Thanks to a new academic paper from researchers at the University of Minnesota and Wellesley College, the world has more evidence that piracy via torrents has no real effect on the U.S. movie box office.
Internationally, however, downloads and revenue were more correlated, and the researchers blamed delayed release windows for that phenomenon.
In their paper, called ‘Reel Piracy: The Effect of Online Film Piracy on International Box Office Sales,” the researchers concluded that “the longer it takes before a movie is released internationally, the more box office revenues are impacted through piracy,” says TF.
Continues the report: “We find that longer release windows are associated with decreased box office returns, even after controlling for film and country fixed effects. This relationship is much stronger in contexts where piracy is more prevalent: after BitTorrent?s adoption and in heavily pirated genres.”
“Our findings indicate that, as a lower bound, international box office returns in our sample were at least 7 percent lower than they would have been in the absence of pre-release piracy.”
Unlike the MPAA’s claims, however, the report says piracy has no profound effect on the U.S. box office
Result for: film piracy
Summer Redstone, the executive chairman of both Viacom and CBS has made remarks in the keynote speech to the Seoul Digital Forum 2008, in which he notes that “attitudes toward protecting entertainment copyrights internationally” are thankfully improving and he sees the glowing benefits of copyright protection.
“I am increasingly preaching to the converted in piracy-prone markets around the world,” Redstone said. “Governments in China and India are starting to take an active interest in enforcing copyright, if only to protect their own homegrown content,” he added.
Redstone then cited that China was looking to safeguard content it will be producing for the upcoming Olympic Games and that India was increasingly looking to protect its Bollywood film industry.
Redstone also added that film piracy costs the US economy at least $20 billion USD every year. Viacom, the giant corporation, owns Paramount Pictures, MTV and Comedy Central among others and is controlled by Redstone.
During a Q&A after his speech, Redstone even called YouTube a haven for piracy.
“We cannot tolerate any form of piracy by anyone, including YouTube,” he said.
Last year, Viacom sued YouTube seeking over $1 billion USD claiming that the site was full of copyrighted videos from Viacom shows and movies.