For years, we’ve pointed out that some in the music industry get so obsessed with “stopping piracy” that they miss the fact that their main job should be to increase revenue. They make the huge mistake of assuming that the two things are the same — and that “stopping piracy” automatically leads to “increased revenue.” Yet, almost every time that issue is explored empirically (over time), it doesn’t seem to hold up. The latest example was sent in by Techdirt reader edinjapan, and it concerns the new draconian anti-piracy laws that recently went into effect there. If you believed the basic theory behind this law, this would mean that greater enforcement by police would mean less piracy… and a massive influx in revenue.
Except, the reality is that consumers are spending less on music than they were before the bill became law. The article actually posits that the government has made some people so fearful of being arrested that they won’t do any downloading from legitimate sources any more — just in case it’s tainted. So even if they can cut out piracy (doubtful) there’s little evidence to suggest much increase in commerce as a result.