AUSTRALIA: Online Piracy Starting to Feel the “Netflix Effect”

JAMES ROYCE WRITES — Piracy rates in Australia have dropped in recent months, and the introduction of Netflix this March might be the culprit.  

The video streaming giant sees itself as a key competitor to the many pirate sites and services that offer video content illegally around the world. By providing cheap, reliable and legal video streaming services, they have become wildly popular in countries where it is offered.

In recent years, the company revealed that it has seen a consistent piracy drop in many countries after launch — and this effect now appears to be hitting Australia.

Choice, the leading consumer advocacy group in Australia, found that the number of people regularly pirating content has dropped by a quarter since Netflix’s local launch.

A third of those covered in the survey have said they are downloading less now that the content they want is being offered legally, thereby avoiding any potential moral considerations or legal ramifications they might previously have been threatened with.

“This proves once again that making content affordable and easily available is the first and most effective tactic to reduce piracy — not a draconian internet filter and notice scheme,” said Choice campaigns manager Erin Turner. “These policies won’t work, because they do not address the reasons people pirate; they just prop up outdated business models. Unlawful downloading comes down to availability, timeliness and affordability.”

Piracy has been a hot topic recently in Australia and there are plans to block websites and warn frequent infringers in the near future. For the time being, Netflix is steadily becoming the “silver bullet” solution to combating this piracy trend.

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