Manchester is the UK's piracy capital

Ben Parfitt
Manchester is the UK's piracy capital

The people of Manchester are mad for piracy, it would seem.

New research from monitoring service Musicmetric – which monitors global BitTorrent activity – found that there was more illegal downloads per person in the city than anywhere else in the UK, the BBC reports.

Nottingham came second and Southampton third.

The study focused specifically on music and named Ed Sheeran as the most pirated artist of H1 2012. His album +(Plus) was illegally downloaded an average of 55,512 times per month and was the most popular download in 460 towns and cities.

In the legal sales charts +(Plus) was the fourth most purchased album of the period.

Overall, the UK was found to be the second most prolific downloader of illegal music with 43,263,582 BiTorrent downloads so far in 2012. The US was the largest offender, with 96,681,133 downloads.

The most pirated album globally was Rihanna’s Talk That Talk with a total of 1,228,313 downloads.

"According to their data, there are more illegal downloads in the UK still than there are legal purchases," the BPI's chief executive Geoff Taylor stated.

"[It] compares to about 240m tracks that were sold legally. A lot of people are getting very rich from stealing other people's things. That's wrong, and we think that musicians deserve to be paid for what they do, just like everyone else."

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Tags: uk , piracy , music , most , track , artist , downloaded , manchester , album , Capital

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