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1 in 5 confused about illegal downloading

May 10, 2010

One in five young adults don’t see why they could ever have to pay for content on the Internet – and a similar number admit to being confused about what can be downloaded legally and what can’t, according to a Microsoft survey.

The results show that for many, the distinction between copyright infringing sources and legitimate content sources is blurred, with 20 per cent agreeing with a statement that they access so much content for free (such as on iPlayer and YouTube) that they don’t see why they should ever pay for content. Although, as Julia Owen of Life Academy points out, “four out of five saying they realise they need to pay for stuff is a good thing.”

Furthermore, 21 per cent admitted that they were confused about what sources of online content were legal. Eighteen per cent said that true artists would want them to experience their work regardless of payment, while 17 per cent said that they refused to download illegally because it was theft.

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