By Troy Dreier
January 18, 2017

Many consumers don’t realize video piracy is a crime and, thanks to increasingly sophisticated pirate sites, others don’t know what offers are legitimate.

According to a survey commissioned by streaming security company Irdeto, 74 percent of U.S. adults understand that producing and sharing pirated video content is illegal. On the flip side, that means an astonishing 1 in 4 adults doesn’t realize video piracy is a crime.

Irdeto’s data focuses attention on the fact that many who pirate are somehow not aware they’re doing something wrong. The survey also found that 69 percent know streaming and downloading pirated content is illegal.

“It’s still a big, big portion of the population,” says Lawrence Low, vice president of business development and sales with Irdeto. “I think this may point to the pervasiveness of piracy and the continual challenge to maintain an education campaign. The problem has been around for many years. Content creators have put a lot of attention into it, but piracy isn’t a static problem. The pirates innovate, as well.”

The survey was created by YouGov, which questioned 1190 U.S. adults between December 29 and January 3 about video piracy. The survey has a margin of error of 2 to 3 percent, depending on the question.

Low sees the stats as proof there’s high awareness by consumers that pirating video is illegal, and a good foundation for building awareness campaigns.

Nearly one in three—32 percent—admit to watching pirated video content. Of that group, 19 percent would stop consuming pirated video if made aware that doing so has a negative impact on studios’ ability to create new material.

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