Muso is a London-based anti-piracy contractor, helping big entertainment companies conduct surveillance and legal threats against online infringers; in a new CitizenMe study they commissioned, 1,000 British internet users were surveyed; the headline finding: 83% of infringing downloads are triggered by an unsuccessful search for a commercially available version of the same work.
For example, if the only way to watch a movie is to take out a subscription to a whole service (rather than pay a la carte), or to download some baroque and menacing DRM scheme.
"The reality is that the majority of people who have gone through the effort of finding and accessing such unlicensed content are, first and foremost, fans – fans who are more often than not trying to get content legally if they can."
The problem appears to be that these pirates often can't find what they're looking for through their preferred legal channels. The top reasons for people to 'pirate' are that content is not available (34.9%), that it's siloed or difficult to access (34.7%), or that they can't afford it (35.2%).