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.

Tags AFACTpiracy




What utter rubbish, in fact the loss to any industry is zero, the people that download these things would not have paid for them. They only downloaded them because they could.



Why bother going to movies when you can sit in your own home with no annoying idiots and watch foxtel HD movies on demand, I no longer go to movies for this reason,Do they take that into account?



one in three eh... how many staff members do afact have...

I bet if you checked their home PC's they have got pirated software on them.

Wasn't Avatar the biggest downloaded movie of all time... Someone remind me ... how many millions.. or should i say billions did it make..??



What disgusts me is the police wasting their time chasing copyright infringment instead of real crime, just to help out big business.



@1 Theft is theft, if you left your wallet in the shop, it is ok for someone to take your money, because they could right?



Get with the program "big boys" it just not your playing field any more. Evolve or die. What have you done for the arts lately?



Not the same at all. And I didn't say it was not theft, I said they did not actually lose anything because these people would not ever pay for them if they could not download them so there is not a loss, it would be like photocopying your money, you wouldn't actually lose anything.



@7, Pete photocopied money is useless, a stolen downloaded movie can be used for its orginal intention, that it is watched by people. It is theft and cannot be justifed!

Ripped Off


Maybe if you could get a refund on bad movies some people wouldn't feel so ripped off.

Oh, maybe if you could download them for a reasonable cost, with ease, people wouldn't have to "steal" them.

Maybe if the industry didn't use false advertising, eg show the good bits in a trailer that turn out to be the ONLY good bits in the movie people wouldn't feel so ripped off.

Bottom line, all industries over time change and mature products don't make as much profit. TV Shows and Movies have become a commodity. Face facts.



Consumers want their content over a variety of devices and players at their discretion. Content providers preferring to go back in time to the 90's when you could charge whatever you wanted for complete rubbish films and music.

Adapt your business model to suit present market conditions or die out. Set pricing accordingly - $5 For an album, $10 for a Film, a price point that would negate the benefits of sourcing it through piracy.

If Film studios at that price point are paranoid of decreasing profits they need to stop throwing 100's of millions at making rubbish films like 'G.I. Joe' or 'Transformers 2' and keep in mind that with a low price and cheap distribution online they stand to sell far more units in the future than they would in a retail shop in the long term.

Gordon Comstock


"Movie piracy costs Aus economy $1.37 billion in 12 months"...

This imaginitive figure must surely represent cash that will forever remain unspent in Australia, those who download movies for free put the cash equivalent of each movie in a special tin and bury it in the garden, rather than spend it on things like petrol or food.

Maybe it hits cinema or DVD takings a bit, but at the same time we seem to be moving to a 'suck it and see' culture of the online preview where people want to research their purchases online, be it clothes or books or film.



What if I barrowed it from the public library, or watched it at a friend's house, or barrowed my friends paid copy to watch at my house. Did I steal the movie?



Good work deserves to be rewarded. I own heaps of legitimate DVDs and Blu-Rays. The quality of movies these days is on a steady downward slide. Now I just rent them and return the disc still feeling ripped off.
How crap was Predators? Whoever made that needs a good slap!



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

What a nonsensical headline. If the money's not spent on movies, it's just going to be spent on something else.

I'm always curious to know how they arrive at these figures, too.

If someone downloads ten new-release movies over the course of a year and each movie ticket was worth $16, is that considered a loss to the economy of $160?

If so (and I suspect that IS how they determine these figures), it's a ridiculous exaggeration. AFACT cannot realistically argue that a downloaded movie represents a loss to the industry of $16. Someone who downloaded a movie for free would not necessarily have watched the movie had he/she been obligated to pay the $16 ticket price. There's no doubt that in many cases the content is downloaded ONLY because it's free. If the movie download wasn't available, there's absolutely no guarantee the 'pirate' would waltz off to the cinema and pay money to view the same content.

