Michael Eriksson's Blog

A Swede in Germany

Follow-up: International Day Against DRM

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As a brief follow-up to my recent post on DRM, a few claims* from a (German) article on a piracy study/>:

*I have not investigated the details myself, and I draw only on this source; however, the source has a very strong reputation—then, again, it is still journalists at work.

  1. The EU commission ordered a study on content piracy in 2015, and later tried to suppress and misrepresent the study.
  2. The found overall negative effects of piracy were small.
  3. Movies saw a loss of 27 legal “transactions” (“Transaktionen”) per 100 illegal. This was dominated by block-busters. (I note, looking back at my original post, that block-busters are a prime target of organized and/or professional pirates, who are hindered far less by DRM than e.g. ordinary users wanting to make a backup copy.)
  4. Music saw no impact—despite music piracy being the favorite industry target for a long time.
  5. Computer games saw a gain of 24 legal transactions: An illegal download increases the chance of a legal purchase.

As for the paradoxical result for computer games, and to a lesser degree music, I would speculate that this is partially a result of an informal trial by prospective consumers: Download a product, check-it out, and then either reject the product or buy it legally. This makes great sense for games, where the total playing time often goes into weeks, sometimes even months; with a movie, many users might see no major point in re-watching even a very good movie, considering the sheer number of new releases, and more than several re-watchings are reserved for the best-of-the-best-of-the-best. Music could be somewhere in between, like the numbers suggest, and there is always the possibility of someone additionally buying other music from the same artist. I also note that in terms of “bang for the buck”, games and music usually fair far better than movies. The authors of the study, according to the above article, mention that computer-game purchases often come with additional perks, e.g. bonus levels.

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Written by michaeleriksson

September 22, 2017 at 6:17 pm

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