Teens Thoughts On Downloads

    November 4, 2005

In case you’re awake at night wondering about the upcoming generation’s thoughts on things like music and movie downloads, get some sleep. According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, teens not only download the movies and music at no charge, they don’t much care about copyright infringement and other pesky federal laws.

One section is the part about music and video online. While not surprising, it will make the RIAA and the MPAA cringe in horror as 75% of the teens in the survey who have downloaded music agreed with the statement “Music downloading and file-sharing is so easy to do, it’s unrealistic to expect people not to do it.” They said just 23% disagreed with this statement.

A more telling portion said half of that above group said they think free downloading and file-sharing copyrighted content without permission is generally wrong, yet roughly the same number say they don’t care about the copyright on the music file that they download.

So while Sony is trying to destroy people’s computer’s through rootkits and the MPAA is going after old men for $600,000, teens will disregard the laws and continue to download away.

The one upside is teens are as likely to have paid for music online as they are to have tried peer-to-peer services. The study said equal portions of music downloading teens admit to current use of P2P (30%) and current us of online music services such as iTunes and iTunes (30%). The downside came when three times as many teens reported peer-to-peer use in the past at 28% compared to the 9% who report use of paid services.

This study shows a couple of things. If record companies and movie companies want to continue with the current business model, they’re going to have to come up with something more enticing yet not illegal to bring the teens around. The other point is the current business model has become utterly futile and will need some drastic modifications as things now stand. Probably the latter is the smarter choice.

John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.