That’s according to research commissioned by the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA), which found that Australian illegal file-sharers are richer than the average Australian. Of the 1,000 adults questioned, 21% admitted to pirating content, reports Torrentfreak, with 44% being under the age of 30 (no information on teenager behaviour was available).
The study found that the rate of piracy increased with the rise in net household income.
Almost a third (30%) of the confirmed pirates lived in households that earn more than A$100,000 (Australian dollars) – $133,500 in US currency – compared to 14% who lived in households earning less than A$40,000, and 27% earning A$60,000-A$100,000.
According to the latest figures available, the median net income of Australian households was around A$43,100 in December last year.
“Only” 11% of people in the 50-69 age group admitted to pirating.
A quarter of pirates have enjoyed a university education. Torrentfreak, incorrectly, claims this is “well above the country average” — Australians are better educated then it presumes, with about 25 percent having a university degree.
So what can we conclude from this study?
Torrentfreak claims that pirates will argue that “pirating makes people smarter” – an argument that clearly can’t be upheld by facts. They are just not more stupid than the average population.
Torrentfreak’s claim that the entertainment industry will make the case that pirates are “rich because they’re not paying for a lot of their media” will most likely also prove unfounded – more likely, the entertainment industry will question claims that illegal downloading is due to music being unaffordable.
The reason richer people download more is more likely due to the technology they can afford – expensive computers, Android phones and iPhones and high-speed broadband (this also explains why most file sharers, according to the research, live in a metro area rather than the countryside).
And stealing these products is much more likely to put you in jail than illegal file-sharing is.
Alternatively, another conclusion could be that more rich people have a less finely-tuned moral compass than poorer people – and after the grillings of Apple and Google in the US Congress and British Parliament, that could hardly come as news.
Image by Giorgio Montersino, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-SA 2.0).