Study Suggests Economics, not Morality key to Movie Piracy

According to the results of a recent Digital Life America study, roughly 18% of the US online population download movies online, and approximately 80% percent of that do so illegally. The self-funded study, conducted over a period of four months in 2006, included results from a nationally representative sample of 2,616 Americans (via phone and online survey) and is supposed to be accurate to plus or minus 2.4%.

The profile of an average P2P downloader is a 29-year-old male (63% are male, 37% female) with 16 movie titles stored on his computer. Only 40% of those surveyed believed that downloading copyrighted movies was a "very serious offense." This can be either attributed to the fact that pirates perceive celebrities and studios as "rich enough" or that they consider the risk vs. reward equation, factoring convenience and price, and ultimately find the illegal download is a superior option to the legal download. Other data from the survey indicates that Americans are increasingly using their PCs as media centers: 81% have watched some sort of video content on their computers, not including user-generated video sites such as YouTube.

"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. Consumers who are interested in downloadable movies are turned off by restrictions on what they can do with the content afterwards, as well as lack of cross-platform and cross-device compatibility. This is even more important for movies (compared to music) because it's a bigger ticket item. The more perceived limitations there are, the slower the adoption of 'legal' alternatives," said study director Kaan Yigit.

News source: Ars Technica

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Like everyone's said, most movies aren't even worth matinee price. I saw Soul Plane for $9.75. If the MPAA doesn't think that justifies someone pirating movies for the rest of their life, then I don't know what does.

ive said it before and ill say it again.

the MPAA should be HAPPY there crap is plastered all over the net for free. i wouldn't watch HALF the movies i do if i had to pay for them. and its not because i dont want to pay for them, or cant pay for them, i WONT pay for half the crap they call Feature Cinema. there are too many movies today that are just plain horrible and dont deserver my cash.

granted, there are movies that are very worth it, and i would much prefer watching those in a movie theater then on my 52" at home. therefore, i go and pay the ridiculously $12 to sit in a chair for 90 minutes.

If I pay to download a movie, I want to be able to do what I like with it, including watching it in VLC so I can have it on two screens, and re-encoding it to go on my pocket pc etc... When they allow that, at a reasonable price, I'll do it.

I find these studies so ridiculous. The MPAA rants and rave about how piracy is killing the movie industry, yet they haven't taken a single minute to consider the fact that it now costs a couple $50 to go to the movie theater to see a movie and maybe have a bag of popcorn.

In terms of renting, I live nearly across the street from a Blockbuster, so I do rent movies instead of download them, but I burn most of them for my own collection. The only ones I buy are ones that are either classics already (eg. the previously mentioned Indiana Jones Trioligy etc...) or ones that will be classics in the future (eg. Life is Beautiful, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy). And again, it is because of price. Why would I pay $20 for a DVD of a movie like "Employee of the Month"? It's a crappy movie, but good for a couple laughs, so I would rent it for a couple bucks, and burn it to a blank dvd which cost me 20 cents.

I find it hard to sympathize with companies that whine about lost revenue due to piracy in one sentence and in the next they are telling you of a crappy movie that made $5 million in its opening weekend.

you know what funny about this survey is soooo flaw... because 1. I download I wont deny it but I do buy dvds worth my money I bought collection of Indiana jones because worth my money an scarface and rest of those kickass movies they don't make anymore beside repeated sequel .. I took online survey, and they ask me if I would pay 25 buck for download at movielink if the movie get release the same day when get release on theaters.. my respond was hell the **** no.. 25bucks? wtf? are they high? how about 5 + tax than talk to me.

If the movie would cost less and be in open format, I would sure as hell pay to download them. Something like $5 for new movie and $3.99 for old one is mmmkkk price. Something that a video rental store would charge. Use open codecs and containers and no drm and ppl would be too lazy to pirate stuffs.

" The profile of an average P2P downloader is a 29-year-old male (63% are male, 37% female) with 16 movie titles stored on his computer."

16 titles ?!? I accumulate that in a weekend, (few hundred archived full movies on server, not to mention all the music and TV eps)

I think their numbers are a little off. I believe less than 2% of the north american population does movie piracy, however of those that do, they download and store way more than only 16 movies.

I download because it is available, and because I'm lazy and don't care for phyical media. It is quicker for me to download the movie than to rent/buy it and convert it to useable file for upoad to my server. Also if ever movie was available to download for a small fee, at very high quality, then I would move it that direction, but companies are greedy, and anything more than a dollar or two for a download is too much, especially considering the quality is usually less than the free pirated version.

Eighteen percent?? Bu****it. There's no way that many people do that. I'm surprised if the number is even five percent.

I smell another MPAA-biased "study".