One third of Australians illegally download content on a regular basis

Of the 313 random participants in a recent poll on Compare Broadband, 37% admitted to having downloaded content illegally.

When asked, ‘Have you ever illegally downloaded movies or music on the internet?’ with voters being told answers were, ‘anonymous and confidential’, a striking 29% of people said they regularly downloaded content over the internet.

Some may see 63% of Australians having never downloaded content illegally as a positive result, but if one third of people in Australia are partaking in illegal downloads, it is definitely a real problem for the original copyright owners of stolen material who obviously stand to lose a lot of income.

Internet Service Provider iiNet was recently absolved from responsibility after being sued by a conglomerate of film industry representatives in the Federal Court, but an appeal has been made by the Australian Federation against Copyright Theft (AFACT), which is due to go back to court between August 2-5. The original finding was that individuals were at fault for illegally downloading content, and not their internet provider.

AFACT reacted to the verdict by saying the judge’s view was, ‘out of step with well established copyright law in Australia,’ and ‘a serious threat to Australia's digital economy.’

Compare Broadband’s General Manager, Scott Kennedy, when asked about the poll’s result said, ‘I’m not surprised that 37% of people have downloaded illegal content in the past, but I am surprised that 29% of people have downloaded more than 10 illegal files. It seems that once you get the bug you are likely to become a serial offender. It is clearly a widespread problem and one that the copyright owners have a huge interest in pursuing.’