I agree that it's wrong to download movies illegally -- it DOES deprive the artists of their rightful income -- but AFACT and their ilk always overstate the magnitude of the problem and that does nothing to help their credibility.



As Commenter #2 said. We have a premium Foxtel account with an IQ PVR so that we can watch movies whenever we want, in the comfort of our home. We don't care to see the latest releases when they're at the local cinema. Most if not all the movies we care to watch eventually show up on cable.

I think the figures quoted come from where the sun doesn't shine.



that's like saying its OK to steal a car because you wouldn't have bought one if you had to pay for it!!!!, hell why stop at cars why not steal a house ( yes it can be done) because you couldn't afford to buy it, so wouldn't have bought one anyway.



Rubbish, so we lost out on $1.37 billion in lost revenue to the Australian economy and 6,100 jobs forgone over the 12 months to July 2010?

Where do you think that $1.37 billion went?



I love you guys who say downloading a movie is comparable with stealing material goods.

You're equating me using using the copyrighted phrase "put another shrimp on the barbie" without permission with taking over a ship on the high seas.

It's no more theft than reading a book in a library and you guys should wake up and realise that you make money by selling scarcity not by government enforced rent taking.



Bah, rubbish. It does lose the industry money, yes, but I would never pay to see a movie by myself or pay $30 to watch a DVD once to find out it's not that good. Hell, I'd probably only pay to watch it from the video store on cheap tuesdays for a dollar.

More to the point, I don't pay to watch movies because they're too expensive. Video gaming is where it's at for me and I can tell you that it's far better value for money than a movie.

More to the point, a DVD/Video has always been $30 because there was no other way to get it. Now there's the internet, these companies can sell as many movies they want on the net for essentially no production cost, that's right, pure profit. Sell them on the net for 10 ea and I'll be happy!

William Diasis


These articles never say anything about where the money is going.
How about someone run a study on how much revenue goes into our milk bars, our supermarkets - small to large, and supports our LOCAL farmers by buying our everyday food items to continue to stay as healthy or unhealthy as we all desire to continue living.
Farmers are having enough of a hard time not committing suicide from lack of business, what happens if we do start cutting down on our other expenditures just to make the film industry happy?

What are we going to do, starve for a day or two, just to go out to the movies or buy that great new release on DVD?

Get Over IT


Still cost less than the failed MYKi system here in victoria.

Get over it, Australia wouldn't have invested 1.37Billion in film industry so how could they loose it.

All $ goes back to Warner Bros and Sony. No one else.



Never the less all movie sales are up (Sony is even up 6.1% last year). And that 1.37 Billion dollars is parts of a percentage compared to their total profit.




If buying movies was not so expensive or movie studios allowed for people to download movies at a reasonable price, then people wouldnt download them illegally. Sure, some would but many would simply buy them.

Even if you wished to view the movie on line via streaming [legally], the studios have blocked the availability of those sites to most countries. How stupid.

Also re the comment "As much as one third of the Australian adult population had downloaded, streamed, burned or otherwise not paid for movie content during the period." .. well, two things.

Streaming. TV channels like the ABC offer streaming of shows for free. You going to sue them also?

And if one third of the Australian population has done what you are claiming, does that not tell you something about movie and show prices?

Movie studios are still in the mid-1900s mentality whereas the world is in the 21st century. Get with the times. Allow everyone worldwide to legally watch movies on line and introduce a decent pricing plan to allow people to download them legally.



Lets tick off the different ways this is wrong:

1. Apparently piracy causes money to evaporate?
2. Every aussie spends over $62 on movies? ( i dont, the cinemas SUCK here, last time i went i didnt even fit in the seat - and im underweight!)

"The $1.37 billion includes damages affecting other industries related to the film industry, as cinema owners, local distributors, producers and retailers lose direct consumer spending. The tax losses to movie piracy amounted to $193 million, as the study revealed over 90 million pirated movies were estimated to have been viewed or obtained within the analysed period."

