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New campaign highlights risks of streaming or downloading piracy content

by Creative Content Australia

Australia's biggest-ever anti-piracy campaign, which features actor Bryan Brown and is universally supported by the screen industry, was launched today.

The Price of Piracy campaign mounted by Creative Content Australia (CCA) follows today’s ruling by the Federal Court which orders Internet service providers to block websites that offer copyright-infringing content (Roadshow Films Pty Ltd & Others). Orders were also made today in a separate case lodged by Foxtel in the Federal Court.

Since the first site-blocking orders were made in December 2016, the Federal Court has ordered 65 piracy sites to be blocked, and over 340 domains. The decision confirms the creative industry's contention that pirate sites infringe copyright and harm copyright holders' ability to recoup their investment in film and television content.

Unprecedented in its scale, coverage and industry support, the campaign alerts consumers to the increased online risks posed by streaming or downloading pirated content from piracy sites.

Two TV spots featuring Bryan Brown - a 30-second and a 15-second version - will screen in most cinemas, together with a significant presence on free-to-air and subscription television and on selected websites.

Content links on infringing sites have become the number one method of propagating malware on the internet , with one in three sites exposing users to malicious software that can steal personal information like addresses, bank details, credit cards and passwords and facilitate identity theft.

Ransomware - which is spreading globally in pandemic proportions - can lock a computer and encrypt files so they become inaccessible until a ransom is paid. Research also shows nearly 40% of Android VPNs - often used by pirates to circumvent blocks to access pirate sites - are affected by malware.

Research by CCA, an industry organisation committed to raising awareness about the value of copyright and the impact of content theft on the screen industries, in 2016 revealed that despite the proliferation of legal content options, 21% of Australians aged 18-64 admit to pirating content at least once a month.

>p>The level of piracy amongst 12-17s is 26% while the number of Australians aged 12-13 who stream or download from pirate sites has jumped from 14% in 2014 to 23% in 2016.
CCA chairman Graham Burke welcomes the latest Federal Court judgement, saying, "Site-blocking has been very effectively implemented around the world and proven to reduce the theft of screen content as well as increase the use of legal sites. The thieves who run pirate sites contribute nothing to Australia - they employ no-one and pay no taxes here. Of the enormous profits they earn, not one cent goes back to the original creators of the content."

CCA Executive Director Lori Flekser added, "We are proud to bring this new campaign to Australians. Consumers bear significant costs of illegal streaming - not only will they suffer from diminishing investment in the content they love to consume but pirate sites are amongst the most hazardous places on the internet."

In The Price of Piracy spots, Brown highlights the high price consumers might pay by compromising their personal data when accessing screen content from online pirate sites. Also he reminds Australians they can watch films and TV shows legally - on the big screen, on high quality DVDs, pay TV or online.

The campaign is supported by numerous producers, directors, writers, actors who believe that piracy undermines their ability to develop sustainable careers.

To visit The Price Of Piracy website, click here.

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