EU Commission report doesn't find a link between piracy and sales

A report created for the EU Commission has been unable to find a link between piracy and sales of copyrighted content, including video games. The report, ‘Estimating displacement rates of copyrighted material in the EU’, looks at literature, games, music and films using data from 2014.

At a gruelling 307 pages, the report details copyright practices in various EU countries, displacement rates and the effect of price in how likely it is for something to be pirated. Thankfully, its findings have been summarised at the start. 

In 2014, the report finds, 51% of adults and 72% of minors have illegally downloaded or streamed copy. The statistics used were from the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Poland and Sweden, with Poland and Spain having higher piracy rates than the other four countries. Despite these numbers, the report was unable to find “robust” evidence that there’s a link between sales and piracy, with a caveat. 

“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,” reads the report. There is one exception, however, and that’s with “recent top films”, which had a displacement rate of 40%. 

Also analysed was consumers’ “willingness to pay” for pirated materials in an attempt to find out if price was a factor. It concludes that a decrease in price would not affect piracy rates for books, music and games. Consumers are either willing to pay, or they aren’t. 

If you’ve got a boring weekend ahead of you, why not spice it up by reading the entirety of this very dry report?

Cheers, PCGamesN.

Fraser Brown
Online Editor

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.