Jul 8, 2016

Rise of streaming behind a decline in online copyright infringement

The UK IPO has published research which shows that online copyright infringement has fallen for the first time since the rise of the internet. The IPO has attributed this, at least in part, to the rise of online streaming services such as Netflix for TV shows and films, and Spotify for music.

According to the research over half of internet users now consume content online via streaming services, as a result of which downloading content from the internet is becoming less popular. Ease of access and cost were two of the main reasons cited as being behind the rise in the use of streaming services and these two factors must surely have contributed to the fall in online copyright infringement, particularly as far as the music industry is concerned with services such as Spotify being free if the user is prepared to put up with some adverts.

Though this is undoubtedly good news for the holders of IP rights that have traditionally been infringed online, one sobering statistic from the research is that there are still over 7 million internet users in the UK accessing some form of illegal content. This continues to have a major impact for rights holders with research from Kantar Media suggesting that over 78 million music tracks were accessed illegally online in the last 3 months with 50 million TV shows and films being accessed illegally online in the same period.

This research demonstrates a welcome and hopefully permanent trend in the fight against online piracy and copyright infringement. The sobering statistics from Kantar Media however show that the fight is far from over and rights holders must remain vigilant and proactive to try and protect their rights.

If this article has raised any issues for you please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniel and Co Solicitors on 0191 281 4000.

in: Copyright, Digital/Tech, News

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