FAST: Generation Y shows mixed response to piracy clampdown

Despite the threat of fines and more education about the need to pay for content a stubborn number of young people are determined to keep downloading illegally

There continues to be a significant number of young people prepared to download illegal software if it will save them money despite the knowledge that what they are doing is breaking the law.

Education and enforcement to raise awareness around the importance of intellectual property and the risks of breaking the law have had some impact on the generation that will be entering the workforce in a few years, but there remains a stubborn 40% that are still downloading illegal content.

Research from the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) revealing the attitude of generation Y to intellectual property comes just days after it emerged that ISPs would start alerting those users that were downloading illegal content.

The FAST findings revealed that a fine was the best way to deter piracy among those that were worried by a quarter of those quizzed revealed that nothing would put them off breaking the law.

“We still have a long way to go to change attitudes towards Intellectual Property. When we asked the simple question whether enforcement action taken by ISPs had altered behaviour patterns, only 20% stated that it had.  A massive 71% of those asked claimed it had made it harder to download the content they wanted, but had not stopped them. What was the most startling figure was the 10.5% who said it made no difference whatsoever," said Alex Hilton, CEO, FAST.

Mike Weatherley MP for Hove and Portslade and IP Advisor to David Cameron, stated: “Over the past few years the UK Government has adopted a dual approach to IP protection. On the one hand we have worked with the IP industries to help educate the public as to the consequences of IP theft.  Through this we have seen a concerted effort from not only the software vendors but music and film companies as well, making their business models attractive to users."

“The alternative approach of a beefed up enforcement regime is also playing a powerful roll as these research findings seem to indicate. Consumer behavior is beginning to change, as attitudes, accessibility and affordability all come into play. But we have a long way to go as there appears to be huge resistance amongst a large section of society,” he added.

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