Music Piracy

Information and statistics about music piracy and the unauthorized downloading of pirated music files. Data about the digital music files are collected from the entertainment industry and other public information sources.

In 2011, movie piracy in Germany created losses of $200 Million to the film industry. Users in Germany illegally downloaded or viewed unauthorized steams of movies on 185 million occasions.

In the same year, the music industry in Germany lost $660 Million to pirated music.

The total losses of counterfeit goods in Germany is estimated to cause losses of up to $32 Billion a year.

Source: Scott Roxborough, “Study: Cost of German Music Piracy at $660 Million,” Hollywood Reporter, June 12, 2012.

Between 45 to 50 percent of all Internet users in Singapore are believed to access pirated entertainment content, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). There are around 300,000 incidents of illegally downloading of movies, music and other content each month.

Source:  Sophie Hong, “Half of all netizens here access illegal download sites,” Asia One, May 3, 2012.

Up to 90 percent of all digital content provided to users on the Internet in Vietnam is pirated. The content includes music, movies, software and mobile phone apps.

Source:  Vuong Long, “Ignoring digital copyright, Vietnamese openly use stolen products,” VietNam Net, April 11, 2012.


The Content Overseas Distribution Association, a Japanese organization enforcing intellectual property, reported that 3,300 people have been arrested between 2005 and 2011 in international markets for selling pirated DVDs of Japanese shows and music. During the 6 years, 6.5 million pirated DVDS of Japanese content was seized.

Source:  Mark Schilling, “Taiwan cracks down on piracy of Japanese drama,” Variety, March 5, 2012.


According to a poll by Colombia University, 46 of all adults in the United States reported pirating copies of a television show, movie or music recording.

70 percent of those in the 18 to 29 year old bracket used pirated content, according to the report.

Source:  Brian Gaar, “Online piracy? Old news for gaming industry,” Statesman, February 19, 2012.

Between 2009 and 2011, the French agency that administers the three strikes law in France against music piracy sent out 822,000 emails to people suspected of illegally downloading music. The agency then sent 68,000 second warnings by mail to uses who were continuing piracy.  Out of the second warning letters, 165 cases were forwarded and counted as the third strike, where courts are now able to impose a $2,600 (2,000 Euros) fine and suspend the users Internet connection for a month.

A study by two universities in the United States found that the three strikes policy lead to an increase of $5 Million (3.8 Million Euros) in sales for Apple’s iTunes in France during the period. The researchers reported that sales of commonly pirated genres such as hip-hop rose after the policy was put in effect, while sales of less pirated music such as Christian and classical music remained the same.

The agency in Franc that administers the policy, Hadopi, employs 70 people and has an annual budget of $92 Million (70 Million Euros).

Source:  Eric Pfanner, “Copyright Cheats Face the Music in France,” New York Times, February 19, 2012.

The city of London had the most pirated music downloads in 2011, according to Musicmetric, an independent music data tracking service located in the UK.

The top six cities in the UK where music piracy activities occurred in 2011 were London, followed by Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and Glasgow.

Across the entire UK, the artists that were pirated the most in 2011 were Adele, followed by Jessie J, Rihanna, Bruno Mars and Lady Gaga.

Source:  Emma Barnett, “London tops Britain’s illegal download chart,” Telegraph, February 9, 2012.

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) estimated that 28 percent of Internet users worldwide accessed pirated music online in 2011.

Source:  Mike Collett-White, “Music sales fall again in 2011, but optimism grows,” Reuters, January23, 2012.

According to a study by the Swiss government, as many as 2.61 million citizens living in Switzerland illegally downloaded pirated content from the Internet.

However, 4.99 million people purchased legitimate copies of movies, music and video games.

Source: Mark Hachman, “Piracy Pays for Itself, Swiss Government Says,” PC Mag, December 2, 2011.

A report published by the United States Department of Justice stated that $2.6 Billion in Federal, state and local taxes are lost due to movie, music, software and video game piracy each year. The pirated materials also causes the loss of 373,375 jobs within the country.

Source: Jason Ryan, “Cyber Monday: Buyer Beware Counterfeit Goods,” ABC News, The Blotter, November 28, 2011.