Look mike, that ripple effect you've been talking about! Except apparently here in Australia the ripples go over a waterfall, as their not coming back to hit something else!

90 million pirated movies - EVERY australian has downloaded 4.2 movies - discount the grandmothers(cannot run a VCR anyone?), discount the kids(smart phones - yes, torrenting/p2p/etc probably not), lets say peeps between the age of say 14 and 30 and were down to approx 4 million people( ... 0Australia) surprising eh!

So those 4 million people were downloading 90 million films - discount mentally disabled persons, my mechanic(cant use email) - ok everyone else's mechanic or technically inept person and lets go with 3 million people. Stay with me here!

Wow... apparently my country hasnt changed much, founded by convicts and were apparently downloading 30 movies each!* (*see above figures for who im referring to)

I dont know about the rest of you, but i certaintly dont watch a movie every two weeks!

"AFACT Executive Director, Neil Gane, said the results showed movie piracy was detrimental for the whole Australian economy and therefore action should be taken urgently. “The economic damage also reverberates through our entire community, threatening all types of jobs and businesses,” he said."

Yeah - there's 30 movies i apparently didnt pay for - kids were going out to dinner tonight(ill drive, so my local service station can make some cash off fuel - and probably more repairs from my poor technicly inept mechanic).

- Marak



Shold also point out the following. Hollywood has produced over 3,200 movies with a combined total budget of US$101,215,503,635. Their Gross profits from the US was US$142,488,648,383 and worldwide was US$254,867,647,827 [but not for all movies as for some, there are no figures released by the studios].

Not a bad amount of profit considering what they produce. Figures by the way are calculated based on information from



"Movie piracy costs Aus economy $1.37 billion in 12 months"...

What a pile of crap.
The cost to the economy is ZERO (the money just isn't spent on the movie industry)
The movie industry has a vested interest in producing figures that are over the top (go look up Hollywood Acounting for some examples).
Sales are up, profits are UP, so they are most likely doing the (now) classic trick of going "every download is a lost sale". this is simply not the case. "You can't get blood from a stone", if they can't afford (or otherwise would'nt bought it) and download it, then the loss is the same as if they'd borrowed it from a friend.
That said It does lower what we expect to pay for films, but what we are charged it excessive now anyway (when iTunes charges prices comparable to buying the DVD, when they have a LOT fewer costs is an example of this - not to mention that their version of the product is DRM-ed and will only play in iTunes or Apple devices).
As for all that call it theft and comparing it to taking money, or a car, you are clearly retarded, as the diference is obvious. If you create a perfect copy you havent TAKEN anything the owner still has it. Comment 8 missed the point, photocoppied money is not a perfect copy... if it were it could be used to buy stuff, the net effect of which would to devalue our currency, just as movies are being devalued (though as I've said they do currently charge too much)



I'd like to see how the figures were derived.
A movie that fails at the cinema is downloaded as there is no cost/ risk to the consumer. I doubt that this is factored in. For example how many people paided to see GiLi vs. Downloading.



Given that most downloaded moves are Hollywood productions, piracy keeps the money IN the Australian economy!



small pickings compared to legal purchases from offshore online suppliers like amazon - and that really is hurting the australian economy as that money is not going to australian anything.

as others have pointed out at least the money not spent on pirated movies is likely to be spent locally

and the tax loss is only 5% of the tax loss to legitimate offshore, online sales

it's not an argument about australian jobs and taxes



@16: I wouldn't steal a house OR a car. But you can bet I'd go around duplicating as many as I could for my own personal use.

@24: Don't underestimate the upper limit to the age of people infringing copyright. My father-in-law loves to pirate moves etc, and he's 55. Not paying for something is a great motivator when it comes to learning new technologies.

Further, if 1/3 people think it is okay, theats getting close to half the population thinking a law is a little bit b.s.
Aren't laws the formalisation of the majority's opinion on how population should behave?
Does that men that Australia, as a whole, doesn't particualry care for copyright laws and thinks they should be changed?
Should they then be changed?
Just a few thoughts.



