2% of Internet users were responsible for 74% of all online copyright infringement during May 2012 to May 2013
About 58% of internet users downloaded or streamed at least one of the copyright material during the last year from May 2012 to May 2013, according to the study undertaken by Kantar Media for Ofcom.
Kantar Media processed a total of 21,475 survey responses across the four waves during the one year period.
The report found that copyright infringement was a minor activity during this period, with 17% of internet users consuming at least one item of infringing content, which equates to around a third of all consumers of online content.
On a volume basis, 22% of all content consumed online during the year was infringing and of the TV shows watched online, 18% were illegal.
Ofcom said looking more closely at the distribution of infringement, it becomes clear that infringement is heavily skewed; a small proportion of infringers account for the large majority of infringements.
The research however indicated that just 2% of Internet users were responsible for 74% of all online copyright infringement.
The survey also found that some people appeared to be accessing vast amounts of infringing content.
Ofcom estimates that on average the top 10% of film infringers consumed 80 infringing films over a three month period, which equates to almost one per day.
Out of the top 10%, three quarters were aged 16 to 34 and were mostly male and during an average three-month period, infringers spent more than non-infringers on legal digital content, which is £26 compared with £16.