Nearly Half Of Aussies Pirating Media

A new study commissioned by the Australian government found the rate of online piracy was high, almost double that of Britain’s.

Photo: (Bill Davenport)

Forty-three percent of those who consumed digital content between March and May had infringed copyright at least once. In its report, research firm Taylor Nelson Sofres Australia estimated the volume at 254 million music tracks, 95 million movies, 82 million television programs and 9 million video games.

The study was of greatest concern for movie studios, with 48 percent of the copyright infringers downloading movies. Music was downloaded by 37 percent, TV programs by 33 percent and video games by 22 percent. Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the results highlighted the importance of governments working with industry to address infringement issues, and that a range of measures were needed to tackle the problem properly.

But the figures shore up previous arguments by the digital sector and consumer rights advocates.

Thirty-nine percent of respondents said they would stop accessing piracy sites if legal content was cheaper, 38 percent if more content was available locally and 38 percent maintained they would stop if overseas movies and TV shows were made available in Australia at the same time. Only 21 percent said they would take notice of warning letters from their internet service providers – leading consumer rights group Choice to say this made plans by the government to introduce a “three strikes” policy this year as “pointless.”