Most people posting in this thread are attempting one way or another to justify the fact that when they download a pirated movie, they are stealing that item and are a common thief.
Should be locked up!



@31, Neil. Troll is an obvious troll.

Copying a movie is not theft. Copying a movie is breaching copyright. It is illegal, because there is a law that says it is. But it is not theft. Theft is when you actually take something from someone, not copy something they have.
All those people crying "thief, thief" should grow half a brain. I would bet my life on the fact that if I went to your house, went through your personal history, that I would find copyright infringement everywhere. The stat of 33% is way too low. I would say it would be near 100%.
And exactly how is me downloading a movie and watching it, different from borrowing the DVD from a friend and watching it? How do you differentiate between watching a friend's copy and watching a stranger's copy?
Never made a mix tape? Never taped anything off radio? Never sung a song out loud? Never bought a bootleg from Bali? Never watched your friend's bootleg from Bali? Never ripped a CD to MP3? Never used a quote in an assignment without correct referencing? Never retold a comedian's joke? Never played a radio or cd player out loud in a public place? (yes you need to be licensed to do that.)
It's fricken ridiculous.



Solution to the problem of "piracy" in Australia is so simple that it actually hurts my brain thinking about it.

Make it unattractive to download the "illegal" copy by providing "legal" copies at reasonable, comparable global prices so that the user can enjoy NEW digital content in the comfort of his own space on any device he wants when he wants to.

Make it easy to obtain NEW digital content.

Give the user the option to watch a new film in the comfort of his own lounge room on his home theatre system or at the cinema if he wants to.

That way the "pirate" will reserve the cinema experience for movies that are truly worth seeing in a cinema and spending the $60 on tickets and pop corn etc.

Also bring Australia in line with the distribution of new release content AT THE SAME TIME AS THE REST OF THE DEVELOPED WORLD and it one fell swoop you would take out a significant number of "pirates".

The industry should recognising that we live in a digital, intangible age were we want content here and now. Give the consumer what they want when they want it.

Economics 101: Supply and demand. If the consumer demands it, for f*cksakes supply it.



# 31. No we are not trying to justify downloading of movies.

What we are saying is that if the studios were really so concerned, they should start looking at ways of providing legal means by which people can download the movies without having to pay an arm and a leg for them.

Why should people pay $18 to go and watch a C-grade movie, or pay $30+ for a DVD when the best bits of the movie are in the 30 second trailer promoting it?

Why do the studios allow people in one country to view and/or buy movies on line, yet forbid those outside that country from doing the same thing?

Its a matter of "if the studios want to recoup the money lost via piracy, then they should do something constructive about it". And constructive does not mean taking people to court, but rather providing means by which people can legally obtain the movies they want to see without being ripped off.

And as they claim [if the claims are accurate], one third of all Australians download movies illegally. That figure in its own right shows how out of touch the studios really are with the average Australian.

Trevor C


If I were ever going to bother downloading a movie, you can bet your boots it would not be an Australian made movie with a cast of Australian actors. I can get 10 movies for a week for $5 from a video store. That is 50 cents per movie per week. At thus price why should I take the trouble to download them? If I go to the library I can just take movies out at no extra cost.
"Movie piracy costs Aus economy $1.37 billion in 12 months: AFACT". These people are delusional.



@32, I am sorry you are absolutely correct it is not theft as defined by law. When a person downloads a movie without payment to the owner of the intellectual property, you commit an illegal act. So not a thief at all, just a criminal. No! wrong again, not a criminal, just a bit of a low life,



Lies, lies, amd yet MORE LIES from AFACT et al.

Curl up and die, fellas.

You CANNOT win.



Copyright is Copyright whichever way you look at it ,there are no ifs or buts.

If the industry people AFAIC ? , were serious about this they would move more towards nailing the people providing the illegal material than nailing the people downloading it ,because that is the distro point ,and thats what holds water in court.



