Canada Survey: File-Sharing the ‘New Normal’

Say file-sharers are “just regular Internet users doing what people should be able to do on the Internet” and reject idea of an ISP tax to compensate music artists.

Yes, another survey.

This time it’s from Angus Reid Strategies which claims to be a "worldwide leader in the use of the marketing research, Internet platforms, rich media technology and virtual reality" which it says allows it "to collect high quality, in depth data for market research and public consultation."

So we may have some datum actually worth considering this time.

A majority of Canadian Internet users see nothing wrong with P2P and file-sharing services, and most react negatively to the notion of a so-called ISP tax that would help to compensate music artists for the losses it allegedly creates.

In the online survey of a "representative national sample," nearly 45% of respondents say those who use P2P and file sharing services to download music and movies are “just regular Internet users doing what people should be able to do on the Internet.”

Pretty interesting right?

An additional 27% admit these people are “doing something they shouldn’t be doing” but say “it’s not a big deal.”

In contrast, only 3% agree with the music industry’s position that file-sharers “are criminals who should be punished by law,” and only 25% feel say “technology should be developed to stop this.”

The survey also indicates that a startling 73% reject the notion of an ISP tax, believing such a levy would represent “an inappropriate and/or unnecessary levy that would be passed down to consumers.”

It also shows that file sharing is fairly prevalent in Canada with some 23% saying they have downloaded music illegally in the past 30 days, while just 12% say they bought music legally online.

Also supported by the survey are studies, one by the Canadian govt itself in particular, that concludes that file-sharers tend to purchase more music than non-file-sharers. For those who downloaded an MP3 file from a free file-sharing service are significantly more likely to say they will buy a CD in the next month (41% vs. 34 % for non-file-sharers), and are more likely to have gone to a concert in the past year (65% vs. 52% for non-file-sharers).

Now even though the music industry won’t listen to any of the study’s conclusions, hopefully Canadian politicians will. For it’s clear that file-sharing is here to stay and it’s high time society faced that reality.

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