Covid-19, Internet, Latvia, Technology, Telecomunications

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Friday, 10.07.2020, 18:50

Covid-19: downloads of pirated content in Latvia are growing rapidly

BC, Riga, 29.06.2020.Print version
Although the number of Latvian users of illegal downloading and streaming sites — torrents — after an increase by 22 % in March returned to the level of February in April, the fact that the number of views on the torrent sites and the average time that one user spent on the site almost doubled causes concerns,” said the Executive Director of the association “Par legālu saturu!” (“For Legal Contents!”) Dace Kotzeva commending the survey and study conducted by the international internet research and technology company Gemius, “Audit of the Most Popular Torrent Download Sites and Research of Audience.”

In the audit of the most popular torrent download sites in Latvia recently published on the website of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia it was concluded that in April 2020, ten most popular illegal sites for downloading films, shows, music, software, photographs, e-books and other content were visited by almost 116,000 Latvian internet users, who made up almost 12 million views, which is by 86 % more than in February, when 6,332,000 views where detected. In April 2020, one visitor spent on average more than one hour (01:03:39) on the site, meanwhile in February 2020, one visitor, used torrents for half-an-hour (00:33:42). In March, torrent sites were visited by 139,687 visitors, which is an increase by 22%, when the illegal sites were visited by 114,382 Latvian internet users.


More than one fifth or 21.6% of internet users admitted that they had used torrent download sites over the last six months, and 66 % of those who admitted using the sites said that they did it more than once or several times a month. 78.4% said that they had not used the illegal download sites over the last six month, out of whom 37.9% revealed that they had done it before. 51.4% said that they had used torrent download sites over the last six months and at lease once in their lifetime, and 48.6% of the survey respondents said that they had never used the torrent sites.


The survey respondents indicated that the downloaded content most often includes films (67.7%), shows (43%), computer games (35%), software (31.7%), music (27.7%) and e-books (15.10 %).


Kotzeva emphasised the significance of the audit and research of the user audience of torrent sites, saying that the conclusions, facts and data obtained serve as an important basis for the association to suggest law enforcement agencies to limit the access to the illegal content sites on the Internet. “This is the first comprehensive research on the harmful effect of torrents caused to the legal content industry, it reveals the structure of content available in torrent and the content that the users download illegally most often,” the Executive Director of the association said, adding that, however, the legal awareness of Internet users has grown without doubt. “This is revealed by the answers of thos respondents who do not use torrents anymore saying that they do not need such a content anymore and it means that these users have legal content at hand.”


The goal of the association “For Legal Content!” is to fight actively against television and film distribution without the permission of the producer or supplier and to facilitate legal broadcasting on the telecommunications market. The association was founded on 7 October 2015. It was founded by providers of television services and producers of audiovisual content: SIA Tet, SIA Baltcom, ĀKF AS TV PLAY BALTICS LATVIJAS FILIĀLE, SIA Pirmais Baltijas Kanāls and SIA Forum Cinemas, members: provider of mobile communication BITE LATVIJA, SIA ACME FILM, operator of orbital satellites SES ASTRA AB, Latvian Performers’ and Producers’ Association (LaIPA), WIDE MEDIA LLC, SIA Dautkom TV, SIA Ostkom and the Latvian authors’ association “Copyright and Communication Consulting Agency/ Latvian Authors Association”

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