The movie and music industry have been trying to portray file sharers as criminal pirates and parasites who steal billions of dollars from the industry in lost sales. In order to strengthen their argument, the MPAA and RIAA commissioned a number of studies that would investigate the negative effects pirates cause to their sales. Ironically, the studies proved the exact opposite, and they had to shut up about it while repeating their usual accusations.
The whistle was blown by an unnamed GFK employee who told German website, Telepolis, a study conducted by GFK on behalf of the movie industry found that pirates typically download illegal copies of movies to try-before-they-buy. The study also found that pirates buy more legit DVDs than the average user and they visit the movie theater more, especially for opening weekend releases which typically cost more to attend.
The study concluded that movie pirates are more interested in movies and that they spend more money on movies than most people, making them the industry's best customers.
Unfortunately, the unnamed client who commissioned the study decided against it getting published. Not very surprisingly, the reason given for canning the study was that its findings are "unpleasant."
It is worth noting that an unrelated independent research conducted earlier this year has found that anime piracy and streaming in Japan increased DVD sales.