Piracy can reduce poverty according to this study

Associations of rights holders and other actors who have benefited from the protection of intellectual property are grateful for this. Our colleagues from TorrentFreak found a study that seems to highlight links between piracy and poverty levels. Published in the Balkan Journal of Social Science by Mustafa Ünver and Jülide Yalçinkaya Koyuncu, two Turkish researchers, the study analyzes the impact of software piracy use on poverty levels in developing countries and Latin countries. America during the period 2003-2017.

It should be emphasized that researchers are only interested here in software piracy. A common occurrence especially with professional software can cost a small fortune, especially to people who do not (or no longer) benefit from the student discount. For example, the license for Rhino 7 3D design software costs and up to € 995 excluding VAT, Live Standard (sequencer / music design) € 349, the base edition of Autodesk Fusion 360 € 402 per year…

Will it really help to turn a blind eye to piracy against poverty?

Some will also notice that many big stories start with little (or even a lot) of software piracy such as protected works. We know, for example, thanks to Rasmus Fleischer’s book Spotify Teardown – Inside the Black Box of Streaming Music that the earliest version of Spotify used mp3 files likely from an illegal source.

But the researchers ’study continues through empirical attempts to establish a link between the use of piracy and the level of poverty in developing countries. To identify the level of poverty, the researchers relied on six indicators:

  • Human Development Index (HDI) with figures from UNDP
  • Poverty Line (PovcalNet, World Bank)
  • Average poverty gap (PovcalNet, World Bank)
  • Watts Index (PovcalNet, World Bank)
  • Guinea Index (PovcalNet, World Bank)
  • Mean logarithmic deviation (PovcalNet, World Bank)

By looking at current figures from 2003 to 2017 and comparing them to IDC’s studies on piracy use, the level of unemployment, the percentage of GDP devoted to health (WDI figures from the World Bank ), and Human Capital Index (Penn World Table), the researchers found a correlation between their hypothesis and reality. Even if they also noticed a correlation between the use of piracy and rising unemployment:

“To put it another way, the use of pirated software maintained a significant impact on poverty in all six multivariate models in this study in samples of Latin America and developing countries. of the control variables, we observed statistically significant negative coefficients on health and human capital expenditure, at the same time as a positive coefficient on the level of unemployment ”conclusion of the researchers.

Who sadly failed to detail further on this link between unemployment and resorting to piracy in their short paper. And it’s not just the lack of study. While the data sources are well known, the method used to compile them and highlight these correlations lacks detail. In addition, in order to show exactly what the researchers wanted, it may be necessary to expand the sample to allow comparisons to what is happening in developed countries, for example.

Read also-Hacking the rise of the most educated young Europeans

Finally, note our colleagues from TorrentFreak, the researchers failed to explore the inverse relationship between piracy and poverty, which is how poverty levels influence the use of piracy. We intuitively imagine that the more poverty there is, the more piracy there is. And if the researchers ’hypothesis is true, it would be interesting to describe the two -way interaction between these two events.

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