One-Third Of Consumers Pirate DVDs, Study Finds


A recent study, funded by anti-piracy vendor Macrovision, found that the number of DVD viewers making pirate copies of commercial DVDs is dramatically increasing and one-third of consumers in the United State and United Kingdom copy commercial, copyright protected discs.

According to the report, which polled 3,613 DVD users in the U.S. and 1,718 in the U.K. and was released by Futuresource Consulting, shows that copying commercial DVDs has increased over last year, when roughly a quarter of respondents said they've illegally copied discs.

The report indicates that copying or duplicating commercial DVDs has become easier as PCs and laptops equipped with recordable DVD drives have become readily available. DVD players that offer recording capabilities are also making DVD piracy more common. Further easing the piracy is the introduction of certain types of software that let users bypass copy protection found on commercial DVDs, which is designed to prohibit duplication.

The Macrovision report indicated that men ages 18 to 24 are the biggest offenders and are most likely to copy commercial DVDs using a recorder or software. Additionally, the report noted that the average number of movies copied per respondent over the last six months equals 13 in the U.S. and 22 in the U.K., that number includes both new releases and older titles.

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For new releases, 62 percent of U.S. respondents and 49 percent of U.K. respondents said they've copied movies they own, while 38 percent in the U.S. and 30 percent in the U.K. say they copied movies that they rented or that they've borrowed.

Despite the rise in the amount of DVD piracy, 77 percent of respondents in the U.S. and 63 percent of respondents in the U.K. said they would have purchased all or some of the titles they copied had they not been able to duplicate it, while the majority of respondents added that they would likely buy movie titles new at a lowered or promotional price.

Regardless, the Futuresource survey concluded that because of the amount of piracy, DVD sale revenue is dropping.

"In conclusion, as studios' revenues from DVD are in decline, protecting revenues is even more vital than 12 months ago," the study said. "The study showed that the number of people admitting to copying pre-recorded DVDs has increased since 2007. The vast majority of these copiers admit they would purchase at least some of the titles on DVD if they had not been able to copy them -- clearly indicating the significant levels of lost revenue due to home copying."