Home Management Matters Downloading illegally? Hey, join the crowd.

Downloading illegally? Hey, join the crowd.


Ever Limewired some U2? Bit-torrented a Tarantino film? Shanghaied “Call of Duty” on Pirate Bay? If you have, you are most certainly not alone.

In a recent poll by product-comparison website Compare Broadband, 37% Of 313 random participants admitted to having downloaded content illegally.

In addition, 29% said they regularly download illegal content over the Internet. “Regularly” was defined in the poll as having downloaded more than 10 pirated files.

The survey results came out as a high-profile copyright case works its way through the Australian legal system.

A federal court in February cleared Internet service provider iiNet of copyright infringment after being sued by a group of film studios and broadcasters. The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) appealed that decision; that appeal is being heard this month in Federal Court.

iiNET Piracy Case

Justice Dennis Cowdroy ruled in February that the Perth-based ISP should bear no liability for third parties’ copyright infringement. AFACT contends iiNet was aware of copyright violations committed on its network and failed to prevent them.

The participants in the Compare Broadband survey were told their responses would be anonymous and confidential, so one might conclude the poll’s results are optimistically low. Indeed, some may see 63% of Australians having never downloaded content illegally as a positive result.

But Compare Broadband contends that even if one out of three people is partaking in illegal downloads, it is a real problem for the copyright owners.

“I’m not surprised that 37% of people have downloaded illegal content in the past, but I am surprised that 29% of people have downloaded more than 10 illegal files,” said Scott Kennedy, Compare Broadband general manager. “It seems that once you get the bug, you are likely to become a serial offender.”

Image by opensourceway