39% of Americans Don’t Care That Piracy Hurts Content Creators…

39% of U.S. Consumers Don't Care
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39% of U.S. Consumers Don't Care
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Image by Maxi Walton (CC by 2.0)

Despite the entertainment industry’s best efforts, most consumers just don’t really care about piracy problems.

Piracy costs artists and content creators millions of dollars in revenue. Yet, a new study shows that although most consumers know content piracy is illegal, some just don’t really care.

In a new survey commissioned by digital security platform firm Irdeto, 74% of U.S. consumers acknowledged that producing and sharing video content is illegal. 69% said that streaming and downloading pirated content is illegal. However, 32% of respondents admitted to watching pirated content. Yet, when confronted with the fact that studios lose out money, 39% said it had no effect on their piracy habits. Furthermore, only 19% of respondents said that the financial damage would stop them from watching pirated content.

Speaking about the study, Lawrence Low, Irdeto’s VP of business development, said that Hollywood must continue to “educate consumers about piracy.”

Piracy isn’t only a problem that affects the movie and TV industry. The music industry claims to lose millions of dollars each year due to piracy. While the findings aren’t good for either industry, the study underscored the need to promote services for legal content. In a statement, Low said,

“The negative impact that piracy has on the content creation industry extends much further than lost revenue. Piracy deters content creators from investing in new content, impacting the creative process and providing consumers with less choice. It is becoming increasingly important for operators and movie studios to educate consumers on the tactics employed by pirates and to further promote innovative offerings that allow consumers to legally acquire content.”

The survey also found that 24% of respondents who pirate content prefer to watch TV series. In addition, another 24% expressed interest in watching pirated movies currently in theaters. 18% of consumers wanted to pirate movies on DVD and Blu-ray discs. Another 10% wanted to watch pirated live sports transmissions. Only 9% wanted to pirate original content from distributors like Netflix, Hulu, and Apple’s iTunes.

YouGov conducted the online survey of 1,190 U.S. adults 18 and older from Dec. 29, 2016 through January 3. Although only 39% of U.S. consumers admitted to pirating content, the number may actually be much higher.

18 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    Same losers who don’t want to pay taxes, but like the benefits.

  2. Sandy

    Copyrights last way too long anyways. They should be like a patent – 20 years.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      Amazingly, the world is writing its own copyright laws. And, tech is facilitating that, you can argue.

      That said, copyright in the b2b context remains more enforceable.

  3. Anonymous

    I don’t think morality is much of a factor. People will do whatever they can get away with, and piracy is something people can get away with quite easily. The only effective education is through enforcement and punishment. While I’m not typically a fan of getting the government more involved with anything related to music, it does seem unreasonable for copyright owners to bear the cost of such enforcement. I think piracy is the reason popular music sucks these days. It’s too bland and same-y. The good songwriters aren’t coming back until they can make a living again. We need to fix this.

    • Versus

      If “people will do anything they can get away with”, that means they lack morality.

      • Anonymous

        That was my point. Any attempts to educate users by appealing to their morality probably won’t get us anywhere if that morality doesn’t exist in the first place. As such, it shouldn’t be considered a factor. Sorry if that wasn’t clear.

  4. R.D. Aragon

    Copyrighting is unconstitutional. Copyrighting does not stop 7 billion humans from downloading or copying your work.

    Will I copyright my material?

    Yes, of course, but will I sue somebody who takes my material and makes a million dollars? Nope, not at all.

    It’s my idiocy to think I can stop someone from using my work if I put it out there in the world. It’s not gonna happen, it will never happen.

    Copying, recording, or downloading in itself is NOT immoral or unethical. It would be immoral if you hacked into the Sony recording studios servers and downloaded LadyGaga’s latest album.

    If it’s a problem then we should enact a law into congress to ban all companies that manufacture recording devices, software and apps.

    But it’s not gonna happen. Maybe in North Korea, and maybe in 100 years when we become like North Korea.

    If fans are downloading your music for free then that’s great marketing, more people know who are and you can influence more dedicated fans that will buy your merchandise. We know most artists don’t make $$$$$ in album sales, it’s in performance and merchandise.

    If you put your material into the world, you’re taking a risk and don’t expect copyright laws will stop people from downloading your music.

  5. Versus

    Lots of people will also steal, cheat on their taxes, cheat on their spouses, etc., if they can get away with it. This simply proves they are deficient in basic morality.

    Since conscience is not enough to motivate people to do what is right, then the laws and enforcement should be far stronger.

    Let’s let the punishment fit the crime …

  6. Rowdy Ent

    Heck, our new President broke copyright law tons of times as he campaigned and used music by artists without their permission – multiple times, even after the artist objected. Lock him up!

  7. Hackey McHackle

    “Piracy costs artists and content creators millions of dollars in revenue.”


    “Yet, when confronted with the fact that studios lose out money, 39% said it had no effect on their piracy habits.”

    Nope. Iredeto NEVER “confronted” survey responders with any ” fact that studios lose out money.”

    What a hack job

    • Anonymous

      So you’re saying that it doesn’t result in lost sales?

      Good luck with your propaganda there, bud.

    • Hackey McHackle

      Ah, the infamous, DMN/general internet propensity to argue not with what someone said, but instead with what you WISHED they had said, by posting your convenient mis-interpretation of their actual statement.

      Am I saying that piracy can’t result in lost sales? Well, DID I say “Piracy can’t result in lost sales”?

      No. I did not.

      What I said – specifically – is that it is incorrect to state, categorically, that “piracy costs artists and content creators millions of dollars in revenue.”

      I said that because there is absolutely no proof that it does.

      There is reasonable conjecture (and even some specific proof) that piracy likely results in some lost sales. But there is also reasonable conjecture based on specific proof that piracy also results in increased sales, as well as increases in other revenue streams for artists.

      Beyond that, NO ONE can put any metric like “millions of dollars” on any such effect.

      I also noted that it was entirely incorrect to say that “Iredeto confronted survey participants with the fact that studios lose out money.” they did no such thing as part of the survey.

      And I imagine they didn’t because they knew that they CAN’T say that, truthfully.

      So, you might want to re-consider who’s actually employing propaganda, and why doing so for the last 10-15 years has gotten content owners NOWHERE, bud.

  8. The Silver Conductor

    MusicLuv to ALL eyes that see read and hear this. To the 39% or whatever the percentage is, tell them to go let their bosses know they now want to work for FREE and let’s see how creative they can be.
    The SC.