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Illegal file sharing culprits believe they won't be caught.

The Federation Against Software Theft : 04 April, 2008  (Technical Article)
Survey into digital entertainment highlights behaviour of illegal downloaders, many of whom don't consider current regulatory measures as being a challenge.
Figures from 'The 2008 Digital Entertainment Survey', an independent online survey and audit of digital entertainment, illustrate that if challenged most people will stop downloading and sharing illegal software.

The survey, commissioned by specialist media lawyers Wiggin, showed that 7 out of 10 pirates would cease if they received a warning from their Internet Service Provider (ISP). This statistic confirms the stance the Federation Against Software Theft (The Federation) has taken on the issue since it started campaigning in 2007 for self-regulation amongst ISP's.

This research echoes the Federation's view that if we want to see the end of piracy the ISP's themselves must take action against users who access pirated material.

Key findings from the Wiggin Report include:.

* 70% of respondents saying that they'd never been involved in unauthorised software file-sharing and have no plans to start.
* Amazingly only 4% said they regularly participated in the file-sharing of unauthorised software.
* 62% of software pirates felt it was very unlikely that they'd get caught, thus proving that the current controls need to be tightened and the Government needs to be far more proactive in getting ISPs on board.
* 66% of respondents said they would stop file-sharing completely if there was a bigger chance of them actually being caught.

John Lovelock, Chief Executive, The Federation, stated: "It is entirely within the power of the ISPs to draw up a contract of acceptable use for all of their customers. This should include an ISP blacklist - even a register of blacklisted customers. We know that the Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) has always maintained that it cannot be held responsible for illegal peer-to-peer traffic because it is '…merely a conduit…' of such material."

John added: "We are not saying they should be expected to know what every single customer on their network is doing, but they must be prepared to act when presented with evidence of a customer who is conducting illegal activity on their network. The statistics clearly show that by simply applying a small amount of pressure on their users the ISPs themselves can make a huge impact on the reduction of online piracy."

The Federation has argued that whilst accepting it may be difficult to monitor content, ISP's can do the following;.

* Close accounts where advised by rights holders, or representative bodies such as The Federation, of evidence of illegal activity.
* Compile a register on customers investigated by rights holders or representative bodies where illegal activity found.
* Provide customer details to rights holders or their representative bodies where it can be demonstrated that illegal activity has been conducted, instead of compelling them to take court action.
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