Illegal Downloading Drops Among Youth

    May 22, 2007

The illegal downloading of digital copyrighted works by youth ages 8 to 18 has dropped by 24 percent in the last three years according to a survey by the Business Software Alliance.

The survey was first conducted in 2004 and revealed that 60 percent of participants had made illegal downloads. In 2006 the percentage fell to 43 percent and in 2007 it dropped to 36 percent.

The decrease in illegal downloading among the young can be attributed to parental involvement. When asked what concerns them most about downloading digital copyrighted works, such as software, music, movies or games, 62 percent said they had a fear of accidentally downloading a virus.

Fifty-two percent feared getting into legal trouble, while 51 percent said they were afraid of accidentally downloading spyware. Fear of getting into trouble with parents came in fourth with 48 percent.

"This study indicates that parents represent a growing and effective influence on the online practices of youth," said Diane Smiroldo, vice president of public affairs forBSA.

"But, while decreases in downloading are encouraging over recent years, youth are still taking too many risks online. We hope that parents continue to take seriously their role in
helping their children make the right choices online."