Tuesday, January 20, 2009

More Than 25 Million Americans Pirate Movies

Digital Life America, a unit of the Solutions Research Group, has found that out of the 32 million Americans who have downloaded at least 1 movie from the Internet, 80 percent have done so over P2P.

According to the group, 25.6 million Americans have illegally downloaded a full-length movie from the Internet. That’s 18 percent of the total US online population.

2,600 Americans took part in the study via telephone and on the web. The study found that users basically don’t believe or care that movie studios are losing money when someone illegally downloads a movie. Interestingly, 78 percent of the people found stealing a DVD from a store to be a “serious offence”, but only 40 percent considered downloading a movie to be just as bad.

Director of the study, Kaan Yigit said in a statement that the movie industry was suffering from the “Robin Hood effect” due to the large profits it makes. “There is a Robin Hood effect — most people perceive celebrities and studios to be rich already and as a result don’t think of movie downloading as a big deal,” he said.

Just as we noted in a recent piece, the study found that unless a legal offering is competitive enough, users are not going to stop downloading pirated movies. “The current crop of ‘download to own’ movie services and the new ones coming into the market will need to offer greater flexibility of use, selection and low prices to convert the current users to their services — otherwise file-sharing will continue to thrive,” said Yigit.



  1. I'm actually downloading a few movies on my laptop in my apt. as we speak.

  2. This is one of the great tensions we're experiencing with digital and online media. The early frontier ethic was "information just wants to be free," and that was why the early adopters were so upset when the internet changed, following the introduction of the web, as the commercial moved in on the new medium. If the bias is towards free and easy distribution of content, do we go with the flow, or try to get it under control?