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Panel: San Francisco residents worst when it comes to Internet piracy

A panel on Internet piracy last month fingered the San Francisco Bay Area as the worst metropolitan region in the country for stealing entertainment, like television and movies.

Almost all the San Francisco-based members of the panel said they steal content from services like HBO, Netflix and Hulu Plus. They said they feel like Internet piracy is a common means to access such entertainment. In fact, many of them said they do not think they will ever pay for "prime" subscriptions (i.e. cable stations like Showtime).

These findings are interesting because it cannot be said that the San Francisco panelists were uneducated and did not understand what they were doing was illegal. It is completely fair to assume that they knew their actions violated copyright -- it seems they just do not care.

Contrast that with the panelists from New York. Although many of them admitted to pirating television shows and movies, they did so at a lower rate than the San Francisco panelists. Interestingly enough, the New York-based respondents said they did envision a future where they paid for premium cable or movie subscriptions.

So, what does this say about the future of copyright, entertainment offerings and Internet piracy? It's hard to say.

If most people feel like the San Francisco panelists do, then entertainment and media companies are going to need to think of a way to outfox them. But if most of them align philosophically with the New York panelists, then maybe the model is not entirely broken.

In any event, we found it interesting that no one at any point suggested that Internet piracy was going to go away.

Source: The Los Angeles Times, "San Francisco cord-cutters are adept at piracy, want Netflix cheap," Ryan Faughnder, July 1, 2013

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