Does copyright infringement negatively affect legal sales? This is a fundamental question with profound implications on the way copyright and copyright enforcement policy should work.
In January 2014, the European Commission awarded the Dutch company Ecorys a contract worth €360.000 to conduct a study on the question.
The 300-page study was delivered to the Commission in May 2015, but was never published. Until today – I have managed to get access to a copy: Estimating displacement rates of copyrighted content in the EU
The study’s conclusion: With the exception of recently released blockbusters, there is no evidence to support the idea that online copyright infringement displaces sales. [...]