Movie Piracy

Information and statistics about movie piracy and the sale of pirated movies, DVDs and streaming sites online. Data collected from the entertainment industry and public information sources.

A survey conducted by accounting company PwC found that 18 percent of consumers in Britain admitted to purchasing counterfeit alcohol. 16 percent reported purchasing counterfeit drugs such as Viagra and weight-loss pills. And 13 percent admitted to buying counterfeit cigarettes.

British consumers between the ages of 18 to 34 bought the most counterfeits, with 60 percent saying that they bought pirated movies and music and 55 percent have bought replica clothing.

Source:  Rebecca Smithers, “Surge in purchases of counterfeit goods,” Guardian, October 1, 2013.

According to a study commissioned by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), 74 percent of consumers surveyed in a study stated that they first found a website offering pirated materials through a search engine.

58 percent of searches with keywords such as the movie’s title or names of television shows had links to online piracy sites, according to the report.

82 percent of search queries that brought a user to a website offering pirated materials was through Google search. This number is in direct contrast with a report released by Google last week. Google claims that just 16 percent of internet users find online piracy sites through a search engine.

Source:  Eriq Gardner, “Why Hollywood Is Suddenly Marveling Over Piracy Studies,” Hollywood Reporter, September 18, 2013.

327 million people around the world was searching for pirated content online, according to a study commissioned by NBCUniversial. The people accessing pirated content accounted for 14 billion page views on websites that were proving content without a licenses. The number of page views was 10 percent higher than the amount recorded in November 2011.

149 million users visited cyberlockers in January 2013, a decrease of 8 percent from November 2011.

Online piracy accounted for 24 percent of total Internet bandwidth in 2012, a 160 percent increase from 2010.

Source:  Richard Verrier, “Online piracy of entertainment content keeps soaring,” Los Angeles Times, Company Town, September 17, 2013.


In 2012, Google disabled the AdSense accounts and prevented ads from being displayed on 46,000 websites that was providing pirated content.

However, Google also stated in the report “How Google Fights Piracy” that all major search engines such as Yahoo, Bing and Google only provides 16 percent of the traffic to bit-torrent and piracy sites like The Pirate Bay. Most of the websites that provides torrents, downloads and pirated materials receive their traffic through social media, word of mouth and other marketing methods.

Source:  “How Google Fights Piracy,” September 2013.

A study conducted for Ofcom indicated that nearly one in four downloads on the Internet in the United Kingdom involves a pirated material. The study covered the time period of May 2012 to May 2013.

Most of the illegally downloaded content in the UK is done by a small percentage of users. According to the study, 2 percent of  UK Internet users account fro almost 75 percent of online piracy. The most popular form of pirated content during the time period was movies, with 35 percent of the total number of movies viewed online was pirated.

The Internet users who were the most active illegal downloaders were also found to spend the more money for legal content. On average, users who pirate content spend $41.10 (£26) every three months of legal downloads. Internet users who do not commit piracy spent $25.32 (£16) on legal content every three months.

Source:  “Ofcom: Piracy accounts for one in four downloads,” BBC News, September 11, 2013.

According to the Motion Picture Association of America, people in Russia download 31 million unlicensed American movies each year using torrent services.

In 2012, the International Intellectual Property Alliance found that there were 0 cases of Internet piracy prosecution cases during the year.

(More movie piracy statistics.)

Source:  Ilya Khrennikov, “Netflix Clones in Russia Get a Head Start With Piracy Law,” Bloomberg, July 31, 2013.

In 2008, an estimated 1.2 billion music songs were digitally pirated on the Internet in Norway. In 2012, the number of pirated musics files dropped to 210 million.

260 million movies were illegally downloaded in Norway in 2008. By 2012, the number of pirated movies downloaded online fell to 120 million.

Both declines in the number of pirated digital files were attributed to streaming Internet services such as Spotify and Netflix.

Source:  Adam Sherwin, “Music and film industries winning war on piracy, says report,” Independent, July 17, 2013.

An officer from the Los Angeles Police Department told the media that some pirated movie seller who offer their DVDs on a blanket in the streets of LA can make up to $20,00 to $80,00 a month.

(More income from the underground economy.)

Source:  “FBI Targets Pirated Movie, Music Sales With PSA Campaign,” CBS Los Angeles, July 9, 2013.

Over a three month period that ended in January 2013, almost 400 million digital files were pirated by Internet users in the United Kingdom.

According to a study by Ofcom, 18 percent of Internet users in the UK over the age of 12 accessed a pirated copy of an entertainment service. These files included movies, music, television shows, books, software and video games.

In the previous three month period, the number of Internet users who accessed pirated files was 16 percent.

Out of the 18 percent who accessed a pirated file, the study states that 5 percent of that figure only use illegal services.

59 percent of the digital piracy users in the United Kingdom are male, and 68 percent are under the age of 34.

Source:  Mark Sweney, “Music, TV and film piracy rises among UK internet users,” Guardian, May 28, 2013.

Media companies in the United States estimates that up to $1 Billion worth of Pay-TV shows are watched in Asia without the proper licenses and fees being paid.

In China alone, the US International Trade Commission stated that $48 Billion worth of copyright materials produced by business in the US was consumed in China in 2011 without payment.

Source:  Caitlin Dewey, “Why a U.S. ambassador asked Australians to stop pirating ‘Game of Thrones’,” Washington Post, WorldViews, April 26, 2013.