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The most effective anti-piracy warnings are those which are explicit, according to a recent study by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
On Sunday, October 14, TorrentFreak shared the outcome of the “Perceived effectiveness of potential music piracy warnings” study.
It comes shortly after a report by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry found that 38% of consumers access music by infringing copyright.
Despite the variety of legitimate streaming services, the report said that the prevalence of torrent sites and cyberlockers make stream-ripping tools (which download music onto a device) the biggest threat to the music industry.
According to TorrentFreak, a key finding from the University of Nevada’s study was that the most effective piracy warning is “STOP. This is illegal. You may be monitored and you may be fined”, paired with a computer screen icon in which a download arrow pointing to a musical note is encircled and has a slash through it.
The exact icons shown to the study’s participants can be viewed on TorrentFreak.
While there have been a multitude of anti-piracy campaigns over the past decades, the deterrent effect of each one is hard to measure, TorrentFreak noted.
In response to this problem, researchers at the university conducted a controlled experiment to demonstrate what type of piracy warnings are the most effective.
While the most effective one contained an explicit warning and an image of a computer, the least effective did not contain words or computer imagery. Rather, it depicted an image of a download arrow pointing to a musical note, with a cross through it.
Another finding from the study was that consumers found the words ‘important’ and ‘stop’ to be more effective than ‘notice’ in the context of anti-piracy warnings.
As noted by TorrentFreak, the study’s findings suggest that explicit warnings have the best effect on countering piracy. The researchers believe that developing an effective warning level can help to inform consumers and deter infringement.
The release of the university’s research comes after a separate report claimed that the volume of legitimate streaming services available to consumers may actually be contributing to an increase in piracy.
Networking equipment company Sandvine said that to subscribe to multiple content services is expensive for consumers, leading them to sign up for one or two services and opt to access content provided by other platforms via piracy sites instead.
The University of Nevada published its research on September 27.
Piracy, copyright infringement, online streaming, market research, University of Nevada, deterrence, criminal behaviour, music piracy, online streaming