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Thread: Ending piracy will take more than just making the content available

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    Ending piracy will take more than just making the content available

    Australia is one of the pirating capitals of the world, but has the tide turned now that people have legitimate access to content through local streaming services and the Dallas Buyers Club court ruling has spooked casual pirates? Maybe.

    New research released by the Intellectual Property Awareness Foundation shows a slight decline in the number of Australians aged 18 to 64 who admit to pirating – now at 25 per cent, down from 29 per cent this time last year (before the arrival of Netflix et al and the Dallas Buyers Club case).

    It's only a 4 per cent decrease, but any drop indicates a reversal in what had been an upward trend.

    The Intellectual Property Awareness Foundation has monitored online pirating in Australia in its annual survey since 2012, and this is first time the percentage of those who say they pirate content has declined.

    However, the trend is only apparent within the general population. Hardcore pirates, (defined as those who pirate once a week or more, currently about 10 per cent of the population) are maintaining high levels of frequency, with 40 per cent claiming to be pirating more than they did 12 months ago.

    Hardcore pirates are a minority, however. Are streaming services and the Dallas Buyers Club ruling enough to turn things around for the majority? It's impossible to tell.

    Intellectual Property Awareness Foundation research suggests that Australian consumers have embraced local streaming services, particularly those aged under 30: 46 per cent of 18 to 24 year olds and 49 per cent of 25 to 30 year olds say they have streamed content via an online subscription service (Netflix, Stan, Presto or Quickflix).

    But can legitimate channels end the "culture" of pirating, a behaviour which is not only normalised and socially acceptable but has become something to be proud of?

    I've heard mothers and grandmothers boast of all of the new movies and TV series they've seen, thanks to their loving adult sons and grandsons who come for Sunday lunch bearing gifts of external hard drives and USBs full of content they've pirated.

    As these research participants – mums their 60s – told me recently: "My son does all of the illegal downloading in our house. He gets me the shows and movies I want to watch.

    I got to watch The Royals four hours after it aired in the UK". Her friend told a similar story: "I watch about four hours of TV a night, it's all TV series my son has downloaded for me [illegally].

    He just comes in and says, 'hey mum, I've got a new series for you, Heart of Dixie, CSI Cyber, Last Man Standing'. It's great. As soon as they're released, I'm getting them."

    While these women have never pirated, they accept pirated material from their sons without hesitation.

    So the problem isn't just pirates. It's the untold numbers of "everyone else" consuming pirated content given to them by others.

    How many of you have eagerly accepted a USB loaded with the latest Games of Thrones [or multitude other must-watch series] from a pirating friend or family member without a second thought, let alone stopping to ponder :

    a) if you are doing anything illegal or morally dubious, or

    b) depriving the makers of that content of payment.

    The real challenge ahead for content makers fighting piracy is changing a firmly entrenched culture in which the questions "where did this come from" and "was this sourced by legitimate means" are not even asked.

    Fixing that, I'm afraid, might take more than a local Netflix service.
    Last edited by whiteLight; 11-02-2015 at 05:56 PM.
    kuho, CtrlAltDel and DGM like this.

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