For those who give into temptation – the temptation being seemingly unlimited to films music and TV for free with little chance of getting caught – then life’s pretty good: they can settle down in their comfortable homes, tucking into DVD quality movies with or without subtitles. Well, sometimes with hardcoded Mandarin subtitles, but that doesn’t matter.

The HobbitMartin Freeman as a young Bilbo Baggins

Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey proved the most popular film for torrent fans, with an estimated 8.4m downloads, and that’s despite the fantasy epic being available on the streaming service, Netflix. Up next was Quentin Tarantino’s dark slavery comedy, Django Unchained, while Fast & Furious 6 took third spot.

The former’s controversial subject matter and media focus probably contributed to its high torrent rate, while the death of Paul Walker, who features in Fast & Furious 6, saw a spike in sales for the franchise – sales and illegal downloads, that is. 

"Piracy threatens the livelihoods of over 1.5 million people whose jobs rely on the continued success of films, TV programmes and other forms of entertainment that are created in the UK,” said a spokesperson for the Federation Against Copyright Theft (Fact), according to The BBC.

"The people running websites providing access to pirated content are doing it to make money... and Fact has helped bring criminal convictions against site operators."

Fast and Furious 6Fast and Furious 6
Fast and Furious 6 was also popular for downloaders

The Pirate Bay, possibly the biggest torrent site in the world has faced numerous stumbling blocks in its operation. Several courts have now ordered internet service providers to block its domain, which has been changed six times to keep it going.

Despite this, though, uploads of torrents to the site have increased by 50% as 2.8m files were listed. Films in the list are dominated by earlier releases, considering the gap between cinema release and DVD. And with online streaming and cyberlocker downloads not included in the list, the total piracy numbers will therefore be significantly higher than the numbers you can see here.

2013's most pirated films:

1. 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' (8.4 million downloads)
2. 'Django Unchained' (8.1 million downloads)
3. 'Fast & Furious 6' (7.9 million downloads)
4. 'Iron Man 3' (7.6 million downloads)
5. Silver Linings Playbook (7.5 million downloads)
6. 'Star Trek Into Darkness' (7.4 million downloads)
7. 'Gangster Squad' (7.2 million downloads)
8. 'Now You See Me' (7 million downloads)
9. 'The Hangover Part III' (6.9 million downloads)
10. 'World War Z' (6.7 million downloads)