Australian researchers looked at box office revenue in six countries both before and after they introduced 'three strike' policy legislation targeting piracy, and found no consistent evidence that it produced better box office revenues in any of the markets.
Since one of the main reasons for these laws is to increase sales, the researchers are questioning if they should be implemented at all.
From the Department of Economics at Macquarie University, Jordi McKenzie's work on the topic was published in Information Economics and Policy and attempted to find out whether risking punishment for illegally downloading movies influenced people's purchases of legal content (in this case, cinema tickets).
The research examined graduated response policies (designed to identify and ultimately punish those who are detected downloading copyrighted content) to check whether it met objectives to increase sales of legal content.
"The evidence suggests a lack of success across the six countries studied, " the study reads, "in other words, these laws do not appear to translate into an increase in theatrical box office revenues".