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19% of Consumers Who Pirate Would Stop if Educated About Damages
Many consumers don't realize video piracy is a crime and, thanks to increasingly sophisticated pirate sites, others don't know what offers are legitimate.

According to a survey commissioned by streaming security company Irdeto, 74 percent of U.S. adults understand that producing and sharing pirated video content is illegal. On the flip side, that means an astonishing 1 in 4 adults doesn't realize video piracy is a crime.

Irdeto's data focuses attention on the fact that many who pirate are somehow not aware they're doing something wrong. The survey also found that 69 percent know streaming and downloading pirated content is illegal.

"It's still a big, big portion of the population," says Lawrence Low, vice president of business development and sales with Irdeto. "I think this may point to the pervasiveness of piracy and the continual challenge to maintain an education campaign. The problem has been around for many years. Content creators have put a lot of attention into it, but piracy isn't a static problem. The pirates innovate, as well."

The survey was created by YouGov, which questioned 1190 U.S. adults between December 29 and January 3 about video piracy. The survey has a margin of error of 2 to 3 percent, depending on the question.

Low sees the stats as proof there's high awareness by consumers that pirating video is illegal, and a good foundation for building awareness campaigns.

Nearly one in three—32 percent—admit to watching pirated video content. Of that group, 19 percent would stop consuming pirated video if made aware that doing so has a negative impact on studios' ability to create new material.

Today's pirates are increasingly sophisticated, and it's not always clear to consumers which services are legitimate and which are illegal. Pirate sites offer multiple channels and carry ads for legitimate brands.

When asked what content they're most interested in watching, people who admit to pirating video said TV series (24 percent), movies currently in theaters (24 percent), content coming out on DVD and Blu-ray (18 percent), live sports (10 percent), and original content from Netflix, Hulu, and other OTT services (9 percent).

"That points to where the consumer demand is and the product offerings that are getting traction," Low says. "Hence the attraction of Netflix, where you can stream full series online. There is legitimate industry response to providing the kind of content that consumers are looking to acquire through streaming media."

The popularity of piracy for current movies has studios considering the need to innovate. Offering streamed access to current movies would anger theater owners, but some plans would cut those owners into the profits.

For Irdeto, the possibility of early online releases raises the need for bulletproof security.

"If you're opening new windows, make sure you have a robust, reliable, renewable security solution so you don't impact your other businesses," Low advised.

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