Australian consumer group CHOICE has delivered the results of a study that finds Aussie pirates are much less the "freeloaders" that the movie industry often makes them out to be.
Instead of being people who never want to pay for anything, self confessed pirates in Australia are actually more likely than the average user to go to the movies, buy content from iTunes and have a streaming account.
The survey found that 1 in 3 Australians admitted to downloading pirated content, with almost 1 in 4 saying they do it on a monthly basis.
When it came to buying digital content, pirates were much more likely to pay for content via iTunes. Those that don't pirate were much less likely to pay for content as well. Only 12% of those that don't pirate paid for content on iTunes, compared to 16% for the general population, and a much higher 29% for self-confessed pirates.
The same results repeated itself when it comes to paying for a movie ticket, with 56% of "regular" pirates (those that pirate monthly) going to the movies at least once every month, compared to only 36% of the general population.
Pirates were also more likely to have and use streaming services, such as Australia's Quickflix.
As for why people pirate, CHOICE's study clearly demonstrated that pricing was the biggest issue, with 50% of pirates saying this was the main reason for their downloading habits. 41% also claimed that the lack of timely availability of certain content was the main driving force behind their decision to pirate.
CHOICE's Director of Campaigns and Communications Matt Levey says that content owners have to consider these issues when deciding how to punish pirates, and that it simply isn't a case of good non-pirating people versus those who "steal" content.
"A substantial proportion of people are pirating because of the high cost of content in Australia, and the time differences between releases here and overseas," says Levey.
"Some people have suggested we're a nation of pirates, but CHOICE has found we're a nation of couch potatoes who seek out content, online and off. This data shows that most Australians who pirate are even more willing to spend money on content than those who don't pirate," Mr Levey explained.