Smartphone Users Getting App Smart
-- With an estimated 31% of mobile users in the U.S. expected to own a smartphone this year, growing to 43% by 2015, eMarketer takes a look at which of them use their devices to download apps.

According to the study, 69% of U.S. smartphone users have downloaded an app. That figure rises to 74% when limited to men, and drops to 62% when focused on women. Those aged 35-44 were the most likely to have downloaded an app, followed closely by the 18-24 age range.

And not surprisingly, the richer users are, the more likely they are to download apps. Of those in the $100K pay range, 77% report downloading an app, the most of any group. That's followed closely by 70% of those in the $75-100K range.

Over 53 Billion Pirates Served
-- Brand protection firm MarkMonitor released a report on online piracy that finds websites offering pirated digital content and counterfeit products get more than 53 billion visits per year worldwide.

Digital piracy sites generate the majority of that figure, with visits to counterfeit goods sites racking up only 92 million of the total. The company estimates that the economic impact of these services total about $200 billion annually.

MarkMonitor commissioned the report to help devise new and better ways of combating the problem, rather than continue the traditional "whack-a-mole" strategy of taking down individual offenders. For instance, the study finds that while 67% of sites hosting pirated content are based in either North America or Western Europe, most base their payment and order fulfillment processes elsewhere. As such, the company recommends multinational enforcement efforts to more effectively combat the situation.

"Online intellectual property theft -- whether it is the sale of counterfeit shoes and fake drugs or the illegal distribution of movies, music, and software -- steals jobs, threatens consumers, and hinders our economic growth," said Steve Tepp, senior director of internet counterfeiting and piracy for the Global Intellectual Property Center at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in a statement. "We have known for a long time that rogue websites, those dedicated to piracy and counterfeiting, were flourishing at our expense. Now we begin to see the staggering scope of this problem-more than 53 billion visits on rogue sites. And the MarkMonitor study is just the tip of the iceberg, identifying only a portion of the colossal amount of Internet traffic related to online counterfeiting and digital piracy. The study's findings underscore the urgency to address this epidemic in order to protect consumers, allow the legitimate Internet marketplace to flourish, and create jobs in America."

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