Finns rediscovered piracy

AV piracy has increased especially among young people. Finns still rely a lot on traditional torrent technology, although elsewhere it is on the wane.

Watching movies and TV series from illegal sources has increased in Finland. PDO

Downloading or streaming of digital AV content, such as movies and TV series, from illegal sources has increased drastically in Finland.

According to a survey carried out by the Swedish Mediavision AB, approximately 17 percent of Finns between the ages of 15 and 74 download or stream movies and television programs from unauthorized sources every month.

The Nordic survey is carried out annually. The number of Finns using unauthorized content has almost tripled since 2018, when it was at the lowest level in the history of research at six percent.

Compared to last year, AV piracy has increased especially among young people, i.e. 15–24 year olds, in all Nordic countries. In Finland, it is estimated that up to 46 percent of the mentioned age group has engaged in AV piracy, while the number last year was 27 percent.

In Sweden and Norway, more than half of this age group engage in piracy.

Mediavision’s research has been ordered by the Nordic copyright monitoring organizations. The customer from Finland is the Copyright Information and Control Center TTVK, which represents several domestic copyright organizations and media companies.

Domestic interest

At the same time that piracy in Finland is generally on the rise, Mediavision’s research shows that it seems to be increasingly targeting domestic production.

According to a study carried out in March, domestic production accounted for 40 percent of films and TV programs consumed without permission in Finland, while in 2021 it was still 30 percent.

Executive Director of TTVK Jaana Pihkala finds the development of piracy targeting domestic production surprising.

– When you think about the small market area, which is already limited by language, the share is really large and already affects the domestic av field.

Pihkala says that not everyone necessarily thinks that authors will be left without compensation when content is consumed from illegal sources, and this affects the possibilities of producing new content.

The profits flow to entities that are not entitled to them. According to Pihkala, indications of a connection between organized crime and piracy have been found especially in other Nordic countries.

Torrent still sings

Pihkala thinks that the general increase in piracy is explained by the fact that there is a lot of content available online and on the other hand by the fact that there is a lot of demand for them.

He states that the demand for content grew strongly during the corona lockdown. People got used to wearing them when spending time at home. It seems to have become a habit.

– It’s a shame that the increase in demand now seems to be directed at the illegal side.

In other words, Finns are interested in entertainment, but not so much in paying for it.

According to Pihkala, torrent technology is still used a lot in piracy. As a technique, it is completely legal, but years ago it became a popular way to share and download content without permission.

It could even be called a traditional method of online piracy.

– Finns still use a lot of torrent services. In the rest of the world, they are starting to lose out as a technology to live streaming, but we’ve kind of grown up with it, says Pihkala.

In addition to that, many different illegal streaming services are also used in Finland.