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Friday, 18 February 2011 12:24

EFA denounces piracy study

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Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) today urged skepticism about claims that piracy is costing thousands of jobs in Australia.

 

The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) yesterday released a study,"Economic consequences of movie piracy", purporting to show that movie downloading is costing the economy over a billion dollars each year.

"We question many of the assumptions underlying this report," said EFA Chair Colin Jacobs.

"The industry has a habit of crying wolf with these sorts of numbers, trying to drum up support for tougher laws. But there are many factors they don't take into account. Treating downloads as lost economic activity is flawed, and downloaders are actually some of the entertainment industry's best customers. The study also ignores the effects to the wider economy of money being spent elsewhere at Australian-owned businesses."

EFA also questions the industry's ongoing strategy of trying to defend their old business model without adapting to the realities of the digital age.

"Instead of waging war against their customers - and trying to get government help to do so - the movie industry should focus on improving its own offering, and give customers a better alternative to the peer-to-peer networks," said Jacobs. "History shows that customers are happy to pay a fair price for a good product and a good service."

The report estimated the toll of Australia's illegal movie downloading habits as being $1.3 billion a year on the nation's economy.

The study was conducted by IPSOS and Oxford Economics on behalf of AFACT, and came to the conclusion that movie piracy over a 12 month period killed the equivalent of 6,100 full time jobs thanks to 92 million pirated movies being viewed or obtained.

More information on EFA's response can be found at its website.

Electronic Frontiers Australia Inc. (EFA) is a non-profit Australian national non-government organisation representing Internet users concerned with online liberties and rights, and has been vocal on the issue of Internet censorship in Australia (and, more recently, copyright).


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