10 per cent of Brits are 'illegally file sharing'

New figures show piracy hitting epidemic rates

Fast download speeds blamed for file sharing

Around 7 million people are illegally downloading files in the UK, according to a new report – suggesting that online piracy is rife in the country.

The study, conducted by Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property (SABIP) found that on any given day, 1.3m people were found to be on a file-sharing network, with the amount of premium content downloaded for free over a year hitting around £120 billion.

Speedy downloads

"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," said Intellectual Property Minister David Lammy about the findings.

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The study cited faster download speeds as one of the reasons why file-sharing was happening, with speeds of up to 50Mbps meaning that file-shares can download around 200 MP3 tracks in five minutes.