Piracy cut in half in France, yet music and movie revenues fell

The French

France made waves in the P2P industry by implementing a controversial graduated response program in 2010 that was designed to reduce the amount of illegal downloads by establishing progressively-harsher penalties on file sharers. The results were strong, as shown in Hadopi’s report, with file-sharing activities traffic slashed by two-thirds in 2011. However, the goal of increasing revenues in the French music and movie industries did not materialize and revenues fell in both industries.

The French music market fell 3.9% in 2011 while the video market fell 2.7%.

As Ernesto of TorrentFreak says, “If we follow the logic employed by the anti-piracy lobby during the past decade, this means that piracy is actually boosting sales.”

The declines in revenue were inevitable and will continue as technology makes it less-expensive to be entertained. Legal downloads and streaming services do not generate the revenue nor the profits that DVDs and CDs once did. The obsessive pursuits by governments, lobbyists, and anti-piracy organizations are wastes of energy when the real challenge the industries face are evolutionary. They are simply not adapting fast enough.

Piracy has an effect on music and movie sales in the same way that smoking has an effect on a person’s health. The problem is that the industries have a much bigger problem with understanding the way that their customers operate today and onward into tomorrow. If piracy is like smoking than lack of innovation is like a bullet wound. When you’re getting shot, you don’t take time to quit smoking.

If the money and manpower put into stopping piracy were redirected into innovating the industries, improving their products, and creating new technologies that will make us want to buy songs or movies instead of pirating them, they would have a much better chance of improving their bottom line. Today is a world of instant access and in many cases pirating a television show, movie, or song is simply more convenient. Many who employ P2P aren’t doing it to save 99 cents. They’re doing it because it’s easier.

The real way to make a dent in piracy, increase revenues, and save the industries is through innovation. Clinging on to antiquated models and trying to force people back into them is killing the industries faster than the negative effects of piracy.

Written by Sal McCloskey

+Sal McCloskey is a tech blogger in Los Angeles who (sadly) falls into the stereotype associated with nerds. Yes, he's a Star Trek fan and writes about it on Uberly. His glasses are thick and his allergies are thicker. Despite all that, he's (somehow) married to a beautiful woman and has 4 kids. Find him on Twitter or Facebook,

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  • This makes perfect sense. People generally buy things that they think will be quality.

    If they are unsure, they will more likely pirate it and decide afterwards. If it WAS good, they are more likely to tell people, who then trust that it is quality and buy it, thus increasing sales for the publisher.

  • I stopped reading when he said “than” instead of “then.”  There’s no excuse for that.

    • Go find a hole and bury your trolling butt in it.

  • Anonymous


  • The other thing killing sales is so many people just outright refuse to put any money into the hands of the corporate conglomerates and the RIAA/MPAA. They are the SOLE reason I do not buy music or movies anymore and my massive collection shows I bought a lot in the past. Somehow we allowed the RIAA/MPAA in the USA to become as powerful as any government agency and they have sat down and hand written laws which were passed without so much as a real review or debate. Until both organizations are dead and defunct I will not buy a single solitary release, period. For a good number of years I had a chance to see if an album or movie was worth buying by downloading a lesser quality copy and checking it out. Not being able to do so to me is no different than buying a box of cereal but not knowing what’s actually inside the box until you get it home and open it up. The industry has killed itself and I’m not going to help it survive until it changes it’s ways.

  • Fisher

    Forgot to mention that their digital revenue and visitors rose. Overall revenue fell everywhere in the world.

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