Australian Online Piracy On The Rise

Online piracy in Australia has reached an all-time high and bordering on a habit for young Aussies, according to a new study.

A report from the Intellectual Property Awareness Foundation (IPAF) at this week’s Australian International Movie Convention on the Gold Coast has highlighted Australia’s increasing flirtation with illegal downloading and streaming of pirated music, movies and TV shows.

IPAF’s examination of 1,800 Australians aged between 12 and 64 has indicated further growth in online piracy with as many as 29 percent of adults engaging in illegal downloading- up four percent from the previous year- while 55 percent of those admit to doing so on a weekly basis, up a whopping 20 percent.

The study also found our most prevalent pirates are those in the 18-24 age range, while 36 percent are between 16 and 17.

While the number of Aussie pirates is increasing, the amount who consider the activity as theft continues to head the opposite direction.

64 percent of Australians agree streaming and downloading new releases is stealing, a consistent three percent decrease over the past two years.

But are we as bad as everyone claims?

Australia’s tag as an international piracy giant may however be somewhat misleading. Music streaming service Spotify and industry analytic company Musicmetric have determined the Down Under piracy culture to be waning.

The combined study comparing music downloads over the span of a year ending in December 2013 found a 20 percent decrease in piracy thanks to the rise of streaming services, however illegal TV and film downloads in Australia were reportedly four times greater than that of music.

The current landscape has rubbed Wolf Creek lead John Jarratt the wrong way.

“We’re in a terrible state,” he said this week. “We have people stealing millions of dollars and the government is sitting there doing nothing. The Labour government and the Liberal government since 2008 have sat on their hands and watched people who work in the entertainment industry – film and music – getting robbed of millions and done nothing about it.”

“It’s almost a year since Wolf Creek 2 played in cinemas and there’s still a substantial amount of pirates on torrent sites downloading it without paying,” he said. “This film took years to finance and did good box office, but it has struggled to recoup money for the investors and the creative team.”

Photo: Getty Images


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