Illegal music, film and TV downloading on the rise, report finds

A third of UK users who stream or download have done so illegally

Illegal music, film and TV downloading on the rise, report finds

Photo: PA

Almost a third of UK internet users who stream or download music, TV and films have done so illegally, a report has found.

According to the latest figures from government regulator Ofcom (via The Guardian), digital piracy rose in the three months to the end of January, compared with the previous quarter. It found that 18 per cent of users had accessed content illegally, up from 16 per cent in the previous three month period. However, Ofcom does point out that the rise in online piracy coincides with the rise in internet users accessing digital content from 57 per cent to 60 per cent in the same quarter.

Music is the most popular digital media pirated, accounting for 280 million of the 386 million items of content illegally accessed over the three-month period. The most common reason users gave for accessing illegal content is because it is "free, convenient and quick".

The report also found that 30 per cent of internet users who regularly access content such as music, film and TV shows online have done so illegally. As many as 26 per cent of people who count themselves as avid online music fans had illegally accessed content in the same three-month period.

Ofcom said that of the 18 per cent of UK internet users who engaged in digital piracy in the three-month period, around 5 per cent only ever use illegal services. Of those who accessed illegal content, 50 per cent were male and 68 per cent were under the age of 34.

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