Australian film industry appeals movie lovers to refrain from piracy


MUMBAI: A recently released research reveals that one in three Australians are involved in film and TV content theft, or piracy, while at the same time believing piracy is stealing or theft. The study forms the basis for a new communications campaign by the film and television industry which appeals to audiences to ‘Please, Watch What You Watch’.

The Intellectual Property Awareness Foundation (IPAF), an alliance of film and television organizations in Australia, commissioned research through Sycamore Research & Marketing. The survey asked respondents nationally, aged between 18 and 64, about their attitudes and activities in relation to content piracy.

The research revealed that a third of Australians – 34 per cent – said they see piracy as stealing or theft but they regularly do it by burning, buying or downloading illegal or unauthorized copies of films or TV programs.

In other words one in three Australians participate in something that they don’t agree with. To describe this disconnect between people’s actions and beliefs, IPAF coined the phrase ‘Accidental Pirate’.

IPAF CEO Gail Grant said, “Our research provided us with some shocking overall statistics such as 53% of people pirated film or TV content during the year. We also found that people think they are basically honest. We learned some Australians don’t agree with piracy and don’t think they contribute to the content theft problem while regularly doing it. People aren’t making the connection between their actions and their beliefs.”

IPAF has created a national campaign focusing on raising awareness and educating the public on the actions that constitute content theft at the everyday and every person level.

The campaign aims to achieve this in a unique way, using humor. IPAF has created likeable caricatures of everyday Australians to disarm the automatic barriers to the message, before challenging people to become more informed in the future.

“Every act of piracy has consequences across a broad spectrum of creative pursuits and businesses and, at the most basic level, is responsible for taking someone’s livelihood away with every act. Our campaign will encourage people to think about their actions and attitudes towards piracy and we want to communicate with people on an inclusive level,” added Grant.

Motion Picture Association president and managing director Mike Ellis said, “The research released today reminds us of the need to persist in raising public awareness. Many people continue to engage in infringing activity without realizing the impact it has on their friends and neighbors in the creative community. Respecting copyright in film and television is a win/win for movie lovers and film and television industry practitioners, as a healthy patronage of genuine cinema, DVD and television experiences stimulates investment in more films and shows for audiences to enjoy. We congratulate IPAF on the launch of this campaign and have confidence that it will make a difference.”

The ‘Accidental Pirate’ campaign is a fully integrated public education program involving national print, television, radio and cinema, public relations and social media.