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A recent on-line survey showed that over one third of the respondents openly admitted to the illegal download of copyrighted materials.

The Compare Broadband website regularly operates polls of its visitors to gauge their mood on a wide variety of issues, many of which have been reported in iTWire in the past.

The latest question asked "Have you ever illegally downloaded movies or music on the internet?"

Respondents were promised that any answers were anonymous and confidential.

An amazing 29% of people admitted to regular download of illegal material.  A further 8% admitted to less frequent downloading.

"I'm not surprised that 37% of people have downloaded illegal content in the past, but I am surprised that 29% of people have downloaded more than 10 illegal files, said Compare Broadband's General Manager, Scott Kennedy.  "It seems that once you get the bug you are likely to become a serial offender. It is clearly a widespread problem and one that the copyright owners have a huge interest in pursuing."

One can only assume that the actual figures are higher than this as there must have been respondents who were afraid of revealing the true about their downloading activities.

Nevertheless, to have nearly one third of respondents admitting to regular, extensive downloading must be of concern to the copyright owners who recently failed in their attempts to have iiNet act as enforcers on their behalf - a decision currently under appeal.

Commenters to this article might like to outline the downloading activities of people they know to help everyone draw conclusions as to the real rate of copyright abuse.

 

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David Heath

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David Heath has over 25 years experience in the IT industry, specializing particularly in customer support, security and computer networking. Heath has worked previously as head of IT for The Television Shopping Network, as the network and desktop manager for Armstrong Jones (a major funds management organization) and has consulted into various Australian federal government agencies (including the Department of Immigration and the Australian Bureau of Criminal Intelligence). He has also served on various state, national and international committees for Novell Users International; he was also the organising chairman for the 1994 Novell Users' Conference in Brisbane. Heath is currently employed as an Instructional Designer, building technical training courses for industrial process control systems.

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