Famed file hosting giant MegaUpload was forced to shut down in January. Among those holding the pitchforks leading to the site's death was the film industry. But a new study suggests that the film industry may have actually benefited from Megaupload.
Munich School of Management and Copenhagen Business School have delved into some of the numbers around the subject (weekly box office sales of 1344 movies in 49 countries over the last five years) and have come to the conclusion that MegaUpload was actually good for the movie industry, except for big blockbusters.
The study found that total revenue for the industry has fallen since MegaUpload has shut down. The researchers believe that MegaUpload helped boost the global box office for all but the largest blockbusters by increasing the word of mouth attention films received.
Some of this seems speculative at best. There does appear to be correlation, but that does not equal causation. Still, the researchers are presenting a legitimate possibility. It's also important to note that there has never been any evidence whatsoever that "internet piracy" negatively affects the bottom line of creative industries. In fact, there has been previous evidence of studies done in the music industry that "illegal downloads" actually helped record sales.
In the end, what we have is some light evidence that MegaUpload helped the film industry, but nothing definitive. Did it help? Well, all you can do is look at the evidence and come to your own conclusions.
Did MegaUpload Actually Help Hollywood?