Medialab Prado


Movie Piracy and (the Lack of) Cinemas in Hungary

Paper presented by Bodó Balázs within the context of the 4º Inclusiva-net Meeting: P2P Networks and Processes, celebrated in Madrid from July 6 to 10, 2009.


"In this paper we analyze data collected from three of the biggest Hungarian bittorrent based file-sharing communities between 2008 May-June, and Hungarian cinema distribution data from the same period. We tracked the downloading activity of file-sharers with known location information and asked if the number of downloads for any given film correlates with ticket sales, revenues, the number of cinemas where the film was shown or any other statistical data on the traditional movie distribution infrastructure we had access to.

Our results show that more than 9 out of 10 downloaded films were not available in any of the Hungarian cinemas during our timeframe and only 1 out of 20 downloaded films actually screened. This is in itself an indicator of the importance peer-to-peer networks play in the diffusion of cinematographic content. We have found that though most of the peer-to-peer traffic comes from off-screen content, the most sought after titles are those actually those that screened. The regression analysis shows that the number of movie theatres in which a film was shown has a strong impact on the number of downloads. However, we have found neither correlation nor a causal relation between how a film fares at the box office and how often it is downloaded."

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