Survey: ISP Warnings Could Cut File Swapping by 70 Percent

LONDON - According to a survey released by United Kingdom media law firm Wiggin, warnings by Internet service providers could reduce "digital piracy" by 70 percent.


The Wiggin-commissioned 2008 Digital Entertainment Survey found that 70 percent of people polled said they would discontinue unlawful file sharing if their ISPs informed them that the practice had been detected.


The survey showed that older Internet users were less likely to change their behavior than teenagers.


According to the survey, people who felt there was an increased risk of being prosecuted for sharing files were apt to stop. However, 68 percent of users polled said they believe it is very unlikely that they will get caught, and half said they would continue to share files due to the perception that the risk is minimal.


According to ARS Technica, ISPs and content owners are engaged in a voluntary negotiation over how to address piracy, but the United Kingdom has indicated that it will legislate in April 2009 if no agreement is reached by then. The U.K. appears to be developing an approach similar to the French "three strikes" system, in which offenders are notified and then blocked.