It has been widely reported by many different groups (some with otherwise conflicting outlooks) that since the introduction of Netflix in Australia, illegal downloading of copyright film/television is substantially down.
Which is good news and reinforces what so many have been saying for so long.
And yet, despite this reduction being reported by the studios and copyright lobby groups, the Netflix catalogue in Australia is still a fraction of that available in the US. Why? because the copyright owners want to squeeze as much out of each region as possible by setting license fees higher in Australia than the US. There are also exclusive deals with Foxtel (as happened with Game of Thrones) that result in content deliberately withheld from streaming services to increase the value of the license for pay TV.
But that is a special case of subscription based content delivery and, while this is a perfectly suitable way to get your movies and music, it is not the way some people want to get their content. Some people want to own it and they want that copy to be as flexible and portable and long-lived as buying a CD or DVD.
That means no DRM that restricts use to certain devices or requires connection to Internet servers to play or that prevents you lending or selling the stuff you've already bought.
Because that is what a 'pirated' movie offers - a copy that can be played on any device (with suitable format support) and can be easily added to a home media program without worrying about having to rip a disc using some black-magic combination of software and scripts and settings.
There is also no tracking of what is being watched and when so that media companies are able to build profiles of us. Nor are there the patronising and annoying forced messages about copyright or preview trailers. When I put in a CD and press play, I am taken straight to the first track of content. When I put in a DVD/Blu-ray and press play, I expect the first thing I see to be the menu screen - no warnings or notices, no "thank-you for supporting the film industry", no "you wouldn't steal a handbag" and no spruiking other content.
I will still buy my content the traditional way: by walking into a store and handing over some money but it is not hard to see that, for those who want more convenience than this, downloading 'pirated' content is simply the easiest way to achieve the desired result and sometimes the only way to achieve it. Regardless of cost.