Rihanna tops the list of most pirated musicians in the last 6 months

The BBC recently hired Musicmetric to track which artists are the most downloaded in different countries around the world. Of those countries included in the study, the United States comes out on top with 96,868,398 total shares from January through July. Drake’s smash hit “The Moto” was downloaded 458,038 times: the most out of any song in that time period in the US.

Second on the list is the United Kingdom with 43,314,568 downloads. Ed Sheeran was the most popular artist over the last six months in the UK. The study also found that the city of Manchester is the most pirated city in the UK.

To round out the top five we have: Italy (33,226,258) whose most popular artist was Laura Pausini, Canada (23,953,053) whose most popular artist was ironically Kanye West-not the Canadian born Drake, and Brazil (19,677,596) whose most popular artist was Billy Van*.

Overall, however, the American pop singer Rihanna tops the list of most pirated in the last 6 months. Rihanna’s new album “Talk That Talk” was downloaded 1,228,313 times in the first half of 2012.

Musicmetric monitored the global activity of BitTorrent files to obtain this information. (For the uninformed, BitTorrent is a method of obtaining files by downloading from many different users at the same time.)

Without getting into a lengthy debate about the ethics of pirating other people’s work, it is important to note that in the UK alone, more songs were obtained illegally than legally. As we all know, something has got to change in the way this system works, but it is still great to know that people who pirate music have just as questionable musical tastes as those who do not.

*Billy Van allows album to be downloaded by torrent, encouraging donations from fans.

Follow Kevin Camps @kpcamps.