Number Of Illegal Downloads Falling In The UK

    October 13, 2008

Fewer people in the UK are illegally downloading music for fear of having their Internet connections cut off, according to a new survey from Entertainment Media Research.

Three quarters of music pirates would stop if told by their Internet Service Provider (ISP) the survey of 1,500 UK consumers revealed.

About 39 percent of music fans currently download songs from illegal sites, compared to 43 percent in 2007.

Proposals announced in July said that music pirates could have their Internet access restricted if a voluntary enforcement on piracy is not effective.

The voluntary agreement between Britain’s six largest ISPs and the British Phonographic Industry, said the Internet providers will write users flagged as illegally downloading content and warn them that their activity is being watched.

"It is quite evident that an ISP-led strategy has bite, because illegal downloaders are fairly convinced that ISPs are currently monitoring their activities and are more likely to act against them than the courts," said Russell Hart, chief executive of Entertainment Media Research.

The survey found that younger Internet users were more likely to illegally download content. In the 13-17 age group, 58 percent said they had downloaded illegally, and 61 percent said they were aware their activities were being monitored by ISPs.

"The survey shows that despite the ubiquity of free music, there’s a real willingness by consumers to pay for music products if the package is right," said Alexander Ross, music partner at media law firm Wiggin, who commissioned the survey.