Online piracy has almost doubled among teenage Australians

Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images for Sainsbury’s.

The arrival of US giant Netflix and local home grown streaming services such as Stan has meant a decline in online piracy by adults.

However, there’s still a big problem among Australia’s teenagers.

According to research by Australian media company Village Roadshow, 12 to 17 year olds think: “Why should I be the sucker that has to pay for what everyone else is getting for free?”

Illegal online activities of these teenagers has almost doubled since last year with 31% of them pirating movies, the research shows.

Village Roadshow managing director Graham Burke told the International Movie Convention on the Gold Coast that there’s been a decline in piracy among Australian adults in the last year.

“Part of this is due to new streaming services such as Netflix, Presto,” he says.

“However, before we get too comfortable by this decline in total piracy, the emphasis on movies is worse, and illegal online activity of 12- to 17-year-old Australians has almost doubled since last year with a whopping 31% pirating movies.”

He says visits to pirate sites in 2015 were estimated at 78.5 billion worldwide. In Australia there are 1.24 billion visits.

The Academy Award-winning Australian film, Mad Max: Fury Road, has been downloaded or streamed 3.5 million times in Australia alone.

By comparison the total sales of Australian DVDs, pay-per-view and legal streaming came in at 516,396.

And Australia accounted for 12.5% of the torrents of the Season 6 premiere episode of Game of Thrones and was the world’s worst offender. The US, with a population of 300 million came in third with 8.5%.

However, Burke says here some good news with 73% of people, according to research, agreeing that piracy is stealing.

“Ultimately, the community attitudes run very much in our favour and herein lies our greatest opportunity,” he says.

“I draw the powerful analogy with smoking. Twenty years ago this room would have been full of people filling up ashtrays and in restaurants 8 out of 10 people would have been smoking. Now smoking is socially taboo.”

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