Interesting story today over at The Next Web. Julia Reda, the only Pirate Party member in the European Parliament, claims the European Commission tried to hide the findings of a study about the effect piracy has on sales of copyrighted content. A sum of 360,000 euros was paid to Dutch consulting firm Ecorys in 2014, which crafted a 300-page report.
The final report was finished in May 2015 but Reda points out that despite having spent a significant amount of money on it, the Commission did not publish the study. Could it be because the conclusion of the study didn't match expectations?
The 300-page report seems to suggest that there’s no evidence that supports the idea that piracy has a negative effect on sales of copyrighted content (with some exceptions for recently released blockbusters). The report states:
In general, the results do not show robust statistical evidence of displacement of sales by online copyright infringements. That does not necessarily mean that piracy has no effect but only that the statistical analysis does not prove with sufficient reliability that there is an effect. An exception is the displacement of recent top films. The results show a displacement rate of 40 per cent which means that for every ten recent top films watched illegally, four fewer films are consumed legally.