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1.3 million Brits Download Illegal Content Every Day : Report

A report published by the Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property (SABIP) posits that around seven million UK citizens download illegal content worth as much as £120 billion a year.

This sum, of course, as MCV UK rightly puts is,relies on the assumption that a person who downloads a file would have otherwise purchased it.

The organisation also reckons that the newly launched Virgin Media 50Mbps broadband connection will allow customers to download 200 MP3 files (1GB) in five minutes, the content of a DVD (4.7GB) in 3 minutes (ed: surely some mistake somewhere, must be referring to an encoded movie) and the complete digitised works of Charles Dickens in less than 10 minutes.

According to SABIP, every day 1.3 million Brits were found on file-sharing network. This has prompted Intellectual Property Minister David Lammy to declare that "This is not an issue confined by national boundaries and I am sure that other [EU] member states and their copyright industries will find this report of use in the development of policy".

Curiously, SABIP says that free legal services like Skype or Google Maps may have encourage people to try to find ways to get things for free. Latest figures show that at least half of UK's internet traffic was illegal in nature.

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Our Comments

It is ludicrous to say that ultra high speed broadband encourages digital piracy. Although SABIP has not said it loud and clear, it is likely that the organisation would love to see slower internet and perhaps the introduction of the concept of tiered-internet in the UK.

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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.