UK embraces legal online media services, but piracy remains a problem

The UK Intellectual Property Office is pushing against piracy

A government study has found that paid-for or subscription media services are popular with British internet users, but that piracy is still relatively common.

Research by the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) found that one in five citizens has accessed what could be called pirated material.

Some 26 percent of respondents said that they accessed music content illegally, while 25 percent downloaded films from piracy sites and 21 percent TV programmes.

The picture is not wholly bleak, however. The study also reported a 10 percent increase in the use of paid-for services over the past two years.

Netflix, Amazon and YouTube have felt the benefit of this, and the IPO said that the first of these accounts for 44 percent of all legitimate film streaming traffic in the UK.

Some 62 percent of UK citizens accessed, downloaded or streamed videos, music, e-books and software this year, up from 56 percent in 2013.

“It’s great news that a huge proportion of UK consumers are going online to enjoy music, TV shows, video games and e-books legally, supporting our creative industries to grow and showing the benefits of making legal content widely available,” said intellectual property minister Baroness Neville Rolfe.

“By building a clear picture of online streaming and downloading trends we can work with industry and international partners to tackle the problems of internet piracy and increase public awareness of the ways people can download and stream legally.”

The IPO announced new measures and financing designed to address the piracy problem, including £3.1m for an education campaign that informs consumers about the legal alternatives, and £5.5m for official police intellectual property enforcement activity.

Also underway is a consultation on the kind of penalties that could be handed out to internet-based copyright infringers. The UK will also continue to work with the European community on wider scale efforts and activity.

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24 July 2015 | 2:31 pm – Source: v3.co.uk

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