Two Per Cent of Web Users do Three-Quarters of the Illegal Downloading

By Gary Cutlack on at

Stats from UK telecom regulator Ofcom reveal that the piracy problem is perhaps a bit less widespread than is often claimed, with just two per cent of the UK's internet users responsible for three-quarters of all illegal downloads.

The report goes so far as to claims that copyright infringement is a "minority activity" across the board in the UK, with only around 17 per cent of internet users enjoying a piece of infringing content over the last year. Here's a bit more of a breakdown of the data:

The highest incidence of infringement occurred in music, but even here fewer than one in ten (9%) internet users infringed; for software and video games the figure dropped to just 2% of internet users. However, in relative terms infringement appeared more prevalent; a third (33%) of all consumers of online film infringed film at least once, while a quarter (26%) of music consumers infringed music.

In terms of the overall acceptance of legal media downloads and streaming, the stats found that 58 per cent of the 21,475 survey respondents had downloaded or streamed a thing during the previous 12 months. On the illegal side of things, the hardcore top two per cent accounted for 74 per cent of all infringements.

And that top two per cent are hoarding stuff. Ofcom says that: "...on average the top 10 per cent of film infringers consumed 80 infringing films over a three month period. This equates to almost one per day, a figure that is likely to be explained by a combination of interest in film as a content type, and hoarding or stacking films for viewing at a later date." [Ofcom]