Do You Still Pirate Movies And TV Shows?

Do You Still Pirate Movies And TV Shows?

Last week, IP Awareness Foundation released data showing Australia’s online piracy rates have declined. While the group didn’t cite one specific reason as to why this is happening, the fact of the matter is the figures show Australians are not doing as much illegal downloading of movies and TV shows these days. So are you a retired pirate?

According to data from IP Awareness Foundation, 25 per cent of Australian adults aged 18-64 are active pirates, down from 29 percent in the previous year. Persistent pirates are down from 13 per cent to 10 per cent while those who dabble in downloading copyright content has dipped slightly from 16 per cent to 15 per cent.

Last month, a poll by Choice found the number of people illegally downloading film and TV shows has dropped from 23 per cent to 17 per cent.

So all signs point to Australians easing off on piracy for the first time in years. Netflix entering the local market may have helped. Or it could be the Dallas Buyer’s Club court case scaring people off.

We want to find out whether you’ve become a reformed pirate. Maybe you’re now a part-time pirate? Let us know in the comments.


  • nope.
    if there is something i want to see that i cant access legally, i dont do illegal things. if other people do illegal things and then i see it, then i dont know if that makes me an enabler or not seeing my actions dont make a difference to theirs.

  • I mentioned this in an earlier post on the subject, are the numbers down because they can’t be seen behind a VPN? Personally, I find it easier and less hassle to just download what I want for later consumption. It really pisses me off when TV stations advertise “Fast Tracked” from the States, when in fact I’ve already watched half the season via VPN, stations should realise, we aren’t stupid, so stop treating us like fools.

  • I think posing it as an ‘either/or’ question isn’t really indicative of how or why people pirate.

    Yes, people might pirate less if the things they want to watch are now more easily available and more affordable, but just because some titles you want to watch are available on Netflix or whatever doesn’t mean that you don’t still want those other titles that still need to be accessed via the seven digital seas.

    I really don’t think it’s a case of people saying, “Well, I can get most of what I want now, so I’m happier to put up with missing out on everything else, I am no longer a pirate – I am reformed,” as much as, “I only pirate the things that aren’t on Netflix, but there’s so much there that I haven’t had to, lately.”

  • Over the years I’ve gone from pirating everything, to pirating nothing because of the following:

    – Ease of access / convenient
    – Affordable
    – The ability to choose how I consume media. The how, when and where I decide to watch content

    The introduction of the below services are the catalyst of change for me:

    Steam – Games
    Spotify – Music
    Netflix – Movies and TV shows
    Movie cinemas – If I really want to watch a a movie sooner

    Previously, I was still paying a regular subscription to a private torrent tracker because it enabled me to quickly and easily access the content I wanted at a reasonable price. So its not like us ‘pirates’ never wanted to pay for content, we just aren’t fans of getting screwed over by studios / local content distributors who tried their best to maintain the monopoly.

    We’ve finally gone from a “You will watch, what we want you to watch, when we tell you to watch it” to a “I will watch, what I want to watch, when I want and wherever the hell I like!”.

    I still find it funny how around a year ago, Foxtel where magically able to cut their rates in half as Netflix was very close to opening. So if you’re wondering why Australian’s are the biggest pirates in the world, you can thank Foxtel for that!

    /endrant 😛

    • To be fair Netflix doesn’t solve piracy because of Film and TV licensing. To not pirate anything at all an avid tv watcher who doesn’t want to miss out on his favourite shows would need:

      USA – Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Cable
      AUS – Netflix, Stan, Presto, Foxtel

      Steam and Spotify work so well because you have access to almost everything.

      • Yes true, but it works for me because most of the shows I watch are on Netflix but I don’t watch too many shows for starters anyway. Some shows like South Park aren’t available on Netflix so I just forget about watching them. I haven’t reached the point yet where I need to subscribe to multiple services.

        Actually come to think of it, I guess the only exception to my first comment would be GoT….

  • Movies, haven’t done that for a long time.
    TV, used to get Big Bang and Modern Family plus Walking Dead and GoT. Plus Once Upon a Time for the wife.
    Don’t terribly care about the Sitcoms too much, but the other two I do. And the wife’s one.
    I have access to a VPN so it’s really a matter of getting that set up with my torrent client which I haven’t got around to doing yet.

  • I prefer to call it ‘ethical copyright infringement’, where I view TV shows prior to them being available for purchase, but always buy a digital copy when it’s available.

    In the case of GoT this year, I purchased the season on Apple TV in advance. Still had to download episodes, as I wasn’t able to view any episodes until the whole season had finished (dumb!).

