Movie studios have been lobbying congress for stricter anti-piracy laws because they believe that the rampant piracy around the world is depressing box office receipts around the world.While the extent to which the studios are damaged by piracy is a heated debate, a study by a couple economists found that the studios can control how much a movie is pirated with a few simple changes.The study found that the single biggest factor in determining how much a movie is pirated in countries outside the United States is how much the release date in that country lags the one in the US. In simpler terms, the longer a movie takes to be released in a foreign country compared to the US, the more pirated copies get produced in that country.The study found that the more a country uses Bittorrent, the stronger the effect. The study has found no link between Bittorrent usage and decrease in US receipts. What can studios learn from this? With digital distribution, they shouldnot hold back releases in foreign countries, or else they’ll suffer from higher piracy. In El Salvador (where I’m from) movies would sometimes come out in theatersmonths after the DVD release in the US! They might also want to rethink the current strategy of delaying the rental release for certain movies in home video.