Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) today urged skepticism about claims that piracy is costing thousands of jobs in Australia.

The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) yesterday released a study,"Economic consequences of movie piracy", purporting to show that movie downloading is costing the economy over a billion dollars each year.

"We question many of the assumptions underlying this report," said EFA Chair Colin Jacobs. "The industry has a habit of crying wolf with these sorts of numbers, trying to drum up support for tougher laws. But there are many factors they don't take into account. Treating downloads as lost economic activity is flawed, and downloaders are actually some of the entertainment industry's best customers. The study also ignores the effects to the wider economy of money being spent elsewhere at Australian-owned businesses."

EFA also questions the industry's ongoing strategy of trying to defend their old business model without adapting to the realities of the digital age.

"Instead of waging war against their customers - and trying to get government help to do so - the movie industry should focus on improving its own offering, and give customers a better alternative to the peer-to-peer networks," said Jacobs. "History shows that customers are happy to pay a fair price for a good product and a good service."

EFA has provided further analysis on its web site at efa.org.au.

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Below is:

- Background information
- Contact details for media


* EFA response to study
- http://www.efa.org.au/2011/02/17/afact-study/

* AFACT Report
- http://www.afact.org.au/pressreleases/2011/17-2-2011.html

About EFA:

Electronic Frontiers Australia Inc. (EFA) is a non-profit national organisation representing Internet users concerned with on-line rights and freedoms. EFA was established in 1994, is independent of government and commerce, and is funded by membership subscriptions and donations from individuals and organisations with an altruistic interest in promoting online civil liberties.

Media Contacts:

Mr Colin Jacobs
EFA Chair
Phone: 0402 631 955
Email: [email protected]

Mr Stephen Collins
EFA Spokesperson
Phone: 0410 680 722
Email: [email protected]