Did HADOPI Cause an Increase in iTunes Music Sales in France?

By Brett Danaher, Michael D. Smith, Rahul Telang The HADOPI legislation is a significant and controversial measure with passionate supporters and passionate detractors. As co-authors of a study analyzing the impact of the HADOPI law on music sales, we have watched with concern as our finding have been interpreted in ways that are removed from our original intentions. Because of this, we wanted to take a moment to clarify what we believe our study can say about the effectiveness of HADOPI, while also — and maybe more importantly — clarifying what our study cannot say about the broader policy questions raised by this and other similar legislative efforts to reduce piracy. In terms of what our study can say: simply stated, our research question is “did HADOPI cause an increase in iTunes music sales in France?” In raising this question, we would like to first point out that as academics we have no philosophical or practical predisposition about what the answer is or what it should be. Our sole goal is trying to understand what the data say. Given this, we also note that, as with most empirical social science research, there is no perfect way to answer this question. Lacking a perfect approach, we used a well established statistical technique that found a group of countries with iTunes sales patterns that were statistically similar to French iTunes sales...

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