A recent survey from UK broadcast regulators Ofcom has revealed that an estimated one out of six internet users in the region illegally access TV shows, movies, e-books, and music through streaming or downloads.
While this sets up the obvious joke of ‘the other five just didn’t admit to it’, the report also recognises that around a quarter of music downloads online can be defined as illegal (although the definition of the term is never fully clear), with similar figures produced for films (one third of all downloads/streams), TV shows (one in five), and e-books (one in eight), under figures researched over a three-month period.
The headlining statistics, though, were that 16% of internet users aged ’12 and over’ had reached copyrighted content ‘at least once’ in the May-July period of this year, while 47% of people surveyed claim that they do not know what is legal and what isn’t when they access online video or music.
Liz Bales, the general director general of ‘Industry Trust for IP awareness’, said of the need to raise public awareness of : “It’s also crucial to help them appreciate the value of film, TV and video and the role copyright plays in safeguarding the future of the entertainment they love.”
Previous reports from ‘music industry experts’ claimed that the public using illegal means to listen to music collectively costs artists in the UK £200m ($319m) a year (despite the supposed ‘benefits’ of users being able to ‘try’ music before they ‘buy’ more expensive concert tickets, etc.), and that people ‘need’ to be educated on the problems. It is a never-ending battle that will never be completely won by the content owners, but will Ofcom’s next findings on the matter place them closer or further away from their favour?