A quarter of US households think content piracy is okay

Almost one in four US Internet-connected households say that pirating movies, TV shows and music is acceptable, most commonly because they believe all such content should be available for free.

That's the finding of a survey by market research company parks Associated which found that the proportion of households subscribing to that notion has risen to 23 per cent from 14 per cent in 2019.

Other reasons given for accessing content illegally were that production companies and studios still make a lot of money from movies or music, it is okay as long as someone else is paying for the service, and that they would not otherwise have watched or listened to them.

Around 19 per cent of respondents – roughly twice the proportion in 2019 – said they strongly agreed with the statement that unlicensed media usage is okay because "no one ever gets in trouble for it."

Overall, almost half of pirates believe stealing content is acceptable because "there are no consequences to the behaviour," according to Jennifer Kent, Parks Associates' head of research.

The increase in willingness to access unlicensed content comes on the back of proliferation of rival services to market leader Netflix, which has recently reported the first reduction in subscriber numbers as a result.

Consumers also report that they pirate "not because they want to, but because they're often forced to by an increasingly complex and fragmented streaming landscape that was built for companies, not users," according to Tim Cutting, general manager of free streaming hub app Reelgood.

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