To outlaw knowledge and ideas may not be the best strategy when trying to create a ‘knowledge based economy’ in the digital age. Storage and transport will devalue even more in the near future.
IViR interviewed 2,000 consumers about their downloading and buying behavior in relation to music, movies, games and books.
Highlights of their research:
1. Downloading from an illegal source is decreasing when focusing on music downloads. Reason being the abundance of legal alternatives (comment: which are not making any meaningful amount of money just yet);
2. Downloading from an illegal source is increasing when focusing on movie downloads, therefore that must mean that all the remedies of the movie industry have proven to be futile and therefore one can conclude that ‘enforcement’ is not the answer to the problem;
3. The blockade of The Pirate Bay is not effective because the majority of people are no longer downloading from an illegal source anyway and hardliners will be able to still find ways to continue downloading from an illegal source. 5% of the participants indicate that they have decreased their downloading behavior due to the blockade. According to the researchers that’s a low ROI. (comment: the argument seems to be that apprehending individual criminals is of no use because both crime and criminals will – in general – always remain)
4. 21.7% of the participants to the survey are downloading from an illegal source;
5. People who are downloading music from an illegal source, buy more music than their non-downloading counterparts. They also frequent a cinema much more often as well as music concerts.
Perhaps this post should have commenced by indicating that the ‘research’ has been sponsored by a group of organizations and businesses that when put together, are widely being regarded as the foundation of the Dutch ‘freetard‘ (internet) economy, oftentimes influencing various policies of the Dutch government, typically resulting in non-intervention when it comes to online piracy, which in itself is a big money maker for Dutch access providers, Dutch hosting providers and ad brokers as well. The organizations and businesses are: XS4ALL, DELTA, CAIW, KPN, Ziggo, The Royal Association of the Book Trade and the Dutch Ministry of Culture and Education.
This study is essentially advising content and rights owners to invest in online distribution models that will not be making them any money (expect a large group of people to continue downloading from an illegal source in any event) while refraining from enforcing their rights, as enforcement is futile, although the Dutch government has never enforced copyright in The Netherlands in a meaningful way and the public prosecutor’s office has even issued a guideline indicating that civil litigation should be the method of choice. Content and rights owners should be happy that if they deploy and invest in these new and perhaps less or non-lucrative business models, the users of the services will also increase their spending on services and events which those rights owners are only indirectly benefiting from and to a much lesser extent. Who knows, people may even start to buy more iDevices, or better yet, more and faster internet access subscriptions.
Dutch language news article: