Illegal downloads lose economy £12bn a year

The cost to the UK economy of unauthorised downloads of digital content including software equates, as a conservative estimate, to £12 billion (E14bn) a year, according to a study into the economic impact of illegal file-sharing. commissioned by The Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property (SABIP).

Unusually the report spelled out its calculations and extrapolations. It found that on one peer-to-peer network at midday on a week day there were over 1.3 million sharing content. If each 'peer' in the network downloaded just one file a day that would equate to 0.47 billion items a year. This, according to the report's authors, equates to £12 billion of lost revenue to digital content owners, based on their assessment of the value of an individual file.

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