Had those copies been purchased, the album would have grossed another $3.8 million in sales at $15.99 per album. While it’s certain that piracy eats into music revenue, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to know what percentage of those illegal downloads would have displaced purchases, since not everyone who pirated a free copy would have bought the album if it weren’t available via file sharing sites.
The Economist is more optimistic.
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