New research reveals 1 in 3 admit to illegal downloads

In what many would describe as a serious wake up call to the music and movie industries, new research commissioned by Edentify reveals that close to one in three Australians has illegally downloaded content from the internet.

The issue of illegal downloads has plagued the music and movie industry for some time, but despite recent legal action and the imposing of serious fines, many down-loaders remain undeterred. In fact, many see no threat at all from these penalties, believing them to be unrealistic and pointless, with one down-loader commenting that “it’s hard to get blood from a stone”.

This research was conducted using an open online forum. The online forum works on the same principles as a traditional focus group, where a moderator leads the group discussion, but unlike a traditional group the online forum can be conducted over a number of days with participants in various locations dipping in and out of the “conversation”. In order to qualify participants had to be willing to admit to illegally downloading movies or music, and with the anonymity of the online forum the group of close to 100 participants, which was nationally and demographically representative, was able to have an open and candid discussion about this topic.

Perhaps most surprisingly this group was not made up of “computer geeks” and “tech heads”, these were everyday people from all sorts of backgrounds, 58% of whom admitted to either never or only sometimes paying for movies and music. Respondents to the forum were asked a number of questions regarding their motivations for illegally downloading content, whether they saw legal action as a serious deterrent, and what the industries could do to tackle this problem.

Within the group there was very little sympathy for the people of the music and movie industries, with several comments like this one, “…when you see many artists making millions of dollars in profits, you think consumers are being ripped off”. This was a common theme throughout the forum, with many citing their reasons for accessing this content to be around the issues of value and fairness.

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