One in Four Australians Are ‘Cheap’ Movie Pirates

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A new research report commissioned by the Australian copyright group IPAF reveals that one in four Australians pirate movies and TV-shows on a regular basis. According to the report many of these file-sharers deliberately break the law simply because they want to enjoy media without paying for it. In addition, the copyright group notes that pirate sites provide a store front for the gambling and sex industries through advertisements.

runningWhen it comes to pirating movies and TV-shows Australia is consistently listed as one of the top countries, despite its relatively small population of 22 million people.

Considering the above, it doesn’t come as a big surprise that a new study found that one in four Australians pirates movies and TV-shows.

The research in question was commissioned the local Intellectual Property Awareness Foundation (IPAF), a movie industry outfit which also lists the MPA(A) and the Hollywood-funded AFACT on its board.

IPAF uses the results to conclude that “pirating is not the social norm.” What they mean to say is that not 100% of the population pirates, but then again, not everyone is interested in movies or TV-shows to begin with.

Teens between the ages of 16 and 17 pirate the most (31%) and nearly twice as much as those between 12-13 years old (17%). A quarter of all adults also admit to pirating a movie or TV-show at least once per month, and 11% downloads or streams illegal content at least once a week.

In addition to showing how prevalent piracy is in Australia, the research also asked respondents about the advertisements they see on pirate sites. The results reveal that most pirates recall gambling (51%) and sex related (44%) ads.


This leads IPAF to conclude that pirate sites “provide a store front for the gambling and sex industries.” Teens are exposed to these ads as well and the group warns parents of the hazardous effects these banners can have on their children.

“Parents need to be aware that children who access illegal sites to download unauthorized movies and TV shows may be exposed to graphic pornographic advertisements, unregulated gambling sites, scams and viruses,” the report reads.

The report further finds that more than half of all Australians (55%) supports blocking access to pirate websites. Even among persistent pirates, 44% are in favor of website blocking, a result that will obviously be used in ongoing lobbying efforts to block pirate sites Down Under.

Finally, the report suggests that the majority of all pirates are immoral cheapskates. When given the choice between a legal alternative and piracy, pirates often choose the latter.

“The primary motivator for Australians of all ages pirating movies and TV shows is that it is free. The argument for free content overshadows their moral and ethical concerns,” the report reads.

Interestingly, this is a biased interpretation of what the data shows.


As can be seen above, respondents were asked what they would do if their favorite TV-show was available for $2.99. More than half (54%) of the persistent pirates answered that they would still pirate it while 28% said they would pay.

It’s clear that many people would indeed continue to pirate, but the research didn’t actually ask why.

Perhaps the results would have been different if the TV-show was covered by an $8 monthly subscription or if it was more competitively priced? Adding to that, money is not the only factor – it was previously revealed that many people continue to pirate even after they pay for a Netflix subscription.

The questioning is misleading in this case, to say the least, and the other responses clearly illustrate this. Why else would 22% of the lapsed downloaders and 5% of the non-downloaders suddenly start pirating when a legal option becomes available?

Nevertheless, spearheaded by Hollywood, Australia can prepare itself for yet another push for stricter legislation to deal with these freeloading pirates.


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