In comparison to 2017, overall online piracy levels in the UK have remained much the same. However, there has been a drop in the level of illegal online activity by younger consumers. Over half of 16 to 24 year olds are now paying to access at least one subscription service and infringement levels within this group are down 7% points from 2015. In that same group, there has been a decrease of 5% points in the use of illegal services since 2013.
Further findings in the study, indicate that convenience, quality and fears of malware were the chief causes of this decline in illegal downloads. These figures have been gathered from the eighth annual Online Copyright Infringement (OCI) tracker, which explores the extent of online infringement, digital behaviours and attitudes among people aged 12 and over in the UK.
The government plans to continue tackling online copyright infringement by providing the IPO with funding of over £7.5 million for the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit. It will also continue to work with search engines and copyright owners to ensure that copyright infringing websites are removed from the front page of search results.
Illegal Streaming Becoming Less Attractive
Sam Gyimah, Minister for Intellectual Property (IP), who launched the report at the Appliance for IP British IP Day event, said: “The variety of legitimate services now available to consumers is extraordinary and our world-leading creative industries have made great strides in meeting the demands of viewers and fans, so there really is no excuse for the ongoing use of illegal services.”
Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Nick Court of the City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Department said: “It is encouraging to hear that consumers are favouring subscription streaming services and that illegal streaming is becoming less attractive, especially to the young.”
“Digital piracy is a problem that has a number of risks associated with it, including enabling children to watch inappropriate content, and we continue to encourage people to use legitimate services in order to avoid falling victim to such risks.”
“We are hopeful that the younger consumers who are using these legitimate services will lead the way in encouraging all users to do the same.”