When an Industry like that makes 30 billion world wide in a GFC, I do not see how a few people downloading something they would not buy anyway has such a great affect.

WOW Piracy must be sending Hollywood and it's record revenues broke, 30 Billion is too little they should earn 150 Billion, and pay writers 2 million of that.



The whole concept of piracy legally is rubbish and no wonder people generally don't worry about it.

Recording something from free to air TV is piracy
Recording something from free to air radio is piracy
Lending a legit DVD to a friend is piracy
Having a radio running in a workplace is piracy
Having the radio running in a work vehicle is piracy
Using a legit CD in a music on hold system is piracy

Clearly they're so poor that they have to band together to sue the asses off an ISP in Australia. Their so poor they didn't sue the largest ISP in Australia or the second but the third so it would be a fair fight between a huge ISP like iinet and the tiny movie industry banded together for protection.

My heart bleeds for them



In the words of the pro free market economist, Milton Friedman:

"The question of intellectual property rights is very complicated. Freedom of speech is the opposite of copyright, which means that you can't get copyright rights. And, intellectual property is different from physical property: in both cases, you have a monopoly but the monopoly on intellectual property is wholly different because duplicating the property comes generally at a very low or zero marginal cost. You are enforcing a monopoly pricing, as it were, that limits output to lower than the optimum social level."



CD sales were on the decline prior to the internet boom.
With the advent of game arcades in the 80's CD sales plummeted. The humble Commodore 64 saw the beginning of another trend that also diverted money from the music industry, home based gaming.
The Internet explosion moved yet more money away from traditional home entertainment as money was poured into computers and internet access.
Poker machines, casinos, late night clubs and a host of other alternative activities also had an impact.
There are more areas where spending habit have altered over the past 20-30 years, far to many to mention here.
The entire music industry are stuck in their golden days of the 60's and 70's and since then have done little to combat the trends away from spending money on music.
No innovations, silly marketing strategies such as adding one new track to yet another "Best Of" CD, all they do is whine, blaming everyone but themselves for their demise. They still believe they have some God given right to own and control all music. Times are a changing and the days of making millions out of record sales is over.
Musicians and entertainers will have to do what their forefathers did and tread the boards to make a living.



Well, this is very much interesting indeed. Would love to read a little more of this. Good post. Thanks for the heads-up.



I have to say that the entire industry is not doing itself any favours. Apple go into agreements to protect copyright holders which then make it such that I legally purchase a movie on iTunes (because I can't legally download a movie in Australia from any other site to buy (not rent)) and then I can't play it on my preferred Android device due to DRM protection. This is a joke. I have tried everything I can to legally buy movies which should as people have said be able to be sold at $10 a movie. Please Google, get Google movies to Australia a reasonable price along with music. If industry is not going to move with the digital age, and stick with anti competitive behaviour such as that seen previously with DVD regions and the pricing differences, how is there going to be change. What I am saying is that for people trying to do the right thing, the options are not even there. I am pretty damn sick of searching the internet for legal options. If anyone is aware of any, please let me know. Perhaps the copyright infringement compliance body would like to point out where the material can be legally obtained.



p2p is actually legal in Aus it fits through a loophole in the law, i'm not sur about torrents, but most of what PEOPLE DOWNLOAD THEY WOULD NEVER ACTUALLY BUY ANYWAY. for example many people download Adobe CS4-5, which is worth about $700 just because they can and will only use a few times. And plus the blatant overcharging of iTunes Australia gives us a big incentive to download things. They overcharge us simply because thy can. as an answer to this the head of apple australia quoted something along the lines of, "because Australia is a different economy." mmm it really costs more to delver content over the internet to Aus than the U.S, (sarcasm) The overcharging of iTunes needs to be adressed. I went to a CD store and found an album i had bought recently before and found it was $5 more expensive on ITunes. DON'T buy music on iTunes buy it from your local CD store.

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