Creators of movies, records, books, games and other software have regularly described what a huge problem piracy represents. But no one has actually put a figure on it -- until now. reported on Tuesday that a study commissioned by NBC Universal titled Sizing the Piracy Universe has concluded that in January 432 million people downloaded infringing material, either directly or via BitTorrent servers. According to the 100-page report by the Piracy Analysis team at NetNames, piracy consumed 23.9 percent of all bandwidth during that month -- an increase of 9.8 percent in the 15 months from November 2011. The study found that efforts to restrict online piracy through legal action or other methods have had only intermittent effect. Despite some discrete instances of success in limiting infringement, the piracy universe not only persists in attracting more users year on year but hungrily consumes increasing amounts of bandwidth, the report concluded