Do Illegal Copies of Movies Reduce the Revenue of Legal Products?

No – at least in this case.

Do Illegal Copies of Movies Reduce the Revenue of Legal Products? The case of TV animation in Japan, byy Tatsuo Tanaka

Whether or not illegal copies circulating on the internet reduce the sales of legal products has been a hot issue in the entertainment industries. Though much empirical research has been conducted on the music industry, research on the movie industry has been very limited. This paper examines the effects of the movie sharing site Youtube and file sharing program Winny on DVD sales and rentals of Japanese TV animation programs. Estimated equations of 105 anime episodes show that (1) Youtube viewing does not negatively affect DVD rentals, and it appears to help raise DVD sales; and (2) although Winny file sharing negatively affects DVD rentals, it does not affect DVD sales. Youtube’s effect of boosting DVD sales can be seen after the TV’s broadcasting of the series has concluded, which suggests that not just a few people learned about the program via a Youtube viewing. In other words YouTube can be interpreted as a promotion tool for DVD sales.

6 thoughts on “Do Illegal Copies of Movies Reduce the Revenue of Legal Products?

  1. Of course copyright holders benefit from illegal copying. That’s why U.S. law provides rentseekers copyright holders with statutory damages. If they only got damages for actual losses, the “losses” would be negative and the copyright holders would have to pay the promoters infringers.

  2. This is just one of a number of studies that suggest that illegal copying has not had observable effects on sales- though (obviously) because you cant do a double blind trial in this sort of thing , its never going to be a clear yes no situation.

    Gavin virtually everyone in a modern society has a slice of copyright , often without knowing it, on some thing or other , are we all rent seekers?

  3. Are we all rent seekers? Almost all, but some of us have more scope for it than others. For example, I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t be able to get statutory damages if someone were to reproduce one of my blog posts without permission. I simply don’t have the lobbying power to get those sorts of perks.

  4. So please be more specific.
    The cases where the ‘industry ‘ has gotten damages of tens of thousands in damages awarded against housewives who ‘stole’ 40 dollars worth of Mp3s have been public relations disasters for the industry.

    However , Would you regard the indigenous artists who tried to use copyright to prevent the use of sacred images as carpet patterns, as rent-seekers?

    In matters pertaining to groups ,questions of Rights are questions of Power, in a civil society the answer to questions of power will always depend on the circumstances .

  5. “Would you regard the indigenous artists who tried to use copyright to prevent the use of sacred images as carpet patterns, as rent-seekers?”

    Not if their motive is to prevent sacrilege rather than make monopoly profits. I can’t say whether it’s the one or the other.

    Of course, whether censorship is a permissible use of copyright law is a whole ‘nother can of worms.

  6. The Indigenous artists motive was purely to prevent the use of the sacred designs in ways that are offensive to them. It was a largely private type of action. It met with mixed success.
    The Copyright industry is equally opposed to both fair use and to the right of right-holders to say no to use.
    There are no management fees in either of these situations.

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