Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 14th Apr 2010 11:50 UTC
Legal A major setback for those that claim piracy is having an adverse affect on the US economy: the US Government Accountability Office, who was tasked with reviewing the efforts to find out what, if any, impact piracy has on the US economy, has concluded that all of these studies - all of them - are bogus. Better yet - the GAO even goes as far as to say that piracy may have a positive effect on the economy.
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Piracy helps the big companies
by torbenm on Fri 16th Apr 2010 07:19 UTC
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I have on many occasions argued that Microsoft would not be as big as it is if their products were not pirated.

The point is that people without the means to buy, for example, Microsoft Office -- students, people in countries with low wages etc. -- would get pirated copies. This established these products as de facto standards even in these markets, and when the same people later can afford it, they often buy legal products, for example if a new version arrives.

If pirate copies had not been available, the same people would have used alternative products that are free or cheap. This would lessened the degree of universality/monopoly for the major products.

It is a fine line for the big companies to thread: They want it to be possible to obtain pirate copies, but easier to obtain legal copies, and they want to make it shameful to use pirate copies, so people who can afford legal copies will prefer this. It is for a similar reason that companies give reductions to students: It is not because they want to promote learning, but to prevent students from using cheaper competing products.

A corollary of this is that piracy hurts minor players in the market: If you can get a pirate copy of the major brand for nothing or next to nothing, why would you buy a lesser-known brand?

Edited 2010-04-16 07:21 UTC

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