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Pirates are less and less common in Europe, according to an official study

Pirates are less and less common in Europe, according to an official study


The European Union for Intellectual Property (EUIPO) conducted a major study on the consumption of plagiarized content on the practices of European citizens from January 2017 to December 2020.

To this end, EUIPO has shown interest in movies, series, television shows and music. Whether it is live downloading, torrenting, extracting or streaming, the study scans as wide as possible to be as close to reality as possible.

Consumption is divided by 2

In three years, Internet users’ consumption of plagiarized content has dropped by 50.4%, from 11.7 downloads per month to 5.9. Although the appearance of the Govt in 2019 was a temporary setback to this trend, the decline was not sudden but rather gradual.

The legal offer on music or video has greatly expanded in recent years. A subscription to Deezer or Spotify offers unlimited access to a large music library for less than a CD, while Blu-ray can subscribe to multiple streaming sites.

Under these conditions, the risks of theft and its implications (e.g. in terms of viruses) become less and less interesting. Note that the review does not talk about the scourge facing streaming platforms: password sharing. Although not mentioned in the study, this phenomenon can also be considered a form of hacking.

Last places of pirates

Thanks to research, with the appropriate offer, internet users can realize that they are willing to pay for the content they want to see. So diversifying the legal offer seems to be the best way to combat piracy.

However, there are still some issues to be resolved before we can see the virtual disappearance of the illegal download. The first is about streaming TV shows and especially major sporting events (especially football). By 2020, of the 5.9 content downloaded, 4.1 belonged to this category, compared to 1.2 for movies and 0.6 for music.

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Despite the offers, they are not meant to appeal to the general public. In France, for example, you have to pay an extra subscription to Amazon Prime to watch League 1 with Amazon.

As far as movies are concerned, the timing of the media presents a lot of problems, especially in France. However, European laws are being relaxed, which will prevent most viewers from downloading the pirate copy while waiting for its official release.

Last but not least, the multiplication of the offer, which allows for better diversity, but it comes at a certain cost. Between access to music service on two or three streaming platforms to enjoy exclusivity, the bill will be steep. This is why the current model will greatly reduce pirate downloads, but will not eliminate them completely.

Source: EUIPO