To counter the many one-sided piracy studies that have been released by the entertainment industry in recent history, a group of dozens of academics have bundled their powers to write the most objective and elaborate piracy study to date. As many would have predicted, the results differ quite significantly from the message pro-copyright lobby groups have put out over the years.
The majority of the reports on piracy have one thing in common – they are funded by the entertainment industries to provide ammunition for political lobbying efforts. The downside of these reports, aside from the biased outcome, is that they tend to focus on just one area – the alleged losses for the industry caused by piracy.
Instead of focusing on the consequences, however, it might be much more constructive to also look at the causes of piracy. After all, the solution to a problem can often be found by looking at its origins.
To fill this gap, a coalition of academic researchers under the flag of the Social Science Research Counsel (SSRC) took up the task of providing a more neutral and deeper overview of what drives piracy. For several years they looked at the current piracy landscape, the past efforts of the entertainment industries to curb it, and with a strong focus on emerging economies.
This week the final report was released. Although it is impossible to summarize more than 400 pages of analysis in a single article, we’ll highlight some of the key findings, starting with some comments on the purpose of the study as put forward by director Joe Karaganis. Continue reading…