Australian pirates plagued by cybercrime

New research reveals Australians are bypassing site blocks and exposing themselves to cybercrime

  • Year-on-year increases in number of pirates experiencing cybersecurity issues
  • A fifth of Australians admit to regularly pirating films and TV shows
  • Loopholes in site-blocking legislation need to close in order to decrease piracy

Creative Content Australia (CCA), the anti-piracy advocacy group representing the screen industry, has called on the Government to strengthen site-blocking laws as new findings reveal Australians are bypassing site blocks and increasingly becoming victims of cybercrime. 

Cybersafety remains a major issue for Australians who pirate. The annual piracy survey from Creative Content Australia revealed year-on-year increases in the number of pirates who report being hacked, becoming a victim of fraud, or having a virus or ransomware installed on their device. In total, 72% of adults and 82% of teens who pirate have experienced one of the above.

Graham Burke AO, Chair of Creative Content Australia, said: “Australians must remember, pirate operators are not altruistic and a ‘free’ TV or movie is not free at all. It’s simply a lure for criminal enterprises to make money via illegal scams, such as identity theft and ransomware, that can literally ruin peoples lives.”

CCA’s research reveals a fifth (21%) of adult Australians are regularly accessing pirated content despite pirate websites being blocked by ISP’s and Search Engines under site blocking laws.

And, exposing another flaw in the site blocking regime, CCA’s research revealed that a quarter (25%) of the pirates who had encountered a blocked site simply changed their DNS to an Alternate DNS provider to bypass the block.

Burke continues: “We hope the Copyright Enforcement Review will urgently future proof site blocking legislation and close the loophole which is diverting hard-earned revenues from the screen industry and putting Australian’s online safety at risk.” 

Creative Content Australia released the findings as part of the Department of the Attorney General’s public consultation into Australia’s copyright enforcement regime.

About Creative Content Australia

Creative Content Australia (CCA) supports the screen industry by raising awareness about the role of copyright, the importance of legal screen content, and the negative impact of piracy on the content creators of the film and TV shows that audiences love. CCA is supported by Australian creative industry companies and associations, opposed to the theft of creative works that put jobs at risk, and undermine business models and investment in creative enterprises.