An anonymous reader writes: The movie and music industry seem hell bent on portraying pirates as criminals and parasites who cost both industries billions of dollars in lost sales. In order to prove this fact a number of studies are commissioned to help demonstrate the effect a pirate has on sales of entertainment.
The problem with this approach is that it has been found to be biased towards portraying pirates as the movie industry wants them to be seen, rather than presenting the facts. A great example of this has been discovered by the German-language politics and media website Telepolis.
GfK Group is one of the largest market research companies in the world and is often used by the movie industry to carry out research and studies into piracy. Talking to a source within GfK who wished to remain anonymous, Telepolis found that a recent study looking at pirates and their purchasing activities found them to be almost the complete opposite of the criminal parasites the entertainment industry want them to be.
The study states that it is much more typical for a pirate to download an illegal copy of a movie to try it before purchasing. They are also found to purchase more DVDs than the average consumer, and they visit the movie theater more, especially for opening weekend releases which typically cost more to attend.
The conclusion of the study is that movie pirates are generally more interested in film and therefore spend more money and invest more time in it. In other words, they make up some of the movie industries best customers.
Unfortunately, we will never get to read the official version of the study as the unnamed client who paid for it to be created has decided it should not see a release. The reason given for shelving it was that the contents proved “unpleasant.”