New Research Reveals Valuable Information About Copyright Piracy Levels

17.07.2017 (comments: 0)

tl_files/2017/Pirate Lightblub CP.jpgThe IPO has released the 7th wave of comprehensive information which tracks copyright infringement Online Copyright Infringement (OCI) Tracker research and datasets

The study shows that piracy levels remain about the same but there is no cause for complacency in addressing a reduction in levels of copyright piracy. The Alliance for Intellectual Property, of which ACID is an active member, will be pushing for an environment for legal services to develop and policies to address these issues.

The Alliance have summarised the findings:

General digital consumption

  • There was no significant shift in the proportion of internet users aged 12+ who had consumed content in the past three months, with 59% claiming to have done so (the same as in 2016).
  • Consumption levels varied across content types; both music (37%) and TV programmes (37%) had the highest levels downloaded or streamed online in the past three months, followed by films (28%). Despite no changes in the overall consumption level within the ‘past three months’, streaming/accessing behaviours in particular saw increases.
  • Streaming of films increased significantly (from 22% in 2016 to 26% in 2017), as did TV programmes (from 33% in 2016 to 35% in 2017) and computer software (from 6% in 2016 to 8% in 2017).
  • In terms of the number of content items consumed by consumers, this increased from 20 in 2016 to 24 in 2017.
  • There was an uplift in both the number of files downloaded (from 7 files in 2016 to 9 files in 2017) as well as those streamed/accessed (from 15 in 2016 to 20 in 2017).


  • 60% of those who consumed any of the six key content types during the past three months paid for at least some of it (a significant increase from 57% in 2016). This equates to over a third (36%) of all internet users aged 12+. Less than a quarter (23%) consumed entirely free content online.
  • Music continues to have the highest overall quarterly spend across the content types at an estimated £1,266 million (an increase from £1,183 million in 2016). Films, video games and computer software also record increases in their overall quarterly spends, whilst year-on-year declines are recorded for TV programmes (from £320 million to £289 million) and e-books (from £560 million to £533 million).


  • It is estimated that 15% of UK internet users aged 12+ (equating to approximately 6,486,000 people) consumed at least one item of online content illegally in the ‘past three months’, thus in line with findings from 2016.
  • This equates to a quarter (25%) of all consumers of any of the six key content types doing so. 4% of all internet users consume entirely illegal content (i.e. 7% of all consumers of the six categories).
  • Levels of infringement varied by content type, with TV programmes now recording the highest levels of infringement (8%) amongst internet users followed by music (7%) and films (6%).
  • Yet, when looking at the infringement levels amongst consumers of each content type, we see that computer software records the highest levels (26%). This is followed by TV programmes (22%) and films (21%).

Dids Macdonald, ACID’s CEO said, “The establishment of this vital, continued tracking evidence is a means by which those sectors involved can understand the scope of piracy levels in much greater detail and respond with both legal and commercial solutions.”

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