Downloading Not Dwindling
Who would have thought? Turns out excessive downloaders really do it because it’s free…
In an attempt to excuse their actions, many downloaders often claim that distributors aren't doing enough to provide content to them via legal measures. But research recently compiled by the Intellectual Property Awareness Foundation (IPAF), by way of a national survey, reveals that 78% of Australians agree that there is a growing number of options to legally access and watch movies and television content online, but 86% of those who download illegally said the real reason they do it - shock! - is because it's free.
The survey was undertaken by respondents aged between 18 and 64, with this year's research focusing on online behaviour - an important area considering that 27% of Australians access illegal movies and television content online on a regular basis.
Of the results, IPAF Director, Lori Flekser, said: "A great deal of the commentary surrounding the issue of online content theft is that there aren't enough options available. This research paints a very different picture. Lack of legal alternatives is a justification given regularly by those excusing their behaviour. Interestingly, a large majority of the population as a whole say they see more options, but it's the persistent downloaders that continue to make this convenient excuse."
Flekser also revealed that while a small portion of downloaders have ceased, those classed as persistent downloaders have only upped their activity. "While it's encouraging to see 10% of Australians have stopped illegally downloading, worryingly the research has revealed that 78% of those who persistently download illegally at least once per week or more have increased their activity in the last 12 months. There's a whole lot of clicking without a whole lot of thinking going on."
Founder of Tropfest and filmmaker, John Polson, added: "I've worked in the Australian film and television community for more than 25 years and witnessed the emergence of an incredible number of talented Australians, both in front of and behind the camera. Online movie theft casts a dark shadow over any young artist or technician wanting to make a living in the film and TV industry. It's good to see some of the long held myths about online content theft being discredited."
The research also revealed that 50% of Australians believe that ISPs should take more responsibility in preventing the illegal distribution of movies and television online, but this possibility seems to be a long way off for now.
To highlight the scale of harm caused by movie theft in Australia, a joint 2011 study undertaken by IPSOS and Oxford Economics indicated that direct consumer spending losses to the movie industry (including cinema owners, local distributors, producers and retailers) amounted to $575 million.
For more information and to view the full survey results, head here.