Feeds

Study finds piracy withering against legal alternatives

People just aren’t prepared to be screwed

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

A study has found that people are perfectly prepared to pay for online content, provided that the alternatives aren’t too harsh.

The data, from respected think-tank American Assembly, shows that illegal file sharing among family and friends is relatively common – but that people would prefer to use a legal alternative if one was available at the right price and usage point. So far the data suggests that streaming music services are getting this right, but users are still unwilling to accept the current range of video streaming offerings at the current price and convenience points.

“There is ethics at work in these decisions,” Joe Karaganis, vice president of the American Assembly told The Register. “However, it’s overridden by price and convenience. All other things being equal, people prefer to obey the law.”

The survey found that 46 per cent of the over 2,000 people surveyed had engaged in piracy, with this rising to seven of ten among people aged 19 to 27. Over two thirds of those questioned would share music within family or friends, and over half would share video content in the same group. But when it comes to uploading material, however, support drops off radically.

No more than four per cent of the age groups surveyed would countenance uploading, and that dropped to zero for those over 65. Barely ten per cent said that the majority of their media collection came from pirated material. While all survey data is subject to legal bias, this does suggest that people like being on the right side of the law.

When it comes to music streaming, over half of the under-29s surveyed were happy to use legal means to get their beats per minute fix, but barely a third felt the same for video. Legal film streaming was much more welcomed by the older generation, who were raised on thinking $15.99 is a good price for a film.

When it comes to games piracy the situation is much starker. Modifying a game console to play pirated games is hard, and less than three per cent of those surveyed said they had a console with the capability. Of those, 55 per cent had bought them premodded, suggesting a very limited market for such systems.

When it comes to the penalties for piracy the American public is a lot more forgiving than the courts. Three quarters of those surveyed felt that fines of less than $100 per song were acceptable and only 16 per cent felt that cutting off internet access was justified to stop piracy. Only a quarter who approved of disconnection felt that more than a one month ban was warranted.

All in all the survey data makes depressing reading for those looking to push SOPA legislation through Congress. While the public maintain a nuanced view of piracy, it seems legislators - using media company legal suggestions - are not. ®

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.