a positive effect on some films’ bottom line. The study looked at a sizeable data set- 10,272 movies released in 50 countries from week 31 of 2007 to week 5 of 2013.
Image by Renjith Krishnan
On January 19, 2012, the globally popular file hosting site Megaupload.com was shut down and its founder Kim Dotcom arrested. The study found that the shutdown had little effect on the box office numbers for a majority of films. Some films, particular smaller and independent productions, saw a decrease in revenue. Only the top Hollywood films such as Ice Age and Harry Potter saw an increase in revenue after the Megaupload shutdown.
The Full post may be found here.