The average illegal downloader is a 28-year-old male, according to a researcher from the University of Portsmouth Business School.
Joe Cox alo revealed illegal filesharers believe they are the 'Robin Hood of the digital age' and motivated by a desire for notoriety.
"Some filesharers see themselves as masked philanthropists - the Robin Hoods of the digital age. They believe their activities shouldn't be considered illegal, which means finding the most appropriate form of deterrence and punishment is extremely difficult," said Cox.
"I think it's likely some benefit is also derived from a feeling of 'getting one over on the system' too."
Cox said illegal downloaders could be divided into two groups; 'leechers', who download content illegally, while 'seeders' are those that have acquired the material and are happy to make it available to 'leechers'.
"The seeders who are sharing the material appear to have little obvious gain and are certainly not doing it for any financial reward," Cox added.
"Seeders seem to consider the expected cost of punishment to be minimal, which is largely due to the low perceived likelihood of detection. It's as if they believe the peer esteem they'll generate from their infamy will outweigh any of the costs associated with their activities."