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The Australian film industry says Netflix is reducing piracy

Most pirates are younger – Ian Gavan/Getty Images

A new study by a film industry body suggests internet piracy has dropped considerably in the past year — down 29% — thanks, in part, to a proliferation of new legal streaming services.

The survey was commissioned by the IP Awareness Foundation, which boasts Foxtel and the Motion Picture Association among its members. The research shows increased access to legal media content can reduce piracy.

33% of respondents who ceased pirating cited new access to streaming services like Netflix as the single biggest reason for the change. The second most common reason was morality (21%), followed by concerns about viruses and being caught out (16%).

According to the research, internet piracy has dropped across every age group, except those aged 35-49, since 2014. But piracy among younger people still has a long way to fall.

Australia is notorious for internet piracy. The first few episodes of the latest season of Game of Thrones were downloaded millions of times in Australia alone. Australia was the fourth worst country for pirating the latest series of House of Cards.

In recent years a different industry body, AFACT, claimed piracy costs the Australian economy $1.37 billion a year. But if the industry is now admitting that more access to genuine content reduces piracy, maybe it’s time to unlock all the thousands of Netflix titles that Australians aren’t yet able to access.

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