3 Count: Piracy Study

Examining piracy...

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1: The EU Suppressed a 300-Page Study That Found Piracy Doesn’t Harm Sales

First off today, Jennings Brown at Gizmodo reports that a study by the Dutch firm Ecory and paid for by the European Commission found that there is no “robust statistical evidence” that piracy harms the legitimate sales of works.

The study found that piracy could actually help the sales in some works, including video games, but did have a strong detriment to blockbuster films, where every 10 illegally viewed films resulted in 4 fewer legally viewed ones.

The study was not released by the European Commission and, instead, was only discovered by German Pirate Party MP following a Freedom of Information access to document request. This has led to allegations of the European Commission covering up the study because of its findings.

2: Judge Denies Director’s Bid to Seize and Destroy ‘The Professor and the Madman’

Next up today, Gene Maddaus at Variety reports that director Farhad Safinia has failed his bid to have the courts seize and destroy a producer’s cut of The Professor and the Madman, a film by Voltage Pictures about the Oxford English Dictionary.

Safinia had been working on the film but says he was thrown off the picture after he refused to work five extra days at Oxford University. He claimed that he owned the 2016 version of the screenplay and never signed over the rights to Voltage. As such, he claimed the film was an infringement and asked for a restraining order to block distribution of the film.

However, Voltage claimed that Safinia’s later drafts of the screenplay were covered under a work made for hire agreement and that, even if Safinia owns the screenplay, he doesn’t own the underlying book its based upon. With that in mind, the court found no evidence Safinia was likely to succeed on his claims and further found that there was no evidence of irreparable harm should the injunction be denied.

3: Dutch court orders internet providers to block The Pirate Bay

Finally today, Mix at The Next Web reports that Dutch internet service providers Ziggo and Xs4all have been ordered by a local court to block access to The Pirate Bay.

The ruling overturns a 2014 Dutch ruling that found there was no valid reason to block the site. However, since then, the European Court of Justice has ruled that ISPs are obligated to block access to sites engaged in piracy. Now failing to comply with this request will result in a €10,000 ($11,800) penalty as well as up to €2,000 ($2,400) per day they fail to comply.

The ruling came out the same day as the above study, raising questions about whether the blockade is appropriate.


That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.

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