Telecoms regulator Ofcom has just published a study into the state of online copyright infringement in the UK, with some very interesting conclusions. The researchers found that 10% of the country’s most prolific infringers are responsible for almost 80% of all infringements carried out online, but with a bonus. These plus an additional 10% of infringers spend 300% more than ‘honest’ consumers who don't infringe copyright at all.
Early 2012 UK telecoms regulator Ofcom commissioned research designed to track consumer behavior and attitudes towards the legal and illegal consumption of copyrighted material.
The research targeted Internet users over 12 years old with the aim of gathering information on the way they consume movies, music, TV shows, video games, software and books to assist with copyright enforcement policy making. The results are now in and they interesting to say the least.
The researchers split infringers into several categories according to their attitudes and motivations.
So-called ‘Justifying Infringers’ were the group who demonstrated the highest levels of infringing behavior. This group accounted for 9% of all infringers, 24% of total infringed volume and 2% of total digital consumers. They felt that they’d already spent enough on content (the researchers say this was confirmed) but like to try before they buy. They’re also the most receptive group when it comes to considering fairly priced legal alternatives.
The ‘Digital Transgressors’ group (9% of all infringers, 22% of total infringed volume, 2% of total digital consumers) consumed more films and TV shows than the ‘Justifying Infringers’. While they showed the least remorse over their behavior, this group had the highest fear of getting caught and the researchers say they would be the most receptive to warning notices sent by ISPs.
The largest group, the ‘Free Infringers’ (42% of infringers, 35% of infringed volume, 10% of total digital consumers) lived up to their name. They all download content because its free and pay for the lowest proportion of legal content compared to the other infringers.
Ambiguous Infringers (39% of infringers, 20% of infringed volume, 9% of total digital consumers) had the lowest level of digital consumption and the highest proportion of paid and legal content. They made less attempt to justify their infringing.
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