Online copyright infringement shows no signs of slowing down, according to a new study commissioned by NBCUniversal and prepared by NetNames. Among the study’s findings — 432 million unique Internet users explicitly sought infringing content during just one month in 2013.

The report, entitled “Sizing the Piracy Universe,” examined the three key regions where most of the world’s Internet activity occurs: North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. It looked at a range of intellectual property that can be pirated online, including books, music, movies, video games, and software.

“Almost all measures of both infringing users and the amount of bandwidth being used for infringing content have increased over the last two years,” according to Dr. David Price, who led the study for NetNames.

Below are some of the study’s specific findings:

  • Infringing bandwidth use skyrocketed by 159.3 percent between 2010 and 2012, from 3,690 petabytes to 9,567 petabytes. This figure represents 23.8 percent of the total bandwidth used by all Internet users in the three regions studied.

  • A total of 13.9 billion page views were recorded on web sites focused on piracy in January 2013, which represents a 9.8 percent increase in the fifteen months from November 2011.

  • BitTorrent is the most popular peer-to-peer file distribution system worldwide and the protocol is one of the highest consumers of Internet bandwidth. In the three key regions studied, infringing use of the service in January 2013 accounted for 178.7 million unique Internet users, an increase of 23.6% from November 2011, and 7.4 billion page views, an increase of 30.6% from November 2011.

  • In the three regions, infringing use of video streaming in January 2013 accounted for 96.3 million unique Internet users, an increase of 27.7 percent from November 2011, and 4.2 billion page views, an increase of 34.3 percent from November 2011.

The news was not all bad for intellectual property owners. The report found that the seizure of the MegaUpload site and subsequent closure of other cyberlockers significantly decreased this type of online infringement.

“I think what that demonstrates is that the right kind of enforcement, the right kind of action can have a very important effect on an entire piracy ecosystem,” said Price.

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– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +