Music and film industries winning war on piracy, says report

There were 260 million pirated films and TV shows downloaded in 2008 but that figure has fallen to 120 million

Digital piracy, scourge of the entertainment industries for more than a decade, has finally been conquered, according to a new report from Norway.

Music piracy has plummeted by 82.5 per cent in Norway in the last four years, according to Norwegian research body Ipsos MMI.

There has been a dramatic fall in the number of songs illegally copied, from 1.2 billion in 2008 to 210 million last year.

The number of films and television programmes being illegally downloaded has also slumped by more than a half.

There were 260 million pirated movies and TV shows downloaded in 2008 but that figure has fallen to 120 million.

The decline in illegally copied files was ascribed to the rise of legal alternatives, such as streaming service Spotify for music and Netflix for film, which offer consumers a more reliable experience than peer-to-peer file-sharing sites.

The statistics demonstrated that tougher anti-piracy laws, demanded by music and film companies, were no longer required, web freedom campaigners argued, since the market was driving file sharing to the margins.

The Ipsos panel found that 47 per cent (representing around 1.7 million people in Norway) said they use a streaming music service such as Spotify.

Just over half said that they pay for the premium option, which is £10 a month for unlimited, advert-free music in the UK.

While television show piracy has reduced by half in four years, it actually peaked at the start of 2011 with 200 million shows copied without permission.

But unauthorised copying is down more than 72 per cent since then, as subscription streaming services such as Netflix have become more prominent.

The Norwegian research echoed figures from music trade body IFPI this year, which revealed the first increase in global music industry revenues since 1999.

The 0.3 per cent increase was fuelled by a strong growth in digital sales, with Apple’s iTunes still dominating the market for paid-for downloads.

The Official Charts Company has predicted that 2013 will be the biggest year for single sales in UK chart history, thanks to tracks such as Daft Punk’s Get Lucky, with download sales up 2.5 per cent on last year.

But the BPI believes that those signs of recovery will be choked off without continued action against piracy. In a landmark case, the High Court ordered ISPs to block The Pirate Bay, the website which helps internet users find content for download via peer-to-peer networks.

Another factor in the decline of pirated material on the web was the 2012 closure of Megaupload, one of the most popular file-sharing platforms. US Federal prosecutors accused it of costing copyright holders more than $500m (£320m) in lost revenue.

In Norway, the apparent victory over piracy was achieved with only token attempts to prosecute illegal file-sharers. New measures to force ISPs to block copyright infringing sites, which come into effect in the country this month, are now unnecessary, argued the website Torrentfreak.com.

“When you have a good legitimate offer, the people will use it,” said Olav Torvund, former law professor at the University of Oslo.

“There is no excuse for illegal copying, but when you get an offer that does not cost too much and is easy to use, it is less interesting to download illegally.”

Scandinavia is leading the global music industry revival. Revenues were up 17 per cent in Norway for the first half of 2013, with streaming services accounting for two-thirds of all income.

Sweden, home to Spotify, reported music revenue up 13.8 per cent whilst in Denmark a survey found that 81 percent of those who admitted to illegally downloading music claimed to have stopped after gaining access to a legal streaming service.

The BPI this week welcomed the creation of a new UK Police Unit dedicated to cracking down on piracy.

The Intellectual Property Crime Unit will have the power and resources to shut down pirate sites, seize criminal assets, and prosecute organised crime gangs running illegal services online.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump

TV

Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

film
Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

TV
Arts and Entertainment
William Pooley from Suffolk is flying out to Free Town, Sierra Leone, to continue working in health centres to fight Ebola after surviving the disease himself

music
Arts and Entertainment
The Newsroom creator Aaron Sorkin

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Berry (centre), the star of Channel 4 sitcom 'Toast of London'

TVA disappointingly dull denouement
Arts and Entertainment
Tales from the cryptanalyst: Benedict Cumberbatch in 'The Imitation Game'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Pixie Lott has been voted off Strictly Come Dancing 2014

Strictly
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
    La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

    Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

    The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
    10 best high-end laptops

    10 best high-end laptops

    From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
    Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
    Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
    Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

    Meet Racton Man

    Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
    Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

    Garden Bridge

    St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

    An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
    Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

    Joint Enterprise

    The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
    Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

    Freud and Eros

    Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum