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
    Jay (profile), 22 Jul 2011 @ 10:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Still Shortsighted

    Let's take what we know about the industry in general.

    As people gain positions of power, they get more into the ideology, not necessarily looking at reality objectively (I can't remember the techdirt article).

    The industry has been vying for control of product since the 60s rolled around. Look at every wave of innovation that's come about. It's all been about control. Even now, the entire problem with the industry is how to control the digital market like it did with the analog. It's never been about giving power to artists. It's never been about caring for music. It's been about profit, and how to get more of it. If anything, copyright is used as regulatory capture, impeding all sorts of endeavors in order to attain more profit.

    Think about the Napster years. Why did the labels sue it into submission? The reasoning is that it was competition, needing to be killed immediately. They couldn't license because they had no idea what consumers wanted. They've never experienced consumers having a choice before! They never knew what a competitive market looks like other than some by gone eras where they got away with murder.

    So we come to a digital age, where the need for the RIAA, Big labels, and BIG entertainment are on the way out. The big boys would lose their mind if they knew Kickstarter would keep them honest in how much they spend. Since turntable has taken off, the music has increased in value considerably. But knowing the record industry, they'll try their overpriced licensing to pay themselves, leaving others to serfdom.

    All of their revenue streams will eventually go up in smoke. But before that, the ideology of "piracy is bad" will probably spread like a cancer. So sad to see people cling to bad ideology.

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