  • I was only thinking about this the other day about how long it’s been since I’ve acquired a movie or TV show via alternative means. Since Netflix finally hit our shores officially, I can say I’ve fully embraced the model. As an off shoot I’ve even started using our own Free to Air streaming services such as ABC’s iView and SBS on demand (SBS on Demand has a lot more content than I had originally expected)….even *cough* Yahoo 7 sometimes gets a guernsey once in awhile.

    If it’s easier to access than it is to pirate, and priced at a margin that you don’t feel like you’re being price gouged. Then even though the model is still not perfect (i.e Different Netflix catalogue per country) I find it difficult for myself to justify even bothering these days to try.

  • Steam came out and so I don’t get illegal games
    Spotify came out and so I don’t get illegal music
    Netflix is here (albeit slightly crippled) and when I can afford it I can’t wait to try it out.

    I honestly think this drop is bigger then some people realize, the fact is for a long time the media industry was more then happy to screw OZ over, and a lot of people said shove it and started obtaining media illegally.
    Due to this its almost widely accepted in a lot of circles to obtain media illegally (even if its bad), the fact that Netflix, spotify, steam etc can not only provide a practical legal alternative but also CHANGE the mindset of piraters is a massive thing.

    Its easy for a pirater to say “screw it, I’ve been pirating for ages and it works”. It’s another thing for a pirater to say “you know what?, this legal alternative is so much better, I’ll use this instead”. And I feel this drop is due to a lot of piraters saying just that.

  • With Netflix and Spotify iv’e become way to lazy to pirate anything. it just takes to much time and effort just for a bit of entertainment.

  • Haven’t really downloaded anything for a while. Partly because it’s time consuming to search for what you’d like, add the torrent, download it and then actually get around to watching it.

    I mainly used to download Top Gear because we were so far behind and could not justify watching it on 9 with 27 ad breaks when the BBC do it ad-free.

    I also used to download music albums a fair bit but with spotify for a small fee its easier to just use spotify.

  • movies i think i have downloaded 1-2 since Netflix came out.

    I still pirate all my TV shows that i watch since no one in Aus even picks them up so no legal way to watch them anyway ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  • i still cant understand how Netflix is regarded as an alternate to piracy. It is old TV (at best)

    Season 3 of Suits, whereas the actual show is up to season 5.

    And it will never have the availability of everything that is out there in TPB land.

    • I see Netflix as how you start watching a show that’s already been out for a while and you hadn’t heard of. For stuff that you’re up to date on, no good, also not good for new movies.

  • Between US TV network free online streams, Netflix and Hulu, we find we can get almost everything we watch legit. Handful of other shows not so much.

  • I stopped this behaviour years ago for several reasons, but primarily because the “entertainment” industry continually demonstrates itself as irrelevant to me 99% of the time. It constantly demonstrates an unwillingness to exercise imagination by pounding any new idea into the ground with sequel after sequel or clone after clone. That said 2014 & 2015 seem to have been the years of the reboot, reboot, reboot because we can’t think of anything new so we’ll try to sell the same stuff to a new generation.

    Seriously I don’t have time for this lack of imagination.

    I watch apple TV offerings on occasion, although only movies, I no longer watch “TV Series” as I don’t have the time to commit to that ongoing commitment. Also the trend of 10 to 12 episodes a season really encouraged a feeling of being ripped off even more.

    It comes down to a principle of “I don’t think it’s worth indirectly providing credibility to a shoddy product by engaging in an activity that somehow indicates the product is even worth gaining by whatever means.”

    It’s not depriving Artists, they’re paid beforehand anyway. It’s just a greedy group of distribution holders that won’t adjust to changing demands from consumers. Their products are overpriced and overvalued.

  • I subscribe to Netflix and Quickflix. But most of the shows I want to watch are still tied to Foxtel (Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead). or are on free-to-air but late/low-quality (American Horror Story, Humans). or are only on Stan (Hannibal, Mr. Robot). I watch a lot of indie/horror movies that are not even available to rent/buy in Australia, let alone stream (Hellions, Insidious 3, REC 4, Deathgasm)

  • Does anyone know the US site to stream walking dead? I’d like to pay someone for it at a reasonable price.

    • I’m sure your question is rhetorical but… you can watch it on AMC website but need a US cable account, or watch it on Foxtel (not Presto).

      Luckily, there are plenty of other websites that will offer you the streaming service for free.

  • Well, well!! I had stopped downloading things since the new laws were talked about more heavily, I thought the risk was quite high so I canned it.

    But now that the new data retention laws are now in full swing, I decided to protect my overall privacy with a VPN. But then I figured I can use a proxy and be anonymous.

    So ironically, the data retention laws have effectively caused me to take my own measures to not worry as much about “privacy” anymore.

    If you catch my drift 😀

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