Two thirds of people pirating content would continue to download illegal material following a warning letter from their ISP according to a survey of 1,500 people for media law firm Wiggin. It did find that if action were taken following the letter, such as cutting off the Internet connection, 80% would stop.
The Digital Britain report, expected on June 16th is expected to recommend technical solutions to piracy such as traffic shaping, rather than cutting people off, which could be used in conjunction with letters to people found to be downloading illegal material.
One other interesting point covered in the survey indicates that some consumers (particularly men aged 20-34 and women 25-34) would be willing to pay more for access to online games and video content with men suggesting up to £48 per month as acceptable. This could make a new model for broadband providers to supply more content direct to users and have them pay a premium for access to this. Many would like to access services on the Internet via their Television but 49% of those questioned thought it was currently too difficult to connect up a TV and PC to get at Internet content.
Just last week, Charles Dunstone, CEO of Carphone Warehouse, spoke out in rebuttal of the Carter report and its attempts to put the onus on service providers to stop illegal file sharing.
"If you try speed humps or disconnections for peer-to-peer, people will simply either disguise their traffic or share the content another way. It is a game of Tom and Jerry and you will never catch the mouse. The mouse always wins in this battle and we need to be careful that politicians do not get talked into putting legislation in place that, in the end, ends up looking stupid."
"If people want to share content they will find another way to do it. It is more about education and allowing people to get content easily and cheaply that will make a difference. This idea that it is all peer to peer and somehow the ISPs can just stop it is very naive."Charles Dunstone, (CEO) Carphone Warehouse Group Plc
With both consumers and the service providers against the current plans for attempting to stop illegal file sharing, we hope that someone is listening and realises that we need some new services that give users access to the content they want in an easy and cheap way. Current Television catch-up services such as BBC iPlayer are limited in their content, and are largely aimed at providing services to computers, as are new contenders such as Hulu which is expected to launch in the UK in September and provides on-demand television from the US networks.
Other pirating news this week saw the Pirate Party, a Swedish political party striving to reform laws regarding patents and copyright, voted into European Parliament gaining their first Member of the European Parliament (MEP). This comes on the back of the trial of four men behind The Pirate Bay, a Swedish based website used for BitTorrent file sharing, which were found guilty of breaking copyright law. How the party will progress in the political arena will be interesting to see- music/movie industry bosses can't be pleased at the news.