Friday, 5 December 2014

Measuring infringement of intellectual property rights

A regular fixture on this blog is a critical look at the methodologies used when researching digital piracy (see here, for example).

And so, I direct you to this recent 2014 report commissioned by the Intellectual Property Office in the UK.

It's very wide-reaching, and uncovers some critical observations on the conflicting methods used to research copyright infringement, including that: 'When one method is advocated, there is failure to acknowledge the weaknesses of the proposed method or the strengths of the alternative' (Collopy et al., 2014, p. 10).

The report contains an expansive literature review, considering government, industry, and academic research independently. The authors find that the bulk of the research reviewed did not report the methodology used in sufficient detail to really allow for scrutiny.

It's well worth a read, and acts as a welcome reminder that there's a need for a common language and streamlined methodology to really allow for comparisons between different studies; the report finds that even the interpretation of IP varies across different research.

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Collopy, D., Bastian, V., Drye, T., Koempel, F., Lewis, D. and Jenner, P. (2014). Measuring Infringement of Intellectual Property Rights (2014/37). Retrieved from UK government website:

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