Research shows shutting down piracy sites is counter productive

The shutting down of pirate sites is counterproductive, according to recent research carried out by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre. A research paper titled Online Copyright Enforcement, Consumer Behaviour, and Market Structure saw the data for 5,000 German internet users analysed in order to establish how their browsing habits changed following the closure of copyright infringing streaming site

The paper found that the site’s raid led to a brief decrease in piracy, followed by a return to normal piracy levels shortly afterwards, with those working on the paper seeing a small lift in the use of legal services.

While users of decreased their levels of piracy consumption by 30% during the four weeks following the intervention, their consumption through licensed movie platforms increased by only 2.5%… Taken at face value, these results indicate that the intervention mainly converted consumer surplus into deadweight loss. If we were to take the costs of the intervention into account, our results would suggest that the shutdown of has not had a positive effect on overall welfare.” The paper states