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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

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Bhattacharjee, Sudip & Gopal, Ram D & Lertwachara, Kaveepan & Marsden, James R, 2006. "Impact of Legal Threats on Online Music Sharing Activity: An Analysis of Music Industry Legal Actions," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(1), pages 91-114, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:y:2006:v:49:i:1:p:91-114
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/501085
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Brett Danaher & Michael D. Smith & Rahul Telang, 2014. "Piracy and Copyright Enforcement Mechanisms," Innovation Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(1), pages 25-61.
    4. Maya Bacache-Beauvallet & Marc Bourreau & François Moreau, 2015. "Piracy and creation: the case of the music industry," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 245-262, April.
    5. Eric Chiang & Djeto Assane, 2007. "Determinants of music copyright violations on the university campus," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 31(3), pages 187-204, September.
    6. repec:eee:ijrema:v:33:y:2016:i:2:p:314-327 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Liebowitz, Stan J, 2006. "File Sharing: Creative Destruction or Just Plain Destruction?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(1), pages 1-28, April.
    8. 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.
    9. Brett Danaher & Michael D. Smith & Rahul Telang & Siwen Chen, 2014. "The Effect of Graduated Response Anti-Piracy Laws on Music Sales: Evidence from an Event Study in France," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(3), pages 541-553, September.
    10. Christian Handke, 2013. "Empirical evidence on copyright," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Digital Creative Economy, chapter 22, pages 249-261 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. Stan Liebowitz, 2016. "How much of the decline in sound recording sales is due to file-sharing?," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 40(1), pages 13-28, February.
    14. Zev J. Eigen, 2012. "When and Why Individuals Obey Contracts: Experimental Evidence of Consent, Compliance, Promise, and Performance," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(1), pages 67-93.
    15. Poort, Joost & Leenheer, Jorna & van der Ham, Jeroen & Dumitru, Cosmin, 2014. "Baywatch: Two approaches to measure the effects of blocking access to The Pirate Bay," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 383-392.
    16. repec:kap:jbuset:v:143:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10551-015-2789-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Joel Waldfogel, 2012. "Music Piracy and Its Effects on Demand, Supply, and Welfare," Innovation Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(1), pages 91-110.
    18. Atanu Lahiri & Debabrata Dey, 2013. "Effects of Piracy on Quality of Information Goods," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 59(1), pages 245-264, June.
    19. Adermon, Adrian & Liang, Che-Yuan, 2014. "Piracy and music sales: The effects of an anti-piracy law," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 90-106.
    20. 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.
    21. 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.
    22. 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.
    23. Imke Reimers, 2016. "Can Private Copyright Protection Be Effective? Evidence from Book Publishing," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(2), pages 411-440.
    24. Benjamin Edelman, 2012. "Using Internet Data for Economic Research," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 189-206, Spring.

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