Knowing Laws Makes Teens Less Likely To Download Illegally
February 13, 2008 at 6:45 AM (PT)
MICROSOFT CORP. has released the results of a new survey that found teenagers between 7th and 10th grades are less likely to illegally download content from the Internet when they know the laws for downloading and sharing content online.
About half of those teens, however, said they were not familiar with these laws, and only 11% of them clearly understood the current rules for downloading images, literature, music, movies and software. Teens who were familiar with downloading rules credited their parents, TV or stories in magazines and newspapers, and Web sites -- more so than their schools -- as resources for information about illegal downloading.
This survey provides more insight into the disparity between IP awareness and young people today and highlights the opportunity for schools to help prepare their students to be good online citizens.
"Widespread access to the Internet has amplified the issue of intellectual property rights among children and teens," said Global Manager/Genuine Software Initiative for MICROSOFT SHERRI ERICKSON. "This survey provides more insight into the disparity between IP awareness and young people today and highlights the opportunity for schools to help prepare their students to be good online citizens."
Here are additional key findings from the survey:
* A lack of familiarity with the rules and guidelines for downloading from the Internet contributes to teen opinions that punishment is unnecessary.
* Almost half of the teenagers surveyed (49%) said they are not familiar with the rules and guidelines for downloading images, literature, music, movies and software from the Internet. Only one in 10 (11%) said they understood the rules "very well."
* Among teenagers who said they were familiar with the laws, more than eight in 10 (82%) said illegal downloaders should be punished. In contrast, slightly more than half (57%) of those unfamiliar with the laws said violators should be punished.
* In general, teenagers regard illegal downloading over the Internet as less offensive than other forms of stealing.
* Less than half of the teens surveyed (48%) indicated punishment was appropriate for illegal downloading, while 90% indicated punishment was appropriate for stealing a bike.
* Teens rely on parents for rules on downloading.
* Teens report that their parents are their main source of information about what they can and cannot do online. Reinforcing the role of parents is the finding that some of the strongest deterrents to stealing and illegally sharing content are the prospective consequences.
* Among teens who download or share content online, boys are more likely than girls to say that they would not continue after being told the rules to download or share content over the Internet without paying for it or gaining the owner's permission (76% vs. 68% respectively).
* Teens are challenged by peer pressure and their wallets.
* Among teens, peer pressure and cost also have a strong influence on attitudes toward illegal downloading.
The online survey of 501 teenagers attending 7th through 10th grades was conducted by KRC RESEARCH on behalf of MICROSOFT. The interviews were conducted between JANUARY 14th and 17th, 2008.