updated 08:55 pm EST, Fri February 10, 2012
Study says artificial movie release windows hurt
A joint research paper from the Departments of Economics at both Wellesley College (Brett Danaher) and the University of Minnesota (Joel Waldfogel) has suggested that BitTorrent movie rips and other Internet piracy wasn't hurting movies after they were exported to other countries. In instances where a US movie hadn't been pirated in advance of its international release, revenue from the movie was typically seven percent lower than it was when those abroad could bootleg the material. US sales also didn't necessarily go down with torrents in effect, the authors found.
The findings hinted that the decision to launch movies in countries at different times was hurting movie releases in the Internet era. By letting viewers see movies that they would physically be prevented from seeing otherwise, studios could theoretically generate more attention for a movie by the time it's available in theaters. Studios could alternately speed up the availability of movies in other countries to provide a theater option sooner.
The findings, while not binding, come just as opposition mounts to ACTA and other agreements and laws that would focus simply on curbing piracy rather than promoting legal options. [via SlashGear]