John Polson, the Australian actor, director and founder of Tropfest, the world’s largest short film festival, has lent his support to anti-piracy campaigning, suggesting that few Australians would illegally download if there was greater awareness of its devastating impact on the industry.
Polson said the Federal Government needed to educate better audiences about such practices. “Artists need support, time and money to develop their ideas and if people rip stuff off, you don’t have to be that brilliant to figure out that you’re going to affect the end product,” he asserted.
A 2011 survey commissioned by the Intellectual Property Awareness Foundation (IPAF) found 27 per cent of Australians downloaded illegal movies and TV content on a regular basis at least once a month, most saying the reason they did so was because it was free.
“I do think Australians as a rule have a very good sensibility to them and I think most people, if they were given the option, would not choose to rip off a film-maker or an artist – I don’t think it’s part of the Australian psyche,” Polson suggested at a Las Vegas event celebrating 20 years of Tropfest.