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Students at Private Universities Pirate Much More Than Their Public Counterparts


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Private universities in the US are more expensive than public ones and tend to attract 'wealthier' students. On average, these students should be able to afford legal streaming services, which they do. However, at the same time, new research shows that these students are also more likely to pirate.


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Two decades ago, piracy was booming at university campuses where high-speed Internet access was readily available.


This threat was quickly recognized by copyright holders, who swiftly took action in response.


The RIAA and MPAA, for example, helped to lobby in favor of more strict legislation including the 2008 Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA). This law requires institutions to issue an annual anti-piracy warning to all students and to create a policy to “effectively combat” infringement.


Despite these measures, piracy hasn’t disappeared from campuses completely. A new paper published by researchers from Texas Christian University and the University of North Texas shows that it remains a common pastime.

Piracy Habits Among Private and Public University Students

The researchers conducted a survey among public and private university students and specifically focused on the legal and illegal consumption of movies online. This allowed them to see how common piracy is and if there are any differences between private and public universities.


Generally speaking, private university students are believed to have more money at their disposal. As such, they should be less likely to pirate, assuming that cost is a critical factor.


“The logic is that students who have more disposable income who come from a more affluent family and can attend an expensive private university should easily be able to legally stream or buy movies,” the researchers write.


“Conversely, students who come from a lower SES background would be assumed to have less disposable income and therefore piracy would be a good ‘free’ alternative,” they add.

A Counterintuitive Finding

However, the researchers found the exact opposite. While the data indeed show that students in private universities are tied to wealthier families, they also pirate more. In some cases, twice as much.


“This study finds that students sampled from the expensive private university pirated significantly more than from the public university, even when considering different factors,” the paper reads.


A quick glance at the statistics indeed shows a clear difference. Among the private university students, more than 40% admits to downloading movies from unauthorized sources. For students from public universities, this was just 19%.


Similar differences are also observed for streaming movies from unauthorized sources (48% vs. 28%). For movies downloaded through peer-to-peer networks, the difference is smaller (18% vs. 14%) but that question only covered movies that were not yet available for purchase.


The paper doesn’t give any overall piracy statistics, but it shows that piracy remains prevalent, particularly among private university students. The same students who tend to be wealthier and on average have a higher socioeconomic background.

What About Paid Streaming Services?

That cost is not a crucial factor becomes clear from the fact that students at the private university also have more access to paid streaming services. More than 94% have access to Netflix, and roughly a third have access to HBO, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.


At public schools, fewer students have access to these paid streaming services. However, they are more frequent YouTube users, which is free.


The research also found the known gender effect. That is, men are more likely to pirate than women. However, the differences between private and public university students remain intact. In fact, female students at the private university downloaded more than men at the private one.

Legal Options Help to Curb Piracy

Finally, while piracy remains common at universities, there’s also some positive news for copyright holders. As it turns out, legal viewing options do help to lower the piracy rates.


“Nearly half of respondents indicated they have to some degree stopped pirating movies due to the availability of inexpensive streaming services compared to only approximately 17% who was relatively not affected.”


It’s worth noting that the data come from two universities, so the results should not be generalized to the entire population without caution.


The survey data also can’t explain the difference in piracy habits, which is something follow up research may be able to delve into. However, it does confirm that piracy is more complex than most people assume. It’s certainly not just about money.


The paper titled: “A comparison of a public and private university of the effects of low-cost streaming services and income on movie piracy” is available here



Source: TorrentFreak

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1 hour ago, shamu726 said:

The survey data also can’t explain the difference in piracy habits, which is something follow up research may be able to delve into.


The rich didn't get rich by paying for things...

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8 hours ago, Mutton said:


The rich didn't get rich by paying for things...

That really  don't  have much to do with it  and if your rich you just  write everything off on your taxes and when it gets old  you donate it and write it off on your taxes . Just because there mom and dad  is rich don't mean they are, im sure they get a certain amount  of allowance . I don't blame them when I was there age I  was not rich and computers were really expensive for what little you could use them for in the 90s . I spent my money on partying , women and wine  i did not buy a PC tell i got married ,


what it is back in  2001 in many of the public collages  the students were raided  by the FBI they were ruining  warez sites out of them they were part of the scene.  They have blocks and things on torrent sites  in  public colleges it will get you kicked out if  you get caught if you can even get around it .


They Anti P2P laws in the USA in  colleges since 2008


P2P legislation forcing university IT to get tough on piracy



A study of  2 schools in the USA  don't reflect  on the USA as a whole you would have to test colleges in all 50 states to even have a idea  .  People be on reddit all the time complaining about being blocked so  this study don't hold much clout . Thing is Private Schools you don't get in them from Government Grants and loans  mommy and daddy  pay there way. If a public one gets caught they can lose there funding for getting new students .


What it all boils down too Private Schools are not bound to all the Federal Laws  that Public ones are . Christian Schools are not part of the Government because of church-state separation. Students and Employees  don't  have protection against discrimination or anything . Matters in those Schools are resolved by the church .  There not Bound by federal and state laws.


The Supreme Court says church-state separation leaves Catholic teachers with no legal protection against discrimination, ruling in an L.A. County case.



People running these schools got away with far worse than  the kids downloading movies  they been known to abuse kids and staff for 100s of years .Church-state separation also caused some  of the worse  mass suicides  in the USA  when they turn out to be a Cult if the  Government tries  to interfere they all just off  themselves  it happen many times over the years.  That's the price the USA pays for freedom of religion. Waco and Jonestown are  the two of the  most famous accounts.   Branch Davidians  that were part of Waco  still exist they just not many left and they went underground after the mass suicides. They all kinds of crazy Cult  like churches in the USA .

Edited by steven36
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