Filesharing and illegal downloading has been a big issue for media companies since the late 1990s. It should come as no surprise, but an extensive new UK study by Entertainment Media Research shows that illegal downloads are at an all time high just as paid download growth is slowing. Cinema isn’t doing well, it’s probably affected just as much as music where illegal downloads are concerned. Every month, some five billion illegal downloads are passed around the internet, and the entertainment industry sues several hundred people.
Despite the years of litigation, illegal downloads are 10 times as common as legal digital sales and are still growing at 60 percent a year. Currently illegal downloads are cutting into DVD sales. The number of people buying music online has doubled since last year, but illegal downloads are also on the rise. But if it is true that illegal downloads are injurious to content holders, you would think that they would be embracing legal download services with prices at least approaching that of movie tickets, or if not current PPV ( still exorbitant ). The consequences of illegal downloads are very real: from the risk of legal action to the likelihood of computer viruses, spyware, identity theft and other threats from the peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing software typically used for downloading. Steps taken by ISPs to arrest piracy could be anything from sending primary warnings to a subscriber about his illegal activity to limiting the speed and quantum of downloads by the particular subscriber, and jamming the line while the illegal downloads are in progress.
The biggest reason for why illegal downloading is still occurring is that most people don’t have enough knowledge about copyright law. Whether that is the case or not may remain to be seen, but it doesn’t change the fact that illegal downloading is still a crime. Many free illegal downloads are not of any great quality and to find one online among thousands of similar downloads is too time consuming in the end. There can be no doubt that the need for action against illegal downloading is now urgent. Illegal downloading is not fair to the artists, musicians and actors who put a lot of time and effort to make the songs/movies for us to enjoy.