Some time ago main Australian internet service providers blocked a great amount of websites, including The Pirate Bay and SolarMovie. Copyright holders headed by Village Roadshow forced these sites blocking laws.
After the blocking lots of Internet users in Australia started using a VPN – virtual private network because it lets to bypass any country’s restriction and access any blocked site.
“We believe that the research shows that site-blocking is effective, VPNs and all the other ways that people mask their activities notwithstanding, as there is clearly a move away from those pirate sites,”
“I suspect that site-blocking would not exist in 42 countries around the world if it were totally ineffective.”
According to Creative Content Australia’s research today about 20% of users in Australia use VPN.
Those Australians which do show up in local piracy figures are mostly relying on proxy sites which bypass site-blocks without masking the visitor’s true location. The vast majority of this traffic is destined for The Pirate Bay, Flekser says, with Creative Content Australia calling on search giants like Google to do more to discourage the use of proxy sites.
While Flekser downplays the use of VPNs by Australian pirates, a 2015 study found that 16 per cent of Aussies had used a VPN. This was amid copyright holders pursuing Australian pirates who downloaded the movie Dallas Buyers Club.
However VPN usage has not grown considerably in Australia.
“There seems to have been a spike in 2015, which may well have had something to do with the Dallas Buyers Club, but it’s very hard to actually know because once they’ve got a VPN they mask not only their identity but also their location,” Flekser says.
“But if Google Analytics is any indication then it’s not a massive spike, and if our annual research is to be believed and is consistent then there doesn’t seem to be a big spike in the use of VPNs.”
The Pirate Bay is not the only reason why Australians use VPNs. They also need a soltion to bypass geo-blocking and access the US Netflix.
“Our research has told us pretty consistently, for many years now, the key reason that people pirate is because it’s free, and it’s incredibly hard for any business model to compete with free.”
If you want to access blocked content in Australia you can also try using a VPN.