It's clear that, as pressure on the UK increases to implement new internet piracy laws and, with the Digital Economy Act coming into force next year, much will fall onto Ofcom to regulate matters and, no matter the group's decision, it's going to be a controversial one.
With this in mind, Ofcom has been busy issuing surveys and performing research, with some rather interesting information coming out of a large-scale consumer tracking study, funded by the UK Intellectual Property Office.
Of internet users aged over 12:
- 16 per cent were estimated to have downloaded/streamed illegal content in the last three months.
- 4 per cent consumed only illegal content.
- 8 per cent downloaded music illegally, whilst 6 per cent films and only 2 per cent software.
- 31 per cent of of those looking for/consuming a film in the last three months, 23 per cent music and 11 per cent e-books did so illegally.
- When asked for their reasons, 54 per cent of infringers said that it was because it was free, 48 per cent convenient and 44 per cent quick. 26 per cent stated that it was so they could try before they buy.
- 39 per cent stated that they would stop infringing if cheaper, legal services were available, 32 per cent if they were able to obtain all of their content legally and 26 per cent if it was clearer what is legal and what is not.