French ‘Three Strikes’ Law Slashes Piracy, But Fails to Boost Sales
April 2, 2012 | 9:01 am
By Paul Biba
Here’s an interesting article from TorrentFreak. I thought cutting down piracy was supposed to increase sales. I guess not.
A new report from the Hadopi office, conveniently written in English so it can be used by lobbyists all around the world, is claiming the following.
“Benchmarking studies covering all of the sources available shows a clear downward trend in illegal P2P downloads. There is no indication that there has been a massive transfer in forms of use to streaming technologies or direct downloads.”
The report goes on to cite a variety of statistics ranging from a 29 percent decrease in visits to “pirate” sites in 2011, to a 66 percent drop in illegal file-sharing traffic in France in the same period. Impressive figures indeed, and Hadopi is quick to point out that it’s directly related to their three-strikes law.
While we’re not going to dispute the validity of the provided statistics, it is worth pointing out that there’s something missing from the report. Something big.
For more than a decade the entertainment industry has claimed that digital piracy is the main cause for the gradual decline in revenues. So if piracy is down massively in France, one would expect that the revenues are soaring, right? But they’re not.
If we look at the French music industry we see that overall revenues were down by 3.9 percent in 2011.
Likewise, the French movie industry is still going through a rough period with revenues dropping 2.7 percent in 2011. Ironically, an industry insider even blamed online piracy for this drop.
To sum it up. in 2011 online piracy was slashed in half according to the Hadopi report, but despite this unprecedented decline the movie and music industries managed to generate less revenue than in 2010. If we follow the logic employed by the anti-piracy lobby during the past decade, this means that piracy is actually boosting sales.
But that would be a silly conclusion wouldn’t it?”
More in the article.