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November 20, 2012

Half of internet users don’t know they’re illegally downloading content

According to a study, 47% of internet users have difficulty identifying whether content they download or stream is legal.

By Tineka Smith

illegal downloads

The study by Ofcom revealed, however, they one in six thought they had downloaded or accessed illegal content over a 90 day period this year.

8% of respondents believed they illegally downloaded music in the three month period and but only 2% reported doing so for games or software.

The report suggests an increased effort is needed to educate consumers on illegal online content.

Earlier this year Ofcom published a draft code that would require ISPs to inform customers about their internet connection being used to infringe copyright and direct them to where they can find licensed content online.

Ofcom will report any efforts by content owners in educating consumers about the impact of copyright infringement to the Government.

"FACT welcomes Ofcom’s research which clearly shows that piracy is taking place on a large scale in the UK," Eddy Leviten, Head of Communications at The Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) told CBR. "It is also evident that there is confusion amongst consumers around what is legal online, especially when they are directed to pirate websites by search engines and then find adverts from household brand names on those sites."

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The report also revealed that for those who accessed content illegally the main reasons were because it is free (54%) quick (48%) and fast (44%). Nearly 40% of consumers, however, said they would be encouraged to stop accessing illegal content if cheaper legal options were available with 32% saying they would if it was more clear which content was legal.

Please follow this writer on Twitter @Tineka_S or comment below.

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