Content Cafe


Attorney-General says piracy remains ‘disturbingly high’

by Amy Pettinger, Content Cafe — 13 February 2023

The Attorney-General’s Department has released the 2022 Consumer Survey on Online Copyright Infringement. The report has revealed that while 61% of survey respondents consumed content lawfully, 39% consumed at least some content in ways that were likely unlawful.

Following the report, the Attorney General, The Hon. Mark Dreyfus KC MP, has concluded that the rate of Australians accessing online content unlawfully remains ‘disturbingly high’. Last November, the Government announced a review of copyright enforcement mechanisms to ensure Australia’s copyright laws remain fit-for-purpose.

What were the key findings from the survey?

Infringement rates are unchanged for both film and TV. Pirates are primarily getting their content via streaming sites, illegal apps, or stolen logins to SVOD services.  

26% of respondents had consumed film unlawfully (consistent with 2021 23%)

22% had consumed TV unlawfully (consistent with 2021 20%)

The top 3 consumption methods were by:

  • Accessing free apps found on app stores
  • Paying a fee to use stolen/unknown credentials
  • Visiting streaming websites

Siteblocking is effective, but there are ways around it. The number of people coming up against a blocked site is increasing, but a large portion are also saying that they can bypass a blocked site. 

17% of respondents had encountered a blocked site, up from 11% in 2021

Of those, 16% followed up the action by bypassing the blocked site

And 6% sought another pirate site

Custom DNS awareness is steadily increasing, and far more likely to be used by pirates.   

23% are aware of custom DNS (unchanged from 2021)

6% of internet users have used a custom DNS, and 9% of those have used it to pirate

13% of infringers have used a custom DNS vs 5% of non-infringers

Pirates are mostly young men, and higher income earners

Infringers are more likely to be male (62%), aged 25-34 years (23%), have a household income over $80K (36%), and be in full time employment (38%).

It’s not always easy to identify pirated content

Only 32%-45% of survey respondents were very confident that they could identify unlawful content across each content type, the report noted a slight decrease in the confidence of identifying unlawful content over the last few years.

Read the full report here

FURTHER READING: What’s the focus for the copyright enforcement review?, by Joel Barrett and Tracy Lu, Allens Linklater’s, January 2023