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Illegal downloads 'costing jobs'.

Summary: Illegal downloads by at least 7 million people in the UK are reportedly costing the economy billions of pounds and thousands of jobs.

Illegal downloads by at least 7 million people in the UK are reportedly costing the economy billions of pounds and thousands of jobs.

Research commissioned by the Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property (SABIP) shows shared content on one network is worth about Au12 billion per year.

The peer-to-peer network had 1.3 million users sharing files at midday on a weekday. If each of them downloaded only one file per day this would amount to 4.73 billion items being consumed for free each year.

Creative industries provide about 8 per cent of British GDP. Digital copying of their products resulted in the estimated loss of 4,000 jobs in 2004.

The UK film industry told the authors of the report that there were just under 100 million illegal DVD downloads in 2007 and the global film industry is thought to lose over Au4 billion per year.

David Lammy, Minister for Intellectual Property, said: "As SABIP's report shows, illegal downloading robs our economy of millions of pounds every year and seriously damages business and innovation throughout the UK. It is something that needs tackling, and we are serious about doing so."

The ability to download or share content is continually getting easier with faster technologies and greater storage space.

The new 50mega bytes-per-second broadband access can deliver 200 mp3 music files in five minutes, a DVD of Star Wars in three minutes and the complete digitalised works of Charles Dickens in less than ten minutes.

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) estimates that there were 890 million illegal free music downloads through file sharing in the UK in 2007 compared with 140 million paid downloads.

This puts unauthorised access at a ratio of six-to-one, before off-line sharing like disc burning is even considered.

Mr Lammy added: "We can't expect 12-year-olds to become copyright lawyers before they can switch on a computer, but we can educate people on enforcement and work towards getting the right people caught and punished: wherever they live."

Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Independent Television News Limited (ITN)
Date:Jun 1, 2009
Words:382
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