Vegemite eating exports of the British Empire are officially no long convicts, but are pirates, according to the latest research.
Aussies have apparently dumped their convict tag and are pirating films, music and ebooks as fast as their bandwidth allows.
According to Sphere Analysis, more than five million Australians illegally downloaded films, television shows, music and other content online last year.
The analysts are certain that figure is set to rise to 6.5 million people by 2016, ”taking into account the potential impact of the National Broadband Network”.
Sphere said that piracy cost content industries $900 million last year. That will rise to $5.2 billion by 2016, with an estimated loss of $18 billion between 2010 and 2016.
In a bid to get the Aussie government interested, Sphere Analysis said that the impact on Commonwealth revenues last year was $190 million, which will rise to $1.1 billion in five years for a total loss of $3.7 billion in five years. Just think of all that tax money being wasted because the Australian government is not crucifying file sharers at the crossroads in accordance with the content industry’s desire.
It also claims that there were 8000 fewer jobs in the core content industries last year as a result of piracy, with the employment impact also predicted to rise dramatically by 2016.
It is not clear how they worked out that the loss of jobs was due to piracy and not stupid decisions by the content industry, such as breaking up successful television seasons so episodes are a few months appart.
So it is one of those reports where the entertainment industry claims terror, doom and gloom in the hope that the government will arrest everyone it says is pirating its content.
If the Australian government did that, then it would have to either lock up most of the population or send them to penal colonies. And thus history would have gone in a perfect circle.