While a lot of negative media attention around the issue of piracy is focused on Asia, that is by no means the only continent where piracy is rampant.
A study conducted by the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) shows that piracy affects the Australian economy to the tune of Australian $1.37 billion a year.
The direct losses due to piracy were to the extent of $A575 million including $A225 million for “secondary piracy”, where users borrow pirated products from others. The study also claims that the piracy resulted in the loss of about 6,100 jobs and reduced spending on recreation, clothing housing etc.
Other related businesses, such as cinema owners, local distributors, producers and retailers also lose income due to the piracy. The government also lost taxes to the extent of $A193 million.
It was largely felt that piracy was detrimental and damaging not only to the movie industry but also to the whole Australian economy, and hence it was believed to be imperative to start educating people about the issue immediately.
However, the Internet advocacy group Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) believes that the report will not be particularly effective in discouraging piracy. They suggest, instead, that the AFACT should concentrate on providing tools through which users can easily and legally download movies, instead of having to resort to illegal means.