Friday, December 16, 2011

Sales data refutes piracy claims

I recently posted on the insidious and speciously named Protect IP Piracy Act. The crux of the claim is that piracy robs sales from the owners of the content. Is that true? Check out this study by Michael D. Smith. (Also see his article here.) An excerpt of the write-up:

"Our results suggest that (1) online 'free' distribution can complement legitimate purchases of media goods, (2) legitimate digital distribution channels can reduce the demand for piracy, and (3) that digital distribution is unlikely to cannibalize sales in physical channels in the short-term"

Recall Bryant noted anecdotally that sales of The Speculative Turn at Amazon went up when the free pdf version of the book was released.

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