Link to our Facebook
Link to our Instagram
Link to our TikTok

Australians Are Still Torrenting Music And Sharing Passwords: Piracy Numbers Revealed

14 February 2023 | 9:13 am | Mary Varvaris

40% of the population might be pirates...

(Source: Supplied)

The Australian Government has recently unveiled the 2022 edition of its Consumer Survey on Online Copyright Infringement, commissioned by the Attorney General's Department. The survey is 159 pages long - if you want to check it out, read it here.

The report finds that consumption of online content - tv shows, music, live sports, video games, and films - has increased since 2021. 

The 2022 Consumer Copyright Infringement Survey was conducted online from 24 June to 14 July 2022. 57% of respondents in 2021 consumed tv shows, with 60% reporting doing so in 2022. "An identical three-point increase was observed in the consumption of movies (53% in 2021 / 57% in 2022) and music (45% in 2021 / 48% in 2022)," Torrent Freak reports.

"Video game consumption leapt from 26% in 2021 to 37% in 2022, with live sports reaching 34% in 2022, up from 26% recorded the previous year."

In 2022, the "overall infringement" rate was up from 30% in 2021 to 39% last year. As so many of us frequently use legal streaming services, the report also focuses on a new category of behaviour that's "likely to be unlawful," with password sharing boosting the figures.

Keeping up with new trends, the 2022 survey found respondents who "pay a small fee to access one or many subscription services through a shared / unknown account (e.g. shared login credentials)," however, this misses the overwhelming number of people who don't charge their family and friends to use their Netflix password. 

Plug into the latest music with our FREE weekly newsletter

Alarmingly, 18% of people share music streaming passwords with people outside their household, while 26% download or otherwise illegally access music.

"Within content types, no more than 12% of all respondents use only unlawful methods to access content, and just 3% of all respondents use only unlawful consumption methods across all content types they consume," the report reads.

However, the Australian Government has a different view: "Research conducted for the Attorney-General’s Department has revealed the rate of Australians accessing online content unlawfully remains disturbingly high."

In 2016, internet providers blocked several torrent websites, a development that has caused quite a stir between content creators, copyright holders and consumers.

With an array of individuals and outlets flooding social media with reports on how to bypass the blocks to sites like The Pirate Bay, IsoHunt and SolarMovie, the company who instigated legal action against to have them blocked, Foxtel, hit back at those continuing to access content through illegal means.

"We trust that Australians seeking to visit such sites will now recognise that what they are doing is wrong and that in the overwhelming majority of cases, the content they are seeking is available legally, quickly, at reasonable prices and on any device they wish to use," a Foxtel spokesperson told The Music.

"There will always be a small group of people who do the wrong thing, but we are confident most people will show content creators the respect they deserve."

Foxtel also stated the Federal Court decision recognises torrent and other sites breaching copyright are "stealing other peoples' creative outputs, surrounding them with advertising and making them available against the wishes of the people who have invested the creativity and money to make them".