The Annual IP Crime Report was published last week by the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO). It mainly highlighted the significant and “jaw-dropping” increase in streaming activity and illegal use of content protected by copyright.

With streaming activity having grown “significantly from previous waves”, being now the “highest level of streaming or accessing content online” the IPO has seen to date, there is a “current and emerging threat surrounding counterfeiting and piracy in the UK and overseas”.

The report relies on a sample questioning of Britons over three months, namely March to May 2015. In the course of the questioning it was revealed that 28 per cent of those questioned obtained their music downloads from an illegal source. In addition to that, 23 per cent of films, 22 per cent of computer software, 16 per cent of television shows and 15 per cent of games were also downloaded or accessed illegally. When comparing these figures to those from 2013, the number of illegal music downloads decreases, while all other content is increasingly downloaded or accessed using illegal sources.

Furthermore, it was established that 62 per cent of UK internet users being 12 years and older “consumed at least one item of online content (legally or illegally) over the three month period March – May 2015”.

As a reason for the ongoing growth of copyright infringements the IPO identified ‘unofficial services’ such as uTorrent, BitTorrent, TV catch-up apps and Youtube, as those services exploiting IP rules by “offering content without legal certainty”.

The IPO’s full, comprehensive report can be accessed here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/555795/ip-crime-report-2015-16.pdf