Catch Me if You Can: Effectiveness and Consequences of Online Copyright Enforcement

Information Systems Research, 29 (3), 2018, 656-678

49 Pages Posted: 10 May 2015 Last revised: 12 Oct 2018

See all articles by Luis Aguiar

Luis Aguiar

European Commission - Joint Research Center - Digital Economy Unit

Jörg Claussen

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich - Faculty of Business Administration (Munich School of Management); Copenhagen Business School - Department of Innovation and Organizational Economics

Christian Peukert

Universidade Catolica Portuguesa

Date Written: January 17, 2018

Abstract

We evaluate the unexpected shutdown of kino.to, a major platform for unlicensed video streaming in the German market. Using highly disaggregated clickstream data in a difference-in-differences setting, we compare the web behavior of 20,000 consumers in Germany and three control countries. We find that this intervention was not very effective in reducing unlicensed consumption or encouraging licensed consumption, mainly because users quickly switch to alter- native unlicensed sites. We highlight that the shutdown additionally had important unintended externalities. Individuals who never visited kino.to and who additionally clicked on news articles that covered the shutdown increased their visits to piracy websites substantially. We show that this effect largely comes from articles that explicitly mention alternative websites or suggest that users do not have to fear legal consequences from unlicensed streaming. Finally, we document that the unlicensed video streaming market is much more fragmented after the shutdown, potentially affecting future interventions, at least in the short run. We argue that our results can be helpful to understand why online piracy rates are still high, despite a plethora of enforcement efforts.

Keywords: Anti-Piracy Intervention, Copyright, Movie Industry, Natural Experiment.

JEL Classification: K42, L82, O34, O38.

Suggested Citation

Aguiar, Luis and Claussen, Jörg and Peukert, Christian, Catch Me if You Can: Effectiveness and Consequences of Online Copyright Enforcement (January 17, 2018). Information Systems Research, 29 (3), 2018, 656-678. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2604197 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2604197

Luis Aguiar (Contact Author)

European Commission - Joint Research Center - Digital Economy Unit ( email )

Edificio Expo - C/ Inca Garcilaso 3
Sevilla, 41092
Spain

HOME PAGE: http://www.luis-aguiar.com

Jörg Claussen

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich - Faculty of Business Administration (Munich School of Management) ( email )

Kaulbachstr. 45
Munich, 80539
Germany

Copenhagen Business School - Department of Innovation and Organizational Economics ( email )

Kilevej 14A
Frederiksberg, 2000
Denmark

Christian Peukert

Universidade Catolica Portuguesa ( email )

Portugal

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