1 in 10 Europeans admit to having downloaded something illegally in the past year. As with most issues, the exact numbers vary greatly from country to country (for example, almost one third of people in Great Britain admit to having engaged in some form of digital piracy). There is also a great deal of variety between age groups, with over one in four young people (aged 15-24) downloading illegally.
The music, film, and game industries argue that digital piracy costs billions of euros each year. However, some studies argue that illegal downloading hasn’t harmed publishers as much as is claimed, and that piracy drives innovation and encourages new business models (such as streaming services).
As part of our Debating Europe Schools series, we’ve been taking questions from students from across Europe to policymakers and experts for them to answer. This week, we’re looking at piracy, privacy, and cybersecurity.
Curious to know more about attitudes towards illegal downloading in Europe? We’ve put together some facts and figures in the infographic below (click for a bigger version).
First up, we had a comment from Eduard, who thought that digital streaming services, such as Spotify, Xbox Music, and the upcoming Apple Music, held the solution to the problem of digital piracy.
To get a reaction, we put Eduard’s comment to Peter Tschmuck, Professor for Culture Institutions Studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. How would he respond to Eduard?
Next, we had a comment from Paul, who said he had always considered the internet an essentially private system.
We put this comment to Tom Chothia, Senior Lecturer in Computer Security at the University of Birmingham. Tom Chothia’s research includes a study concluding that the behaviour of most illegal downloaders is ‘being tracked’ by copyright-enforcement organisations, security firms, and research labs. So we asked him: how private is the internet?
What would save the music industry from digital piracy? Are streaming services like Spotify the answer? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!