New research shows pirate site blocking spurs legal content consumption globally

Recent research sheds light on the impact of blocking pirate sites, revealing significant boosts in legal content consumption worldwide, TorrentFreak reported. In the ongoing battle against online piracy, website blocking has emerged as a prominent strategy employed by ISPs in different parts of the world. This approach, aimed at curbing access to illicit content, has garnered attention from rights holders and policymakers alike.

A study based on UK data initially suggested that site blocking had minimal impact on piracy, as users circumvented restrictions through alternative means. However, subsequent research painted a different picture, indicating a decline in overall pirate site traffic and a corresponding rise in visits to legal platforms like Netflix.

Building upon these findings, a new non-peer-reviewed working paper conducted by researchers from Chapman University and Carnegie Mellon University investigates the effects of site blocking in India and Brazil. Analyzing browsing data from these regions, the study reveals compelling insights into the efficacy of anti-piracy measures.

In India, where two waves of site blocking occurred in 2019 and 2020, researchers observed a notable uptick in visits to legal streaming services following the implementation of these measures. Similarly, Brazil experienced a surge in traffic to paid streaming sites after the blocking of piracy platforms.

However, unlike the Indian scenario, Brazil also witnessed increased traffic to unblocked pirate sites—a phenomenon known as the “dispersion effect.” Despite this, researchers emphasize the overall positive impact of site blocking on promoting legal content consumption.

Lead author Brett Danaher acknowledges the limitations of the study, particularly in assessing long-term behavioral changes among users. Obtaining longitudinal data presents challenges, but efforts to understand the lasting effects of site blocking remain ongoing.

Furthermore, it’s important to note the funding sources behind such research endeavors. Carnegie Mellon University’s Initiative for Digital Entertainment Analytics (IDEA), partly financed by the Motion Picture Association (MPA), spearheads many site blocking initiatives globally. However, researchers maintain their independence and commitment to objective analysis.

While this latest study provides valuable insights, ongoing research is needed to comprehensively address the evolving landscape of online piracy and legal content consumption.

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The post New research shows pirate site blocking spurs legal content consumption globally first appeared on Good e-Reader.

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