Mostly, they’re hoping that, in the next round of copyright lawmaking, they’ll have some evidence to present lawmakers to help them better understand how the laws they’re making work—that the debate will be informed, just a little bit, by empirical, independent research. 

Disclosure: CJR has received funding from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to cover intellectual-property issues, but the organization has no influence on the content.

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Sarah Laskow is a writer and editor in New York City. Her work has appeared in print and online in Grist, Good, The American Prospect, Salon, The New Republic, and other publications.