Respected Dutch Researchers Note That Piracy Has A Positive Impact On The Economy

from the well,-look-at-that... dept

Stanley de Vries wrote in to let us know that TNO, a respected Dutch research firm has come out with a large, 142-page, report about piracy, commissioned by the government, where it noted that piracy appeared to be net beneficial for the economy — as opposed to some other studies you may have heard about from the entertainment industry. You can download the full report as a PDF, but it’s in Dutch. Some translated news stories cover the high points. The report notes that there’s little evidence that downloading is the cause of CD sales falling — noting indications that downloaders actually buy more music on average, and that a much more likely reason for CD sales declining was that people had finished “re-buying” all the CDs they had owned on cassette before that format was killed off. Stanley was also kind enough to translate a few excerpts from the first 5 pages (meaning there’s still plenty more to go through):

“The economic effects of file sharing short- and long term are strongly positive” [Interesting approach here: They give the well-being of people also economic value…]
“With regards to the music business we can say that downloaded recordings are not necessarily a lost sale”
“Lot’s of people download for free to learn about new music and eventually buy when they like it”
“The calculations of the industry [about the losses caused by illegal downloads] are not necessarily correct because they are based on a lot of assumptions and contain a lot of uncertainties because underlying data is not known with any accuracy”
(So far we were still only on page 3)
“Downloading goes hand in hand with buying”
“Among downloaders of music and movies, the percentage of buyers is as high as among non-downloaders and with games the percentage of buyers is even higher”
“People that download music visit concerts more often and buy more merchandise”
“The practice of file sharing implicates that the producers [their definition is a bit vague here] need to change their business model”
“That is why innovation of the business model is now of the utmost urgency”

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Companies: tno

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Comments on “Respected Dutch Researchers Note That Piracy Has A Positive Impact On The Economy”

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Not a Mike-Fan says:

You’re a cunt Mike. Keep spreading scribbled droll around that tell our youth and most of the fuck-nuts that read the crap on this site that PIRACY and being a thief is A.O.K. These kids already have such an intense belief that thievery of music and movies are their God given right and that anyone that calls them thieves as such just don’t understand modern economics because, “I read a report from some Dutch retard that said stealing is good”.


Mike C. says:

Re: Re:

I don’t believe I’ve ever seen Mike say that piracy is an acceptable practice. Every post has always been that piracy exists and will continue to exist despite any efforts of enforcement. I feel that the articles tend to support the position that fighting piracy head on is the wrong approach. What the music/entertainment industry should be doing is reviewing their existing business models and finding a way to engage the “pirates” and provide them with an incentive to spend their money.

Personally, I have “traded” music with friends via USB keys. With the rise of iTunes, Amazon, Zune Marketplace, etc, I’ve stopped that practice because I can get the music I want in a format I desire with the ability to use it where I want. They’ve met my somewhat limited needs. Now they need to work on meeting the needs of others.

JB says:

Re: Re:

Not a Mike-Fan,

What crawled inside you and died? Maybe it’s the famed ‘roid rage?

Calm down before you post; your replies will be more intelligible and you might realize that copying an infinite good is to stealing as making a photocopy of a blank sheet of paper is to copyright infringement.

I don’t know that statistics, but I would bet that most if not all real thieves will not return to the store and purchase the product they stole. However, the so called ‘pirates’ many times actually return to purchase the item they copied and in many cases purchase more goods from the distributor. Therefore your argument of piracy being thievery is null and void.

CastorTroy-Libertarian says:

Re: Re:

Wow, way to put that point out there…expect for the vulgarity, and the total lack of any thought, please the evolution of man and technology to those of us with an open mind and the actual intellect to make sense of those scary concepts your so eloquentaly call PIRACY and thievery…
Oh one last thing for your caveman intellect to mull over: ” some Dutch retard ” doesnt actually make it true of them, but proves it of you.

Thanks and if you need help sounding out some of the words don’t worry and take 2 pills for the headache.

Mmm...Gooey Center says:

Recorded music: a disposable commodity

Recorded music has essentially become a throwaway item. Kind of like the wrapper on a candybar. It tells you about the goodness inside, hints at what you will find when you tear off the wrapper and taste the delicious candy.

Music is about the performance, the live show, the rush of emotions, the electricity that runs through the crowd. You simply can’t get that from recorded music.

The internet is full of empty candy wrappers, basically free for anyone to pick up, listen to, and then discard for someone else to find.

Musician says:


Being a musician and in a band myself, I’ve found that most of our revenue comes from concerts and selling merch at shows and on our website. We hardly make anything on CD sales, considering that it costs us approximately $.32 per CD to make a CD and then after paying our studio and producers it turns out to be more like 4 or 5 dollars a CD. Then the CD sells in a retail store for $10. After the store collects its profit, and the record company collects its share, we get approximately 2 dollars per CD sale depending on where the CD was purchased and its retail price. At a concert, with 3 bands, charging 20 dollars a ticket, after the venue collects its share, and the other bands get their share, we get approx. $5 per ticket sold. So heres a ratio, Sell 300 CDs at $10 each, we make approx. $600. Now sell 300 concert tickets at $20 each, we make approx. $1500 not including merch sales. and I’m in a smaller band that isn’t well known, imagine this on a larger scale with larger bands that charge more for concerts and have sellout crowds of thousands of people, they make a ton of money. They aren’t worried about the money from CD sales. And the same thing probably exists with DVDs and the people who make money from those. Honestly, actors and actresses are all rich bastards anyway, they don’t need our money, and neither does Microsoft or Walmart but those are comletely different stories!!

kirillian (profile) says:


Funny thing…how long has it been since the Recording Industry has started making arguments that downloading hurts them? And now…after what, 10 years (-ish)?, we FINALLY have an extensive, in-depth report. Not that 142 pages guarantee an accurate report, but it does seem to be a better source of information than the drivel that comes out of the mouths of Recording Industry execs and shills…I definitely want to know when a good English translation of this becomes publicly available…this does look very promising though…

Guy Fawkes says:

Burn it all Down!

Maybe that subject line’s a bit misleading, but oh well…

“People that download music visit concerts more often and buy more merchandise”

This has been something that I have felt for years, and I’d love to get a solid translation of this study to see if it’s affirmed with any degree of robustness (is that a word? robustitude? robustity? [heh, tity])

I have absolutely nothing other than anecdotal evidence here, but I know that easy, inexpensive access to a broader selection of music has made me a more rabid fan of music in general. I see more shows. I buy more merch. I spend more on music now than I ever have. The best part is that, with this new consumption model, more of that money gets to the pockets of the actual artists.

The RIAA has been the middle-man of the music world for too long for their own good. Is it good or bad to share music? I don’t give a rat’s ass.

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