internet piracy and book sales

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Internet piracy and book sales. A field experiment. Wojciech Hardy Michał Krawczyk CopyCamp 6.11.2014 Joanna Tyrowicz Group for Research in APplied Economics

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Internet piracy and book sales.A field experiment.Wojciech Hardy

Micha Krawczyk


Joanna Tyrowicz

Group for Research in APplied Economics

How harmful piracy really is?Book industry representatives are becoming more and more concerned about internet piracy.

Studies on movie and music `piracy hint at at least some sales displacement.

Are the problems faced by other industries comparable to that of book piracy?sssssssss2

Previous findings about booksMostly small-scale (e.g. several books).

Specific samples (e.g. only books on religion).

Usually not piracy per se (e.g. publisher/authors sharing).

One larger study (Reimers (2014, Oct 16)).

Challenges: sample size, causality, seasonal effects, etc. 3


4The field experiment

Around 70 Polish publishers contacted11 accepted (9 provided all the data)Mixed genres (law, fantasy, course books, )Some medium and larger publishersca. 250 books, for the experiment

5The Treatment

We found the comparable titlesAnd divided them into two groups

Protection by Plagiat.plNo intervention

6A year later Piracy defeated!

7Yet no change in sales

Neither for the level of salesNor their distribution

8Still nothing

9And again nothing

Good thing about piracy that you dont need a result10We have performed a large field experiment on piracys impact on book sales.

We applied a robust methodology and checked for more complex relationships.

Internet piracy does not seem to pose a threat to the book industry. Still, the situation is likely to evolve quickly*.

* Reimers (2014) - findings in line with ours, but a significant impact on e-books.Concluding remarks

Thank you for your attention!

Author: Wojciech Hardye-mail: [email protected] about our research on

Twitter: @GrapeUW