Annual IPO report highlights ‘jaw-dropping’ rise in online IP crime

Earlier today, the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) published its Annual IP Crime Report, highlighting “the current and emerging threats surrounding counterfeiting and piracy in the UK and overseas,” including those carried out online.

The internet appeared to be a key arena for intellectual property (IP) crime over the course of the past year, according to the report – which labelled the levels of internet-based IP crime recorded in 2015 and 2016, “jaw-dropping”.

28 per cent of Britons questioned during a sample three month period last year revealed that their music downloads in the UK had come from an illegal source, according to the report.

23 per cent of films, 22 per cent of computer software or apps, 16 per cent of television shows and 15 per cent of games were also downloaded or accessed illegally during the sample period studied between March-May 2015, it added.

“Sixty-two per cent of UK internet users aged 12+ consumed at least one item of online content (legally or illegally) over the three month period March-May 2015,” the report read.

“The streaming activity has grown significantly from previous waves.

“This is the highest level of streaming or accessing content online we have seen to date”.

The report suggested that ‘unofficial services’ such as uTorrent, BitTorrent, TV catch up apps and YouTube were exploiting IP rules by “offering content without legal certainty”.

The IPO’s full, comprehensive report can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/555795/ip-crime-report-2015-16.pdf