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Illegal EU File Sharing by Broadband ISP Users Could Cost GBP215 Billion

Posted: 18th Mar, 2010 By: MarkJ
internet piracy uk and euA new Paris-based TERA Consultants study of internet piracy in the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain has revealed that illegal file sharing could cost European states 1.2m jobs and £215bn by 2015. The study was commissioned by the Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCP) and has been endorsed by trade unions and rights holders alike.

It claims that in 2008 the European Union's creative industries contributed 6.9%, or approximately £770 billion, to total EU GDP, and represented 6.5% of the total workforce, or approximately 14 million workers. However in the same year the EU allegedly lost £8.94bn and 186,000 jobs to internet piracy.

In the UK alone it was estimated that 39,000 jobs and £1.4bn in retail revenue were lost to internet piracy. If no action is taken then the study predicts that this figure will climb to reach 254,000 by 2015, and see losses of £6.98bn in retail revenue.

TERA Consultant's Patrice Geoffron said:

"In the near future and even today in 2010, we observe increasing bandwidth, increasing penetration rate in terms of the Internet. If we combine all those elements, obviously the impact in a few years won't remain stable compared to what it was in 2008."

Naturally Jim Killock of the Open Rights Group (ORG) has already branded this report as little more than the usual "corporate propaganda being deployed in order to justify intrusions on our rights to freedom of speech, privacy and to a fair trial," which is a reference to the current Digital Economy Bill (DEB) controversy over ISP disconnection and website blocking proposals.

Interestingly almost none of the other reports on this story have mentioned the global economic crisis. We suspect that the outbreak of a certain global recession in that very same year might have been opportunistically overlooked. In any case the sale of legal digital music downloads continues to grow (here).
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