Big Content failing on so many levels

A new academic study has poured cold water on Big Content’s claim that a graduated response policies against file-sharers does not improve its box office revenues.

Last year Big Content had lots of wins against those who torrent its material and shuttered lots of pirate sites. It also seems to have obtained universal political assistance by national adoptions of three strikes policies against pirates.

The new study, published by Dr. Jordi McKenzie of Sydney’s Macquarie University, and spotted by Torrentfreak, suggests that these “strikes” policies don’t boost box office revenues.

France was one of the pioneers in this area with its three-strikes anti-piracy law, and similar policies have been implemented in countries such as Ireland, South Korea, New Zealand and the United States, among others.

Writing in the journal ‘Information Economics and Policy,’ which we get for the crossword, McKenzie looked at opening week and total box office revenues for 6,083 unique films released between 2005 and 2013.

Adding up a lot of numbers and dividing by the medium shoe size of every Hollywood starlet from 2010 to 2016 McKenzie looked at the impact of the graduated response systems and related policies in six countries. In addition, another ten countries were included as a control.

“This study has considered whether this has proven true in six countries’ experiences in the context of theatrical film revenues. No consistent evidence is found that supports increased theatrical box office revenues in any of the markets,” the conclusion reads.

He looked at possible effects for separate movie genres pirates could be more or less interested in, but none explained the findings.

“While various statistical explanations for this ‘no-result’ finding have been considered, none are consistent with increasing revenues, which suggests the explanation lies elsewhere.”

He thinks there could be several explanations why box office attendance wasn’t influenced. Pirates might simply be continuing their old habits because the catch rate is relatively low, or it’s possible that they’re hiding their piracy using VPNS or by switching to streaming or cyberlocker services which aren’t monitored.

McKenzie also researched the effect of the Megaupload shutdown, and said this resulted in a small decrease in box office revenues rather than the increase expected.

He said that pirates appear quite sophisticated and move from one service to another, much like many of the torrent users who moved to other sites when KickassTorrents was taken down last summer.