Piracy: The most common reasons for committing copyright infringement

A new report has shed plenty of light on Brits’ piracy habits, revealing the most common reasons for illegally accessing content.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the main reason for committing copyright infringement is “it is free”, the Intellectual Property Office’s (IPO) Online Copyright Infringement Tracker report has found.

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62% of the 5034 internet users surveyed (aged 12 or older, and based in the UK) said they were confident in their ability to identify legal content from illegal content online.

27%, meanwhile, admitted to consuming at least one item of online content − such as music, TV, film, sport, eBooks, video games and computer software − illegally in the “past three months”.

The survey, which was carried out in March 2018, also looked at the most common reasons for committing copyright infringement. They were:

  1. It is free (44%)
  2. It is easy/convenient (41%)
  3. It is quick (38%)
  4. It means I can try something before I buy it (15%)
  5. Because I can (13%)
  6. I can’t afford to pay (11%)
  7. I think legal content is too expensive (9%)
  8. It’s what my friends or family do (9%)
  9. I already owned the content in another format (7%)
  10. I already spend enough on content (7%)
  11. The files I want are not available on legal services (7%)
  12. I’ve already paid to see it/them in the cinema/in concert etc. (6%)
  13. The industry makes too much money (5%)
  14. I don’t want to wait for the content to become available on legal services (4%)
  15. I don’t think I should have to pay for files online (4%)

In the 2017 version of the report, convenience (45%) was the top reason given for committing copyright infringement, which suggests that efforts to crack down on Kodi boxes, illicit addons and pirate sites might be having an effect.

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The report looked at the measures that would persuade people to stop pirating content too:

  1. If legal services were cheaper (22%)
  2. If it was clearer what is legal and what isn’t (21%)
  3. If everything I wanted was available legally (18%)
  4. If everything I wanted was available legally online as soon as it was released elsewhere (16%)
  5. If I thought I might be caught (14%)
  6. If I thought I might be sued (13%)
  7. If legal services were more convenient/flexible (13%)
  8. If legal services were better (13%)
  9. If everyone else stopped doing it (12%)
  10. If my ISP sent me a letter saying they would suspend my internet access (12%)
  11. If a subscription service I was interested in became available (11%)
  12. If there were articles in the media about people being caught (11%)
  13. If I knew where to go to see whether something was legal or not (11%)
  14. If my ISP sent me a letter saying they would restrict my internet speed (8%)
  15. If my ISP sent me a letter informing me that my account had been used to infringe (8%)
  16. If my friends or family were caught (8%)

10% of respondents said that nothing would make them stop.

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