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 Kino.to -- 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 Kino.to 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 Kino.to 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
Companies: kino.to


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  1. icon
    PaulT (profile), 22 Jul 2011 @ 2:41am

    Re: Er, so? Big consumers can also be BIG PIRATES!

    "yet says nothing about how much revenue the industry /would/ get IF these heavy users had to pay for ALL the content that they watch."

    Common sense would say that heavy users are often already paying what they can afford, and are using their "piracy" to make the better choice. If this is true, removing the option to pirate would not gain any more revenue. In fact, sales could actually be *lost* as, for example, people don't want to take a risk on a potentially crappy movie and so stay at home, whereas with piracy they would know they like the movie an buy a cinema ticket.

    I'm certainly not saying this is guaranteed, and support any non-invasive way of removing piracy that doesn't have disastrous unintended consequences. But, the industry hasn't presented such a plan as yet, nor have they shown that stopping "piracy" will actually make a blind bit of difference.

    "It's another situation where you're just blinded by your premise that more piracy = more profits for content providers."

    There's no evidence that removing piracy would improve sales, beyond an unfounded assumption that people would pay. These studies prove the opposite theory quite nicely. Do you have any studies that show people would pay more if they were forced to, or is that just your own blind assumption?

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