New study casts light on behaviour of film vs music filesharers

A recently released report has upended some of the preconceptions about illegal filesharing, and highlighted some surprising differences between those who share music as opposed to films.

The report was published in the Journal of Behavioural and Experimental Economics, and involved researchers analysing results from a survey of more than 6,000 people aged seven to 84 in Finland to examine the attitudes of those who illegally download movies and music.

The key findings were:

  • People who illegally download movies also enjoy going to the cinema and do often willingly pay to watch films.
  • Those who illegally download movies are more likely to be wealthier and less worried about being caught than their music counterparts. Movie pirates are more likely to live in large cities and be early adopters of new technology. They are often young, and male, with access to high levels of consumer technology.
  • On average, each person involved in the survey had illegally downloaded about 2,900 music files and 90 movie files.
  • The study tallied with previous research that indicated that people who pirate content are also much more likely to purchase content legally than those who do not illegally download music and movies, often being greater consumers of media. Illegal filesharers from the US and Germany were found to buy 30% more music than people who did not pirate music, for instance.
  • The movie pirates were also more likely to cut down their piracy if they felt they were harming the industry compared with people who illegally download music.


Owen Van Spall

Greetings. I am a Film History MA graduate from Birkbeck University of London and a trained NCTJ qualified journalist. Apart from a long history of film and news writing for this site and various other publications, I am also a trained photographer with my own camera kit. I write mostly every day. Along the way I have picked up work experience at Sight & Sound, The Guardian, The Independent, The FT, The New Statesman, and more. I have written hard news stories, features, arranged and conducted interviews with celebrities, film directors and other major cultural figures, arranged photo shoots, and covered film festivals, conferences and events in the UK and abroad. If you wish to commission me or enquire about full-time opportunities please find my CV and contact details below. A physical portfolio of print only cuttings can also be provided.