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Global online content piracy on rise; US, France, UK in top 10 list

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NEW DELHI: Online piracy is on the rise and could be outpacing regulatory and policing regimes as global piracy trends show a change indicating emerging threats. 

MUSO, a leading content protection, data-analytics and piracy audience reconnection solutions provider, has said nearly three-quarter of all visits to film & TV specific piracy sites in 2015 used web streaming as their method of consuming illegal content, highlighting a clear piracy audience trend change away from content ‘ownership’ using P2P/Torrents or web downloads.

According to MUSO’s Global Film & TV Piracy Market Insight Report 2016, released late July 2016, out of a total 78.49 billion film and television piracy site visits, 73.69 per cent (57.84bn) were visits to streaming sites, with 72.07 per cent of visits via desktop devices, indicating consumption of infringing video content via mobile devices remains low.

With over 12 per cent  (9.86bn visits) of that global piracy audience from the United States, and with France, Germany and the UK all present in the top 10 countries globally by visits, the report highlights a piracy industry in transition, with strongly varying audience trends across different countries highlighting key opportunities, as well as emerging threats. India too figures in the surveyed list.

The MUSO report data is available for over 226 countries and dependent regions, which saw the company analyse global traffic from 14,000 of the largest global piracy websites, comprising over 141 billion visits to these sites, and across 200m measured devices.

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MUSO’s annual report found that the second most popular piracy delivery type was torrents, capturing 17.24 per cent of audience visits. Despite this high activity, torrents have seen an overall decrease by 18.98 per cent from the first 6 months visits to the last 6 months visits in 2015.

Torrent activity that has heavily relied on desktop users (77.1 per cent) has seen a trend change throughout 2015 of -18.96 per cent. Mobile activity has seen a similar decrease by 19.02 per cent.

The usage of downloads has been relatively low, compared to torrents and streaming traffic, accounting for 8.38 per cent of piracy visits. 2015 saw only a minor increase in download activity, with a growth of 0.21 per cent from the first six to last six months of the year, the report stated.

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MUSO added that its Global Piracy Market Insights Reports published for both music and film & TV markets, and the specific country-level insight reports, are firmly established as the industry standard in global piracy audience trends.

It’s no wonder that the Indian content industry too has woken up to the online piracy threat and is attempting to put together an industry coalition, along with the government, to fight the menace. The proposed piracy measure has been tentatively titled Copyrights Force.

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