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Sizing the Piracy Universe

NetNames and NBCUniversal have released an in depth report on the amount of content that is infringed from Internet users in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.  The report titled, “Sizing the Piracy Universe” examined more than 1,000 websites that allow users to either illegally download content or stream the copyrighted material.

327 million unique internet users explicitly sought infringing content during January 2013. This figure increased by 9.9% in the fifteen months from November 2011 and represents 25.9% of the total Internet user population in these regions.

The amount of bandwidth used for infringed content in North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific has grown to 160% from 2010 to 2012. According to NetNames, that accounts for 24% of the total internet bandwidth.

The numbers are staggering, and despite the growth of companies such as Netflix and Amazon, many users worldwide are resorting to BitTorrents and illegal streaming sites.

“While legitimate services have come along like Netflix, the piracy world hasn’t stood still,” said David Price, director of piracy analysis at NetNames. “People are infringing all kinds of content, including films, television, music and games. Over 300 million people infringed copyright at least once. That’s an enormous number of people. It just shows how embedded this particular activity has become in people’s lives.”