Good news for the recording industry: fewer Canadians are pirating music. This is according to the results of a recent Ipsos Reid study which looked at Canadian kids aged 12 to 17 years old.
According to the findings, 76 per cent of Canadian teens have used a fee-based website, such as iTunes, to download music, up significantly than the 52 per cent who said they downloaded paid music in 2009. The same survey found fewer teens are downloading music for free. Four in ten said they’ve used peer-to-peer websites, such as torrent sites (e.g. Pirate Bay), to download pirated music. In 2009, 74 per cent said they downloaded music for free.
Ipsos Reid says these findings suggest a combination of closures at popular peer-to-peer sites (like Napster and LimeWire) and stricter policies is having an impact on how teens access their music.
“Ttakedowns of popular peer-to-peer sites in the past few years has made it increasingly complicated for all but the most tech savvy to download free music, which may be the cause for this shift in behaviour,” says Ipsos Reid vice president Catherine Dawson in a press release. “The use of torrent websites is not easily understood by many users and may be leading teens to paid download sources that are quick, simple and relatively affordable.”
Online respondents were asked how they felt about pirating music. Forty-four per cent they felt neutral about the it, 35 per cent said they didn’t feel guilty and 21 per cent said they feel guilty about downloading music they didn’t pay for.
Ipsos Reid says the 44 per cent ambiguity is likely “the result of uncertainty about the current laws around downloading copyrighted content in Canada.”
The Canadian government is often accused of being too lax on copyright issues.
In a 2010 statement by the IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) – a not for profit organization that represents the recording industry with some 1,400 members in 66 countries – Canada was singled out for having an “a disproportionate number of illegal sites hosted on [its] soil.”
“Canada, practically the only government of a developed country not to have implemented international copyright treaties agreed over a decade ago, is a major source of the world’s piracy problem,” said the IFPI.
More details on the Ipsos Reid study, including sampling size and margin of error info, is available here.