There are tons of studies and meta-studies about the effects of media piracy – and just to be sure you don’t assume anything, many of them show how piracy has a positive effect on paid and legal media consumption. Just to mention two reasons why piracy can be a positive contributor; when you can sample and try songs, books and movies for free, you take chances more often and will be exposed to things you didn’t know, and will go on to buy it if you like it. And second, if you copy from friends, family and internet buddies, you are more likely to find things you like because people you are familiar with know your taste and you know their taste, so the chances of finding something you feel is worthy of buying increases.
I won’t go into all the studies or even try to summarize them, as they are too many, but I will mention one quote which is important to have in mind. The following quote is not the findings of all studies, because the studies cover so many aspects of p2p and piracy, but for several studies to actually find the following should make any hardcore antipirates think twice about their black & white view on piracy:
The biggest music pirates are also the biggest spenders on recorded music. Our German results appear to confirm this finding–in fact, extravagantly so. German P2P users buy nearly 3 times as much digital music as their non-P2P using peers.
Here are two links that lead to pages that link to a huge amount of studies:
We’ve just finished out lengthy series on what file-sharing studies really have to say about file-sharing. The series has drawn quite a lot of attention, so, we felt the need to cap off this series with some final thoughts and a list of links to all the studies and more.
An index of academic and business studies from La Quadrature du Net, a citizen advocacy group defending freedom on the Internet
If you are interested in what science, academia and professional surveys KNOW about media piracy rather than what you THINK about it, check out these pages and studies.