‘Digital piracy’ may benefit companies

Langsam scheint sich etwas ‘common sense’ in der Debatte um Piracy breit zu machen. Denn, wer hätte das gedacht, user die ein Produkt eh nie gekauft hätten, sondern es ‘illegal’ runter laden, richten keinen ökonomischen Schaden an, sondern sind potentiell sogar von Nutzen, wie jüngst Oxford Economist Karen Croxson an der Annual Conference of the Royal Economic Society verkündete.

Ms Croxson points out that piracy poses a threat to sales only when those who otherwise would buy become tempted instead to copy. In any market there are some who value the product but never would buy. Their piracy cannot harm the seller. Quite the opposite: because, like any consumer, a pirate will talk to others about product experiences, copying which does not displace sales can actually help business. Consumer `buzz’ is hugely important for sales success, studies have shown, and piracy drives up buzz without the need for extra marketing.

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