SYDNEY: Some 21% of Australian adults admit to acts of online piracy with three in ten of this group earning more than A$100,000 a year, new research has said.

The Australasian Performing Right Association and other content groups surveyed 1,000 adults about their attitudes to the illegal downloading of digital material, including music, movies, television, books and games.

They found that as income and educational qualifications rose, so did the propensity to download content illegally.

Just 14% of those earning under A$40,000 undertook such activity, reported The Australian, but this rose to 18% among the A$40,000-A$60,000 income bracket, and then jumped to 27% of $60,000-A$100,000 earners and 30% of those with incomes over A$100,000.

In addition, 25% of respondents illegally downloading material had a university education, but this proportion fell to 21% among those with a trade or vocational qualification and 17% among those with only a primary or secondary qualification.

Youth was another factor as the research found that illegal downloaders tend to be younger. Some 44% of those admitting to it were aged between 18 and 30, while 25% were aged 30-49 and just 11% were between 50 and 69 years old.

The download or streaming of TV shows (16%), movies (16%) and music (16%) were the most popular activities, followed by books (10%) and games (8%).

The Australian Home Entertainment Distributors Association (AHEDA) has separately estimated that digital downloads account for more than 10% of the home entertainment industry.

Among those who were illegally downloading, there was a hard core of 7% who said they did so every week. Others were less regular, with 6% downloading every month and 8% twice a year.

AHEDA earlier reported
that movie piracy alone cost the Australian economy $1.37bn a year and 6,100 jobs.

Data sourced from The Australian, AHEDA; additional content by Warc staff