Business internet

Copycats? Digital consumers in the online age.

I woke up Friday morning to a BBC news report claiming that a report had found that there were 7 million people in the UK indulging in illegal file sharing. This was based on a report by the Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property and one which I have been looking forward to reading.

The report does in fact make very interesting reading though even the executive summary is fourteen pages long so I’m not going to replicate it all here. This then is the executive summary of the executive summary with bits left out.

Between 44% (USA) and 79% (Eastern Europe) of internet traffic is taken up with illegal file sharing. As a B2B ISP Timico does not see this level of P2P though I can understand why consumer ISPs invest heavily in packet shaping technology.

Up to 7 million people are illegalling downloading music and movies.  With only 2.3 million full time students this must mean that non students are also doing it.

A large number of people assume that they can get such material for free and that they won’t get caught.  This is changing basic assumptions about the idea of ownership,  sharing and copying content and that new business models are needed.

The report also does suggest that industry, ISPs included, need to play their part but recognises the difficult situation that ISPs are in.  If consumers get clamped down on will this change the way they behave generally in using the internet?

All this is good reading in the run up to the publication of the Digital Britain Report in a couple of weeks time. Although I hope I am wrong I increasingly get the feeling that Digital Britain is not really going to come up with any kind of solution to this problem.

Both the exec summary and the full version of the SABIP report can be found here.

Trefor Davies

By Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of, writer, poet,

2 replies on “Copycats? Digital consumers in the online age.”

there is no solution to the problem, it is time for the media industries to get real and change their methods of delivery. Provide free content tasters and then allow people to pay a reasonable charge for top quality products. Far too difficult to buy, easy to pirate. Risks of pirating are immense, apart from the fact it is illegal it nearly always craps out the computer doing it. Quality is not as good. A recent survey showed that the amateur pirates are also the top purchasers, which indicates that if they like it then they buy a proper copy. I don’t think this is something government or ISPs can sort out, the market has to deal with it itself, by change and innovation.

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