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Why People Pirate, and Don't Pirate, around the World

Posted by: , 13:00 AEST, Sat July 19, 2014

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New survey tries to find out why people in different countries pirate movies
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Image/Photo Credit: Tobias Vemmenby @ Flickr, CC

A global consumer survey from media protection firm Irdeto has painted a picture showing why people pirate, or don't pirate, in countries around the world. According to the survey, availability of legal options, and pricing, are key reasons behind the relative high piracy in some countries, including Australia.

In countries where users have access to superior legal options (such as Netflix), the majority of users surveyed are unlikely to even think about watching pirated content. These countries include the US and UK, where 70% and 72% of users respectively say they are unlikely to obtain pirated content. And even for those that pirate, in the US for example, 90% say they only do it very infrequently, a few times every year at most.

This compares favorably to countries where legal content isn't as readily available, including Australia, in which only 40% say they were unlikely or extremely unlikely to pirate.

But even this is better than in some poorer countries, where cost becomes an issue in addition to availability. For example, in Indonesia, only 9% of those surveyed said they would not pirate, and 36% said pricing was the main reason why they chose to pirate. 

In Australia, the main reason for piracy was lack of legal options.

The common theme in many countries was the fact that young people are much more likely to use pirated content than older respondents. This may either indicate young people are less concerned about the moral or legal implications of piracy, or that they're simply better at it than the older generations.

The survey also confirms that availability, poor quality and security issues, such as the threat of malware being included with some pirated downloads, were the main deterrents to downloading illegal content.


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