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May 2, 2012

IT staff downloading copyrighted material put companies at risk

A study reveals that almost 50% of IT staff stream or download copyrighted material and 8% do it while at work.

By Tineka Smith

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Photo Credit: Opensourceway

IT professionals may be putting their companies at risk of their internet service being suspended and ignoring delayed anti-piracy legislation, according to research by Star.

The survey reveals that a low number of IT professional agree with pending copyright legislation and only 26% actually think it should be illegal to download copyrighted information within the UK.

Complacent IT professionals could be putting their companies at risk of suspended internet service or worse by ignoring delayed anti-piracy legislation according to research commissioned by Star, a provider of on-demand cloud computing and communication services to UK businesses.

The delay of acts that crack down on online piracy like SOPA and the Digital economy act may cause increased complaisance about obtaining copyrighted material off the web.

"Delays to first SOPA/PIPA and now the Digital Economy Act could increase what are already dangerous levels of complacency about downloading or streaming copyrighted material among the UK’s IT professionals," said Paul Watson, Interim CEO at Star.

6% of respondents said that if copyrighted material was downloaded at work the individuals’ line manager should be responsible. Another 11% said the responsibility lied with the IT manager. 24% said the blame lies with the board and 59% reported that the individual should be responsible.

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"Regardless of their personal views about the legitimacy of the delayed Digital Economy Act IT professionals can rest assured that piracy controls will be implemented. A failure to lead by example now could result in the organisations for which they work being subject to suspended internet service or worse in the future."

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

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