UKIPO publishes Wave 12 (2022) online copyright infringement tracker report

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The overall level of infringement across all content categories (excluding digital visual images) increased from 25% to 32% (i.e. the proportion of the total sample who had accessed any content illegally) according to the 2022 report published by the UK Intellectual Property Office.

Films and TV episodes/programmes were exceptions to this as each had their highest level of infringement. With 23% infringement, films was 4% above its previous high in Wave 11 (2021) while infringement for TV programmes/episodes was 1% above its previous high in Wave 8 (2019) at 19%. The increase in most categories was driven by a greater proportion of individuals using a mix of legal and illegal methods, rather than the purely (i.e. only) illegal group.

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Why do they do it?

The same reasons for infringing consumption were given across many of the media categories:

  • Immediate access to content: Being able to access “instantly whenever I want” was the top selected option for most categories
  • Choice and variety: Having a “wide range” of content to choose from featured in the top three for almost all categories
  • Cost-effective way to access content: “It’s free or cheap” was in the top three for most categories, with “value for money” also featuring for some

In most categories the proportion of the sample who had infringed increased to some extent compared to 2021, although remained lower than previous peaks. Those who have used an illegal source at least once in the last 3 months (% of consumers in each category).

Percentage of consumers who accessed content illegally in 2022 (Source: UKIPO 2023)

The report also estimated the number of consumers accessing illegal instances of content by genre

Source: UKIPO 2023

A PDF copy of the report are available on request by emailing

Access the executive summary

Research and analysis: Executive summary online copyright infringement tracker survey (12th Wave). February 3, 2023, UK Intellectual Property Office

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