The number of illegally downloaded films in the UK has gone up by almost 30% in the last five years.
Research from internet consultancy firm Envisional has found that the top five box office movies were illegally downloaded in the UK a total of 1.4 million times last year.
The research also shows a big rise in TV shows being pirated online. The top five most popular shows were illegally downloaded a total of 1.24 million times in the UK last year. That’s a 33% increase from 2006 figures.
Dr David Price, who led the team that conducted the research, said that there are four main reasons for the increase: faster broadband speeds, better technology for handling torrents and other types of download, a growing belief among younger people that piracy is harmless and the desire of many to watch top US shows long before they make their way to UK televisions.
The Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) exists to fight all types of piracy, from software and games to film and television.
“Research for the government has shown that film piracy costs the industry about half a billion pounds a year,” said FACT spokesperson Kieron Sharp. “About a third of that is due to illegal downloading of film and TV content.”
The research shows that downloads of pirated software and games hasn’t increased anywhere near as much as films and television. It seems that the ability to download and watch television on computers has created a whole new industry.