September 19, 2012

Originally posted on paidContent (old):

In a recent column, “Internet pirates will always win,” New York Times writer Nick Bilton suggested that stopping online piracy is futile because the pirates’ techniques evolve faster than efforts to stop them. This view is an article of faith for many in the tech community but that doesn’t mean it’s true.

Michael Smith, an economist from Carnegie Mellon, is one person who doesn’t buy the “pirates always win” meme. At a legal seminar in New York last week, Smith pointed to empirical data that paints a more nuanced picture of the piracy situation. He also called out “three myths” he says are clouding the debate:

Myth #1: You can’t compete with free

This myth is often invoked by content owners to justify heavy-handed enforcement measures against piracy sites and individual consumers. After all, why buy a song or movie when you can simply download it for free at…

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