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Impact of Legal Threats on Online Music Sharing Activity: An Analysis of Music Industry Legal Actions

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  • Bhattacharjee, Sudip
  • Gopal, Ram D
  • Lertwachara, Kaveepan
  • Marsden, James R
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    Abstract

    The music industry has repeatedly expressed concerns over potentially devastating impacts of online music sharing. Initial attempts to control online file sharing have been primarily through consumer education and legal action against the operators of networks that facilitated file sharing. Recent legal action against individual file sharers marked an unprecedented shift in the industry's strategy. The focus now is on well-publicized legal threats and actions on a relatively small group of individuals to discourage overall music file sharing. To determine the resulting impact of these legal threats, we passively tracked online file-sharing behavior of over 2,000 individuals. We found that individuals who share a substantial number of music files react to legal threats differently from those who share a lesser number of files. Importantly, our analysis indicates that even after these legal threats and the resulting lowered levels of file sharing, the availability of music files on these networks remains substantial.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Law and Economics.

    Volume (Year): 49 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 1 (April)
    Pages: 91-114

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:y:2006:v:49:i:1:p:91-114

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    Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/

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    Cited by:
    1. Éric Darmon & Thomas Le Texier, 2014. "Private or Public Law Enforcement? The Case of Digital Piracy Policies with Non-monitored Illegal Behaviors," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201403, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
    2. Brett Danaher & Michael D. Smith & Rahul Telang, 2013. "Piracy and Copyright Enforcement Mechanisms," NBER Working Papers 19150, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Bellemare, Marc F. & Holmberg, Andrew M., 2010. "The Determinants of Music Piracy in a Sample of College Students," MPRA Paper 23641, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. NANDI, Tushar K. & ROCHELANDET, Fabrice, 2008. "The Incentives for Contributing Digital Contents Over P2P Networks: An Empirical Investigation," MPRA Paper 51301, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Eric P. Chiang & Djeto Assane, 2009. "Estimating The Willingness To Pay For Digital Music," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 27(4), pages 512-522, October.
    6. Cox, Joe & Collins, Alan & Drinkwater, Stephen, 2010. "Seeders, leechers and social norms: Evidence from the market for illicit digital downloading," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 299-305, December.
    7. Benjamin Edelman, 2012. "Using Internet Data for Economic Research," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 189-206, Spring.
    8. Thomes, Tim Paul, 2011. "An economic analysis of online streaming: How the music industry can generate revenues from cloud computing," ZEW Discussion Papers 11-039 [rev.], ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    9. Michael Arnold & Éric Darmon & Sylvain Dejean & Thierry Pénard, 2014. "Graduated Response Policy and the Behavior of Digital Pirates: Evidence from the French Three-strike (Hadopi) Law," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201401, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
    10. Waldfogel, Joel, 2010. "Music file sharing and sales displacement in the iTunes era," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 306-314, December.
    11. Bacache-Beauvallet, Maya & Bourreau, Marc & Moreau, François, 2011. "Portrait des musiciens à l'heure du numérique," Opuscules du CEPREMAP, CEPREMAP, number 22, May.
    12. Eric Chiang & Djeto Assane, 2007. "Determinants of music copyright violations on the university campus," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 187-204, September.
    13. Joel Waldfogel, 2012. "Music Piracy and Its Effects on Demand, Supply, and Welfare," NBER Chapters, in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 12, pages 91-109 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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