„Wer digitale Kopien kostenlos lädt, bezahlt nicht für Original-Releases“ lautet ein gängiges Vorurteil von Filesharing-Gegnern. Der Wirtschafts-Professor Koleman Strumpf hat diesen Mythos jetzt empirisch widerlegt. In einer neuen Studie untersucht er Daten der „Hollywood Stock Exchange“ und „einer großen Bittorrent Index-Seite“:
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This paper uses movie tracking stocks to measure the theatrical revenue displacement of file sharing. These stocks are forward looking and their forecasting performance improves when new information arrives such as the release of movie trailers. The empirical strategy considers how stock prices respond to news about file sharing, using both arrivals and non-arrivals as shocks. Because the approach exploits price variation for all movies which are unavailable on file sharing networks, the case for unbiased estimates is particularly strong for the period prior to the theatrical opening. The estimates indicate that the displacement effect is quite small, both on a movie-level and in aggregate. The effect is precisely estimated. This is perhaps not surprising given the low quality of early file sharing releases and the lack of amenities such as theater sound and video systems.
One consistent result is that file sharing arrivals shortly before the theatrical opening have a modest positive effect on box office revenue. One explanation is that such releases create greater awareness of the film. This is also the period of heaviest advertising. In conjunction with the main estimates, this suggests that free and potentially degraded goods such as the lower quality movies available on file sharing networks can have some beneficial effects on intellectual property.
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The research covers 150 of the most popular films that were released over a period of seven years, and the findings reveal that the release of pirated films on file-sharing sites doesn’t directly hurt box office revenue.
“There is no evidence in my empirical results of file-sharing having a significant impact on theatrical revenue,” Strumpf tells TorrentFreak in a comment.