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Downloaded in 60 Seconds - Piracy prevents movie sales

12 Mar 13

The closing of a major online piracy site can increase digital media sales, with the Megaupload shutdown causing such in digital sales and movie rentals.

That is according to a recent research study, Gone in 60 Seconds: The Impact of the Megaupload Shutdown on Movie Sales, which will no doubt boost the movie industry's claims that file-sharing websites are fueling online piracy.

Detailing the impact of the Megaupload shutdown on movie sales, the report says the growth of internet-based piracy has led to a wide-ranging debate over how copyright policy should be enforced in the digital era.

Reporting a 7-10% increase in digital sales and 4-7% rise in digital rentals within eighteen weeks of the shutdown, just how badly are Kim Dotcom style websites damaging the movie industry?

Given one intervention saw a relatively dramatic rise, is targeting the piracy suppliers and not the piracy beneficiaries the way forward?

After all, educating and even begging users to refrain from illegally downloading a movie is one thing, charging them $20 for the privilege of watching it is also another, but the chances of anything changing remains slim.

Yet through cutting off the source, is this the most effective and robust way to deal with piracy?

"Thus our findings show that the closing of a major online piracy site can increase digital media sales, and by extension we provide evidence that Internet movie piracy displaces digital film sales," says authors Brett Danaher and Michael D. Smith.

Crossing the entertainment border in the world of music however, the use of free, legal music streaming services seem to have deterred illegal music file-sharing, could this work for movies?

Still intrigued? Read fellow Techday hack Donovan Jackson's take on the report here

Is there an effective way to deter users from illegal file-sharing? Tell us your suggestions below

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