Academics at the University of East Anglia have warned that more research needs to be conducted in to illegal file sharing in order to create sufficient policies to tackle the practice. The caution comes from a new report undertaken on behalf of the Centre for Copyright and New Business Models in the Creative Economy (CREATe), which examined over a decade of research in to the motivations, intentions and consequences behind file sharing.
Professor Daniel Zizzo, UEA Economist and co-author of the report, explained that the report found that the majority of past research was focused primarily on the downloading of music, rather than films, television or software. He said: “This means there is a real risk of designing policy which meets the needs of a specific industry, possibly at the expense of other creative industries which are less well represented in the literature. Also, the economic effects found in one medium may not apply to another and current knowledge of file sharing is dramatically skewed by method.”
File sharing is believed to cost the creative economy billions of pounds each year, and the laws around the practice remain controversial. However Martin Kretschmer, director of CREATe, has warned that legislating in the absence of more thorough research could produce “lop-sided policies.”