Fresh research commissioned by the Intellectual Property Awareness Foundation (IPAF), an alliance of Australian film and television organisations, has revealed a number of insights regarding the attitudes and behaviour of Australians aged 12-17 to online film and television piracy.
The independent study, undertaken by Sycamore Research in partnership with Newspoll, is the first in-depth study of its kind – previous IPAF research has focused on adults – and used a combination of quantitative and qualitative methodologies.
According to the IPAF, the research suggests that the film and TV piracy habits and attitudes of young Australians:
Lori Flekser, Executive Director of IPAF, says the research has identified some of the key drivers of behaviour amongst this generation of digital natives. “Essentially they pirate because it’s free, easily accessible, nobody is stopping them and they incorrectly believe it is the social norm and that it does no real harm.”
She confirms the new research corroborates IPAF’s previous adult-focused research about the ultimate reason Australians of all ages pirate movies and TV shows – because they can get it for free. “This is, and should be, of huge concern to our creative industries, which employ significant numbers of people. There is a disturbing trend towards the devaluing of content. Whilst it is good news that 76 per cent of twelve-to-seventeen year-old Australians are not accessing pirated content, the activity of the almost one in four who are, has a substantial impact,”she notes.
Marc Wooldridge, Managing Director of 20th Century Fox Film Distributors, says that piracy is a massive drain on the film industry. “It’s disheartening and shows a disregard for the time, effort and money that’s invested in creating amazing pieces of entertainment that obviously are important to those pirating, because they spend a lot of time engaging with filmed entertainment. They just have a reluctance to pay for it when they can get it for free. I think that that’s one of our ongoing challenges. It’s hard to compete with free.”
The Director of Sycamore Research, Anna Meadows, used an online platform for the qualitative research in this study for IPAF – including a fully moderated diary and online forum. This allowed her to engage and interact with those respondents who identified as pirates and observe their behaviour online as well as hold forum discussions to understand the influences on their piracy behaviour.
More than 600 respondents aged 12-17 participated nationally in the quantitative research, also
conducted online. Meadows said that researching online provided a relevant context and level of
comfort for the participants and encouraged candour in their responses.