Country Focus: UK
British consumers embrace legal downloads
by Naman Ramachandran
- British internet users are embracing legal downloads, with an increase of more than 10% take up of legal services since 2013, a recent survey by the UK Government’s Intellectual Property Office has found. The survey revealed that 62% of internet users in the UK have downloaded or streamed music, TV shows, films, computer software, videogames or e-books. This is up from 56% in 2013. However, one in five consumers still access some content illegally.
The survey showed that 10 million UK internet users have accessed films online. Netflix, Amazon and YouTube were the top platforms for film downloads and streaming with Netflix responsible for 44% of all activity. 25% of users accessed some content illegally. The most common reasons given for infringing copyright were because it’s free and convenient. Respondents said they would stop infringing if there were cheaper legal services and if everything was available legally.
Intellectual Property Minister Baroness Neville Rolfe said, “By building a clear picture of online streaming and downloading trends we can work with industry and international partners to tackle the problems of internet piracy and increase public awareness of the ways people can download and stream legally.”
Actions the Government is taking to tackle online copyright infringement include providing £3.1m of funding for Creative Content UK’s campaign to educate consumers on how they can download legally; providing £5.56m of funding to the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit; and working with the European Commission and industry to tackle piracy by finding ways to help make more content available to purchase across borders.