Australia vs. Piracy: What’s the point?

Remember that ad that you would see every time you watched a DVD?  With the quotes like “ You wouldn’t steal a car”  and “You wouldn’t steal a handbag”. You know the one right? That ad is more than 10 years old now. Crazy right! So what exactly has changed in Australia’s war against piracy since then? To be honest, not much has changed. Apart from the implementation of the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill in 2015 and the introduction of Netflix in March 2015, nothing has changed in regards to piracy and illegal streaming in Australia.

The war against piracy, is for me, one that the Australian government cannot win. The internet is so  vast and information is so easily obtainable that it makes it  almost impossible for piracy laws to be enforced. If one illegal streaming site gets shutdown, they’ll just be another one created. So, although they may restrict piracy and illegal streaming, Australia will never succeed in its battle against piracy. So the question is: What’s the point?

Obi-Wan Kenobi - You Were The Chosen One! meme

The Interview/Final Post

As I have previously established in my posts, my interest, which will be further examined in Assessment 2 revolves around the arrival of Netflix in Australia. The relevance and the timing of the topic were major factors in my choosing of the topic, and the group in which I was assigned chose the same topic for similar reasons. So, in this final blog post, I intend on posting a short interview which I conducted during the week with my mate Blair on Netflix and movie piracy.

 Prior to the arrival of Netflix in Australia, how did you obtain videos online?

So, before Netflix I actually did rent for quite a while, I can say that I’ve never downloaded a movie in my life, but I have been at a friend’s house where we’ve streamed movies.

Would you consider piracy as a form of theft?

It’s always in the back of my head that it’s illegal to download, but I think (that) because it’s available and everyone does it, it feels like why can’t I if everyone else is?

Do you think that the cost of seeing a movie affects the rate of people pirating?

Yeah definitely, you can stream a movie for free and yes its illegal but Australian is not as harsh on pirating as overseas for example, and a movie costs like $15, even Netflix at I think it’s around $8 a month, is so much cheaper and convenient. The mark up on movies is ridiculous and that’s why piracy is so big.

The purpose of this interview was to test possible questions for both the survey and focus group interview which will be conducted as part of a group research task. Although the questions were rather open-ended, they provided significant insight as to the mindset behind pirating. In terms of adaptation, we will have to alter the question slightly, in order for it to focus on free-to-air television and Foxtel. I also think that, for our questionnaire, our questions will have to be a lot more direct and specific.


Dallas ‘Piracy’ Club

In case you haven’t heard, the producers of the film “Dallas Buyers Club” recently won a case against internet providers, iiNet and M2, who refused to identify the individuals who illegally downloaded the film. So, in light of this news, I intend on investigating the issue further by analysing the research conducted by W.D. Walls in his journal article ‘Cross- Country analysis of movie piracy’.

‘Cross country analysis of movie piracy’ is an article which is part of the 2008 ‘Applied Economics’ journal and was written by W.D. Walls, a professor at the University of Calgary. The fact that he teaches a subject concerning the economics of the movie business tells us that he is qualified to comment on this subject.  So, who exactly is this article intended for? The article is intended primarily for people interested in economics, the film industry and social behaviour, indicated by Walls (pg. 626) in the introduction section of his paper. The purpose of the paper is clearly stated in the introduction section, which is “to examine empirically movie piracy” and “increase our empirical knowledge of film piracy” Walls (pg.626, 2008). Walls uses a very formal style, evidently displayed in the reliance of quantitative data such as tables and graphs. The use of tables and graphs are used principally to interest the readers with interests in economics. The article is well organised, and is split into four labelled sections. One criticism I have for the article, is towards the research. Walls is too reliant on secondary data, and the article doesn’t appear to feature any form of primary data. Using primary data would have helped make the article more relatable for the reader. However, the neutral angle in which the article is written, is one of the better aspects of the articles. By not making a judgement on movie piracy, Walls manages to adhere to the fore mentioned purpose of the research paper.

In general, W.D Walls’ article is well-written, well-structured and informative, but is a little too reliant on the research of others, and this can isolate the reader from the topic.


Walls, W.D. 2008, ‘Cross- country analysis of movie piracy’, Applied Economics, vol.40, no. 5, pp. 625-632