Industry Suppressed Report Showing Users Of Shuttered 'Pirate' Site Probably Helped Movie Industry...

from the well,-look-at-that dept

We've seen study after study after study after study after study showing, contrary to the claim of the industry and certain politicians that users of file sharing sites are pure "freeloaders" who are "leeching," that the users tend to be larger spenders on media and ancillary products. So it's really not a huge surprise that a new study would come out saying the same thing...

But, in this case, the history of the report, which has not actually been released, is a lot more interesting. As you may recall, in June, law enforcement across Europe arrested a bunch of people for apparently running -- a site that had been listed by US entertainment lobbyists as one of the worst of the worst "pirate sites," out there. So, it sure would be interesting to find out that, before all of this happened, some entertainment industry lobbyists had commissioned research into the type of folks who used and their media consumption habits.

Indeed, as TorrentFreak found out, it appears that just such a report was commissioned and created... and the results matched all those other studies we've seen:
The study, which was carried out by Society for Consumer Research (GfK), found that users of pirate sites including did not fit the copyright lobby-painted stereotype of parasites who take and never give back.

In fact, the study also found that Internet users treat these services as a preview, a kind of “try before you buy.”

This, the survey claims, leads pirate site users to buy more DVDs, visit the cinema more often and on average spend more than their ‘honest’ counterparts at the box office.

“The users often buy a ticket to the expensive weekend-days,” the report notes.
Of course, this report never saw the light of day. The only reason it appears to be getting out is what appears to be disgruntled researchers on the report who are upset it was spiked by whoever commissioned it... though the firm does have a history of working with organizations within the movie industry.

Of course, all of this raises some questions. Considering all of this research -- including some that appears to have been sponsored by the industry itself... why does the industry continue to lie and insist that people who use these sites are pure freeloaders? Do they not believe their own studies? Or do they simply fear the loss of control such a reality would really mean? Either way, it seems that those politicians, law enforcement officials and press who continue to parrot the industry's claims about those who use these services might want to reconsider how they portray these sites.

Filed Under: europe, file sharing, movies, piracy, studies

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  1. icon
    TwoWords (profile), 21 Jul 2011 @ 6:05pm

    Why did they suppress the study? i can only think of one answer.
    Society for Consumer Research (GfK): You want answers?
    Movie Industry: We think We're entitled.
    Society for Consumer Research (GfK): You want answers?!
    Movie Industry: We want the truth!
    Society for Consumer Research (GfK): You can't handle the truth!
    Society for Consumer Research (GfK): People, we live in a world that has the internet and the internet needs to be guarded by men with no scrupouls. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Mister Movie Mogul, We have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for the loss of a few dollars and curse the Pirates; you have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what we know: that the Pirates death, while tragic, probably saved money and that our existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, makes you money.
    You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties you want us in the courts, you need us in every court. We use words like steal, cheat, pirate. We use then as the backbone of a lie trying to defend something. You use them as a supeona. We have neither the time nor the inclination to explain ourselves to a poor people who connect and steal under the blanket of saying they don't have the money, we provide you with a defense and then you question the manner in which we provide it. We would rather you just said "thank you," and spent on your way. Otherwise, we suggest that you pick up a computer and stand a gaurd. Either way, we don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to unless its more money.
    Movie Industry: Did you order the study and suppress it?
    Society for Consumer Research (GfK): We did the job you had us do.
    Movie Industry: Did you order the study and suppress it?!
    Society for Consumer Research (GfK): You're God damn right we did!

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