Copyright infringement tracker W4

11 September 2013

This report details the main findings of the fourth wave of a large-scale consumer tracking study into the extent of online copyright infringement, as well as wider digital behaviours and attitudes, among people aged 12+ in the UK.

The study was commissioned by Ofcom, undertaken by Kantar Media and made possible by financial support from the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO). It is the fourth in a series of research waves intended to generate benchmarks and time series relevant to the access and use of copyright material online. It also outlines the background to the research and a detailed description of the methodology employed.

Researching copyright infringement and digital behaviours is complex. The ways in which consumers access and share copyright material online change regularly, and infringement levels, in particular, are notoriously difficult to measure. We have gone to extensive lengths to find the best way of securing meaningful and accurate results for this survey, including commissioning a methodological study and an independent peer review. These reports can be found at:

Illegal File-sharing Pilot Survey - Report by Kantar Media (PDF, 1.9 MB)

Illegal File-sharing Pilot - Peer Review - Report by BDRC-Continental (PDF, 230.1 KB)

Rather than focusing on one industry, the study looks at six main types of online content - music, film, TV programmes, books, video games and computer software - and for each of these assesses levels of infringement. These are then assessed within wider patterns of consumer behaviour and content consumption.

For this fourth research wave respondents were surveyed during the period of March to May 2013 and asked about their behaviour during "the past three months". Reference to the figures from the previous wave (W3, covering the period November 2012 to January 2013) are made where statistically significant changes have occurred. In some cases references are also made to the first and second waves (covering May to October 2012). This report is supplemented by a further Annex report which covers each of the six content types in more detail.