Yet More Evidence That Offering Good Legal Alternatives Reduces Music Piracy
from the Australia,-please-take-note dept
One of the most frustrating aspects of the copyright industry’s insistence on pushing for harsher measures to reduce the number of illegal downloads is that we know it’s simply unnecessary. As Techdirt has reported, there is mounting evidence that the best way to reduce piracy is to offer good legal alternatives. TorrentFreak has news of another data point supporting this idea:
In 2012 the streaming service [Spotify] entered the Australian market and Spotify’s own research now shows that music piracy via BitTorrent dropped significantly during the following year.
In a keynote speech at the BIGSOUND music conference today, Spotify’s Director of Economics Will Page reveals that the volume of music piracy has decreased 20% between 2012 and 2013. Similarly, the number of people sharing music via BitTorrent in Australia has gone down too.
Two important caveats are needed here. First, that this is research commissioned by Spotify, and therefore it might be regarded as suspect for that reason. However, it is likely that the Australian recording industry is also monitoring this kind of online activity, and so will able to challenge the findings if necessary. Secondly, there is no proof that the fall in music piracy on BitTorrent is down to Spotify’s launch. However, the fact that a similar correlation has been observed in other countries around the world strongly suggests there is a link.
Finally, it’s worth noting that this new research comes at an opportune moment. As Mike has pointed out, Australia is planning to tackle online copyright infringement by implementing what amounts to a Hollywood “wishlist” of measures. Maybe the government there should start paying attention to the evidence of what works and what doesn’t, rather than accepting the copyright maximalist dogma without question.