It’s the report that, literally, people didn’t want you to see. A study on the effects of movie piracy sites on their users and the industry at large has been reportedly been locked away “in the poison cupboard” because it suggested that conventional wisdom had it all wrong—pirates actually ended up spending more money on movie tickets, DVDs and the like than other people.
The study was apparently carried out by Germany’s “Society for Consumer Research,” and it found that people who view pirated material tended to do so as extended previews before going on to pay money for the full version.
According to a source within the company, the shelved report shows that, “If you download films, you have an increased interest in the cinema,” as well as buying more DVDs than the average consumer, going to theaters more often, and even finding that you’ll “often buy a ticket to the expensive weekend-days” of theater release.
It’s not known who commissioned the reported study, but the anonymous source inside the Society for Consumer Research explained that whoever the client was, they apparently found the results so upsetting that the full study has been permanently locked away so as to keep the movie industry’s preconceptions safe. Or at least until the internet finds out.
Graeme McMillan is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @Graemem or on Facebook at Facebook/Graeme.McMillan. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.