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Spring Symposium on UR and Community Engagement has ended
Tuesday, April 24 • 9:20am - 9:40am
Superheroes, Sales, And Piracy: A Multiple Regression Analysis Of Piracy’s Affect On Comic Book Sales

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For years industry leaders and politicians debated over the impacts of copyright piracy, which is the unauthorized use and\or reproduction of copyrighted materials. Previous findings in media markets in reference to these impacts have been ambiguous. Some have found empirical evidence that piracy leads to a loss in sales, while some have found empirical evidence that piracy websites have no effect or a negative effect on sales. We should however not be surprised by these latter findings as there is some ambiguity in theoretical research regarding this topic. Some theoretical research proposes that piracy has a substation effect on sales, while other theoretical research proposes that illegal piracy has a sampling effect on sales which overpower the substation effect. This paper is the first to analyze the effects of piracy on the comic book industry, which was a $1.03 billion industry in the United States and Canada in 2016. This work is based on theoretical models developed in other media markets including film, TV, and music. Our empirical models used are based on both the theoretical model and conversations with a comic book store owner in the Asheville, North Carolina. Our multivariate regression analyses test the relationship between online piracy and the physical sales of comics in four ways: against well-known publishers, relatively-known publishers, lesser-known publishers, and all three types of publishers together to see if there is a significant relationship.


Tuesday April 24, 2018 9:20am - 9:40am
035 Karpen Hall