Megaupload shutdown increased legal movie downloads, according to study

What once was a haven for illegal downloading is now just an afterthought. After the shutdown of Megaupload last year, it seems users are starting to resort to legal downloading means, according to a study from Carnegie Mellon University. The study suggests that studios saw a boost in digital movie and music sales since the shutdown.

The 18-week study consisted of 12 countries, and revenues from digital sales and rentals for two movie studios were anywhere from 6% to 10% higher than they would have been if Megaupload hadn't been shut down. Unsurprisingly, the countries that featured the most Megaupload users were the countries that experienced increased usage in legal downloads.

It's interesting to note that most Megaupload users would think about just switching to a new service to illegally download copyrighted content, but with the movies and music easier to obtain legally, it seems a lot of users have decided to think twice after the Megaupload shutdown and have switched over the legal means.

Countries such as France, Spain, Mexico, and Belgium saw the most growth in legal downloads, while Canada, Australia, and Ireland saw the least impact. The study suggest that the number of users using legal means of obtaining digital content could rise if studios made their content more readily available.