Digital piracy cost 500 Irish jobs last year

The economy is €2.3 billion out of pocket annually due to illicit trade....

Digital piracy cost 500 Irish jobs last year

[Pixabay]

A new report shows that an estimated 500 jobs were lost in Ireland by 2015 as a result of digital piracy.

Illegal downloading hurt revenue streams to the tune of €320 million, while VAT receipts could have dropped by as much as €71m.

Grant Thornton, who carried out the research, has said it is concerned about the continuing heavy impact of illegal downloading and stated that outdated legislation and poor enforcement is doing little to stop people seeking out pirate music, TV and movies and protect the entertainment sector.

The figures featured in a wider report into illicit trade in the country.

It was estimated that all illicit Irish trade costs the economy €2.3 billion every year.

That includes €788m in lost tax revenue and a further €1.5bn lost by retailers and intellectual property holders.

Alcohol seizures increased by 100% between 2010 and 2014, with excise on tobacco dropping from €1.2bn in 2009 to €984m.

Grant Thornton partner Brendan Foster said:

"The level of illicit activity reported in Ireland is quite remarkable.

While we welcome the increased efforts to improve legislation and enforcement activity over the past few years, it is vital that all sectors impacted continue to invest in public awareness campaigns to remind consumers that illicit activity is far from being a victimless crime".