The aim of the project is to analyse the process of switching between authorised and unauthorised sources of cultural goods. We will analyse whether a one-time incentive to acquire content from an authorised or unauthorised source may permanently change the consumer’s preferences due to e.g. a one-time-only cost of the switch. We will also learn how far-reaching are the effects of unauthorised uploads of particular goods, when their legal alternative is not (yet) available, as well as what happens in the opposite case (when the unauthorised uploads are effectively delayed).


Our analysis will cover three areas:

  • TV series. Will a one-time incentive to acquire content from an unauthorised source (i.e. a pre-release leak of some episodes) influence also the future decisions of the viewers?
  • Video games. Will elongation of the period when only the paid legal option is available convince more players to make use of the authorised sources?
  • Comic books. Will the inclusion of a higher quality legal alternative (official digitalisation of older issues) make those readers who rather used unauthorised sources before, return to the authorised?

As an additional result of the research, we will estimate the effect of unauthorised file-sharing on the legal consumption of TV series, video games and comic books.




This project has received funding from the National Science Centre.


principal investigator: Wojciech Hardy

superior: Michał Krawczyk

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