Page last updated at 14:05 GMT, Friday, 18 December 2009

No decrease in illegal downloading, says BPI

MP3 player
A third of respondents who obtain music illegally do so on a daily basis

The number of people downloading music illegally is not decreasing, despite the availability of new legal services, according to a music industry research.

A survey for The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) revealed one in three consumers are using illegal sites.

BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor said the findings were "disappointing" and expressed concern at a rise in illegal downloads from blogs and newsgroups.

More than 3,000 people aged between 16 and 54 took part in the online poll.

When questioned about their future plans, current users of unauthorised services reported that they actually intended to increase their illegal activities in the coming six months.

'Great choice'

The survey showed an increase in the use of web-based, or non-peer-to-peer methods, during the last six months. Filesharing through methods like BitTorrent remained level.

Mr Taylor said: "There are now more than 35 legal digital music services in the UK, offering music fans a great choice of ways to get music legally.

"It's disappointing that levels of illegal peer-to-peer use remain high despite this and the publicity surrounding imminent measures to address the problem. It's vital that those measures come into force as quickly as possible.

"The growth in other, non-peer-to-peer methods of downloading music illegally is a concern, and highlights the importance of including a mechanism in the Digital Economy Bill to deal with threats other than peer-to-peer."

Despite the levels of piracy, the BPI was able to announce in October that we are living in "the era of the digital single", after figures revealed 2009 was biggest ever year for UK singles, with more than 117m sold.

Of those, 98.6% were purchased in digital formats. However, the BPI estimate there are still more than a billion illegal downloads every year in the UK.

Mr Taylor said that figure demonstrated how the market could "explode" if the government tackled illegal filesharing.

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