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House of Cards Season 3 pirated heavily in non-Netflix countries

Drawing more than double the illegal downloads of the Season 2 release of Netflix’s House of Cards, the first 24 hours of the Season 3 release of the popular political drama attracted more than 680,000 unique downloaders from all over the world. Detailed by Variety this week, the main concentration of illegal downloads occurred in countries where Netflix isn’t currently available. This data was collected by Excipio, a firm that tracks digital piracy on the Internet.

Specifically, five of the top ten countries on the list currently don’t have access to Netflix streaming services. These areas include Australia, China, Greece, India and Poland. China also popped up to the top of the entire list, responsible for more than 60,000 unique downloaders.

The United States was right behind China with about 50,000 unique downloaders, despite the massive availability of Netflix applications on smart devices and the low cost of subscribing for a single month. Other countries on the list include Canada, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Perhaps stemming the illegal downloads soon, Netflix is planning on launching in Australia this month. Targeting a March 24 launch date in both Australia and New Zealand, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings spoke about the expansion stating “Many Aussies and Kiwis have heard a lot about Netflix over the years, and we’re excited they’ll get to experience our unique blend of Netflix original content, local series and films, and popular movies and TV shows from around the world, all for a low monthly price.” Netflix did not disclose prices for the various subscription tiers available in those two countries.

Interestingly, Netflix is on record as stating piracy lists are used to make decisions on what television shows and movies to license on the streaming service. For instance, FOX’s Prison Break was so popular among illegal downloaders in the Netherlands that Netflix decided to pursue the licensing rights for that region of the world.