More than a quarter of Australians illegally stream or download protected intellectual property and 37 per cent have stolen content now or in the past, the Intellectual Property Awareness Foundation said in a new study. They do it because it’s free, said 78 per cent of Australians surveyed.
About 27 per cent of the population are currently active streaming or downloading protected content. Ten per cent are “persistent” downloaders who download or stream at least once a week, while 17 per cent are “casual” downloaders who do it monthly or less frequently. Another 10 per cent of the population are not active, but have illegally downloaded the content in the past.
The problem is growing, IPAF said. More than a quarter of illegal downloaders surveyed said they have increased their frequency of illegal download in the last 12 months. Another 28 percent said their activity has stayed the same. Just 39 per cent reported decreasing illegal activity.
But only 64 per cent of persistent illegal downloaders believe they contribute to the problem of movie and TV piracy, the study found.
Pirates are more likely to download than stream, IPAF said. When acting illegally, 50 per cent reported downloading content while just 24 per cent said they streamed. By contrast, 27 per cent of legal viewers of content said they streamed while just 13 per cent reported downloading the content.
IPAF commissioned an independent market researcher, Sycamore, to do the study in conjunction with Newspoll. Sycamore surveyed 1,654 Australian adults aged 16-64.