Global online piracy study

This research project studies the acquisition and consumption of music, films, series, books and games through the various legal and illegal channels that exists nowadays.

It combines a survey amongst over 35 thousand consumers aged 14 and older in 13 countries, with an analysis of copyright legislation and enforcement in these jurisdictions. The countries studied are Brazil, France, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, and UK. For the European countries in this set, the researchers will be able to partially target the same respondents that have been approached a few years earlier with comparable questions resulting in various reports and academic publications. This will give a unique opportunity to study the evolution of content acquisition over time at an individual level and to resolve methodological issues this type of research is typically prone to.

The main purpose of the study is threefold:

  1. Provide factual information about the state of legal content acquisition and online piracy in various countries
  2. Assess the underlying motives and mechanisms, in particular the link with enforcement measures and legal supply
  3. Assess the effect of online piracy on consumption from legal sources.

In this project, the Institute for Information Law partners with Ecorys. Data collection will mainly be conducted by SSI (Survey Sampling International).

The research project is financed by Google. It will be conducted in full compliance with the Declaration of Scientific Independence as formulated by the Royal Dutch Academy of Science.


Project team


Joost Poort (Principal investigator)                                                                          Martin van der Ende
Nico van Eijk                                                                                                            Anastasia Yagafarova
João Pedro Quintais                                                                                                Robert Haffner