While streaming services have made it cheaper and easier than ever to access music and video content on the web, online piracy continues to thrive. The latest figures from the United Kingdom’s communications regulator, Ofcom, show that piracy is on the increase there, with around 18% of all web users aged 12 or over in the UK accessing content illegally, up from 16% during the preceding quarter.
The latest online copyright infringement tracker report from Ofcom covers the three months to the end of January 2013, and it found that 386m files were illegally accessed during that period. Perhaps unsurprisingly, music was the most popular of all media to be illegally distributed, with 280m music files accessed via unlawful sources by UK web users. TV shows were the second most popular (52m), followed by movies (28m), e-books (18m), and software and games (7m).
The total proportion of all UK web users accessing multimedia content online now stands at 60%. Of these, 33% who watch movies online do so via illegal means, while 26% of those who stream or download music online do so without paying for it. Of those who illegally access content via the web, 5% don’t pay for any content online, exclusively obtaining it via pirate sites. 59% of those accessing content illegally are male, while 68% are aged 34 or under.
The findings will no doubt fuel the outrage of copyright holders, and lend further momentum to efforts to combat online privacy. McAfee recently patented in-browser technology designed to steer users away from illegal streaming and download sites, towards legitimate content sources.
Source: The Guardian