Aug 23, 2013

Two Approaches to Measure the Effects of Blocking Access to the Pirate Bay

In the fight against the unauthorised sharing of copyright protected material, aka piracy, Dutch Internet Service Providers have been summoned by courts to block their subscribers’ access to The Pirate Bay (TPB) and related sites. This paper studies the effectiveness of this approach towards online copyright enforcement, using both a consumer survey and a newly developed non-infringing technology for BitTorrent monitoring. While a small group of respondents download less from illegal sources or claim to have stopped, and a small but significant effect is found on the distribution of Dutch peers, no lasting net impact is found on the percentage of the Dutch population downloading from illegal sources.
And from the conclusions:
First of all, the intervention can only affect consumers who (intend to) download from illegal sources, about 24% over the past six month or 27-28% over the past year. For this segment of the population, it is found that a large majority (70-72%) are non- responsive to blocking access to TPB.
And more:
Instead, the percentage who downloaded films & series, games and books from illegal sources in the preceding six month has increased between May and November-December 2012, while the percentage downloading music from illegal sources remained constant.
The abstract is here (the link to the paper does not work). An an ungated version is here.  

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