Internet piracy is on the decline in Europe, but downloading is becoming more frenzied

The percentage of internet users in Europe who illegally download or stream music, movies, series, books or games via, for example, The Pirate Bay or PopcornTime fell sharply between 2014 and 2017. This is evident from a global online piracy study published today by the University of Amsterdam’s Institute for Information Law (IViR).

The decline in piracy is strongest for music, movies and series. At the same time, spending on legal content has increased compared to 2014 (pdf)

The decline in piracy was seen in six of the seven European countries surveyed: France, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Only in Germany has there been a small increase in the number of people using illegal sources due to a small increase in illegal downloading of games.

After Japan and Germany, the Netherlands has the lowest number of pirates as a percentage of the Internet population, along with the United Kingdom. A third of Dutch Internet users indicated that they had consumed content through illegal channels in the previous year.

In all thirteen countries surveyed – including those outside Europe – the cost of legal content was the most important motive for using illegal channels.

The small group downloads and streams more illegal material than three years ago. 95 percent of them buy content legally, and on average they consume twice as much legal content as those who use legal channels.

The share of Internet users who downloaded or streamed something illegally in the past year varied greatly between the countries surveyed: from 23 percent in Japan to 84 percent in Indonesia (only a quarter of the population is online).

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Purchasing power appears to be the most important explanation for both legal costs and the number of pirates: the higher the purchasing power, the fewer pirates per legal user in a country.

Ferdinand Woolridge

 "Subtly charming analyst. Beer maven. Future teen idol. Twitter guru. Lifelong bacon fan. Pop culture lover. Passionate social media evangelist."

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