BayTSP, a U.S. firm that identifies and tracks copyright content on behalf of major movie and music interests, has released its annual report on online trends (the study is not online, but they did send me a copy and Ars Technica, Torrent Freak, and P2PNet have reports). The report is interesting since the analysis is based on infringement notices sent to online video sites, ISPs and other intermediaries on behalf of movie studios, sports franchises, pay-per-view broadcasters, record labels, software companies, videogame developers and the publishing industry. Note that these are just allegations and are not proven cases of infringement.
From a Canadian perspective, the big story is that contrary to the rhetoric, Canada is dropping in the rankings of the top targets for infringement notices. According to the report, Canada declined to 10th worldwide (it was 7th last year). The top three countries are Spain, Italy, and France, which each have at least five times the number of infringement claims as Canada. Each country is therefore markedly higher in raw numbers and on a per capita basis (the UK, Poland, and Israel also rank ahead of Canada on a per capita basis). The data is similar for ISPs and universities – no Canadian ISP or university appears on the top ten list of international ISPs and universities as a recipient of infringement claims.
CRIA and other lobby groups regularly claim that Canada is the leading file sharing country in the OECD. This is based on nearly six year old data from the OECD (September 2003) which found that on a per capita basis, Canada had the largest number of P2P users. The data did not focus on infringing activities, merely P2P use. Given the time lag – broadband rates are now much higher in other parts of the world – it seems pretty clear that CRIA's claims are invalid. Indeed, the data supplied from the company that its own members use to identify potential infringement indicate that Canada is declining relative to other countries as a source of P2P infringement.