Digital Piracy Levels Increased by 3.3 Percent in 2022

EU Intellectual Property Office Reports on the Latest Insights in Digital Piracy Trends

A new report released on October 29 by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) shows an increase in digital piracy levels in 2022, reversing the previous downward trend year-over-year.

The report, titled “Online Copyright Infringement in the EU, Film, Music, Publications, Software and Television, 2017-2022”, states that starting in 2021, the trend of digital piracy has reversed, with a 3.3% increase in 2022. This is the third research report by EUIPO analyzing online copyright infringement trends in EU member states and the UK.

The study looked at visits to pirated movies, TV, music, software, and publications between January 2017 and December 2022, using monthly user access to illegal content as a piracy index. The report shows that pirated TV shows, series, movies, and comic books are the main drivers of increased digital piracy.

In the EU in 2022, TV piracy accounted for nearly half (48%) of illegally accessed websites, with TV shows, series, on-demand movies, animation works, and sports events seeing the most impact, followed by live sports channel broadcasts.

Publications were the second most affected genre after TV, also increasing since January 2021, with comic books the most popular, followed by audiobooks and e-books.

The study also first analyzed illegal live sports streaming, which rose in 2021 and 2022, increasing by 30% in one year. In some countries like France and Spain, this content accounted for over a third (34%) of total illegal visits.

In May 2023, the EU Commission adopted a recommendation to combat unauthorized live sports and event streaming. EUIPO is working with them to monitor the recommendation’s impact.

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According to the research, streaming has become the most popular way to access illegal TV content – 58% of EU piracy occurs via streaming and 32% via downloading.

We also noted the report pointing out that as of the end of 2022, EU internet users visited infringing websites about 10 times per month on average. There are significant differences between member states, with the highest piracy rates in Estonia and Latvia at nearly 25 visits per user per month, and the lowest in Germany, Italy, and Poland at around 7.5 visits.

EUIPO Executive Director Christian Archambeau said piracy remains a serious threat to Europe’s creative industries, and more work is needed to combat it as it evolves with technology. Understanding piracy mechanisms is critical to developing effective policies and measures to reduce it.

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Deepanker Verma is a well-known technology blogger and gadget reviewer based in India. He has been writing about Tech for over a decade.


Digital Piracy Levels Increased by 3.3 Percent in 2022

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