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Industry Study: Video Pirates Like Free Booty

Consumers like pirated online video content for the price--as in free--and convenience, widely available, often in advance of legal channels. TV content was the most frequently cited download.

That is according to a just-released study from PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The study, of 202 admitted online "pirates" who filled out a September 2010 online survey, found that leading factors in their decision to pirating TV and movie content was their desire not to have to pay for the content (69% said that was a main reason), the fact that they could get it earlier than traditional windows, the perception that everybody else was doing it, and the fact that there was so much of it available.

And the lure trumped the concerns of two out of three about picking up a virus (computer, that is) from their illegal conduct, getting into trouble for doing something illegal or the fact that the quality of the video might be degraded.

The study found that 81% of those who admitted downloading the content said they will likely continue to do so, and 40% of those said those that had been accessing it by traditional means would be upgrading to mobile devices within the next six months.

More than half the respondents said "everyone does it," and they had often learned about sites that pirated content from friends or family members.

A whopping 83% of respondents said they streamed TV shows for free, compared to 69%; 61% said they downloaded the TV shows, compared to 52% for movies.

The study was released the same day the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Web sites offering pirated content, and the Motion Picture Association of America and others constituting the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) issued their 25th annual report on recommendations to protect online and other intellectual property abroad.