Spanish Judge Gets It: Pirated Copies Not Necessarily Lost Sales, May Boost Purchases Later

from the the-tide-is-turning dept

One of the favorite assumptions of industries based around copyright used to be that every pirated copy is a lost sale. More recently, that rhetoric has been moderated somewhat, as a review of the area in the report "Media Piracy in Emerging Countries" shows, but a variation of that fallacy lives on, expressed now as vague "losses" caused by piracy.

Against that background it's heartening to hear a Spanish judge dismissing the idea that pirated copies are necessarily lost sales, and suggesting that they can act as a kind of marketing that promotes later purchases (original post in Spanish):
it is not possible to determine the damage and corresponding compensation due to loss of benefits to the rightsholder, for the simple reason that customers of pirated copies of music and movies, when making the purchase of pirated copies, externalize their decision not to be customers of music and movies as originals, so there is no profit that could have been gained. In other words, those customers either buy a pirated copy at a low price or they don't buy an original at a price between 15 and 20 Euros.

In any case, reversing the legal argument, it is conceivable that a customer, after hearing or viewing the pirated copy, may decide to purchase the original, finding it to their taste, so that the sale of pirated copies, far from harming, benefits the market for original items.
It's only one judge, and in a not very important case, but it's another welcome sign that an increasingly broad swathe of people have realised that the simplistic economic analyses of piracy offered by the copyright industries just don't stand up to scrutiny.

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Filed Under: lost sales, piracy, spain

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  1. identicon
    Anselm, 2 Nov 2011 @ 6:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Radio causes lost sales

    The main difference between Radio and content is that you never know when you preferred content/music will be broadcasted, and you may need to wait for commercial and other artist before hearing your preferred one.

    Radio are paying themselves with advertisement and other product placements, which in turn pay for staff salaries and government tax. Pirates don't pay tax, don't contribute legally to the society you're living in and don't support your social security (and no polemics about big corp who don't pay, that's not the topic)

    Content you buy can be played anytime, anywhere, and that's what the pirate is aiming for. Buying a good quality counterfeit music/video doesn't give me the need to support the industry. I did maybe for few of the video because I really love it but 95% will stay in their pirate format.

    Piracy in some countries are run by mafia and other illegal organization, so buying fake goods is financing them.

    Finally, I would say that nobody would like to see their job provided at a fraction of your salary. If somebody goes to your boss and say : I gonna work for 10% of his cost, but if you like him you keep him and pay him the same, what would you do? At the end, your boss ends up with more or less the same quality, lower cost. You can still say that's unfair, but your boss can use the same argument people used to legitimate piracy.


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