Online copyright infringement research


In early 2012 the Intellectual Property Office funded Ofcom to conduct research intended to improve understanding of consumers' behaviour and attitudes towards lawful and unlawful access of copyright material using the internet.

The primary objective was to gather data and generate insights that could be used to assist policy-making related to online copyright enforcement. This followed the adoption by Government of a recommendation made in the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth.

The research demonstrated the clear demand for online access to copyright material. However, infringement was a minority activity; we estimated in 2013 that 17% of internet users consumed at least one item of infringing content, which equates to around a third (29%) of all consumers of online content.