10+ Fascinating EBook Piracy Statistics to Know in 2024

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Ebook Piracy Statistics

Piracy rises every year and authors and the publishing industry remain among its primary victims.

As a result, businesses go bankrupt one after another, thousands of people lose their jobs, and fans can no longer access their favorite books.

However, consumers constantly look for cheaper methods to get their favorite eBooks, regardless of the pressure it sets upon the industry.

Still, eBook piracy statistics light up the ugly truth behind such criminal acts and their massive impact on the market.

Read on to learn about the effects of piracy on the publishing industry.

Shocking eBook piracy statistics

EBook piracy leaves deem traces on the publishing industry and directly impacts the lives of thousands of people.

Here are some shocking book piracy statistics that will blow your mind:

  • American publishers lose $300 million every year to piracy.
  • 41% of adult eBook pirates are between 18 and 29 years old.
  • There were 16.5 million illegal eBook pirates in the USA in 2017.
  • 4shared.com is the most used pirate site for books in the USA.
  • 24% of eBook readers in the UK admit to using illegal sources.
  • EBook piracy rates rose by 58.5% in 2022.
  • 26.8% of all piracy traffic goes to publishing and eBooks.

So it’s best to learn more about it to help businesses avoid bankruptcy.

General eBook piracy statistics

EBooks remain one of the targets of digital piracy since users often prefer to access them through illegal channels.

Surprisingly, according to several surveys, these stats have pumped up since 2020, with more users preferring alternative sources.

Read more about the general eBook piracy statistics:

1. 29.2% of violations on eBook download sites occur on mobile devices

(Source: Statista)

Smartphones are rooted in our everyday lives and play a critical role in communications and entertainment.

As a result, piracy statistics indicate 29.2% of all eBook infringements on eBook download sites happen on mobile devices.

2. Most eBook pirates have a household income of $60,000 $99,000

(Source: Digimarc)

Understandably, consumers’ annual income directly impacts how much piracy the user commits.

But surprisingly eBook pirates have an above-average income. The range stands between $60,000 and $99,000.

However, this doesn’t tell the whole story:

3. 51% of people who illegally download eBooks do it because it’s cheaper

(Source: Digimarc)

While that’s understandable, the percentage of people who engage in eBook piracy simply due to convenience is higher at 58%.

Even more interesting: 17% of eBook pirates don’t believe that they should pay for content.

4. “4shared,” “Uploaded,” and “Books” are the common pirating choices

(Source: EBook Pirating Statistics)

Based on pirating stats, over 50% of eBook pirates prefer P2P platforms like 4shared.com as their source of illegal content.

Regardless, Uploaded.net and Books.org are the subsequent choices among eBook consumers in the US.

EBook piracy statistics demographics

Age is a critical factor in eBook piracy, indicating younger consumers are less likely to commit it.

However, book piracy statistics show older users, mostly college graduates, turn to digital piracy to access their favorite books.

Read more about eBook piracy statistics by age:

5. 41% of adult eBook pirates are between 18 and 29 years old

(Source: Digimarc)

Based on statistics on book piracy, 41% of illegal eBook readers are between the ages of 18 and 29.

Although the number’s quite high, the majority of consumers who go after illegal eBook websites are even older.

6. 70% of illegal eBook downloaders have a college degree

(Source: Digimarc)

According to a survey to better understand the nature of eBook piracy, most people illegally downloading eBooks are college graduates.

That is understandable, knowing consumers with a college degree will most likely turn to books.

7. 47% of adult eBook pirates are aged between 30-44

(Source: Digimarc)

The anti-piracy company Digimarc conducted a study that indicated the percentage of users who go after eBook piracy by age.

Accordingly, statistics show most eBook pirates are 30-44 year-olds, knowing the youth are less likely to use such content.

EBook piracy statistics by location

The rates of consuming eBooks from illegal sources vary from country to country.

Accordingly, eBook piracy is a global issue, with the US being one of the top pirated eBook consumers worldwide.

8. There were 16.5 million illegal eBook pirates in the USA in 2017

(Source: Statista)

According to the source, the United States has approximately 16.5 million illegal downloaders of eBooks.

Accordingly, 50% of illegal eBook consumers admitted to piracy as it’s cheaper that way to access their favorite content.

9. American publishers lose $300 million every year to piracy

(Source: Book Riot)

According to data presented by the Authors Guild, the US publishing industry uses an average of $300 million due to piracy.

Some countries, however, are facing even bigger losses:

10. The Italian book publishing industry lost over $856 million in 2021

(Source: Publishing Perspectives)

Even more shocking, Italians performed an average of 320,000 book piracy acts daily within the year.

Additionally, the industry lost approximately 5,400 jobs.

11. 17% of all eBooks consumed in the UK are pirated.

(Source: Forbes)

The UK’s Intellectual Property Office found that in 2017, 17% of the 4 million eBooks consumed were pirated.

12. 11% of eBook users in the UK access content exclusively through illegal channels

(Source: Statista)

Based on a survey conducted in 2022, the number of users illegally accessing eBooks has increased by 10% since the previous year.

While 10% of readers get their eBooks only through piracy, 13% enjoy a mix of both legal and illegal means of getting content.

Wrap up

Online piracy has an irreversible effect on businesses and causes authors and publishers to go bankrupt globally.

As a result, many people are losing their jobs, leading to fans no longer accessing their favorite content.

So, it’s best to study the shocking eBook piracy statistics and learn about its adverse impacts on society before committing it.

Read more:


How common is eBook piracy?

Global piracy statistics indicate that the illegal download of eBooks is on the rise. According to statistics, American publishers lose $300 million every year to piracy which widely affects the industry.

Do eBooks get pirated?

Yes! EBook piracy is more common than you’d think. Statistically speaking, eBook piracy had a 58.5% increase in 2022, causing the industry to lose millions of dollars.

How many books are pirated each year?

The UK Intellectual Property Office found that in 2017, 17% of all eBooks downloaded that year were pirated, and there were 16.5 million illegal eBook pirates in the USA in the same year.


  1. Statista
  2. Digimarc
  3. Book Riot
  4. Publishing Perspectives
  5. Forbes
  6. Statista
  7. Statista

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