Downloading movies illegally in Australia is losing popularity

Times move on, and according to a survey led by the IPAF – the Intellectual Property Awareness Foundation – 10 out of 100 Australians have stopped illegally downloading movies and other content from the Internet. That leaves 27 out of 100 still performing online downloads that infringe on the rights of the copyright holders. The 10% who no longer do, say that once they did engage in illegal online downloads, but have since ceased their activities. Out of these, 67% did so because they feared that their computers would be infected with viruses; 65% found that the range of legal online downloads meant they no longer had to seek the illegal ones; 61% stopped because of ethical reasons.

Rather than downloading movies, it seems that the ones still downloading illegal content prefer television online downloads through popular sites that offer online streaming. Yet, despite this activity, there are several legal options available, also growing in popularity. Such options that offer legal online downloads include Netflix, Hulu and iView.

Interesting to note is that after downloading movies in illegal form, more Australians than in the previous year were then willing to pay for the same content – by other renting or buying the official DVD. As well, after downloading movies or watching the online streaming version of a TV show, more were willing to pay for streaming the show.

More than half of those surveyed claim that $2.99 is a price they would meet to download a TV show legally, rather than illegally. Of those who are downloading movies or watching online streaming at least once a week, however, only 22% were willing to pay. When the price was upped to $5.99 for downloading movies, the number willing to pay dropped to 48%, and the number of weekly downloaders willing to pay dropped to 19%.


The belief of IPAF is that after their ISPs intervene, people will change their behavior in regards to downloading movies and watching online streaming. So it might come to pass that ISPs will take a more proactive approach in warning their customers that such activities are both unethical and illegal. Apparently in the United States, such illegal online streaming is becoming less frequent, perhaps due to the wide variety of legal content that can be found. If such content is made more available in Australia, we might see a similar drop in the infringements of copyrighted material.

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