Jack Sparrow eat your heart out: just over 25% of Australians are pirates.

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Pirates of movies, music and other TV content, that is.

That’s according to a Newspoll survey which says just 27% of us class ourselves as “persistent” or “casual” illegal downloaders” while 63% of us say we never illegally download content from the web.

However, most piracy in OZ is done via downloading rather than direct content streaming – 59% V 23% – the poll also indicates.

Another 10% of over 1,600 Australians quizzed say they were former offenders but their illegal behaviour has now lapsed.

But those of us who do still download illegally claim we are doing it more than ever in the past 12 months, despite the emergence of catchup TV and legit movie download services like Quikflix.

And it looks like males are more likely to pirate than females and 35-49 age group were the biggest offenders.

So why do they do it?

The real reason people illegally download is because it’s free, 86% of regular pirates said, according to the poll commissioned by The Intellectual Property Awareness Foundation (IPAF). 

IPAF members include Foxtel, Sony and Motion Pictures Association of America which includes all main movie houses including 20th Century Fox, Universal and Paramount, who are looking to stamp out piracy worldwide.

Earlier this year a court ruled iiNet was not responsible for their customers’ illegal downloads, following a prolonged court case taken against if by AFACT, which comprises all major Hollywood movie houses.

But most pirates hold themselves responsible for prevention of illegal downloading and streaming online, although a considerable 45% of us believe ISPs like Optus and Telstra are responsible for illegal downloads, while 40% say its TV and movie industry’s fault.


This comes as major piracy sites like The Pirate Bay run aground in the UK with ISPs there forced to block the service, while Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom is also on the run as the movie industry gets tough on illegal services online.

The survey was conducted by Newspoll on behalf of The Intellectual Property Awareness Foundation, quizzing over 1,600 stralian adults aged 16-64.

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