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Digital piracy: a habit for 43% of Italians

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Digital piracy: a habit for 43% of Italians

Il 43% of Italians normally enjoy online pirated content of various kinds: dai filmat TV series up to live sporting events. This is the disheartening fact that emerged this morning in Rome during the press presentation of the latest survey conducted by the Ipsos company on behalf of Fapavthe Federation for the Protection of the Audiovisual and Multimedia Content Industries.

On the occasion of the General States of the fight against piracy between legality and security, organized by the Federation at the Ara Pacis Auditorium, the representatives of the institutions and industry present expressed their positive views on the renewed spirit of collaboration between all the sectors involved. But everyone agreed that it is time to reinvigorate the fight against piracy with new rules and by committing even more to raising awareness among young people on the subject of copyright.

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The new president of Fapav, Federico Bagnolo Rossi, announced two major changes compared to the past: one estimate of the economic damage caused to industries andenlargement of the membership base also to sport. “We have to focus on timely tools. We have need to intervene at least within 30 minutes of going online. And you have to empower providers. I conclude by also recalling the distorting use of account sharing, with trades. We have to face it seriously, “said Bagnolo Rossi.

The deputy Alessio Butti (Fdi) took the opportunity to recall that the new bill will be discussed tomorrow afternoon in the Culture Commission in the Chamber. “It is a text that must be defended even if it is not the best,” she said. The gravity of the moment was also recognized by Valentina VezzaliUndersecretary for Sport: “Every industry in the sector is under attack. According to the Fapav analysis, piracy causes one billion losses a year, has a negative impact of 400 million on GDP, burns 6 thousand jobs and subtracts revenue from the treasury. The current regulations do not stem the phenomenon of live events, it would take a task force with 24-hour support. I provide a discussion table to address the issue “.

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And give 2021

In the last year, the overall incidence of piracy among the adult population was 43%, but the number of pirated audiovisual content has dropped: approximately 315 million illegal acts are estimated, practically 24% less than in 2019 and 53% less than in 2016. It is assumed that the overall audience has increased but the frequency has decreased.

Among all the contents, films continue to stand out (29%), followed by series / fiction (24%) and TV programs (21%); to be noted later the exploit of live sport which went from 10% in 2019 to 15% in 2021. At the same time there is a decrease in download / P2P (peer-to-peer) and streaming, while the front of illicit IPTV has grown, passing from 10% in 2019 to 23% in 2021. “pezzotto” (a pirate decoder ndr). Ipsos estimates that illegal IPTV has been used by 11.7 million individualsand that 2.3 million have just subscribed.

“41% of pirates have happened to use at least once of audiovisual subscription content through access with the credentials of others, not considering it a form of piracy“, underlines the official note. The reference is to the practice of sharing the same subscription among several people, even outside the family unit.

The case

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Ispos also interviewed young people between the ages of 10 and 14, obviously in compliance with current regulations. Well, it emerged that in 2021 the 51% have used pirated content, but with a frequency of acts 20% lower than in 2019. The preferences were concentrated above all on live sports events, and secondly on films, series / fiction and finally TV programs.

A hole of 673 million euros

The audiovisual industry, according to Ipsos estimates, risks potential damage from piracy “equal to 673 million euros, with almost 72 million users lost”. Live sporting events nevertheless incur damage of 267 million euros with about 11 million lost performances.

Overall the country system, due to digital piracy, risks a loss in turnover of 1.7 billion euros “both as GDP, around 716 million euros; and as tax revenues for the state, around 319 million euros”. And this is likely to also jeopardize employment with “a loss of jobs equal to 9,400 units”.

Fapav also reminds that piracy is also a delicate face for user safety: from cyber attacks with violations of personal and banking data, to the theme of malware and viruses transmitted through illegal platforms.

Finally there is the theme of perception of the crime: increases awareness of illegality and the risks associated with access to illegal platforms, even by the youngest, but the substance does not change. Only the blackout sometimes seems to have some effect. In the last year, 36% of pirates found themselves in front of illegal websites that were blocked “and of these 43% have chosen to resort to a legitimate alternative (pay-TV and legal streaming in the first place)”.

Bagnoli Rossi recalled that the phenomenon of piracy in Italy is constantly evolving and for this reason the collaboration with Ipsos has been renewed for another four years. “In addition to the necessary enforcement actions, we believe it is essential that synergistic communication initiatives be implemented such as the recent ‘We Are Stories’ campaign, promoted by the Federation to protect and support the entire audiovisual industry, together with Anec, Anica, Apa, Mpa and Univideo “, added the president.

According to Nando Pagnoncelli, President of Ipsos Italia, disseminating the numbers on the phenomenon contributes to contrasting the culture of illegality. “Even today half of the pirates mistakenly believe that their behavior is not serious, although it is known that it is a real crime. Evidently there is still the belief that the extent of the damage is limited and that the probability of being discovered and punished is not high, “he concluded.


  • 43%: overall incidence of piracy (of films, series / fiction, programs and live sports).
  • 29%: incidence of film piracy.
  • 24%: incidence of series / fiction piracy.
  • 21%: incidence of program piracy.
  • 15%: incidence of live sports piracy.
  • 23%: incidence of illegal IPTV even if only on trial / without subscription.
  • 315 million: the overall estimate of acts of piracy among the adult population.
  • 51%: incidence of piracy among the under 15s.
  • 673 million euros: the estimate of the potential damage in terms of turnover lost directly due to the lack of legal use of pirated films and series / fiction in 2021, considering the possibility of maintaining subscriptions for the entire year.
  • 267 million euros: the estimate of the damage in terms of turnover lost directly due to the lack of legal use of pirated live sports in 2021 (estimate not available in the past).
  • 1.7 billion euro: the estimate of the turnover lost by all Italian economic sectors due to the piracy of films, series / fiction and live sports (estimate not available in the past).
  • 716 million euro: the estimated potential damage on the Italian economy in terms of GDP (estimate not available for the past).
  • 9,400: the potential estimate of jobs at risk due to audiovisual piracy (estimate not available in the past).
  • € 319 million: the potential estimate of lost tax revenues – VAT, income and corporate taxes (estimate not available in the past).
  • 50%: pirates aware of the seriousness of their behavior (they were 28% in 2019)
  • 41%: pirates who have had access to audiovisual subscription content at least once through access with the credentials of others, not considering it a form of piracy.

Foto: Getty Images

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