Survey on Digital Content Usage 2012: Sanctions and warnings regarding copyright infringements are gaining acceptance among the public
Berlin, 22 August 2012
Sanctions and warnings are increasingly gaining acceptance among the public as a measure to reduce copyright infringements on the internet. Three of every four Germans believe it is appropriate to fine people who offer copyrighted media content online without permission. More than half the population (53 percent) endorses the imposition of fines on people who illegally download media content. Consumers feel that warnings would have a preventive effect: 57 percent of Germans believe that up- and downloaders would discontinue their copyright-infringing activities upon receiving a warning from the provider. These are key findings of the survey on digital content usage 2012 (DCN Survey), presented today in Berlin by the Bundesverband Musikindustrie e. V. (BVMI - the German national group of the IFPI), the German book trade association and the German Federation against Copyright Theft (GVU).
The second round of the survey clearly shows that more and more Germans are acquiring music, movies, TV series, e-books and audiobooks directly from the internet. Well over two thirds of the population feel that the legal online range of music (81 percent), e-books (72 percent) and video content (69 percent) on offer is sufficient. There has been a clear shift regarding the preferred technologies: besides traditional downloads, streaming sites are increasingly being used. But people very rarely use online storage space, including the legal options offered by sharehosters, for personal media storage.
Legal and illegal streaming on the advance
GVU Managing Director Dr. Matthias Leonardy says: "The survey clearly shows that the willingness to pay for high-quality content on the internet is still underdeveloped. This freebie mentality is one of the major reasons for the enormous visitor numbers on illegal streaming portals like kino.to. Although many consumers realise that these sites are illegal, that doesn't stop them from using them - apparently because they don't take seriously what they are doing to the creative industries in the process." The GVU's Managing Director adds that rights owners have for some time been demanding the implementation of a warning scheme for these users. The model should be technology-neutral because: "Copyright infringement is not limited to certain technologies like file-sharing. Rather the idea should be to make it clear to everyone who illegally uses content online - regardless of the technology used - that they are not only participating in something illegal. They are also lining the pockets of the illegal exploiters while leaving the creative professionals empty-handed."
Streamripping established among downloaders as a common form of usage
Dr. Florian Drücke, Managing Director of the BVMI, says: "We are delighted that legal use of media content on the internet continues to increase and the diversification of the legal range is bearing fruit. This makes it all the more painful that people are massively helping themselves to free content via streamripping services. Especially in the case of commercial providers, many people don't realise that neither creatives nor their partners participate in the income generated by these services. We have long been demanding that the term 'private copies' should stop being stretched in this way."
The population is fully aware
The illegality of making copyrighted media content available in the public domain is also common knowledge. Only between two and seven percent of respondents still think this is permissible. However, a detailed analysis reveals gaping differences between the different user groups: compared with the average population, up to seven times as many users of illegal download sites are not aware of the illegality of these sources. The share of those who think that offering music, cinematic content, audiobooks and e-books on social networks is allowed is highest among 10- to 19-year-olds (21 percent).
About the Survey on Digital Content Usage
The press version of the survey including info diagrams is available for download from www.musikindustrie.de, www.boersenverein.de and www.gvu.de.
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