Almost half of children and teenagers in the United Kingdom think that people should be allowed to download content for free. The survey involved 614 children, aged 8-15, asking about their attitudes to online media and digital consumption. The results revealed that almost half of them agree that people should be able to download or access any content for free.
The surveyors confirm that the general consensus was that digital content should be free or at least cheaper than conventional content. It is not a secret that file-sharing is still popular amongst younger adults and children. People are motivated by cost, availability of content and convenience of the content. At the same time, the researchers note the growing usage of legitimate alternatives to file-sharing. Although younger adults demonstrate less concern and understanding about piracy and digital rights, they are keen to see punitive action taken against Internet service providers and search engines.
The researchers also point out that some of that belief may stem from a lack of faith in copyright. Only 7% of the respondents agreed that file-sharing is stealing, although almost half of them realized that it’s wrong to access material on the Internet without the creator’s permission. However, when asked about file-sharing like BitTorrent sites and file lockers, only 6% agreed that using the websites is easy and it has become normal.
As a result, it became clear that children aged 8-15, who are the key adopters of digital technology, are likely to know better how to access content without paying. At the moment, online file-sharing is most common amongst younger adults, with cost and availability being their key drivers.
The researchers realize that children in this generation have grown up with digital content and are used to having access to whatever they need, at the convenient time for them, sometimes even not paying for it. However, it should be said that it is not just file-sharing that drives the attitude. Therefore, Internet services offering a free service (normally ad-supported), like Spotify and YouTube, are very popular amongst teenagers.
The industry experts point out that all recent studies suggest the same solution to addressing illegal file-sharing: offering easy-to-use services at fair prices. However, the creative industry stubbornly continues to refuse to adapt to the reality and complain about everyone stealing from them.