Piracy Cultures| P2P and Cinematographic Movie Distribution in Hungary

Balázs Bodó, Zoltán Lakatos


This article examines what appears to be the most important factor shaping file sharing: the failure of traditional cultural markets to efficiently supply the demand in the online environment. Its findings are based on tracking the traffic of movies on three Hungarian P2P networks. This dataset is then matched with cinematic distribution data of the films tracked in P2P transactions. Central to our analysis is the assessment of two piracy paradigms: substitution and shortage, that is, whether pirated content is available through legal or only illegal channels. Shortage-driven downloaders are found to outnumber those downloading only current theater releases. Nonetheless, the supply of films available for downloading is more affected by parameters of cinematic distribution than it is by box office success. Therefore, part of the sales effort directly contributes to propping up piracy.

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