Downloading More Than Ever Before, Brits Care Less About Getting Caught

The Brits are downloading more free music than ever before and are less concerned about getting caught than they were last year. Why are they going to download even more next year? 91% say: "Because it's free!"

According to the Digital Music Survey 2007, downloading unauthorized media is soaring amongst young Britons. Conducted by Entertainment Media Research and intellectual property lawyers Olswang, the survey found that 43% of those questioned admitted to downloading music for free from BitTorrent and other services such as Limewire. This compares to 36% in 2006 and 40% back in 2005.

Of all the men asked, 47% admitted to unauthorized downloading – up from 43% in 2006 – and from the women, 40% admitted doing the same – up from just 29% in 2006.

Asked to look into the future to predict next year’s downloading habits, 18% of those asked said they were likely to download more often, up from 8% in 2006 and just 6% in 2005. 41% said they would download the same next year while an identical number said they would download less.

The number one reason people gave when asked why they would download more next year was “Because it’s free” with a massive 91% of the vote. 42% said it was because of the great choice available on file-sharing networks. However, women were more satisfied with the choices available as 55% manage to find the thing they are looking for on free P2P, compared to just 28% of men.

When asked about legal issues, 33% admitted being worried about being caught, down from 40% in 2006. While 25% felt that they were more familiar with the law, 5% said they didn’t care about it. Just 4% felt it unlikely that they would have legal proceedings brought against them.

When asked about reasons to download less next year, 51% said that their main concerns were getting viruses and spyware, down from 59% in 2006. The report doesn’t breakdown which network’s users were most concerned about such malware but it’s likely the majority of worriers are users of Limewire-like services, as getting viruses and spyware is rare when using BitTorrent.

The report can be downloaded here.

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