Friends or foes? A meta-analysis of the link between „online piracy” and sales of cultural goods

Over the past decade or so, the literature has sprung in analyses of the impact the so-called online or digital „piracy'” has on sales. Since theory posits both positive and negative effects are possible, the question remains purely empirical. Consequently, there is a variety of published articles and working papers arguing in both ways, many of which attempt to account for the challenge of providing a reliable and causal effect. The objective of this survey is to review and discuss the accomplishments of the field so far. We also provide a tentative meta-analysis. Despite the multiplicity of measures and methods used we argue that the literature as a whole fails to reject the null hypothesis of no effects on sales.