TorrentFreak.com – Piracy rates in the United States have climbed to the highest levels seen in more than a decade, according to a report released Tuesday by the Center for Digital Democracy.
The data released by the group on behalf of the Digital Citizens Alliance, a non-profit, shows that online file sharing and downloading has increased by an astounding 66 percent since 2010.
The report comes amid renewed debate about online copyright enforcement, after the White House released a report earlier this month detailing an alleged increase in copyright infringement, and after the National Labor Relations Board found that online retailers such as Amazon.com Inc. and Etsy Inc. were retaliating against employees who took legal action against their employers.
The Digital Citizens alliance, based in Washington, D.C., released the report alongside a report on Wednesday by the Pew Research Center on Internet and Society that revealed a rise in the number of online pirates since 2010 and an overall increase in Internet users who have used the Internet to illegally download copyrighted material.
Pew researchers said that the increase in piracy was mostly due to the growth of illegal file sharing on social media, where it’s increasingly easy to upload videos, songs and other copyrighted content.PEW researchers said the increase was mostly a result of the proliferation of online services that offer file sharing services, including file-sharing sites such as Rapidgator and LimeWire.
Rapidgators and LimeWires allow people to upload files that can be downloaded, shared and shared again.
The Pew researchers also said that piracy was on the rise among the younger demographic, which is a subset of those most likely to be exposed to copyrighted material and most likely also to engage in online piracy.
Piracy rates are expected to rise again in the future, according the report.
The number of Internet users accessing pirated movies, music and other digital content rose by 66 percent from 2010 to 2011, the report said.
It said that of the 1.8 million online file sharers, 1.3 million accessed pirated content and that more than 100,000 viewed pirated films.
In addition, Pew researchers found that nearly 1.5 million people have downloaded copyrighted content in the past year.
More on piracy:Pew’s report on Internet piracy includes the results of a survey conducted by Pew Research that found that more Americans had used the Web to illegally access copyrighted material than had previously been the case.
The Pew report also showed that there has been an increase in the prevalence of Internet use that could be traced to a decrease in the use of mobile phones.
Copyright law is complicated, and even when it is clear that a copyrighted work has been infringed, many people have the legal right to keep the material they download and share for free.
The Center for Information and Technology Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, released a study in June 2015 that found nearly 60 percent of online file-sharers said they would continue to share copyrighted material unless the material was removed.
The report said that most users of file-shared websites do not use the sites to illegally share copyrighted materials.