Movie piracy costs Aus economy $1.37 billion in 12 months: AFACT

Movie piracy resulted in 6100 fewer jobs Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft research claims

The economic impact of movie piracy equated to $1.37 billion in lost revenue to the Australian economy and 6,100 jobs forgone over the 12 months to July 2010, according to a new report from the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT).

The report, carried out by IPSOS and Oxford Economics and surveying 3500 adults, also found tax losses to movie piracy amounted to $193 million, while direct consumer spending losses to the movie industry, local distributors, producers and retailers amounted to $575 million.

As much as one third of the Australian adult population had downloaded, streamed, burned or otherwise not paid for movie content during the period.

Some 92 million pirated movies were also estimated to have been viewed or obtained within the period.

According to AFACT executive director, Neil Gane, the findings showed that movie piracy had a destructive impact throughout the economy.

“The film community is no different than any other sector of the economy that relies on skill, investment and hard work,” Gane said in a statement. “The losses are significant and the report highlights the need for urgency in addressing this problem.”

AFACT members include Village Roadshow Limited, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Australia, Paramount Pictures Australia, Sony Pictures Releasing International Corporation and Twentieth Century Fox International.

In September the Australian Federal Police (AFP) said it had embarked on a major crackdown of counterfeit goods, including pirated software, computers and CDs and DVDs, in a move hailed by as a victory by software companies such as Microsoft and representatives of the music and film and TV industries.

The arrests were the result of investigations which had stemmed from information provided by industry stakeholders such as Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI), the Australian Federation against Copyright Theft (AFACT), the Trade Mark Investigations Service and the Union of European Football Associations.

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