Illegal music downloads fall by a third in the UK

Ofcom says that 2% of illegal downloaders are responsible for three quarters of online copyright infringement

Illegal music downloads in the UK have fallen by a third over the past year, according to a new report.

The Guardian writes that Ofcom have found that the number of pirated tracks have dropped from 301 million in March of last year to 199 million in March 2013. However, illegal download rates are still high, with one in six UK internet users admitting to illegally streaming or downloading files over the past 12 months, with 9% saying that they had illegally downloaded music between March and May 2013.

The Ofcom report – which was based on Kantar Media’s research – revealed that 2% of people pirating music online in the UK were actually responsible for nearly three quarters of all internet copyright infringement.

The new report is an improvement on findings Oxfom published in May of this year, in which the government regulator found that digital piracy rose in the three months to the end of January 2013, compared with the previous quarter. It also found that 18 per cent of users had accessed content illegally, up from 16 per cent in the previous three month period.