Illegal file sharing still rife

Monday, December 21, 2009

Illegal file sharing levels are still not declining, despite a recent crackdown by the government, according to new research from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).

The trade body interviewed over 3,000 UK respondents aged 16 to 54, and found that 1,012 were downloading or filesharing music on peer-to-peer networks or from other web sources.

While levels of illegal file sharing remained pretty much the same throughout 2009, the BPI warned of an increase in the use of web-based or "non-P2P" methods during the past six months.

The biggest increases in use came from overseas unlicensed MP3 pay sites (47 per cent), newsgroups (42 per cent), MP3 search engines (28 per cent) and forum, blog and board links to cyberlockers (18 per cent).

"There are now more than 35 legal digital music services in the UK, offering music fans a great choice of ways to get music legally," said BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor.

"It's disappointing that levels of illegal P2P use remain high despite this and the publicity surrounding imminent measures to address the problem. It's vital that those measures come into force as quickly as possible.

"The growth in other, non-P2P methods of downloading music illegally is a concern, and highlights the importance of including a mechanism in the Digital Economy Bill to deal with threats other than P2P."

When questioned on their future plans, current users of unauthorised services reported that they intended to increase their illegal activities in the coming six months.



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